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The Minneapolis journal. [volume] (Minneapolis, Minn.) 1888-1939, July 26, 1906, Fiction Supplement, Image 17

Image and text provided by Minnesota Historical Society; Saint Paul, MN

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045366/1906-07-26/ed-1/seq-17/

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Gavin remarked the bands particularly,
for one of them wa thrust into the bos
om of a spotlessly white and clinging
shirtand that band, he said, covered
the hilt of a gipsy knife. So it was
to be a hazardous eneoonter after all.
He understood too well that if he
moved so mneh as a foot, this gipsy
would stab him.
"Why do you wateh us, sir!"
The English was execrable but the
meaning quite plain. Gavin answered
as abruptly:
I am listening to your music,
The gipsy, utterly lost his at
tempts to continue in a tongue of
which he knew so little, stammered for
an instant and then asked curtly:
"Do you speak German, sir!''
"Possibly as well as you do I have
been three years in that excellent coun-
"Please to tell me who you are, then,
and why you eome to his excellency'9
Gavin laughed at" the impertinence
of it. Speaking in fluent German^ he
said: %-&
I might very well put that question
to you. Shall I say, then, that I am
not here to answer your questions.
Come, we- had better be frank with each
other. I may be able to help you."
This was a new idea to the gipsy
and one that caused him some perplexi
ty. A kttle reflection convinced him
that the stranger was right.
"Very.well," he said, 'we will talk
about it*" Come to my tent and Djala
shall make us coffee. Why not be
friends Yes, we might help each
other, as you say. Let us talk first and
then we can quarrel.'*
He lejiNthe WJJ: tiro a |taith of the
delL powd*ring'4fl ground* with the
golden aUsirof WJ&I flowers as Tie went.
The encampment had been enlarged
considerably since Evelyn discovered
it on the gipsies first coming to More
town. There were no less than seven
tents and the biggest of these, the
one to which Gavurs guide now con
ducted him, had been lurnished with
lavish generosity. Old silver lamps
from the hall cast a warm, soft light
upon the couches and rugs about there
were old tapestries hung against the
canvas tables glittering with silver or
naments a buffet laden with bottles
and silver boxes. But the chief orna
ment was Djala, a little Hungarian girL
and such a perfect picture of wild
beauty that Gavin stared at her
"Here is Djala," the guide said, with
a gesture of his hand toward her. I
am known as Zallony's son. His ex
cellency may have spoken of me."
S'l know nothing," said Gavin sim
ply. "Permit me to tell the young
'lady that she has a charming voice.
I have never heard music that fas
cinated me so much."
"It is the music of a nation of mu
sicians, sir. Please to sit down. Djala
will serve us eigarets and coffee."
The girl laughed pleasantly, show
ing a row of shining white teeth and
evidently understanding,that a compli
ment had been paid her by the stran
ger. When she had served, the coffee
and eigarets. she xaaf away with a
coquette's step and. ttfeV heard her
singing outside to the soft accompani
ment of a zither. Zallony's son smoked
meanwhile with the contemplative
silence of the oriental and Gavin, wait
ing for him, would not be the first to
break the truee.
"So you have been in Germany,
I was there three years," said
"You know Bukharest, it may bet"
"Not at all, tho a lady's book was
on the point of sending me to the Car
pathians." earliest opportunity."
"Make friends with my people and
they will be your friends. We never
forget, sir. That is why I am here in
this ^English country, because we never
"The best of qualities.
They tell me that your father was his
excellency's friend in Rumania many
years ago."
The gipsy looked at him question
"It is as you Say, sir.r They~were
brothers of the Mils. 4 When the
houses burned and the women, ran from
the soldiers, then men said it is ZaDony
and the English ford. There was an
other with th-sm. He is in prison now
he who was my father's* friend. Sir,
I come to England to give him liber-
Gavin was greatly interested. He
drained the little cup of coffee, and,
filling a pipe slowly, he said:
"What forbids your successt"
Zallony's son looked him Straight in
the face.
A lady known to usshe may for
bid it, sir.?'
"You cannot mean the Lady Eve-
"We will not speak of names. You
have her confidence. Say to her that
when she is false to my friend, Count
Odin, I will kill her."
"Bat that is nonsense. What has
she to do with it? Your affair is with
the earl, her father. Why do yon
.speak of her?"
"Because there is only one door by
which my father's friend can win. hur
liberty. Let Georges Odin's son marry
an Englishwoman and my government
will release him."-
i That, is your view. Do*you forget
^his eatcellenoy^'s "influence? Why should
i he not petition the governmefct at Buk
harest for this jnanV liberty."
"Because, in that case, his own life
would be in danger. We are a people
that never forgets. I have told you so.
If Georges OdSi were at liberty, he
would cross the world to find his enemy.
That is "our nature. We love and hate
as, an eastern people should. The man
who does us a wrong must repay, who
ever he is. It would be different if
the young count had an English wife.
That is why I wish it."
Gavin smiled almost imperceptibly.
"It is quite clear that you know
little of England," he said. "This
language suite your own country very
well. Permit me to sa,y that it is ridic
ulous in ours. If Lord Melbourne had
any hand in your friend's imprison
ment, which I doubt, he is hardly likely
to be influenced by threats. I should
say that you are going the wrong wav
to work. As to the Lady Evelyn, 1
will tell you that she will never be the
wife of one of your eountrymen. If
you ask a reason, it is a personal one,
and before you now. She is going to
marry me. "It is just as well that we
should understand as much at once."
The gypsy heard the news as one who
had expected to hear it. He smoked
for a httle while in silence. Then he
I appreciate the courtesy of your
admission. That which I thought it
necessary to tell you at first, I must
repeat this lady is the' be
trothed of my friend, Count Odin. I
remain in England as the guardian of
his honor. If you are wise, you will
leave the house without further warn
ing. My friend is absent, and until he
is nere I must speak for him. We do
not know you and wish you no harm.
Let this-affair end as it began. You
would be foolish to do otherwise."
Gavin heard the threat without any
sign of resentment whatever.
''You are talking the language of the
Carpathians, not of London," he said,
with a new note of determination in his
tone. I will answer you in my Eng
lish way. I have asked Lady Evelyn
to marry me, and She will do so before
the year is out. That is final. For
the rest, I remind you again that you
are not in Bukharest."
He rose, laughing, and offered his
"Good night," he said. "They will
be anxious about me at the castle."
It was the gipsy's turn to smile.
\'I have dealt fairly with you," he
said "for that which is now to come,
do not blame me when it comes."
"Too late is often never," replied
Gavin lightly and with that he left
The gipsy girl, Djala, had ceased to
sing as he quitted the tent and the rest
of the encampment was in darkness.
But as he crossed the home park, a
burly figure upon a black horse loomed
up suddenly from the shadows and there
was still moonlight enough for him to
recognize the earl.
"He is going to his gipsy friends,"
Gavin said to himself. "Then he
knows thaf this brigand's son has
spoken to meah, I wonder!"
[Svnth Installment]
[Copyright x9o6 by Max Pemberton. All Rights Reserved.]
A Spy from Bukharest.
It is an English characteristic tO^
deride the European code of social
ethics and especially those fine heroics
which attended the vindication of what
is so often miscalled "honor." What
ever else Gavin Ord lacked, sound com
mon sense he had abundantly and that
came to his aid when he returned from
the gipsy's tent to the manor and de
bated the odd interview which he had
so abruptly terminated. These men, he
said, were mere bravadoes but they
might be dangerous none the less. Of
Count Odin he knew nothing but his
antipathy to all counts was inerad
icable, and he had come to number
them together as so many impostors,
valiants and bankrupts. This habit of
thinking first led him to the supposi
tion that Lord Melbourne, his host, had
been the victim of a little band of
swindlers and was about to be black
mailed by them as few even of the
most unfortunate degenerates are black
mailed, even in this age of accom
plished roguery.
"It is a hundred to one old Georges
Odin is dead," he argued "this son
of his got the story somehow and came
over here to make what he could by
it. The earl has lost his nerve, and his
love for Evelyn is betraying him into
cowardice. I shall see him and tell
him the truth. If they fire off pistols
at me, I must take my luck in my hand.
There may be a deeper storyif so,
I shall find it out when the time comes.
I am now to act for Evelyn's sake and
think of no consequences which do not
concern her. Very well, I will begin
tomorrow and the earl is my first step.
He shall hear everything. When he has
done so, I shall know what to do."
He slept upon this, but it was a
broken sleep whose interludes found
him sitting up in bed listening for any
sounds in the house, and repeating in
spite of himself the gipsy threats. He
could not forget that some one had
watched him in his sleep when first he
came to Melbourne Hall and this un
forgotten figure his imagination showed
to him again, telling him that it crossed
the room with cat-hke steps or breathed
upon his face whenever his eyes were
closed. His natural courage made noth
ing of the darkness but the suggestion
of unknown and undisclosed danger be
came intolerable as the night advanced
and at the very first call of dawn, he
drew the curtains back and waited with
a child's longing for the day. When
this at length broke above the night's
mists floating up from the river, Gavin
rose and put on his dressing-gown, be
ing quite sure that sleep had, for the
time being, deserted him. True, his
odd hallucination that some one was in
the room with him no longer troubled
him hut certain facts disquieted him
none the less and of these, the belief
that his wallet and his papers had been
ransacked during the night was not
the least alarming. He felt sure that
he could not be mistaken. A man of
method, he remembered clearly how
he had placed his papers and in what
order he had left them. Whoever had
played the spy's part had done so clum
sily, forgetting to reclasp the wallet
and leaving the dressing-table in some
disorder. This troubled Gavin less
than the knowledge, that some one had,
after all, watched him while he slept
and that his dream bad not deceived
him. "They take me for a spy from
Bukharest," he said and he
could laugh at the delusion.
It would have been about 5 o'clock
of the morning by this time a glor
ious hour, full of the sweet breath of
day and of that sense of life and be
ing which is the daydawn's gift. Gav
in knew little of the habits of grooms,
save that they were the people who
were supposed to rise with the sun
but when an hour had passed he went
out impatiently to the stables, and
there the exeellert William found him
a "rare onld divil of a boss" and one
that "came just short of winnin' the
National, to be sure he did." This raw
boned cantankerous brute carried him
at a sound gallop twice round the home
park- and, greatly refreshed, he re
turned to the hall and asked the apolo
getic Griggs if the earl were yet
down. The answer that "his lordship
was awaiting him in the long gallery
hardly surprised him. He felt sure that
the recognition last night had been mu
"Zallony's son has told him," he
said "very well, I will go and ask
him to give me Evelyn."
The earl sat at a little table placed
in one of the embrasures of the gal
lery. He had aged greatly these last
few weeks, and there were lines upon
his face that had not been there when
Gavin first came to Moretown. A
close observer would have said that
the habit of sleep had long deserted
him. This his eyes betrayed, being
glassy in their abstracted gaze and
rarely resting upon any object as tho
to observe it for more than an instant.
When Gavin entered, a tremulous hand
indicated a ehair drawn up near by the
table. The earl was the first to speak
and he did so with averted gaze and in
a loud voice which failed, to conceal the
hesitation of his words.
I hear of your unfortunate acci
dent for the first time, Mr. Ord," he
said slowly. "Let me implore you to
run no more risks of the kind. The
belfry tower is too old to write new
Gavin replied with an immediate ad
mission of that which he owed to Eve
lyn's bravery.
"But for your daughter, my lord,"
he said, I should not be here this
morning to speak to you of very grave
things. Please do not think me insen
sible of your kindness to mention that
at once. I have asked Lady Evelyn
to be my wife and she has given her
consent. Naturally I tell you of this
upon the first possible occasion. You
know something of my story, or you
would not have paid me the compli
ment of asking me here. I have an
assured ineome of some two thousand
a year, and, with your friendship, I
should double it in as many years.
That is a vulgar statement, but neces
sary. My father was Lord Justice Ord,
as you possibly knew my dear moth
er is the daughter of Sir Francis Wia
nington of Audley Court, Suffolk. These
things, I know, must be talked about
at such times, so please bear with me.
I am sure that Evelyn would wish me
to continue in the profession I have
chosen and, with your consent, I shall
doeo There is nothing else I can tell
if it is not to say how very deeply
love your daughter and. that*! be
lieve her love for me is "hoi less.'^
The earl heard him without remark.
When he had finished he made no im
mediate response, seeming to lack words
rather than decision.
"Mr. Ord," he said atlength, "you
had every right to speak to Evelyn. I
niake no complaint of it. But she can
not be your wife, for if she is not al
ready the betrothed of another, there
is at least an honorable understanding
that she will make no marriage until
he has been heard again. This affair
must begin and end today. If I am
no longer able to ask yotf to remain mV
guest here, you will understand my dif
ficulty. I cannot answer you in any
other way. For your sake I wish in
deed that I could."
Gavin had fully expeeted this but
it did not disconcert him In any way.
The battle which he must wage for
Evelyn's sake had but begun. Set
tling himself in his ehait And looking
the earl full in his face, he said:
"Does Lady Evelyn know of this,
my lord? Is this the answer she wishes
you to give me?"
"In no sense. But I speak as one
who consults her interests before all
Gavin smiled perceptibly.
Forgive me, Lord Melbourne, he
said "but all this is so very character
istic of youT house and its history. A
hundred years ago it would have
sounded well enough^ and I should have
called a coach obediently as any gen
tleman of those days would have felt
obliged to do. But we live in the twen
tieth century, my lord, when men and
women have learned the meaning of the
word liberty when the de
sires and sehemes of other people"
"Schemes, Mr. Ord
"No other word is possible. You do
not desire the marriage for purely self
ish reasons. I am not impertinent
enough to" inquire into them, but Eve
lyn has told me something, and the
rest I deduce from the answer you have
iust given me. To save yourself,-my
lord, you would marry -your daughter
to a scoundrel, who is known for such
in his own country and ours and. when
you did iVsome false logic would try
to tell you that it was for the sake-of
your home and *ame while all the
time it is done to save you some incon
venience, some penalty you should in
'ustice pay to the 'past. I am nottso
that I cannot see the things which
are happening all around .me. Svelvn 's
eonsent to my proposal gives me this
right to speak plainly to you, in her
interest and my own. Would you not
be wiser, my lord, to deal with me as
I am dealing with youto tell me in
a word why this stranger can coerce
you when an Englishman is answered
in a word? I think that you would. I
think it would be well if you said.

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