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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, August 04, 1907, Image 15

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Tie San Francisco Sunday Call.
THE VIPER OF MILAN
CHAPTER THIRTX-THItEE-Conttßned
BUT from the red rlare outside,
the blaze within blinded Della
Scala. He looked round him for
Viscontl. Then a voice screamed:
"Keep him off!" and suddenly h!« eye«
met the duke's, and he strode forward.
It seemed almost done. Viscontl, In
wild fear, fell back befrfre that terrible
face, staggering against the wall, his
hand fumbling for bis dagger/and the
sen in the room scattered to right and
left, as before an apparition.
"Gentlemen!" shrieked Viscontl,
"you are ten to one; stop him! A for
tune for the one who slays html**
But Mastlno bad him In his grip—al
most; another moment
But Vlsconti fell, and crouched along
the wall, those reaching bands above
him.; and a dozen swords leaped out;
the soldiers flocked In from the ante
room; there was a Trtld confusion.
"Slay hlmJ" shrieked Viscontl But
from Delia Ecals, as they dosed on him.
came a yell that froze the marrow.
Ten to one! They needed to be. The
place began to mn with blood.
"Gl*n Viscoatii Glaa Viscontl r
Viscontl rose by the wall again. "Kill
himr be gaspefi. "Kill him!" and cow
ered away. He was not sure If tbat
face or tbat figure.^, struggling ever
toward him. could be' killed; that they
\u25a0were earthly, or that that was the
voice of a man that, with no sound of
the human left in it, called bis name.
"Let them kill him!" screamed VU
\u25a0 contl.
But De Lana did not T&ove, he did
not look round: neltner did Viscontl.
"Visconti! Viscontl!" gasped the
voice. Ah! There was a great scuf
*.:r.g of feet, the dragging of a heavy
body, and Mastlno, an Inert mass upon
the soldiers' arms, was forced back
upon the balcony. \u25a0
They let him fall there, and one
heard hlmT moan; but be was bleeding
from 20 wounds. They left him and
closed th* door.
Viscontl looked round fearfully.
"Is he gone?" he said.
The great candelabra bad been over
turned and the room was In a seral
cioom, broken only by the dim candles
in their sconces and the fitful flare from
the city.
No one answered Vlsconti. The men
drew breath In silence and looked at
their wounds. How he had fought! A
horror fell upon them.
•Is he dead?" asked Viscontl, shaking
like a leaf.
"There were 15 men to kill him," said
De Lar.a, and be wiped some blood from
his band with a shiver.
No one else broke the silence, all
stood still as If spellbound; It was a.
horrible, horrible thing, and they drew
back from the door — afraid.
"Hush! — what was that?"
Viscontl leaned forward fearfully.
"What was it?"
The sound of some one on the bal
cony. Vieconti's face went livid.
"He is alive J?
A horrid shudder ran through them
all. De Lana strove to speak and
could not.
"The door is not fastened." whispered
Vlsconti, boarsely. "Fasten the door —
some one!"
But no one moved, no one dared, for
superstitious horror.
Something tell back from the door,
thea the sound of something that
dragged itself against it painfully,
then a rattle at the unbolted door.
"He is sot dead," half screamed Vls
contL "A town to the man who will go
out and slay him!"
"No one moved.
" -A. half dead man!" cried the duke,
**a.nd no one will end his misery?"
They dared not.
"Hark! He will have the door open.
De Lana, I command you—'* He point
ed with a shaking band, but Da Lana
only shook bis bead.
"There bas been too much done al
ready." he said sbudderlngly.
The duke looked around wildly.
"A town, a fortune to the one who
mill have compassion," and with a
ehrug and a grimace, a rough soldier
stepped forward, his drawn Bword»in
his hand, and opening the door, pushed
something back before him and went
out.
Glan breathed beavily, listening, but
the next second the soldier was In
the room again, with altered face, and
the door ajar behind him.
"I cannot/ be gasped — "It is blind,
struggling— lt— does not look like a
man — I—**
"Shut the door!" yelled Visconti, and
then fell back against De Lara, shak
ing, for a livid face appeared, with dim
<*yes and a bare throat streaked With
blood. For one moment the ghastly
apparition showed there, then fell into
the dark again. S . -
There was a sickening pause. Vls
conti spoke first, looking around. .
"Are we fools or women? He came
to murder me, and be is slain — what Is
there In that? Go and see now if he is
dead."
Some one went, fearfully.
"He lies very still, my lord; ,he Is
dead — "
The tremblng pages had brought
.more lights, and light was lifeeto Vis
contl. He came forward and looked,
a little nearer, on the figure In the door
way. but very slowly, with De Lana be
tween. .
Mastino lay out straight, in a sudden
up flare from the burning city, his arm
fiunp over bis face. SRSSI
"He was a. giant." whispered Vis
contl. fearfully. "And HG*r dark!— l do
not remember biro «o dark — "
He looked over X>e Lana's shoulder at '
\u25a0Jiinv.
The soldiers peered behind him. That
man was Mastino della Scala once! — it
\u25a0was strange even to their cold hearts."
H« was dead—dead 1 Viscontt's fear/
the superstitious fear of a righteous
God-sent vengeance, turned to a sav
age Joy; still be was afraid, still
afraid.
He touched the body with" the point
of bis gold shoe.
"Throw him Into the garden," be
•aid to the soldier, showing his
teeth.
Glannotto and De ; Lana exchanged a
curious glanoe; the soldier, set bis lips. ,
"Are you all traitors ' or cowards,
ghat yott 4* not* heed met* «rte4 -VU- ":.:
contl, In a fury. "Throw, thrust, kick
this thing -into the garden— let him He
there till the morning."
* "My lord," said De Lana, with a
dangerous look In his eyes, "he was a
prince and a Scaliger!"
"He was my enemy — scorn for scorn!
Throw Mastino della Scala from the
balcony or — " j
And hilf a dozen men came forward
and lifted the prostrate body.
"Haste!" said Viscontl, his eyes on
De Lana. "Throw him out of my
sight."
"tiet them carry him down the steps/
my lord," cried De Lana.
But Viscontl turned on him, bis face
and hair" glowing In the light of tlfe
flames from Novara, his face fiendish.
"They shall do as I bid, or bang
from the nearest tree! Now haste!"
he said again, as if be feared the dead
x might yet arise.
They carried the body to the edge of
1 the steps and pushed It over, crashing
| dully down the foliage tbat half over
spread the marble.
Viscontl stepped to the parapet and
looked over.
"He said something as he fell," he
whispered to himaelf. "1 heard him —
but he must be dead now— *•" '.
He turned back Into the room,
breathing more freely. .. -
i "Now close tfie door again," *> he said,
and watched while It was dope, f
CHAPTER THIftTT-FOUR
,_'- An Instrument of God - .
* . I IOW many, De» Lana— how
\u25a0 * * L-4 many?"
I | "Five — six or seven——''
, "Hundreds!"
: 'Thousands, my lord!" , \
Viscontl leaned forward In his chair
\u25a0 in his excitement.
"Thousands?"
L "The men frdfii Magenta are come
In. laden with plunder."
» Vlscofitl laughed. . ,
"I said I would give them Lombardy
• to sack— and there are thousands of
i prisoners?"
; The scene was the summer palace,
that same night. Viscontl sat at the
head of a table In a room adjoining
1 the one In which the tapestry was torn
! and the floor still sticky with blood.
i It was a small apartment, beautifully
inlaid with mosaic, and now blazing
with lfghts, and full of a fine company
of officers and nobles.
"Thousands — men, women and chll
. dren— some men of note, too, my lord;
the ransacking of palaces for
miles \u25a0\u25a0'
1 "And Novara?"
"Some beat the flames out still—
they say half the place Is saved."
"Let them plunder it!" cried Vis
contL "Let them pick Novara bare!
The palace was burned?"
"To o heap of ashes!" said another.
"There is nothing but the bastion, red
hot——"
"As you should know. Da Rlbera,"
laughed the officer next him, "seeing
you tried to ride over it."
"And killed his horse," said another.
"And saved myself!" shouted Da Rlb
era. "I look for a reward for that,
. my lord— the saving of a valiant ofll
cer of yours—— *'. . /.j-Vi'U-'S:- -
"Shall not be forgotten!" laughed.
Vlsconti. "Be paid by this advice — re
member burning towns are dangerous,
as to his mortal cost a certain great
Frenchman found at Rouen; and sev
eral great Germans more recently at
Milan "
• "When they lay along the ramparts
like flies, I have beard my grandfather
say, striving to loot In the midst of
the very flames," said De Lana, "like
Da Rlbera here." ' \u25a0 ' « : \u25a0."/ •\u25a0""»
"Had I been in Milan, Barbarossa
himself would have burned In the midst
of It," said Visconti, sweeping '. back
the glass and silver before him. "Th«
town bad weeks to prepare."
"Had you been there, Milan would
not have burned at all, my lord!" said
a flattering voice.
"Maybe It would not. It was cer
tainly before the Vlscontl's rule be
gan," and he looked down the table
with a smile at the dark face of Martin
della Torre.
"And now the plans, De Lana—
Novara to Magenta, Magenta to Ver
cellL"
He swept the glasses still further
back, and spread the parchment De
Lana banded him on the colored mar
ble table.
"Vercelll — We' hold Vercelll, De-
Lana?" The officers moved -<jp closer,'
leaning over the table. \ '\u25a0'_\u25a0
"TTe hold Vercelll — and Magenta."
Viscontl placed a silver goblet to .
keep the parchment down, and traced
the route with the point of his dagger.
"To Turin— to Cun«fq — as near as we
dare to the stiff necked Genoese, and
we have circled Piedmont."
"And these same Genoese?" ' -^
"Let them keep quiet," said Viscontl,
sheathing bis dagger and leaning back,
"and they may keep Genoa; we have
larger game In view — the empire. From
the walls of Novara the Alps are to be
seen, from the wails 'of Magenta they
hide half the sky. from Turin one may
touch them, and so we go closer— —"
"And hold the empire in check." safd,
De Lana, with excited eyes. "Ah, my
lord, it was almost worth It- 1 — —":
Vlsconti turned to him sharply.
"What do you say, De Lana?"
There was a second's i pause. This
was the first, even vague, reference to
what bad happened earlier that ' same
night; it~ seemed weeks since, and yet
the sun had not risen on It.
\ Vlscohtl looked at g D«' Lana and
laughed. .
/ "Almost worth It — almost worth
what, De Lana?" "
The soldier, recovering himself, re
turned his glance.
"The extinction of four noble faml-,
lies, my lord." _\u25a0
"Did my lord do it?" cried another.
"Did" he ask the D'Estes to burn No-,
vara?" .' .
"No," smiled Viscontl. "But had
they not. I had done It for. them, as I
will burn Mantua, and the Gonza gas in
It. We will have nd.^seditious 6pots.ln •
the Lombardy I rule..There will be one.
capital and one ru!er/\he added stern- „
ly.-,*"The D'Estes knew. enough to. an-'.
De Lana was silent.* :
''And these ' prisoner?, my lord?"
asked Da Ribera. "What. of them?"
"They choke the camp." said another.'; 1
"They are partisans of Mastino della'
'Scala, naturally,"
"They are partisans of Mastlno della "
Scala. naturally/ said VlscontL It was;
the first time the name had been men
tioned, and Visconti's eyes flared to see
that there was silence at it.
"Mastlno della Scala, I said — th&y, fa
vored, him."
•/. "Yes, my. lord; him or the Estes.", .
v *TTou will put them to the sword."
"Air/"
."All!"- ehouted Viscontl, half rising.
"I will . have no rebellious . slaves : to
groan over; Delia Scala's grave and
hatch me! plots from ; the ashes of their :
bones— wo will raze the cities to the '
ground and put them to the swbrd. ' My
.triumph will : need no_ prisoners , to prove* .
it— and see it Is done. De Lana."
GCBPYRI<3HT . loG>a« "BY" WGLUFSEa PMXW @ <3&
They quailed; their attitude acknowl
edged him the master. -•
"Spare the churches," •* said ; VlUcontt,*
"and see that all relics are brought with
due honor to Milan.; Da Rlbera, - you "
ventured farthest Into Novara; saw you
any churches?" '
"One, my lord. Is saved; the church of
Santa Claire."- • \u25a0' . ' . -'
"We tried t^ : rescue; the monks/* *
struck In | Maf tin della Torre*- "They
refused our succor and returned Into
the flames— screaming — " \u25a0 '
He paused. • * ; "
"What?" demanded Viscontl.
"Somewhat about God's curse," an
swered - Delia Torre. "Their execration
was not pleasant." - »' . -
_"Had you not been there, you bad not;
heard it," said De Lana. "And; a few
crazy— bark!" . '
There came a great noise from with
out and.the trampling of crowding feet.
.."Another company Is Joining us,"'re
marked VlscOntl. , ' .
J"Th« soldiers from Novara," said
Della Torre, and put his goblet down,
and De Lana turned expectantly to the
door, Visconti, 'facing it, rose In his
seat as it was flung wide and a couple
'of scorched . and bleeding . soldiers en
tered, followed by a trampling guard. .'
"I^rom Novara?" asked the duke. • ,
They stopped short, saluting.- '.
"From Novara! We: have saved the
library and the college, 1 my- lord, and
gome three palaces." , \
"Thoy would have burned the 11
. brary!" cried Viseontl, : "sooner than It J
should enrich Milan— the jealous fools!''
"Now, hark you," he added to .; the
' soldiers, "every man bringing a book or.
a gem -.or- a picture, I; reward; every '
man destroying one, I hang.- Now,
which Is he who saved the library?"
An officer pushed forward. ""
-.. "This Is he, ray lord;\one of my com
pany." • . \ ij- v ••* "\u25a0•.
Take this from ; me," and Viscontl
handed the man his neck chain. '
"And the, prisoners,' my lord?"
"What care I-for. the prisoners?" You
will give no quarter/ 1 say!"
The officer bowed and drew~ a, little
book from his doublet, laying if on the
table..'. ': "-'\u25a0:--' V- V- .\u25a0;;-;..;.
"A monk \u25a0 gave me •, this for his life/*
he said. "And all Lombardy knows your
taste In books, my lord.'!,
; "Remember, : we . league with the
pope," ; said Vlsconti. taklng^it up. "The
monk should have, had, his ; life without
a bribe: now go, and heed what I have
said." He turned to De Lana: "Follow
and see If -the flames be out: 'tis day
ligrht.';,' ' \u25a0; ,r -. \u0084v,V .;' "\u25a0• - \u25a0;:;-u. '
The curtains were; drawn away from
the window and. the -early light, fast !
glowing into sunlight,^ and the fresh
morning af r filled the heated chamber.
The lamps flared pale, ;the gorgeous
dresses and i flushed, eager faces of the
men around the table* the glimmer of
the gold and silver. vessels before them,
showed &i a garish contrast with the
coft light: y \u25a0'•...;">\u25a0;\u25a0.- }\u25a0.\u25a0:-\u25a0,:'•\u25a0--, ,\_
"Seneca," 'said Viscontl, turning over
the volume , the ., soldier had : brought.?
"Where ~,is ,. that \u25a0\u25a0'} knave -f Glannotto?'
.Seneca, spoiled by Interlining, but < still :
Seneca. Glannotto— l say!"
The secretary .was not In. the- room,
but', the page dispatched soon brought
him. ' He stood in .the doorway, blink- ;
Ing at the daylight; Uooklng.'arOuftd
confused, and .tho company broke'into"
laughter. r-; •< •
"Take this!f;/crled Visconti. "A
Seneca on : .vellum; V with .some ; dolt's
comments: .take It, Giannotto."
N. ."There is a library.' being. brought in
below,", said the 1 : secretary. :,-.•• .
* "Because ;we "spared ; the church . of '•
Santa- Claire.V who; must- have -been ttho'
patron saint of \ poets-r-eh, De Lana?"- .
"MeSser,; Francesco ?: ; Petrarica r found ,
her i so,"/; said i ar-l noble r laughing. \u25a0 "A
lucky day for him* when^ he" stepped In
side k the '•. church • of ; Santa Claire I". • ;. : '
"He had ; cause ' to thank > her, doubt- "~
\esa^-^^'l'/^gBSBSSBO^SBBBfHS^''' "\u25a0"...'
Vlt . Messer Hugues \ had not," smiled
Viscontl. '.};\u25a0 . '/,,.:' ;,'. -..v-. : ' \u25a0' •..'\u25a0 \u25a0 .•--.\u25a0\u25a0;
: . "1 know:not,:my. ; lord:yfor;a duliboor^
like ; that," he gathered ;some^fame,i else ;
nev&rlhlsJ''.:i': : l ./.\u25a0 \u25a0--.".".-• \u25a0 X \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 \u25a0':
"And \ the f poet i turned <It I to? good ae
ccunt," said Vlsconti. ' ,'itetblnks 'hi :
used his love for money making;/ he
coined: the • Lady Laura 'into good gold :
vpieces!"r''>>jv;y ;. : - \u25a0 : - > \u25a0 -: .:;.->• ~.:*
r i'Now,' my lord/ Is not » that ' spite t>e*';
cause Messer \u25a0 Petrafca left his library
to Venice?*! ; - v : \u25a0\u25a0'[ \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0-. :\u25a0\u25a0-\u25a0\u25a0:'
,'Xet him leave his library where he
pleased, he Was a fine man of business,
sky V \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 -\u25a0 ' ;\u25a0 *\u25a0 v.it- \u25a0' " : - :.
"And a' wearisome poet," tatd De
Lana. ' ' " -;.' . ' •"\u25a0•.'• \u25a0\u25a0' ' "',' '.'\u25a0 ' .
i'O Flamettot" said Viscontl latigb
- Ing. "Joanna! ' Naples and tho .blue
eea! These are thy patron saints, De
-Lana?" -• .: - -\u0084 .V \u25a0 .- :/ , \u25a0.-'\u25a0 '.. - \u25a0'• .- —
•'Nay, I like not that book of feeble
love | making any better," replied De
' Lana; "a Florentine dallying!" .
- "I doubt ra« If thou hast ever read
it," . said' th« duke gayly.
"Allghlerl \u25a0 Is more to De. Lana's
mind/" remarked Da Rlbera, pouring
;Wlne, "and -the 'fair daughter of Old
Folco. ;? I tnyseli used to .sing 'Allg*
hlerl's, verses till I tired."' ," ; '
"Yourself : or your audience, my
friend?" ' .
' But Viscontl looked jj at the;, speaker,
- frowning.--. - : •'? V \u25a0\u25a0'" ": t '\u25a0'"" -\u25a0''"\u25a0\u25a0 ':'
"You hay« ; mentioned Allghlerl, for
getting /who was his patron," whls
pered ?Dfclla TOfre. >
\- "The i court of -Verona and Can* Gran'
; della Scala-^—i-" -v • -•
"He recanted, my good. lord: he .died
a Ghibelllne," said Da Rlbera, acting,
on the whisper.
."Mastlno della Scala was a Ghlbel
4 llne;^we never;- quarreled over that,".;
•said .Viscontl easily.; '"But Mastino was
no » patron of poets like 1 his father.";
fH<? leaned back in his chair andlooked
out ; of a .the window,; where above ;the
beautiful 'fresh - green of the 'garden'
faint smoke wreaths ' showed, " the last
of Novara. -'. \u25a0 ,V.": \u25a0 ';\u25a0 *-.'• -,
. "DeLana* you stood next; what did
he : flay—as/he Lwent: over? I ,'
At .the sudden brutal- question, , they
started,' and -Da Lana suppressed a
shudder. >
"I did not hear— X thought—he was
dead."/-;:- : - . -:^ . \u25a0' : -'; , :, \u0084 ; \u25a0 ',<
"I think you are still afraid of him,"
smiled Viscontl.*"! should tika to know
. what he said." '. -And he looked .round ,
for Glannotto, 's who • had shrunk . Into - a
Corner, and sat there \ gazing dully at*
i the company, v.i s . - .
"Did : you hear, Glannotto? ' .. -\u25a0]
\u25a0 ''I?.: vHoW'Sboaia^li , my lordr*. and'
the secretary ahuffled- uneasily. .
"Ho! a > sullen knave!" cried .Viscontl,
then; leaned forward and touched' De
Lana on the arm. . ,
; "t hear moreT arrivals— hark!" •' :
"What should this be ?'t" asked Da. Rlv
bera- in surprise.?-. "Not my Lord Arezzo "
from Modena?" ' '\u25a0?'.< ' '!\u25a0 *• -
V ; "From i Mod6na!"> cried Viscflntl -; with ;
1 sparkling, eyes. ."Is \u25a0• there ; success , there;
;too?v^ r ". : : ' -'\u25a0•;\u25a0 -;-'vv I '"' ,'-'-- ; : >-..: v-[
-. .\u25a0; V'Y'our, arms cease to meet with , aught r
' elsoiV Lordt Visconti," \u25a0 said -: Delia \u25a0 Torre;
!•'!= drink to^ ydur perfect triumph!' 1 He
raised : his • glass, I red ' as , a . huge j ruby ; in
the", light, :and f , Viscontl, f triumphant r'in
; deed 1 when j the ! leader i6tj a f actloti r ad- ?
?mitted *it (and 5 deemed ,; it /politic : to/say
so, dtank to Delia" Torre 'standing.
There Was; a '\u25a0'' clatter,; df i footsteps " and
.the noise of ja^great sentry. . \u25a0'\u0084 .'\u25a0
". "Silence!"; sald ; Viscontl.' ' f 'Tis Arezzo,
i I. hear! his vqice.'.'^ : :.; '\u25a0:'„ \u25a0 ; v r \i<
: The door^ was again tbrown^wide, this'
I time 't upon "« a "splendid : cavalier, ; clad \u25a0 in '
magnificent armor, Sbinlftgi beneath bis '
travel ' stained : scarlet^ cloak. ...
\u25a0?T."Success * fest f upon i. your, helm, Vls
'cohti,'^ for. l Lombardy >. to r ßelluno \4_ is \
; yours!"; He swept bis ' cap off and' stood,
flushed -and, panting, before the 'eager,
'excited 'company,, who', rose -to ; a' man. "
"Modenar," asked nyiscontL'^'And Man
tiiar/-; ;: : •*• -\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0-::'\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 \u25a0;::\u25a0;\u25a0*. • \u25a0 -
r -i;'.'Y6u"rs,VjVald Guldo'd* Arezzo. /'And *of
\u25a0 Ferrara 1 1 fmys'elf * the . keys and '
i rode ; : post-haste f to %; Milan; % through X a
1 country,? that i dared 1 riot | raise | a finger. \
where ' even the^ nobles (camsj uncovered '»
to : -'7myC.' : stlrrup':>!;^and-".: : ".so':^ thehce I
i followed I you i ; here^-wlthUhese ias proof ;
; of.^my^ success.''^ He jstepped^/aslde^
'Showing I a"J glimpse £Of 1 the disordered \
; room 1, beybnd.'j and % beckoned ; to - one iot ;
; the I men 'i behind i ftim.l taking ; " two )gr eat i
:fßiaridardsfrdnvblm.r V: ':'/<V \u25a0\u25a0::\u25a0' : ;: rr '-;
'." • r 'This" as fa ; proof— tlidf banner.: of \u25a0 the
Ganzagas, the standard of the D'Estesi"
He dropped to one knee and laid them
'l at >,Vlßcottti'a feet, ' both bloods talnetf,
,! torn "i to ) ra|fs, th« bearings bea te n ; ttdtn
their surface; still, the flags that bad
fioated-from Modena and Mantua. 'The
company^ burst Into wild shotit*»Vtnad
with the : intoxication of success, an-1
Visconti raised Arezso and placed him
beside him at tho -table, the banners at
"his; feet.'? lv-;-"l v - ; - " - ' v-- ' "\u25a0' "\u25a0 \u25a0 *t-. '
"Tbou hast done splendidly/, 'h*
cried* i "On Our sldft t6d there is fortune
—Mastlno della Scala will trouble us no
/more!", * :•'\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0:.' ..-'.'. . K -. - : --' \u25a0\u25a0'\u25a0\u25a0 \u25a0- ;
"Dead!"' cr fed tb« general. "Dead!"
M*He lies ybnder Irt the garden/ With
smiling lips Visconti pointed through
the open window. "He- was killed last
night!" / ; - - : -: \u25a0 .. „ - V. '
-\u25a0"The last of the Sfcallgerl! Then Lom
bardy is youts Indeed!"
"From Vercilll to.Belland!" cried De
Lana. -\u25a0* -.\u25a0- ' -'.; . ' v .-\u25a0 \u25a0\u25a0 : \u25a0- _:•
"I shall not forget those who helped
me," said Viscontl, and called for wine
and himself served Arezzo. "I will prove
, I am | not •'niggard to ray friends— your
-health, Arezzol" '
\u25a0-\u25a0 : The name of , the victorious captain
was shouted down the table: only;GI-
annotto: was silent,-, seated in . the win
dow, seat,"- and the duke's eyes fell on
-him."-.-.' ; : .-./..„ ;\u25a0-.-\u25a0--.\u25a0 -. ; . . ,-'
"Give the rogue: there some wine,"
he, laughed." "Have no fears, Glannotto.
I will remember"' thee, there are palaces
enough? to- loot. Thou, shalt; have the
pickings tof -, one..; Drink !" . he* 1 added ,ln
la i sterner tone as "the secretary refused
\u25a0_ the v wine, with. muttered excuses. "Tahe
-It,; and warm thy \u25a0 frozen 1 blood.. or.:w*
,will;flnd somewhat wlll'do. lt better." "'
The'secretary took .the goblet, but so
gripping jthe glass that the slender
stem V snapped arid the liquid ran red
% over the black .and ; white floor," like a'
trail, of -fresh' blood, i
"The cellars are not so foil that w»
canT spare good wine,"- said Da" Rlbera.
-But Viscontl laughed.' and pulling
the! map agalh. toward him, pointed out '
.the' march to "Arezzo; and the secretary
was forgotten,': cowering in gloomy
aloofness." ! > c
./.Glannotto watched- the acene. with . a
"dull interest, as if It .were far away and
in no way belonging,to him; he had had
, no sleep; that night, /and" felt' dizzy' and
confused. He could not forget Mastino,
slain last "night, -and,' yet -an ; eternity '
ago ! : and lying . now out " In"; the garden,
-marring -the}perfect morning with th»
horror of his" face. " ,
Giannotto turned his back to the gar-*
•den and i fixed his eyes on the group
,-, round r the' table. -,"- -\u25a0'\u25a0'-•>. , . - - '-•'-:•"
. They "'made; a: brilliant picture.
' .The jbackground '.was mosaic, black
, andy silver, > gold ~. . aiid .-white, : saints
with : 'v glittering '-% balos,'\ -warriors pin
shining ; armor.Ti placid % and- dignified — •
;a"; splendid^ ''.[, decoration;^.. and against
these ;:the.< moving; flgures,.,brllliant in :
: color/-: scarlet " .*mantles,V doublets, pur
iple' and 'orangd/sglltterifig; with jewelSi
and* laughter/ and ; talk— a riot ; of ..life
'and --'I color. .-Slashed sleeVes and
gorgeous .tassels '.were* laid " on or swept
; across Uhe \u25a0- many-flnted \ marble .. - table,"
on which'- there; stood' gold and : silver;
; goblets foC curious ' shape," '" and j glasses,
; milk-white, i azure, .; 6r i painted, ~ *om&
f delicate ; as * flower ;| bells," /Others ".with
twisted stems ; clasped .by "a . snake [witli
emerald ; . eyes. v ' And the center; of it \u25a0 all i
was .Visconti,' leaning eagerly over the
; map, ' J with "brocaded ly. mantle thrown
' back. ;*-. \^ '\u25a0 ;» . '. \u25a0' ":'-\u25a0 , ;
"And « so ' to - Turin !".; Glannotto heard '
\u25a0 him V say J through* xl the -..*': confusion *- of
voices.". i"We • march \ next ' to \u25a0 Magenta." '
' A Tdozenl. voices rcaughtltiijf"; the ; word.
Giannotto \ watched them | Idly. .' : i: - 4'-
The' sun," flooding! the ! room, , made ,the •
; gold Ton I the .wall S twinkle and gllnC and -
caught Arezzo's Inlaid armor In points
'ofJlight:'---..-.-^' / ;r^i^:^,/' \u25a0 \u25a0'.-'\u25a0'' :'"\u25a0\u25a0:.
Viscontl £.\ overturned : : i, ©tl* , tof '• :th» "
glasses, and drew . on < the tab! c the pi an i
.of -.Turin ; ln spilled wln«,-De Lana' leaii* '.
> lngloyerjeagerly. > . : ,^ \u25a0 -'~';':~ s-,'i"(
{closed; his [eyes -and leaned
t back."£xTo? bis I fevered : senses ; the '• scene ;
.seemed 5u n real, ", and \ the ? two j torn * ban- \
ners restingi against the wall to adda
i touch ?of 4tbe ; horrible to " the ' brilliancy
: .'and!i.theltr!umph.V;'. :••;'\u25a0..;\u25a0-. %;; *. • '.\u25a0,"• \u25a0\u25a0;
From "\u25a0/ Mantu* and = ' ; Modena— ho w
Marjorie
Bowen
much , that ; meant! how many lives had
been Sung aside In wild agony and
despair to make way for those banners
to; stand there!:
"Mantua resisted desperately," Arer
zo was -saying. "But < Delia Seal* had.
left them so weakened." " •
..''Delia Scalar cri«d Viseontl. "I
remember, he. ls in yonder garden; see
he be brought In, Da Ribera; out of all
Lombardy I can spare him a tombt"
\u0084 . The soldier left the room, and tha
talk went on wltb little Heed of Ihe In
terruption; Viscontl still bosy With the
ramparts of Turin? and the defenses of*
Modena, De Lana disputing the route to
Vef cell!; but; the 'secretary was not In
terested. His head pained him. and he
fixed his eyes 6n Viscontl's triumphant
face with a strangq ' fascination. - It
seemed ,a long time before Da fllbera re
turned, anfl when he did, at something
In his face, a sudden silence fell.
." "What is it?" Asked .Vlsconti." and.
half reeling', Giannotto leaned forward
to listen for the answer.
"13a Rlbera did not at once reply.
."What 13 It?" repeated the duka an
grily.-; . V - -<> <*•
"We, have Delia Scala," re
turned* Da Rlbcra,'- finding voice, "but
tot only his body." -I
"Ah!" cried Vlsconti as if a sudden r
thought had struck him, "who else then.
Da- Rlbera?"; " :
"1 catinot'tell, only-thex* Is a dead
lady, in the - garden ; • she Is laid as if
sleeping 6n the grasa, quite dead."
Viscontl : rose so suddenly that the
sweep •of - his . long sleeve «ent the
glasses ; crashing to the ground; and
made ArezzO start •;
'.'lt Is Isotta d'Este!" he cried. "Mas
tlno'a wife!" v •>-';.' ; / "
"Isotta dead?" dried D« Lana, and tha
words echoed. around the room. "How
should'she b« hsre, and dead r* -
"The; dead only can answer you*" said
Viscontl. "Now 1 Can recall what 'twas,
Mastlno said— something \u25a0 about her!
SUllr it may riol be :his ducness. As
you say, how should she bodoad, and
hare?". . .\u25a0 : -.-.-.. --; .\u25a0\u25a0'\u25a0'
. *"Hdw should she be dead?" asked De
Lana again; "Yet truly what else -"
he paused, keeping back his Words, artd .
hi* glanco 'met * the secretary's. )
: dlannotto was remembering some
thing: the figure of Vlsconti standing
Kullen, with ; a moody face, thinking on
another dead woman; "Had she lived I
would | not have done It!" he* | bad said. -
The Secretary rose; nOT* he Understoo«L :
In this triumphant Viscontl there was
no sign of the spirit that had prompted
that *murmur,\ but the secretary under--,
stodd. • ' :
Close behind Giannotto was a fresco ,
painting— a panel J between the wln
dows—St Sebastian in a glory, smiling,
transfixed ."with arrows, brllllaa:
against a background of blue.
Giannotto, standing there half dazed
with his new thought, noticed it. and '
clutched the wooden ribbing underneath
with something like a prayer on his
lips. Might the saints and martyrs re
member to him he had bad no share In
this! • \u25a0
Viscontl turned to leave the table,
and: with a clinking of armor and a
dazzling- display of scarlet and blue the'
nobles moved back; the sunshine was
now golden and filling the room.
*"Can he be going to look at > her?"
thought the secretary, dully; - then.
stumbling over something as he moved
forward,' he glanced down and started.
The) . next ; moment he «looked round
sharply to see if any eye was upon him,
stooped Quickly, and picked it up.
'It was a little stiletto, a thing
. dropped, perhaps ' tast night, and over
looked, a tiny thing with a long, glit
tering blade. Glannotto slipped It into,
his dress, he hardly knew why — It gave
him a feeling of security; it was a long
time since Visconti's secretary had been
armed, even by so much as this.
"With good horses," said Vlsconti,
drawing, on his, gloves, "we reach lla
genta-^when; DeLana?" .' ..
"In two' days, my lord." ;•
"And Turin?'.*
"If ther* : is no resistance— — " began
De Lana.
Viscontl laughed.
"Resistance? Ldmbardy Is ours, my
good Do Lana! '-' iieaistance- — -" ..
"Is hardly wiseY* put In Da Rlbera.
"And quite useless," said Delia TOrre,
with a low bow. -
The splendid group was 'passing
Glannotto. standing dully beneath St.
Sebastian, when the duke stopped.
"Come, I may have need of you, Gian
notto." - " ' • >
'The secretary's, hand stole- to his
breast.- He felt the handle of the sti
letto and wondered why he bad picked-
It up. " , '-''\u25a0': . ,
The doors were thrown open for the
duke to pass, i and as they passed Out ,
into the stairs Giannotto slunk into hi*
place behind Viscbhtl.
II«re were alfid noise and crowds: the
coming and going of^soldiers and'cour
tiers, excited talk antl laughter, and in
the distance the sound of the drums, for
the army, tras preparing to march. Tho
f f Oiit of the palace was alive with them,
the if attle; of ; the new fashioned -artll- %
lery. the shouted commands, the Sun
shine upon the standards and the armor
and the fluttering, colored plumes. .
ButViscontl'tui-rted aside to the back
of the palace and descended the steps
that- led ; . to "-the garden. It was quiet
here, all; sounds. subdued and distant.
The; balustrade 'of. the steps and ter- *
race was smothered i in. ;roses, white, .
"pink and crimson, past their full sum*
, merrprlde,\ and i many lying crushed
across tho marble, while tangled ; trails
rof leaves ; and : creepers ,. lay torn from
the' stone * where they had clung. :
Visconti noticed it, and looked with
a smile at-Da S^Ribera. who in turn
smiled also and passeda light word oft
at. which. the/'la*ugh. was general.
•^/They. .were great nobles, princes some
6t '' them, yet no t one dared to look
grave \u25a0 wtlen Viscontl : Smiled, or was
not eagcr'to.fawn'upon his notice.
At the; foot of the steps the, grass
'was. crushed and blood stained, and
f rom Ibeside - the - olcandera and olives,
' drooping ; ln: the sun, a 1a 1 little procession
of men was engaged lifting something
from; the ground.: \u25a0 , : ;, ;- .
Vlsconti stopped. \u25a0 "
< .."Delia; Scala/V said -De Lana. "They
are moving him. according to. your or
der s,j my .'lord." . .
. Vißcpnti- stroked * his chin - tbought
• fully, 1 -.: \u25a0\u25a0-..'-, \u25a0 : / \u25a0-.'\u25a0. . \u25a0 .•\u25a0 r
\u25a0 ''Bid them s set him down again." And
he stepped. softly, down the steps.
.Giannotto! looked at his , smiling face
With a - cold, ' "istrarige \' horror, and
glanced round to ccc if ii,were;not In
the others' faces, too, but he did not
>ee*it.- -V;--;
."\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0; The soldiers, at D# : Lana's I peremptory
order, stopped, and laid the burden they
Were "lifting- at": VlSt'ontl's feet.
Maatinodella. Scala!
_..:,Vlscontl-i repeated the: name' and
grasped - his dagger.
" > Mastlno "della ;Scala, the' man .who
. fiad •: him," scorned him; , foiled
: him all ; his life, the proudest race, the
I most \V stainless ; name- "mi Lombardy.
ended;here,and.'lnUhls!. \ v :
: ,Vlsconti-f, Vlsconti -f stepped close) and looked
dowhiiiito enemy's ' uh£o?*t6d v - tH&e*~ \u25a0
' "T-Jlie^ was^oqtl; beautiful. ithla Delia
Scala,'Vb«jSald.. :
Then fi*. glanced up and found with
a .wordless.ttanfuriutterableTexljltatlon.
All ; he had 'asked had \ been given \u25a0 him
and s -~. more ! '.;-: He, v: Viscontl. ; duke -of
Milan, icould ; ask . 'for. nothing j niore •
than this moment gave him— a perfect !
Da Ribera peered forward curiously.
"He Is torn to rags," he said. "He must
have fought like a madman
.. . /'He waa mad.'* said Viscontl.
"And the lady, said De Lana. sud
denly to Vlsconti. "Where la she. my
lord?" *.*Y V ;-
Vlsconti, lacing hif gold gloves,
paused a moment. a&o*an*Wered over
his shoulder. HgHtly 1 ;
"She seems to fill thy thoughts, 3D*
Lana!" , . -! C
"Only, can ft ba the duchess?" said
Da Ribera. "I have never Been Isotta
, d'Este, so cannot tell. I left her where
X found her— -on the grass, beneath
those laurels. But that It Is a lady
He pointed as ha spoke to a distant
bush, round which * tall lilies grew.
"It Is tha duchess:" cried another.
"How should she be dead?" asked
De Lana, and his glance again sought
the secretary's.
."How Indeed?" said Vlsconti. with a
curious smile. "And yet there ar»
enough ways of dying abroad. I will
see for myself — so that If It Indeed b«
Isotta d'Esta she may have fitting
honor- '*;>
The group moved forward. The ad
vands of the army was already march-
Ing past the walls of the garden, past
the gate through which Mastlno had
ridden; the pennons from their lances
showed above the yellow jasmine that
covered the stonework, and the drums
beat loud- as Vlsconti and his company
reached the laurel clump ? and stood
looking down ' at the silent figure in
the crushed and bedraggled whits and
purple.
. "Isotta d'Elste!" said Viseontl. tinder
his breath, and yet with an unmoved
face. .that showed no surprise.
"Dead." said De Lana. after a pause,
and looked at him. .
, Viseontl laughed softly, and turned
with shining ayes.
"Did I not tell you Delia ' Seal* was
mad— did we .not see it for ourselves
last night?" he said.
"So it is the duchess?" whispered
Da Rlbera, "She was very beautiful,
they say."
She lay where they had drawn her
from her shelter underneath the laurels,
her dress -clinging close, her head
turned away. Mastlno had wrapped
her round carefully, with a clumsy ten
derness; wrapped her veil about her
face, and laid his own cloak over her
"to shield her from the night and rain.
And his last whisper was for her— an
appeal to some one's humanity to see
that Vlsconti should not look upon his
.victim's face, should not defila her with
Els touch.
;'. It rushed on Glannotto with the cer
tainty of conviction — he had caught
only the ghostly whisper, but he was
suro in this moment of tha sense of it;
and die music, the colors and sunshine,
and splendor and pomp of triumph, and
Glan Vlscontl's cold, mocking face be
gan to dance before Glannotto'a vision
like figures and fancies of a dream. He
heard Vlsconti speak to Arezzo. saw
Arezzo stoop and lift the mantle, and
he moved back a step and put his band
to his breast.
"Isotta d'Este!" 'said Vlsconti, turn
ing to the others, and pointing down to
the dead uncovered face. - "Now what
was she to' lose everything for?"
"His wife." said De Lana. and turned
his head away.
':\u25a0 "Yes, my friend— do not forget It:
Delia Scala's wife!" and Vlsconti
touched him on the shoulder warningly.
The group turned to go, and the sec
retary saw it with a feeling of relief,
when by some sudden .impulse Vis
eontl . stepped back, and stood looking
down once at the poor white face.
His own showed - neither fear, nor
remorse, nor wonder, only triumph, and
the secretary felt the blood rise slowly
from his heart toward his brain, and
b« drew the stiletto half from his
breast.
"Donna, mla." said Viscontl. speaking
to her with a smile, "we must not part
so coldly, you and I—l will give you a
fair tomb in Verona — In her Verona,
donna mla."
He dropped on -one knee beside her.
holding the laurels back and the lilies
that bung above her head.
"This as an earnest." he said, and
bent over her and kissed her — kissed
the cold cheek of Mastino's wife.
The grcup watching stirred among
themselves: no smiling faces now: each
eye averted, but still no one spoke.
And Vlsconti stooped and kissed her
again, where the dark hair lay about
her forehead. .
Then something gave in Glannotto's
brain: a voice seemed to thunder in his
cars^— "Judgment!" His hand flew from
his \reast and up and down upon tho
kne«|ing figure, while he cried out ter
ribly, with a white. Inspired face, and
Viscontl fell forward, stabbed through
the'back:
"Treachery," cried Da Rlbera. scarce
ly seeing who had done It. "The duke
is stabbed!" -"",
Vlscont! clutched at the flowers and
fell without a word.
"Killed!" screamed DeLana. "Now
God is Just!"
"Killed— tho duke Is killed!" \
Guido d' Arezzo bent o.ver him with a
white face, but Delia Torre stamped In
a passion of excitement and dragged
at his shoulder.*
"Killed!— come away — there are our
selves to think of — come away!"
* Arezzo sprang to his. feet.
'"To Milan!" cried Delia Torre. "He
leaves no heirs."
Viscontl was still . breathing: he
struggled and Glannotto pushed to his
side and ' stood above him. bursting.
Into wild words.
". "I did it— Vlsconti!— l did it— do
you .'hear— do you heart I know, and
I did It!" -. \-y
"Keep away!" yelled Delia Torre, and
pulled him 'bach.
Then ha dropped to - his knee and
tore the signet ring from the hand of
the 'dying man.
"To Milan!" he cried, springing up.
"Haste! to Milan!"
"To Milan!" echoed Arezzo; "to Milan
and the army — "
"Back— all ' of you!** said De Lana.
and he raised VlscontL "He Is not
dead—'*
"He Is past life. To Milan!"
The garden ' was one wild, yelling
confusion; the news was spreading
like fire; each thought una acted for
himself; and Glannotto. instrument of
vengeance, whimpered' on bis knees.
The rush to the gate came by so ciosa
the •; flying feet almost touched Vl*
contl's face; and as Delia Torre passed,
be struck- his -glove across him.
De Lana lifted Viscontl from ths
grass, v but-wrth.a last effort be strug
gled from - him and . dropped back.
"Milan!" he sobbed.
De Lana bent down eaeerly to catch
a muttered rr ay *r, but there was noth
ing more. 1
VMilanr
The voices and shouts rose to a deaf,
entng pitch of confusion, the very air
seemed, fevered with excitement; a
flock' of startled doves flew past- in'
l>*nic. \u25a0 »'. rainbow ; of ; color; flew so lo"»
JimJ «f» c!os#> to De Lana as to* blind
nlm for \u25a0« niotnent with the ;whirr of
their wings, and in that moment was a
terrible cry. ''
They passed, beating the'lilles'down.
- "My lord!" cried De Lana. "My"
lord '"MBBtiSBBOBS&BB$B&BBB&SK
» But. even as be spoke, he knew that
Glan Wisconti was dead.
* THE ENDu

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