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The LALDY of
the MOUNT by FREDERIX S. ISHAM ’AUTHOR or “THE £>troLler5;"'und£7? wROX’nc. ILLUSTRATIONS BY TiAY U)A^T=f^S qOfnißWr I*oo BY THT BOBBJ-MIMOIU.CO. "What other, truly? Anri after h« left with the commandant —why did you not, then, Inform me?" "You remember you had somethin* Important, from the King, to consider.’ hastily. "More Important than this?" "He was going to be locked up,’ was the best reply she could make. "And in the morning set free!" She did not answer. "And yet, you gave, the word that enabled us to capture him at th< wheel-house! How, by the way, caim you there —in the wheel-house?" "I saw him from the abbot’s bridge; heard him tell the watchman he had e message to deliver at your palace, and followed." "Again feeling solicitude for me?" "1 did not know—he would dare much; and what does it matter now?’ almost wildly. "You have captured him, shut him up somewhere in some terrible, deep dungeon, where —" "He is safe? True; that is the main consideration.” Thereafter had the subject of the Black Seigneur been dropped between diem; the pilgrimage over, the Mount Msumed its normal aspect, but only lor a little while! One day about a Peek later, a bright cortege whose ap pearance was in marked contrast to that of the beggarly multitude, late visitors to the rock, came riding down through the forest to the sea; at the verge of the sands, stopped for a first distant impression of the rock. "Noble monument, I salute you!" Bmillng. debonair, the Marquis de Beauvilllers removed his hat. "And the noble mistress thereof?" suggested one of his train. "She, of course!" he said, still sur veying a scene different from that final memory he had carried away with him. Then had the rock reared itself in all the glamour of a sunny day; now was the sky overcast, while through a sul len mist the Mount loomed like a shadow Itself. "A cold place for our gay Elise!" One or two who viewed the sight for the first time looked disappointed; even the Marquis appeared for the in stant more sober; but immediately re gained his lively demeanor. "Walt until you have seen it at its best," he retorted carelessly, and set the pace across the sands. Midway, where once on the sand* the men of Brittany had engaged in fierce conflict the ancient abbot’a forces, were the new-comers met by an Might Some Day Be Called Upon to Govern Here. Imposing guard; escorted with due honor through the gates, and up the narrow street of the town. As he climbed the winding high way, my lord, the Marquis, bestowed approving nod and smile this way and that; it may be that he already fell a nearer affiliation with these people; for his glance, gracious, condescend Ing in passing, was that of a ma ; armed with the knowledge that be. kinsman of the King, might some da. be called upon to govern here. Br to these advances, the townspeople r< sponded ill, and the young noble’ brow went delicately ufc, as If a lltt* amused! Mon dieu! did not unfrien ly eyes peer from every lurking plac around the royal palaces and pleasui grounds near Paris; and had they n encountered them all the way to tl sea? People were the sume every where; must be treated like bad chH dren, and, with relays of troops fi the capital to the sea, from the stra to the Mount’s high top, one con’ afford to smile at their petty humor Abovo all. when one had more i mentous matter for considerath And my lord lifted his head high .. toward a rampart, where some one had once bid him au re voir, and where he might yet In fancy see a fluttering ribbon wave a bright adieu! But today m> lady, the Princess of the Rock, was not there; waited above, with her father, io receive him —then —In the great Hall of the Chevaliers. Until that morning she had not known of the coming of the Marquis, an impatient suitor, follow ing the courier and the perfumed mis sive acquainting her with the noble’s near approach. Certainly had she ' Bhown surprise; but whether she was pleased or not, his Excellency could not tell. He was still uncertain; standing, ! near the raised gallery, In the ancient sail© des chevaliers, from time to time regarded her furtively! Often had she looked from one of the round windows, commanding a view of the shore and the sands; many times turned away. At first sight of the company on the beach, the Governor had seen the girl’s face alter and not ed the involuntary start she had given. Whereupon, moving toward one of the giant fire-places, had he sought for the sake of diplomacy and the end in view, to turn their conversa tion Into a channel that should have interested her; spoke of plans to be made; preparations for festivities and merrymaking commensurate with the circumstances. But to these sugges tions of gaieties, the prelude to a stately ceremony, had she hardly listened; paused absently before the blazing logs; onoe or twice seemed about to say something and stopped. | She was silent now, a slender figure beneath that great canopy of stone designed for the shelter of a score of knights; nervously twining and In tertwining her fingers, she looked out at the shadows moving between the columns, playing around the bases, or melting in the vaulting. j "They should be almost here now," | observed his Excellency, again seek ing to break that spell of constraint, when suddenly she stepped to him. "Mon pere,” her voice sounded strained, unnatural, "It was you who wanted this marriage?" "Yes," he had answered in some surprise; “yea" "And I have not opposed you—the King— f "Opposed? No! Of course not!" “Then,” more hurriedly, "must you do something In return for me! I do not want my—the wedding festivities —marred by anything unpleasant! Promise that nothing will happen to him, the Black Seigneur, until after —" "Impossible!" The sudden virulence her unexpected request awoke coulfi not be concealed. "Very well!” Before the anger In his gaze, her own eyes flashed like steel. "In that case, you can send the Marquis back! For I will not see him —today, tomorrow or any other time again!" Long he looked at her; the white face; the tightly compressed Ups; the eyes that would not flinch! They re minded him of another’s—were of the same hue—so like, and yet so differ ent! Unlike, in bespeaking a will he could not break! What he said, mat ters not; his face wore an ashy shade. She did not answer in words; but he felt, with strange bitterness, a revul sion; she seemed almost suddenly to have become hostile to him. Gay voices sounded without; near er; she walked to a door opposite the entrance their visitors were approach ing. An instant, and she would have passed out, when the Governor spoke. But the Marquis, stepping quickly In a few moments later, noted nothing amfsß between them. "Your Excel lency!” With filial respect he greet ed the Governor. "My Lady!" Gaily, approvingly, his eye passed over her; then In that hall dedicated to chiv alry, a graceful figure, he sank to his knee; raised a small cold hand, and pressed It to his Ups. CHAPTER XXV. The Under World. A coterie of brilliant folk soon fol lowed In the wake of my lord, the Marquis’ retinue; holy-day banners were succeeded by holiday ribbons; the miserere of the multitude by paeans of merriment. Hymen, Io Hymen! In assuming the leading role to which circumstances now assigned her, the Governor’s daughter brought to the task less energy than she had displayed on that other occasion when visitors had sojourned at the rock. Her manner was changed—first, luke warm; then, almost Indifferent; until, at length, one day she fairly waived the responsibility of planning amuse ments; laid before them the question: What, qow, would they like to do? "Devfse a plffy," said one. "With shepherds and shepherd esses!" The Marquis, however, qualified the suggestion. "A masque! that Is very good; but, for this morning—I have been talking with the commandant— and have another proposal—” "Which la?" "To visit the dungeons." "The dungeons?" My lady’s face changed. "And Incidentally Inspect their lat est guest! Some of you heard of him when we were here before —Le Selgn , eur Nolr—the Black Seigneur!" "Le Seigneur Noir!" They clapped | their hands. “Yes, let us see him! Nothing could be better. What do you say, Elise?" She started to speak, but for the I Instant her Upa could frame no an swer; with a faint, strained smile, con fronted him, when some one antici pated her repdy. "Did she not leave It to us? It Is we who decide.” And a merry party they swept along, bearing her with them; up the broad stairway, cold, gray in the morn; beneath the abbot’s bridge— black, spying span!—to the church and thence to the isolated space be fore the guard-house to the dungeons Hers, at the sound of their voices, a man, carrying a bunch of keys—bul outwardly the antithesis to the hunch back—peered from the entrance. "Unless I am mistaken, the new Jailer!" With a wave of his hand the Marquis Indicated this person "The commandant was telling me his Excellency had engaged one —from Bl oetre, or Fort l’Eveque, I believe?" "Blcetre, my lord!” said the man gravely. "And before that, the Bas tllle." "Ah!" laughed the nobleman. "That pretty place some of the foolish people are grumbling about! As if we could do without prisons any more than without palaces! But we have come, my good fellow, to Inspect this lower world of yours!" The man’s glance passed over the paper the Marquis handed him; then silently he moved aside, and unlocked tbs iron doors. "Are you not coming?" At the threshold the Marquis looked back When first they bed approached the guard-house. Involuntarily had the Governor’s daughter drswn aside to the ramparta; now. with face half averted. stood gating off. "Coming?" Surprised, the Marquis noted her expression; the fixed brightness of her eyes and her parted Ups. "Oh, yes!" And turning abrupt ly. she hastened past him. Would they have to be locked In? — the half-apprehensive query of one of the ladles caused the Jailer at first to hesitate and then to answer In ths negative. He would leave the doors from the outer room open, and him self await there the visitors' return. With which reassuring promise, he distributed lights; called a guards man, familiar with the intricate un derground passages, and consigned them to his care. One of the gay procession, the Lady Elise stepped slowly forward; the guide proved a talkative fellow, and seemed anxious to answer their many inquiries concerning the place. The aalle de la question? Yes, It existed; but the ancient torture devices for the "Interrogatory ordinary" and the 'in terrogatory extraordinary" were ns longer pressed Into servloe; the King had ordered them relegated to the shelves of the museum. The cabs nons, or black holes? Louis XL built them; ths carosrss duri and vads In pace, however, dated from Saint Mau ritius, fourth abbot of the Mount. "And the Black Seigneur? How have you accomodated him?” 'in ths petit sail; Just to the left! We are going there now." "I—sm going back!" A hand touched the arm of the Marquis, last of the fils of visitors, and, lifting his candle, be held it so that the yellow glimmer played on the face of the Governor’s daughter. Her eyes looked deeper; full of dread, aa If the very spirit of the subterranean abode had seized her. He started. "Surely you, Ellae, are not afraid?" "I prefer the aunllgbt," she aald hurriedly In a low tons. "It —It Is not cheerful down here! No; do not call the guide—or let the others know. I’ll return alone, and—wait for you at the guard-house." He, nevertheless. Insisted upon ac companying her; but, Indicating the not distant door through which they had come, she professed to make light of objections, and when he still clung to the point, replied with a flash of spirit, sudden and passionate. It com pelled his acquiescence; left him sur prised for a second time that day; a little hurt, too, perhaps, for heretofore had their intimacy been maintained on a strictly ethical and charming plane. But he had no time for analy sis; the others were drawing away to the left, into a side passage; and, with a last backward glance toward ths retreating figure, the Marquis reluc tantly followed the majority. Despite, however, her avowed repug nance for that under-world, my lady showed now no haste to qult.lt; for scarcely had the others vanished than she stopped; began alowly to retrace bar wav in. tha. direction they had taken. When the route to ths petit exll connected with the main aisle, a sudden draft of air extin guished her light; yet still she went on, led by the voices, and a glimmer afar, until reaching a room, low, mas slve, as If hewn from the solid rock, again she paused. Drawing behind a heavy square pillar, she gazed at the lords and ladles assembled In the for bidding place; listened to a voice that ran on, as If discoursing about some anomalous thing. Again was she cog nizant of their questions; a Jest from my lord, the Marquis; she saw that several stole forward; peered, and started back, half afraid. But, at length, they asked about the oubliettes, and, chatting gaily, left Their garments almost touched the Governor’s daughter; lights played about the gigantic pillars, and like wlll-o’-the-wlsps whisked away. Now, ■taring straight ahead toward the chamber they had vacated, my lady’s attention became fixed by a single dot of yellow—a candle placed in a niche by the Jailer’s assistant. It seemed to fascinate; to draw her forward; across the portals—lnto the room it self! How long she stood there In the faint suggestion of light, she did not realise; nor when she approached the Iron-barred aperture, and what she first said! Something eager, solici tous, with odd silences between the words, until the impression of a mo tionless form, and two steady, cynical eyes fastened on her, brought her to an abrupt pause. It was some time before she continued, more coherently, an explanation about her apprehen sion on account of her father, which "My Father Hates You, and You—" had entirely left her when she peered through the window of the guard house. “You thought me, then, but a com mon assasin?” a satirical voice inter ;>o?ed. “My father hates you, and you— ’’ "My Lady haa, perhaps, a standard of her own for Judging!" Unmindful of ironical incredulity »he related how she had been forced to take refuge In the wheel-house; how, when Sanchez had seen her alarmed she had fled blindly down he passage; waited, then heartnc 'ltem all coming, at a loss what ele< «o do, had opened the wheel-houst doc.*; run into the store-room! Whai sue had seen from there, disconnect vdly, also she referred to; his res cue of the others; his remaining be hind to bear the brunt —as brave at; act as she knew of! Her tone becanu tremulous. “Who betrayed me?” His voice bold and scoffing, interrupted She answered. It was like speaking to some one in a tomb. "The soldW: you bound gave the alarm.” Fiom behind th» ban came a mock ing laugh. "You don’t balftanre me?" She caught her breath. 'Believe? Of oourse." “You don’t!" she said, and clung tighter to the iron grating. "And I can’t make youl" "Why should your Ladyship want to? What does it matter?’’ "But It does matter!" wildly. "When your servant accused me that day lr» the cloister I did not answer nor deny; but now—'* "Your Ladyship would deny?” "That I betrayed you at Casque? Here? Yes, yes I" "Or at the wheel-house when you called to warn the soldiers?” "You were about to—to throw your self over!" she faltered. "And your Ladyship was apprehen sive lest the Black Seigneur should escape?” ‘•Escape?" she cried. "It was death." "And the alternative? My lady pre ferred to see the outlaw taken--die like a felon on the gallows!" "No; no! It was not that." What then?" His eyes gleamc bright; her own turned; shrank from them. A moment she strove to an swer; could not. Within the black recess a faint light from the flicker ip candle played up and down. S complete the stillness, so dead lh very air, the throbbings of her pulses filled the girl with a suffocating sense of her own vitality. "I spoke to my father to try to get your cell changed," she at last found herself Irrelevantly saying; "but could do nothing." "I thank your Ladyship! But your Ladyship’s friends will be far away. Your Ladyship may miss something amusing!" "I did not bring thorn— did not want them to come!" "No?" t Her figure straightened. "Perhaps, even, they are not aware you are here?” "They are not, unless—" "Elise!” From afar a loud call In terrupted; reverberating down the main passage, was caught up here and there. "Elise! Elise!" The whole under-world echoed to the name. "I promised to meet them at the guard-house," she explained hurriedly. And hardly knowing what she did, put out her hand, through the bars, toward him. In the darkness a hand Beized hers; she felt herself drawn; held against the bars. They bruised her shoulder; hurt her face. The chill of the Iron sent a shudder through her; though the pain she did not feel; she was cognizant only of a closer view of a figure; the chains from him to the wall; the bare, damp floor— then, of a voice low, tense, that now was speaking: "Your Ladyship, Indeed, found means to punish a presumptuous fel low, who dared displease her. But ma fol! she should have confined her punishment to the offender. Those stripes inflicted on him, my old ser vant! Think you I knew not It was my Lady’s answer to the outlaw, who had the temerity to speak words that offended —” "You dream that! You imagine that!" The warmth of hla hand seemed to burn hers; her fingers, so closely Im prisoned, to throb with the fierce beat ing of his pulses. "I do net want you to think —I can’t let you think," she began. "Elise!" The searchers were draw ing nearer. She would have stepped back, but the fingers tightened on her hand. "They will be here in a moment— ** Still he did not relinquish hla hold; the dark face waa next to hers; the piercing, relentless eyes studied the agitated brown ones. The latter cleared; met hla fully an instant. "Be lieve!" that Imploring wild glanoe seemed to say. Did hla waver for n moment; the harshness and mockery soften on hie face? "Elise!" From but n short dis tance came the voice of the Marquis. A moment the Black Seigneur's hand Slipped my lady’s harder with a strength he was unaware of. A slight cry fell from her lips, snd st once, almost roughly, he threw her hand from him. "Bah!" again he laughed mockingly. “Go to your lover.” Released thus abruptly she wavered, straightened, but continued to stand before the dungeon as If incapable of farther motion. "Elite! Are you there?" "There!" Caverns and caves called out. "There!" gibed voloes amid a laby rynth of pillars, and mechanically she caught up the candle; fled. "Here she is!" Coming toward her quickly out of the darkness, the Mar quis uttered a glad exclamation. "We have been looking for you everywhere. Did I not say you should not have attempted to return alone? Mondleu! you must have been lost!" CHAPTER XXVI. A New Arrival. Thrice had the old nurse, Marie, assisting her mistress that night foi the banquet, sighed; a number of times striven to hold my lady’s eye and attention, but in vain. Only when the adorning process was nearly com pleted and the nurse knelt with a white slipper, did she, by a distinctly detaining pressure, succeed in arrest Ing, momentarily, the other's bright strained glance. "Is anything the matter?" My lady’i absent tone did not invite confidences “My Lady—” the woman hesitated; yet seemed anxious to speak. "I—my Lady,” she began again; with sign of encouragement from the Governor’* daughter, would have gone on; but th* latter, after waiting a moment, abrupt lv withdrew the silken-shod foot. "The banquet! It Is past the hour?" An instant she stood, not seeing the other or the expression of disappoint ment on the woman’s countenance; then quickly walked to the door. Nor, as the Governor’s daughter moved down the long corridor, with crimson lips set hard, was she cognizant of another face that looked out from one of the many passages of the palace after her—the faoe of a younger wom an whose dark, spying eyes glowed and whose hands closed at sight of the vanishing fimwl (Continued next week.) Roller Canary birds. Mrs. C. H. Woods, Phono Lamar 247. Summons tor Justice Court for sale at this office.