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The Laurens advertiser. (Laurens, S.C.) 1885-1973, June 17, 1908, Image 2

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= THE '
Princess Virginia
By C. N. and A. M. WILLIAMSON,
Authors of "8V Litfhtnintf Conductor." "Rose
mnry Jn Search of ? Father," Etc. J?
ETTBRS <>f Introduction for
Lady Mowbrny and her
daughter to Influen
tial and Interesting per
sons attached to the
Lthaotlau court wore
necessarily a part of the wonderful
plan concocted In the English garden,
though they were among tho (letnils
thought out afterward.
The widow of the hereditary < 5 rand
Duke of Bnumenburg-Drlppe was re
ported In the Journals of various coun
tries to 1)0 traveling with the Princess
Virginia and a small suit through Can
ada and the Uulted States, and. fortu
nately for the success of the Innocent
plot, tho grand duchess had spent ho
many years of seclusion In England
and had even In her youth met bo few
Itbnetlans that there was little fear of
detection. Her objections to Virginia's
scheme for winning a lover Instead of
thanking heaven quietly for a mere
husband were based on other grounds,
but Virginia had overcome them, and
eventually the grand duchess had prov
ed not only docile, but positively fertile
In expedient.
The choosing of the borrowed flag
under which to sail had nt first been
a difficulty. It was pointed out by a
Mond taken into their confidence, a
lady whose husband had been ambas
sador to Ilbactla, that a real name
and a name of some dlgnltj must be
adopted If proper Introductions were
to be given. And It was the grand
duchess who BUggostod tho name of
Mowbrny on tho plea thnt she had In
a way the right to annex It.
The mother of (bo late Duke of '
Northmoicland had been a Miss Mow
bray, ami there were still several emi
nently respectable, Inconspicuous Mow
brny cousins. Among these cousins
wits a certain Lady Mowbrny, widow
of a baron of that Ilk and possessing
a daughter some yenrs older and In
numerable degrees plainer than the
Princess Virginia.
To this Lady Mowbrny the grand
duchess had gono out of her way to In;
kind in Germany long yenrs ago, when
she was a very grnnd personage In
deed and Lady Mowbrny comparative
ly a nobody. The humble connection
hnd expressed herself as unspeakably
grateful, and the two hnd kept up a
friendship ever since. Therefore when
the difficulty of realism In a name pre
sented Itself the grand duchess thought
of Lady Mowbray and Miss Helen
Mowbrny. They were about to leave
England for India, but hnd not yet
left, and the widow of the baron was
flattered ns well as amused by the ro
mantic confidence reposed la her by
the widow of the grnnd duke. She was
delighted to lend her nntne and her
daughter's name, and w ho could blame
the lady If her mind rushed forward to
the time when she should have earned '
gratitude from the .voting empress of
Khaetia? l or of course she had no
doubt of tho way In which the ndven
tUl'O would end.
As for the wife of tho Into British
ambassador to the ltliaetlnn court, she
was not sentimental and therefore wns
not quite as comfortably sure of the
sequel. As fur ns concerned her own
part In tho plot, however, she felt snfe
enough, for, though she was after a
fashion deceiving her old acquaint
ances at Kronburg, she was not foist
ing adventuresses upon them. On
the contrary, she was giving them a
chance of entertaining nngels un
awares by sending them letters to
ladles who were In reality tho Grand
Duchess of Bnutnenburg-Drlppo and
the Princess Virginia.
The four mysterious gentlemen left
A behelligen the day after Virginia's
encounter with tho chamois hunter.
But the Mowbrnys lingered on. Tho
adventure had begun so gloriously that
the girl feared an anticlimax for tho
next step. Though she longed for tho
second meeting, she dreaded It as well
and put off tho chance of It front day
to day. Tho stay of the Mowbrays at
Alleheiligen lengthened Into a week,
and when they left at Inst It was only
just In tlmo for the great festivities
at Kronburg which were to cele
brate tho emperor's thlrty-flrst birth
day, an event enhanced In national
Importance bj the fact thnt tho eighth
anniversary of his coronation WOUld
fall on the snmc dntc.
On the morning of tho Journey the
grand duchess had neuralgia and was
frankly cross.
"I don't see, after all, what you've
accomplished so far by this mad freak
which has dragged us across Burope,"
she snld fretfully In the train ?which
they hnd taken at a town twenty miles
from A behelligen. "Wo've perched on
a mountain top, like the ark on Ara
rat, for a week, freezing. Tho adven
ttiro you hnd there Is only a compllea
tlon. What havo wo to show for our
trouble?unless Incipient rheumatism?"
Virginia had nothing to show for It,
at least nothing thnt sho meant to
show, oven to her mother, but In a
little scented bag of silk which lay
next her heart was folded a bit of
blot Bog paper. If you looked at Its
reflection in a mirror you saw written
twice over In a Arm individual hand
the name "Helen Mowbrny."
The princess bad found It on a table
lu tho bout Hitting room after Fran
Yorvnu hnd made thnt room rendy for
Its new occupnntH. Therefore she loved
Alleheillgen; therefore sho thought
with redoubled satisfaction of her visit
To learn her full name he must have
thought It worth while io make In
quiries. It had lingered In his thoughts
or ho would not have sernwled It twice
ou Home hit of paper?since destroyed,
no doubt?In n moment of Idle dream
Through most of her life Virginia
had known the lack of money, but she
would not have exchanged a thousand
pounds for the contents of that little
Ilohenlnngenwald Is the name of the
house from which tho rulers of Uhae
tlu sprung. Therefore everything In
the beautiful elty of Kronburg which
can take tho name of llohcnlnugeu
Wald has taken It, and it was nt the
Hobenlangenwald hotel that a suit of
rooms had been engaged for Lady
Mow bray.
The travelers broke the long journey
nt Mollnnbnd, and Virginia's study of
trains bad timed their arrival hi Kron
burg for tho morning of the birthday
eve, early enough for the first cere
mony of the festivities, tho unveiling
by tho emperor of a statue of Uhaetla
\ In tho Leopoldplatz, directly in front
of tho Ilohenlangonwald hotel.
Virginia looked forward to seeing the
emperor from her own windows, as,
according to her calculation, there was
nn hour to spare, but at the station
they were told by the driver of tho
carrluge sent to moot them that, the
crowd In tho Rtreet.s being already very
great, bo feared it would bo a tedious
undertaking to get through. Some of
the thoroughfares were closed for traf
fic, He would have to go by a round
about way and In any case could not
rench the ninln entrnnce of tho hotel.
At t>est he would have to deposit his
passengers and their luggage at a side
entrance In n narrow street.
As the carriage Started, from far
away came a burst of martini music?
n military band playing the national
air which the chamois hunter had
heard a girl sing behind a closed door
nt Alleheillgen.
The shops were all shut, would be
shut until the day after tomorrow, but
their windows were unshuttered and
guyly decorated to add to the bright
ness of the scene. Strange old shops
displayed tho marvelous chased silver,
the Jeweled weapons and gorgeous em
broideries from the far eastern prov
inces of Hhaetla. fjpiendld new shops
rivaled the best of the Uno de la Pals
la Paris. Gray mediaeval buildings
made wonderful backgrounds for dra
pery of crimson and blue and garlands
Of blazing tloweru. Modern buildings
of purple red porphyry and the famous
hone} yellow marble of Ilbnctla Mut
tered with flags, and above all, In the
heart of the town, between old and
new, rose the Castle Hock. Virginia's
pul.scs l>eat as uhe saw the home of
i/copokl for tho first time, and she was
proud of its plcturesqueness, its riches
and grandeur, as If she had BOino right
In It too.
Ancient narrow streets and wide new
streets were ollke arbors of evergreen
ami brilliant blossoms. Prosperotis
citizens In their best, Inhabitants of the
poorer quarters and stalwart peasants
front tho cotmOV elbowed and pushed
eneb other good nnturedly as they
streamed toward the Leopoldplatz
Handsome people they were, the girl
thought, her heart warming to them
dud to her It seemed that the verj
nlr tingled with expectation. She bo
lleved that sho COCld feel the mag
nettc thrill in it even if sho were
blind and donf and could hear or Bee
nothing of the excitement.
"Wo must l>e In time! We shall be
In time!" she said to herself. "I shall
lean out from my windows and see
But at tho hotel, which they did
finn-lly reach, the girl had to bear a
keen disappointment, With many apol
ogies tho landlord ozplalned that bo
hnd done his very best for Lady Mow
bray's party when lie received their
letter a fortnight before and thnt he
had allotted them a good suit, with
balconies overlooking the river at the
back of tho house?qtiltu a Venetian of
feet, as her ladyship would find. But
?8 to rooms at tho front Impossible!
All had boon engaged fully six weeks
la advance. One American millionaire
wns paying a thousand gulden solely
for an hour's use of a small balcony,
today for the unveiling and again to
morrow for the street procession. Vir
ginia was palo with disappointment
"Then 1*11 go down into tho crowd and
Inke my cbanco of seeing something,"
Hlie said to her mother when they bad
been shown into handsome rooms sat
Isfactory In everything but situation
"I must hurry or there'll be no hope."
"My dear cblid, Impossible for you
to do such n thing!" exclaimed the
grnnd duchess. "I can't think of allow
ing It. Fancy wltat a crush there will
be?-all sorts of creatures trampling
on each other for places. Besides, yon
cou)<1 see nothing."
"Oh, mother," pleaded the princess
In her softest, sweetest voice, the voice
sho kept for extreme ctuc.raenclos of
cajoling, "I couldn't boar to stay shut
up hero while that music plays and tho
crowds shout thomselvos honrso for
my emperor. Besides, It's tho most
curlour thing?I feel as if a voice kept
calling to me that 1 must ho there.
Miss Fortman and I'll tako care of
each other. You will let me go, won't
you ?" .
Of course the grand duchess yielded,
her one stipulation being that tho two
should keep close to the hotel, nnd tho
princess urged her reluctant companion
away without waiting to hear her
mother's last counsels.
Their rooms wero on the first floor,
aud the girl turned eagerly down tho
broad flight of marble stairs, Miss
Portmnu following dutifully upon her
They could not get out by way of the
front door, for people had paid for
standing room there and would not
yield an Inch, even for an Instant,
while tho two or three steps below
and the broad pavement in front wero
as closely blocked.
Matters began to look hopeless, but
Virginia would not be daunted. They
tried the side entrance and found it
free, tho street Into which It led being
comparatively empty, but just beyond,
where? it ran Into tho great open
square of tho I.eopoldplatz, there was
a solid wall of sightseers.
"We might as well go back," said
Miss Portmnn, who had none of the
princess' keenness for the undertak
ing. She was tired after tho Journey
and for herself would rather have had
a cup of ten than see fifty emperors
unveil as many statues by celebrated
"Oh, no!" cried Virginia. "We'll get
to the front somehow sooner or later,
even If we're taken off our feet. Look
at that man Just ahead of us. He
doesn't mean to turn back. He's not
a nice man, but he's terribly deter
mined. Let's keep close to him and
see what he means to ?V>; then maybe
wo shall be able to do it as well."
Miss Tort man glanced at the person
Indicated by n nod of the princess*
head. Undismayed by the mass of hu
man beings that blocked the I.eopold
platz a few yards ahead, he walked
rapidly along without the least hesita
tion. He bad the air of knowing ex
actly what lie wanted to do and how
to do It. Even Miss rortman, who
had no Imagination, saw this by his
back. The set of the head on the
shoulders was Blngltlnrly determined,
and the walk revealed a consciousness
of Importance accounted for perhaps
by the gray and crimson uniform winch
might bo that of some Official order.
On the sleek black head was a large
cocked bat, adorned with on eagle's
feather, fastened In place by a gaudy
Jewel, and this hat was pulled down
very far over the face.
"Perhaps he knows that they'll let
him through," said Miss Portmnn. "He
seems to be a dignitary of some sort.
We can't do better, if you're deter
mined to go on, than keep near film."
"lie has (lie air of being ready to
die," whispered Virginia, for they were
close to tlie man now.
"Ilow can you tell? We haven't Keen
his face," replied tho other in the same
cautious tone.
"No. But look at tho back of his
neck and Ids ears."
Miss rortman looked nnd gave a lit
tle shiver. She would never have
thought oi' observing it if her nttciv
lion had not been called by the prin
cess. Hut It was true. Tho back of
the man's neck and his ears were of a
ghastly yellow white.
"Horrid!" sho ejaculated. "He's
probably dying of some contagious dis
ease. Do let's get away from him."
"No, no," said Virginia. "lie's our
only hope. They're going to let him
puss through. Listen."
Miss Fortman listened, but as she
understood only such words of Ithae
tlan as sho had picked up In the last
few weeks Phe could merely surmise
that he was ordering tlie crowd out of
his way because he had a special mes
sage from the lord chancellor to the
Tho human wall opened. Tho man
darted through, and Miss Portmnn was
dragged after him by the princess. So
close to hi in had they kept that they
might easily be supposed to be under
his escort, nnd, in any case, they pass
ed before there was tlmo to dispute
their right of way.
"It must l>e tho secretary of Herr
Koffman, the new burgomaster," Vir
ginia heard one man say to another,
"and thoSO ladles are with him."
On and on through tho crowd passed
the man in gray and crimson, oblivious
to tho two women w ho wero using htm.
There was something about that dis
agreeable back of his Which proclaim
ed him a man of hut one idea at a
time, (.'lose to tho front lino of spec
tators, however, thero came n check.
"We can't do better."
Peoplo were vexed at the audacity of
tho girl and tho elderly woman nnd
would have pushed them back, but at
the critical second the blue nnd silver
uniformed band of tlbaotla's crack
regiment, tho Imperial Life gnar.ls,
spuck up an air which told that tho
emperor was coming. Promptly tho
small group concerned forgot Us griev
ance In excitement, crowding together
so that VIrgluia was pressed to tho
front, and only MIhs I'oilman was
pushed ruthlessly into the background.
The poor lady raised a feeble protest
In English which nobody heeded unless
It were tho man who had Inadvertently
acted as pioneer. At her shrill out
burst he turned quickly, iis If startled
by the sudden cry, and Virginia was
so close to him that her chin almost
touched his shoulder. For tho first
time she had a glimpse of his fare,
which matched the yellow wax of bis
neck In pallor.
Tho glri shrank away from him in
voluntarily. "What a death's head."'
she thought?"a sly, wicked face and
awful eyes! Ho looked frightened. 1
wonder why,"
Assured that the sharp cry did not
concern him, the man turned to the
front again, and, having obtained his
object?a place In the foremost rank of
tho crowd, with one incidentally for
tho princess?he proceeded to take
from ids breast a roll of parchment
tied With narrow ribbon and scaled
with a large red seal. As he drew it
out and rearranged his coat bis band
trembled. It, too, was yellow white.
Tho fellow seemed to have no blood in
Virginia, standing now shoulder to
shoulder with the man In gray and
crimson, had Just time lo fool a stir
ring of dislike and perhaps curiosity
when a great cheer arose from thou
sands of throats. The square rang
with a roar of loyal acclamation. Men
waved toll hats, soft hats and green
peasant hats with feathers. Beautiful
ly dressed women grouped on the high
decoratod balconies waved handker
chiefs or scattered roses from gilded
baskets. Women in gorgeous costumes
from faroff provinces held up half
frightened, half laughing children, and
then a white figure on a white charger
came riding Into the square under the
triumphal arcli wreathed with (lags
and (lowers.
Other figures followed?men In uni
forms of green and gold and red on
coal black horses?yet Virginia saw
only the white figure, shining, wonder
Under tho glittering helmet of steel,
with Its gold eagle, the dark face was
clear cut as a cameo, and the eyes
were bright with a proud light. To
the crowd he W0JS tho emperor, a fine,
popular, brilliant young man, who
tailed his country better than it had
been ruled yet by one of his bouse and,
above all, provided many a pleasing
spectacle for the people, but to Vir
ginia he was far more?an ideal Sir
Galahad or a St. Qcorgo strong and
brave to slay all dragon wrongs which
might threaten his wide land.
"What if lie should never love me?"
was the one sharp thought which pierc
ed her pride of him.
Tho people were proud, too, as he sal
there controlling the white war horse,
with its gold and sliver trappings, the
crusted Jewels of many orders spar
kling on his breast, while ho saluted
his subjects in his soldier's way.
Eor a moment there was a pause,
save for a shouting, which rose an 1
rose again. Then he alighted, where
upon Important looking men with rib
bons and decorations came forward,
bowing, to receive the emperor. The
ceremony of unveiling the statue of
Hbae.tla was about to begin.
To reach the great crimson draped
platform on which bo was to stand
tho emperor must pass within a lew
yards of Virginia. Ills gaze (lashed
over the gay crowd. What if It should
rest upon her? The girl's heart was
In her tliroot. Site could feel it beat
ing there, and for a moment the (all
White figure was lost In a mist which
dimmed her eyes.
She hnd forgotten how she came to
this placo of vantage, forgotten the
pale man In gray and red to whom she
owed her good fortune, but suddenly,
while her heart was at Its loudest and
tho mist beforo her eyes at Its thick
est, she grow conscious again <>i his
existence, poignantly conscious of his
close presence. So near her bo stood
that a quick start, a gathering of his
muscles for a spring, shot like an elee*
trie message through her own body.
The mist was burnt up in the flnmo
of a StrnngO enlightenment, a clarity of
vision which showed not only the
hero of the day, tho throng and the
wax white man beside her, but some
thing which was In A\c soul of that
man as well.
"He Is going to kill the emperor!"
It was ns If a voice spoke the words
in her ear. She knew now why she
hnd struggled to win this place, why
she had succeeded, what she bad to do
or die in falling to do.
Leopold was not half a dozen yards
away and was coming nearer. No one
but Virginia suspected evil. She alone
had felt the thrill of a murderer's
nerves, the tense spring of Ills mus
cles. Sho alone guessed what the roll
of parchment hid.
"Now?now!" the voice seemed to
whisper again, and she had 110 fear.
While the crowd shouted wildly for
"UllSer Leo!" a man In gray and red
leaped, catlike, at the white figure that
advanced. Something sharp and bright
Hashed out from n roll of parchment,
Catching tho sun In n streak of steelv
Leopold saw, but not In time to
IWOrve, The crowd shrieked, rushed
forward too late, and the blade would
have drunk his lifo had not the girl
who had felt all, seen all, Struck up
the arm before It fell.
Tho rest was darkness for her. She
knew only that she was sobbing and
thnt the grent square, w ith Us crowded
balconies, Its ropes of green, Its wav
ing flags, seemed to collnpse upon her
and blot her out.
It was Leopold who caught her as
she swayed, and while the pooplo surg
ed around tho thwarted murderer the
emperor Hproug uj> tho ?*??>'? of the
groat crimson platform" wtfb" t?e gm
against his heart.
It was her blood that stained tho
puro white of his uulfonn, tho blood
from hor arm, wounded in his defense.
And, holding hor up, ho stood dominat
ing tho crowd.
Down there nt the foot of tho stops
the man In gray and red was liko n
Bponl fox among tho hounds, and Leo
pold's pcoplo In tho fury of their rage
would have torn him In pieces as tho
hounds tear the fox despite tho cor
don of polico that gathered round him,
? but tho volco of tho emperor bade his
subjects fall back.
"My people shall not be assassins!"
he cried to them. "Let the law deal
with tlie madman. It Is my will. Look
at mo alive and unhurt. Now glvo
youi cheers for the lady who has
raved my life, and the ceremonies shall
go on."
Throe cheers had he said? They
gave three times three and bade fair
to spill the skies with shouts for tho
emperor. While women laughed and
"Let Hie law deal with the madman."
wepl and all eyes were upon that noblo
pair on the rod platform something
limp and gray was hurried out of sight
and off to prison. On a signal the na
tion :1 antla ni began. Tho voices of
the people joined the brass Instru
ment:1 All Kronburg was singing or
ark lug "Who is she?" of the girl at
the emperor's side.
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