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“ I must speak with her—and shall !” Wolfenstein immediately strode towards the door where she stood, and with his usual gleesome smile, except in the eyes,
motioned her to follow him. At the end of a long corridor, some of the chambers of which were wholly ruined, and let in the day-light, there was one of better aspect, being entire in the walls, and provided with a door. Here the baron entered, without knocking, and Ida keeping close at his heels, notwithstanding the horror and aversion he inspired, found herself in the chamber of Madame Buckler.
The lady was reclining in an arm-chair; her chin resting on her hand ; her beautiful hair in still wilder confusion than ever; her zone unclasped; and her scarlet riding dress covered with mud on the skirts.
“I have brought you à visiter, Liese," said the baron, gaily. She waved her hand with a gesture almost of scorn; but did not raise her eyes.
“ She is out of temper,” whispered he; “ it is the way you know with fine ladies ! Well, I shall leave you to wait a change of weather, or else dare the storm as you choose ;” and Wolfenstein, with another bow and smile, retired.
Ida, who was not so well acquainted as the reader probably is by this time, with the identity of the baron and master Johann Buckler, was greatly surprised at the terms of familiarity on which the former stood, or presumed himself to stand, with the lady of the bandit-chief. Matters of more moment, however, now occupied her attention ; and advancing to the sofa, she sat down by the side of Madame Buckler, and laid her hand upon
her shoulder. Liese started and looked round.
Forgive me, madame," said Ida—“ but at a moment like this, I cannot stand upon ceremony-" madame had sprung upon her feet, and was flying towards an inner door: but suddenly checking herself in her flight, she wheeled round, and advancing almost as quickly as she had retreated
“ You come to upbraid us !" she cried, in a tone of threatening_“You come to stab me through my husband! What have you to say? What do you know? How dare you pry into things that do not concern you? Hence-away !" and she shook back her long tresses impatiently, stamped her foot, and waved her hand with a gesture, half of command, half of defiance.
Ida was amazed. The cheeks of Liese, always warm, seemed now red hot; her eyes flashed lightning ; and the veins of her neck and temples swelled and blackened with passion.
6 I do not know what you mean,” said Ida without rising; “ I came to insult no one: as for your husband, I never saw him—if you can listen to me coolly, I would fain speak with you."
“ You never saw my husband! You never saw Johann Buckler! You never saw the baron Wolfenstein-2"
- Ah !” The truth flashed at once through her brain.
“ Liese," said she, “ I did not come to insult youI did not wish to add to your — your grief;—I was not even aware that
that “ Were you not indeed ?” said Liese, throwing herself with an affected laugh upon the sofa. “ You were not aware that my husband was the famous robber of the Rhine? Or, being so, did you think it strange that he should be obliged to – to – What is that you say?-Did you say—"
“ I did not speak.-Compose yourself, madame."
“ Had it been in the field! Had it been man to man-steel to steel - pistol to pistol! Had his gripe been on his throat, his knee on his labouring breast, the glare of hate in the victim's closing eye, the froth of imptoent rage on his freezing lip !-
6 Ida Dallheimer,—and here! What have I said ? What do you want? Speak! speak quickly, and be
“ I cannot speak quickly, or you could not understand me.
You must be calm ; for I will not go till you hear me.
O Liese, is it my part to insult your grief?
Who am I? What is he whom I love as strongly as you love your homicide husband ?"
?. 6 I do not love him- now!” 66 That is untrue.”
“ It is untrue! It is untrue!” and Liese, throwing her arms round her neck, wept convulsively. 6
Why are you here?" said she at last, raising her head. “ I have ordered your carriage, and procured your deliverance free of ransom.
What further grace have you
to demand from the outlaw's wife ? " “ I wish to accompany you in your flight,” said Ida; I wish to go with you across the Rhine.”
- For what purpose?"
“ And that once in safety over the other side of the river, he is free ? But what then? Why would you subject yourself to so hazardous a journey ?"
“ To tend his wounds, if he is wounded; to hasten him in the flight, if conquered ; to confirm his firmness, if wavering; to die for him ;— to die with him.”
“ I told him so. Long ago I told him so; but his faith in woman was not strong enough, for the infidel does not seem to have believed me. To grant your request is perhaps to destroy you; to deny it would
be to make you destroy yourself. Go and prepare, for we start almost immediately."
“ I am ready.”
mother?” “ I dare not see her again. If all is well, I shall join her at Mayence; if otherwise, she has lost a daughter.”
When it was mentioned to Madame Dallheimer, however, that for certain reasons it was necessary she should proceed alone to Mayence, where she would speedily be joined by Ida, the mother flatly refused compliance. She said she would not enter the carriage except by force; and when one of the attendants put his hand towards her, rather in demonstration than with the
purpose of violence, she screamed so loud and shrill as to alarm the very bandits.
At this moment the formidable Schinderhannes himself came near to undertake an adventure worthy of his reputation. Even here he was successful. Madame Dallheimer seemed to soften at his whisper ; she approached the vehicle, hesitated again-again he whispered, and she leaped up the steps. “ Au revoir, madame!” said he, as he shut the door.
Adieu, my dear baron!” and the carriage drove of
HOW TO RUIN THE DEVIL.
The rattling of the wheels of Madame Dallheimer's carriage was lost in the half fierce, half melancholy music of a horn, that, swelling from one of the upper windows of the old château, seemed to make the whole atmosphere vibrate. Liese ran to the window.
“ No more weeping," cried she to her friend, “ there is a sight, that, if your heart beats like mine, will make you forget your mother. Look there," and Ida, gazing through her tears, which were at first arrested by fear, and then dispersed by admiration, beheld the mustering of the band.
Full fifty troopers, who had apparently been waiting with impatience for the signal, dashed gallantly into the line. The horses pawing, and snorting, arching their haughty necks, and lashing their sides with their long, glossy tails, seemed conscious of the purpose of the assembly, and proud of their own station ; while the riders, with flashing eyes, and compressed lips, half moulded to a stern smile, looked like men who were determined to brave and defy their fate.
All those traits of coarseness and vulgarity, which in a single and pedestrian ruffian so often turn our detes