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obeyed the order; but already several have scorned the bandage, but now were in full pursuit of the fugitives, he let his kind-hearted fellow-soldier preventing the others from firing, lest have his way. Suddenly it occurred they should shoot their comrades. to him that he might make the ser. Seeing this, all threw down their geant the bearer of his last earthly muskets and joined in the chase. wishes. Ludwig sought to keep near Bernard, "Comrade,' said he as the man in order not to sever his fate from secured the cloth over his eyes, you that of his trusty friend. But the will not refuse me a last friendly ser. number of their pursuers soon forced vice. So soon as you are able, go to them to take different directions. Colonel Rasinski, who commands our The hunted and the hunters were regiment; tell him how I died, and alike impeded by the snow, which beg him to console my sister. And had been blown off the steep side of if you outlive this war, and go to the hillock, but lay in thick masses her in Warsaw or Dresden, and tell on the table-land, and at every step her thatthe feet sank deep. Already Ludwig “He was interrupted by several saw the dusky foliage of the pines musket-shots close at hand. close before him, already he deemed · Are those for me, already ?' cried himself to have escaped his unjust Ludwig—for the sergeant had let go doom, when suddenly he sank up to the handkerchief, now secured round the hips, and, by his next movement, his head, and had stepped aside. For up to the breast in the snow, which sole reply Ludwig heard him exclaim had drifted into a fissure in the earth. The devil! what is that ? and In vain he strained every muscle to spring forward. At the same time extricate himself. In a few seconds arose a confused outcry and bustle, his pursuers reached him, grappled and again shots were fired just in the him unmercifully, and pulled him out neighbourhood, one bullet whistling of the hole by his arms and hair. close to Ludwig's head. He heard
“Ill treated by the soldiers, driven horses in full gallop, whilst a mixture forward by blows from fists and mus- of words of command, shouts, clash ket butis, Ludwig was dragged, of steel and reports of fire-arms rerather than he walked, to the place sounded on all sides. • Forward ! appointed for his death. Even the cried the voice of the sergeant. scornful gaze with which Beaucaire "Close your ranks ! fire!' received him was insufficient to give “ A platoon fire from some twenty him strength to enjoy in the last mo- muskets rang in Ludwig's ear; he imments of his life an inward triumph agined the muzzles were pointed at over that contemptible wretch. But him, and an involuntary tremor made he looked anxiously around for Ber- his whole frame quiver. But he was nard, to see whether he again was still alive and uninjured. The comthe companion of his melancholy lot. plete darkness in which he found He saw him not; he evidently was himself, the bonds that prevented his not yet captured. The hope that his moving, the excitement and tension of friend had finally effected his escape, his nerves, caused a host of strange comforted Ludwig, although he felt wild ideas to flit across his brain. that death, now he was alone to meet Hearing upon the left the stamp of it, was harder to endure than when hoofs and shouts of charging horsehe was sustained by the companion- men, he thought for a moment that ship of the gallant Bernard.
Rasinski and his men had come lo de“ He was now again at the post, to liver him. Then, however, he heard which two soldiers secured him with the howling war-cry of the Russians. musket-slinys, his arms behind his A burrah' rent the air. The conback, as though they feared fresh re- tending masses rushed past him ; the sistance. The sergeant stepped up smoke of powder whirled in bis face; to him, a handkerchief in his hand. cries, groans, and clatter of weapons
" "I will bandage your eyes, com were all around him. He was in the rade,' said he, compassionately; it midst of the fight; in vain he strove is better so.'
to break his bonds, that he might “ In the first instance Ludwig would tear the bandage from his eyes; he
continued in profound obscurity. “ Thunderstruck, he gazed around. •Is it a frightful dream ? he at last Three men with long beards, whom gasped out, turning his face to heaven. he at once recognised as Russian Will none awaken me, and end this peasants, stood before him, staring at horrible suffering ?
him with a mixture of scorn and won“ But no hand touched him, and little der. On the ground lay several by little the tumult receded, and was muskets and the
bodies of two French lost in the distance.
soldiers. Ludwig saw himself in the “ Thus passed a few minutes of power of his enemies, whom a strange agonizing suspense; Ludwig writhed chance had converted into his dein his fetters; a secret voice whispered Jiverers.” to him, that, could he burst them, he Beaucaire and St. Luces were also yet might be saved, but they resisted in the hands of the Russians, in whose his utmost efforts. Then he again unfriendly care we for the present heard loud voices, which gradually leave both them and Ludwig, to recur, approached, accompanied by hurried at a future day, to this interesting footsteps. On a sudden a rough hand romance. tore the cloth from his eyes.
THE BLUE DRAGOON ;
A STORY OF CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE, FROM THE CRIMINAL RECORDS OF HOLLAND.*
In the town of M—, in Holland, circumstances took place without dethere lived, towards the close of the lay. last century, an elderly widow,Madame The old lady had been three weeks abAndrecht. She inhabiied a house of her sent, and the thieves of course had had own, in company with her maid-ser ample leisure for their attempt. They vant, who was nearly of the same age. had evidently gained access through a She was in prosperous circumstances; window in the back part of the house but, being in delicate health and para- communicating with the garden, one lysed on one side, she had few visi- of the panes of which had been retors, and seldom went abroad except moved, and the bolts of the window to church or to visit the poor. Her forced back, so as to admit of its being chief recreation consisted in paying a pulled up. The bolts of the back-door visit in spring to her son, who was leading into the garden had also been settled as a surgeon in a village a few withdrawn, as if the robbers had with. miles off. On these occasions, fear- drawn their plunder in that direction. ing a return of a paralytic attack, she The other doors and windows were was invariably accompanied by her uninjured; and several of the rooms maid, and, during these visits, her appeared to have been unopened. own house was left locked up, but The furniture, generally, was uninhabited and unwatched.
touched; but the kitchen utensils On the 30th June, 174, the widow were left in confusion, as if the robreturning to M- from one of these bers had intended removing them, but little excursions, found her house had been interrupted or pursued. had been broken open in her absence, At the same time it was evident and that several valuable aríicles, they had gone very deliberately about with all her jewels and trinkets, had their work. The ceilings and doors of disappeared. Information was im- a heavy old press, the drawers of mediately given to the authorities, which had been secured by strong
strict investigation of the and well constructed locks, had been
*The following singular story of circumstantial evidence is compressed from a collection of criminal trials, published at Amsterdam, under the title “Oorkonen uit de Gedenkschriften van het Strafregt, en uit die der menschlyke Mishappen ; te Amsterdam. By J. C. Van Kersleren, 1820.” Notwithstanding the somewhat romantic complexion of the incidents, it has been included as genuine in the recent German collection, Der Neue Pitaval. 7 Band.
removed with so much neatness that officers of justice. His acquaintno part of the wood-work had been ances awaited his return with iminjured. The ceiling and doors were patience, trusting to be able, from left standing by the side of the press. his revelations, to gratify their cuThe contents, consisting of jewels, riosity at secord-hand. If so, they articles of value, and fine linens, were were disappointed, for, on his exit, he gone. Two strong boxes were found assumed an air of mystery, answered broken open, from which gold and equivocally, and observed, that people silver coin, with some articles of cloth- might suspect many things of which ing, had been abstracted. The value it might not be safe to speak. of the missing articles amounted to In proportion, however, to his taciabout two thousand Dutch guldens. turnity, was the loquaciousness of a The house, however, contained many woolspinner, Leendert Van N—, the other articles of value, which, singu- inhabitant of the corner house next to larly enough, had escaped the notice that of the widow. He mingled with of 'the thieves. In particular, the the groups who were discussing the greater part of the widow's property subject; dropped hints that he had his consisted of property in the funds, the own notions as to the culprits, and obligations for which were deposited, could, if necessary, give a clue to their not in the press above-mentioned, but discovery. Among the crowd who in an iron chest in her sleeping-room. were observed to listen to these effuThis chest she had accidentally re- sions, was a Jew dealer in porcelain, moved, shortly before her departure; a suspected spy of the police. Before placing it in a more retired apartment, evening, the woolspinner received a where it had fortunately attracted no summons to the town-house, and attention.
was called upon by the Burgomaster The robbery had, apparently, been for an explanation of the suspicious committed by more than one person; expressions he had used. He stamand, it was naturally suspected, by per- mered, hesitated, pretended he knew of sons well acquainted with the house, nothing but general grounds of sus. and with the circumstances of its in- picion, like his neighbours; but being habitants. The house itself, which threatened with stronger measures of was almost the only respectable one compulsion, he at last agreed to speak in the neighbourhood, was situated in out, protesting, at the same time, that a retired street. The neighbouring he could willingly have spared persons dwellings were inhabited by the poorer against whom he had no grudge whatclasses, and not a few of the less ever, and would have been silent for reputable members of society. The ever, if he had foreseen the conseinner fosse of the town, which quence of his indiscretion. was navigable, flowed along the end The substance of his disclosure was of the garden through which the to this effect ;—Opposite the German thieves had, apparently, gained ad- post-house, at the head of the street, mittance, being separated from the in which the woolspinner lived, there garden only by a thin thorn hedge. was a little alehouse. Nicholas DIt was conjectured that the thieves was the landlord. He was generally had made their way close to the hedge known among his acquaintances, not by means of a boat, and from thence by his baptismal or family name, but had clambered over into the garden, by the appellation of the Blue Draalong the walks and flower-beds of goon, from having formerly served in which foot-marks were traceable. the horse regiment of Colonel Van
The discovery of the robbery had Wackerbarth, which was popularly created a general sensation, and the known by the name of the Blues. house was surrounded by a crowd of About two years before, he had becurious idlers, whom it required some come acquainted with and married effort on the part of the police to pre- Hannah, the former servant of Madame vent from intruding into the premises. Andrecht, who had been six years in One of them only, a baker, and the that situation, and possessed her entire inhabitant of the house opposite to confidence. Unwilling to part with her that of the widow, succeeded in attendant, and probably entertaining making his way in along with the no favourable notion of the intended
husband, Madame Andrecht had long Hannah's husband's name Nicholas thrown impediments in the way of the D—?” pointing out to him at the match, so that the parties were obliged same time the initials N. D. in the to meet chiefly at night, and by stealth. corner. Both, however, had forgotten Nicholas found his way into the house the circumstance till the occurrence of at night through the garden of his ac- the robbery naturally recalled it to quaintance the woolspinner, and across the husband's mind. the hedge which divided it from Ma The woolspinner told his story dame Andrecht's. Of these nocturnal simply; his conclusions appeared unvisits the woolspinner was at first strained : suspicion became sirongly cognisant, but, fearful of getting into directed against the Blue Dragoon, a scrape with his respectable neigh- and these suspicions were corrobobour, he was under the necessity of rated by another circumstance which intimating to the bold dragoon, that if emerged at the same time. he intended to continue his escalades, During the first search of the house, he must do so from some other quarter a half-burnt paper, which seemed to than his garden. Nicholas obeyed have been used for lighting a pipe, was apparently, and desisted ; but, to the found on the floor, near the press surprise of the woolspinner, he found which had been broken open. Neither the lovers continued to meet not the Madame Andrecht nor her maid less regularly in Madame Andrecht's smoked; the police officers had no pipes garden. One evening, however, the when they entered the house; so the mystery was explained. The wool- match had in all probability been dropspinner, returning home after dark, ped on the ground by the housebreakers. saw tied to a post in the canal, close On examination of the remains of by Madame Andrecht's garden, one the paper, it appeared to have been a of those small boats which were gene- receipt, such as was usually granted rally used by the dragoons for bringing by the excise to innkeepers for pay, forage from the magazine; and he atment of the duties on spirits received once conjectured that this was the into the town from a distance, and means by which the dragoon was which served as a permit entitling enabled to continue his nocturnal the holder to put the article into his assignations. With the recollection cellars. The upper part of the receipt of this passage in the landlord's his- containing the name of the party to tory was combined a circumstance of whom it was granted was burnt, but recent occurrence, trifling in itself, the lower part was preserved, containbut which appeared curiously to link ing the signature of the excise officer, in with the mode in which the robbery and the date of the permit: it was appeared to have been effected. Ten the 16th March of the same year, days before the discovery of the house. From these materials it was easy to breaking, and while the widow was in ascertain what innkeeper in the town the country, the woolspinner stated had, on that day, received such a perthat he found, one morning, a dirty- mit for spirits. From an examination of coloured handkerchief lying on the the excise register, it appeared that on grass bank of the fosse, and exactly that day Nicholas D had received opposite his neighbour's garden. He and paid the duties on several ankers took it up and put it in his pocket, of Geneva. Taken by itself, this would without thinking about it at the time. have afforded but slender evidence At dinner he happened to remember that he had been the person who had it, mentioned the circumstance to his used the paper for a match, and had wife, showed her the handkerchief, dropped it within Madame Andrecht's and observed jestingly, “If Madame room; but, taken in connexion with Andrecht were in town, and Hannah the finding of the handkerchief, and were still in her service, we should the suspicious history of his nocturnal say our old friend the Blue Dragoon rambles which preceded it, it strengthhad been making his rounds and had ened in a high degree the suspicions dropt his handkerchief.” His wife against the ex-dragoon. took the handkerchief, examined it, After a short consultation, orders and exclaimed, “ In the name of were issued for his apprehension. wonder, what is that you say? Is not Surprise, it was thought, would proVOL. LXIV.
bably extort from him an immediate (her apprehension having taken place confession. His wife, his father-a on a Thursday), she had brushed out
advanced in years—and bis the press from top to bottom-had brother, a shoemaker's apprentice, cleared out the contents, and nothing were apprehended at the same time. of the kind was then to be found
A minute search of the house of the there. innkeeper followed; but none of the The behaviour of the married pair stolen articles were at first disco- and their inmates made, on the whole, vered, and indeed nothing that could a favourable impression on the judge excite suspicion, except a larger who conducted the inquiry. Their amount of money than might perhaps calmness appeared to him the result have been expected. At last, as the of innocence; their character was search was on the point of being good; their house was orderly and given up, there was found in one of quiet, and none of the articles of the drawers a memorandum-book. value had been discovered in their This was one of the articles men- possession. True, they might have tioned in the list of Madame An- disposed of them elsewhere ; but the drecht's effects; and, on inspection, articles were numerous, and of a kind there could be no doubt that this was likely to lead to detection. Why the one referred to-for several pages should they have preserved the combore private markings in her own paratively worthless article found in bandwriting, and in a side-pocket were the drawer, instead of burning or defound two letters bearing her address. stroying it? Why, above all, preserve Beyond this, none of the missing it in a spot so likely to be discovered, articles could be traced in the house. if they had so carefully made away
The persons apprehended were with every trace of the rest ? severally examined." Nicholas D- Still unquestionable suspicions rested answered every question with the ut- on the landlord. The thieves must have most frankness and unconcern. He ad- been well acquainted with Madame mitted the truth of the woolspinner's Andrecht's house; and this was undestory of his courtship, his nightly niably bis position. His handkerchief, scrambles over the hedge, and his found on the spot about the time of subsequent visits to his intended by the robbery; the half-burned match means of the forage-boat. The hand- dropped on the premises; the pocketkerchief he admitted to be his pro- book found in his own house-these, perty. When and where he had lost though not amounting to proof, scarceit he could not say. It had disap- ly seemed to admit of an explanation peared about six months before, and he absolutely consistent with innocence. had thought no more about it. When In this stage of the inquiry, a new the pocket-book which had been witness entered upon the scene. A found was laid before hiin, he gave it respectable citizen, a dealer in wood, back without embarrassment, de voluntarily appeared before the authoclared he knew nothing of it, had rities, and stated that his conscience never had it in his possession, and would no longer allow him to conceal shook his head with a look of sur- certain circumstances which appeared prise and incredulity when told where to bear upon the question, though, it had been found.
from an unwillingness to come forward The other members of his house- or to appear as an informer against hold appeared equally unembarrassed : parties who might be innocent, he had they expressed even greater astonish- hitherto · suppressed any mention of ment than he had done, that the them. pocket-book, with which they declared Among his customers was the wellthemselves entirely unacquainted, known carpenter, Isaac Van C should have been found in the place who was generally considerably in where it was. The young wife burst arrears with his payments. These out into passionate exclamations : she arrears increased: the wood-merchant protested it was impossible; or if the became pressing : at last he threatenbook was really found on the spot, ed judicial proceedings. This bronght that it was inexplicable to her how it matters to a point. A few days before came there. The Saturday before, the discovery of the robbery at