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" You speak in wonderful rid- simply some low-born namesake of dles, but you will not deceive me. mine?" Money will doubtless do much, Donna Tullia had grown very but it will not do what you ex- pale, and she leaned upon the pect."
table as though she were faint. Certainly not,” returned Gio- The others listened breathlessly. vanni, unmoved by her reply. "I do not believe it,” said “Money will certainly not create Madame Mayer, in a low and out of nothing a second Giovanni broken voice. Sarracinesca, nor his circle of ac- "Now I will tell you what I quaintances, nor the police regis- will do," continued Giovanni. “I ters concerning him which are kept will go to Aquila at once, and I throughout the kingdom of Italy, daresay my father will accompany very much as they are kept here in me the Pontifical States. Money will “Of course I will,” broke in the do none of these things."
old Prince. While he was speaking, his "We will go, and in a fortnight's father and the Duchessa listened time we will produce the whole with intense interest.
history of this Giovanni Sarracin“Donna Tullia," continued Gio- esca, together with his wife and vanni, “I am willing to believe himself in his own person, if they from your manner that you are are both alive; we will bring them really sure that I am the man here, and they will assure you that mentioned in your papers; but you have been egregiously deceived, permit me to inform you that you played upon and put in a false posihave been made the victim of a tion by—by the person who furshallow trick, probably by the per- nished you with these documents. son who gave those same papers I wonder that any Roman of cominto your hands, and suggested to mon-sense should not have seen at you the use you have made of once the cause of this mistake." them."
“ I cannot believe it," murmured "I? I, the victim of a trick ?" Donna Tullia. Then raising her repeated Donna Tullia, frightened voice, she added, “Whatever may at last by his obstinately calm be the result of your inquiry, I manner.
cannot but feel that I have done " Yes,” he replied. “I know my duty in this affair. I do not Aquila and the Abruzzi very well. believe in your theory, nor in you, It chances that although we, the and I shall not, until you produce great Sarracinesca of Rome, are this other man.
I have done my not numerous, the name is not dutyuncommon in that part of the An exceedingly painful one, country. It is the same with all our no doubt,” remarked old Sarracingreat names. There are Colonna, esca. Then he broke into a loud Orsini, Caetani all over the country peal of laughter. —there are even many families "And if you do not succeed in bearing the name of the Medici, your search, it will be my duty, in who are extinct. You know it as the interests of society, to put the well as I, or you should know it, matter in the hands of the police. for I believe your mother was my Since you have the effrontery to father's cousin. Has it not struck say that those papers are of no use, you that this same Giovanni Sar- I demand them back." racinesca herein mentioned, is "Not at all, madam," replied the Prince, whose laughter sub- gone. “I think I have got to the sided at the renewed boldness of bottom of that affair." her tone. “I will not give them " It seems so simple, and yet back to you. I intend to compare I never thought of it,” said Cothem with the originals. If there rona. "How clever you are, Gioare no originals, they will serve vanni!" very well to commit the nolary " There was not much cleverness whose seal is on them, and your- needed to see through so shallow a self, upon a well-founded indict- trick,” replied Giovanni. “I susment for forgery, wilful calumnia- pected it this morning; and when I tion, and a whole list of crimes saw that the documents were gen sufficient to send you to the galleys uine and all in order, I was confor life. If, on the other hand, vinced of it. This thing has been the originals exist, they can be of done by Del Ferice, I suppose in no possible value to you, as you order to revenge himself upon me can send to Aquila and have for nearly killing him in a fair fight. fresh copies made whenever you It was a noble plan. With a please, as you yourself informed little more intelligence and a little me."
more pains, he could have given me Things were taking a bad turn great trouble. Certificates like for Donna Tullia. She believed those he produced, if they had the papers to be genuine, but a come from a remote French village fearful doubt crossed her mind that in Canada, would have given us Del Ferice might possibly have de- occupation for some time." ceived her by having them manu- “ I wish Donna Tullia joy of factured. Anybody
Anybody could buy her husband," remarked the Prince. Government paper, and it would " He will spend her money in a be but a simple matter to have a year or two, and then leave her to notary's seal engraved. She was the contemplation of his past exterrified at the idea, but there was travagance. I wonder how he no possibility of getting the docu- induced her to consent.” ments back from the old Prince, Many people like Del Ferice," who held them firmly in his broad said Giovanni. “He is popular, brown hand. There was nothing and has attractions." to be done but to face the situa- " How
you say that!" tion out to the end and go.
exclaimed Corona, indignantly. “ As you please,” she said. " You should have a better opinis natural that you should insult ion of women, than to think any me, a defenceless woman trying to woman could find attractions in do what is right. It is worthy of such a man." your race and reputation. I will “ Nevertheless, Donna Tullia is leave you to the consideration of going to marry him," returned the course you intend to follow, Giovanni. “She must find him and I advise you to omit nothing to her taste. I used to think she which can help to prove the inno- might have married Valdarno–he cence of your son."
is so good-natured, you know !” Donna Tullia bestowed one more Giovanni spoke in a tone of reglance of contemptuous defiance flection ; the other two laughed. upon the group, and brushed ang- " And now, Giovannino," said rily out of the room.
his father, "we must set out for ** So much for her madness!" Aquila, and find your namesake." exclaimed Giovanni, when she was - You will not really go?"
asked Corona, with a look of dis- “Why not send a detective—a appointment. She could not bear sbirro ? " suggested Corona. the thought of being separated
" He would not accomplish anyeven for a day from the man she thing,” replied the Prince. loved.
would be at a great disadvantage "I do not see that we can do there; we must go ourselves.' anything else," returned the Prince. “ Both ?" asked Corona, regret“I must satisfy myself whether fully, gazing at Giovanni's face. those papers are forgeries or not. “It is my business," replied the If they are, that woman must go latter. "I can hardly ask my to prison for them."
father to go alone.” is But she is our cousin, you " Absurd !” exclaimed the old cannot do that," objected Gio- Prince, resenting the idea that he vanni.
needed any help to accomplish his • Indeed I will. I am angry. mission. “ Do you think I need Do not try to stop
Do some one to take care of me, like a you suppose I
care anything for baby in arms? I will go alone ; you the relationship in comparison shall not come even if you wish with repaying her for all this it. Absurd, to talk of my needing trouble? You are not going to anybody with me ! I will show turn merciful, Giovanni ? I should you what your father can do when not recognise you." There was a his blood is up." sort of mournful reproach about Protestations were useless after the old Prince's tone, as though that. The old man grew angry at he were reproving his son for hav- the opposition, and regardless of all ing fallen from the paths of virtue. propriety, seized his hat and left Corona laughed; she was not hard- the room, growling that he was as hearted, but she was not so angelic good as anybody, and a great deal of nature as to be beyond feeling better. deep and lasting resentment for Corona and Giovanni looked at injuries received. At that mo- each other when he was gone, and ment the idea of bringing Donna smiled. Tullia to justice was pleasant.
“I believe my father is the best Well," said Giovanni, “no hu- man alive,” said Giovanni. " He man being can say they ever pre- would go in a moment if I would vented you from doing whatever let him. I will go after him and you were determined to do. The bring him back-I
I best thing that can happen will ought." be, that you should find the papers " I suppose so," answered Corona; genuine, and my namesake alive. but as they stood side by side, she I wish Aquila were Florence or passed her hand under his arm Naples," he said, turning to Co- affectionately, and looked into his rona ; “ you might manage to go eyes. It was a very tender look, at the same time.”
very loving and gentle—such a 6. That is impossible," she
none bui Giovanni had answered, sadly." How long will ever seen upon her proud face. He
think?" put his arm about her waist and Giovanni did not believe that, if drew her to him, and kissed her the papers were genuine, and they dark cheek. had to search for the man men- "I cannot bear to go away and tioned in them, they could return leave you, even for a day," he in less than a fortnight.
said, pressing her to his side.
“Why should you ?" she mur- ever thinks I am even clever. My mured, looking up to him.
father would laugh at you, and say should he go, after all? This has it is quite enough greatness to be been such a silly affair. I wonder born a Sarracinesca. What makes if that woman thought that any- you think it?" thing could ever come between Corona stood beside him and you and me? That was what made laid her delicate hand upon his me think she was really mad.” thick, close-cut black hair, and
“ And an excellent reason,” he gazed into his eyes. answered. “ Anybody must be “I know it,” she said. “I know insane who dreams of parting us it, because I love you so.
A man two. It seems as though a year like you must be great. There is ago I had not loved you at all.” something in you that nobody
“I am so glad," said Corona. guesses but I, that will amaze peo“Do you remember, last summer, ple some day-I know it." on the tower at Sarracinesca, I “I wonder if you could tell told you that you did not know me what it is? I wonder if it what love was ?"
is really there at all ?” said Gio“ It was true, Corona-I did not vanni. know. But I thought I did. I " It is ambition," said Corona, never imagined what the happiness gravely. " You are the most amof love was, nor how great it was, bitious man I ever knew, and nonor how it could enter into every body has found it out.”
"I believe it is true, Corona,” “Into every thought? Into said Giovanni, turning away and your great thoughts too ?”
leaning upon the chimney-piece, “If any thoughts of mine are his head supported on one hand. great, they are so because you are “I believe you are right. I am the mainspring of them,” he an- ambitious : if I only had the brains swered
that some men have, I would do " Will it always be so ?" she great things." asked. " You will be a very great “You are wrong, Giovanni. It man some day, Giovanni; will is neither brains nor ambition nor you always feel that I am some- strength that you lack—it is opthing to you ?”
portunity." " Always—more than anything They say that a man who has to me, more than all of me to- anything in him creates opportugether.”
nities for himself," answered Gio" I sometimes wonder,” said Co- vanni, rather sadly. “I fear it rona. “I think I understand you is because I really have nothing better than I used to do. I like in me that I can do nothing. It to think that you feel how I under- sometimes makes me very unhappy stand you when you tell me any- to think so. I suppose that is bething. Of course I am not clever cause my vanity is wounded.” like you, but I love you so much “ Do not talk like that,” said that just while you are talking I Corona. “You have vanity, of seem to understand everything. It course, but it is of the large kind, is like a flash of light in a dark and I call it ambition. It is not room."
only because I love you better Giovanni kissed her again. than any man was ever loved be
" What makes you think that I fore that I say that. It is that shall be great, Corona? Nobody I know it instinctively. I have heard you say that these are un- of growing cold when others grow settled times. Wait; your oppor- hot, and of keeping the full use tunity will come, as it came often of your faculties in any situation. to your forefathers in other cen- When you have made a decision, turies."
you cannot be moved from it; but “I hardly think that their ex- you are open to conviction in arguample is a good one," replied Gio. ment. You have a great repose of vanni, with a smile.
manner, which conceals a very rest“ They generally did something less brain. All your passions are remarkable in remarkable times, very strong. You never forgive, said Corona. " You will do the never forget, and scarcely ever resame. Your father, for instance, pent. Beneath all, you have an would not."
untamable ambition which has “He is far more clever than I," not yet found its proper field. objected Giovanni.
Those are your qualities—and I “ Clever! What passes for clev- love them all, and you more than erness? He is quick, active, a good them all." talker, a man with a ready wit and Corona finished her speech by a sharp answer-kind-hearted when throwing her arms round his neck, the fancy takes him, cruel when he and breaking into a happy laugh is so disposed--but not a man of as she buried her face upon his great convictions or of great ac- shoulder. No one who saw her tions. You are very different from in the world would have believed him."
her capable of those sudden and " Will you draw my portrait, violent demonstrations-she Corona ?" asked Giovanni.
thought so very cold. " As far as I know you. You When Giovanni reached home, are a man quick to think and slow he was informed that his father to make a decision. You are not had left Rome an hour earlier by brilliant in conversation--you see I the train for Terni, leaving word do not flatter you ; I am just. You that he had gone to Aquila. have the very remarkable quality