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affecting an urbane manner. “Is which opened upon the stairs unthe Count at home ?”

latched. He crept noiselessly out, " I do not think so," returned and leaving the door still open, the Neapolitan. “But I will see. rushed down-stairs, turned into Come in, gentlemen. He will not the little court, unhooked his bag be long; sempre verso quest'ora- from the rope, and taking it in his he always comes home about this hand, passed quietly out into the time.

street. The coachman was dozing “ Thank you,” said the detec- upon the box of the carriage, which tive. “If you will allow us to still waited before the door, and wait.

would not have noticed Temistocle " Altro !- what? Should I leave had he been awake. In a moment the padrone's friends the more the Neapolitan was beyond stairs ? Come in, gentlemen—sit pursuit. In the Piazza di Spagna down. It is dark. I will light he hailed a cab and drove rapidly the lamp." And striking a match, to Donna Tullia's house, where Temistocle lit a couple of candles he paid the man and sent him and placed them upon the table of away. The servants knew him the small sitting room. The two well enough, for scarcely a day men sat down, holding their hats passed without his bringing some upon their knees.

note or message from his master "If you will excuse me," said to Madame Mayer. He sent in Temistocle, “I will go and make to say that he must speak to his the signore's coffee. He dines at master on business. Del Ferice the restaurant, and always comes came out hastily in considerable home for his coffee. Perhaps the agitation, which was by no means signori will also take a cup? It diminished by the sight of the is the same to make three as one." well-known shabby black bag.

But the men thanked Temis- Temistocle glanced round the tocle, and said they wanted none, hall to see that they were alone. which was just as well, since “ The forza—the police," he Temistocle had no idea of giving whispered, “ are in the house, Eccelthem any:

He retired, however, to lenza. Here is the bag. Save the small kitchen which belongs yourself, for the love of heaven!” to every

Roman lodging, and Del Ferice turned ghastly pale, made a great clattering with the and his face twitched nervously. coffee-pot. Presently he slipped


he began, and then into Del Ferice's bedroom, and staggering back leaned against the extracted from a dark corner a wall. shabby black bag, which he took “ Quick! fly!” urged Temisback with him into the kitchen. tocle, shaking him roughly by the From the kitchen-window ran the " It is the Holy Officeusual iron wire to the well in the you have time. I told them you small court, bearing an iron tra- would be back, and they are waitveller with a rope for drawing ing quietly—they will wait all water. Temistocle, clattering loud- night. Here is your overcoat," he ly, hooked the bag to the traveller added, almost forcing his master and let it run down noisily; then into the garment—"and your hat he lied the rope and went out. -here! Come along, there is no He had carefully closed the door time to lose. I will take you to a of the sitting-room, but he had place where you can dress." been careful to leave the door Del Ferice submitted almost


blindly. By especial good fortune cowl and rope-girdle of a Capuchin the sootman did not come out into monk. the hall. Donna Tullia and her “Now comes the hard part," guests had finished dinner, and the said Temistocle, producing a razor servants had retired to theirs; in- and a pair of scissors from the deed the footman had complained bottom of the bag. Del Ferice to Temistocle of being called away had too often contemplated the from his meal to open the door. possibility of flight to have omitThe Neapolitan pushed his master ted so important a detail. out upon the stairs, urging him “ You cannot see—you will cut to use all speed. As the two my throat,” he murmured plainmen hurried along the dark street tively. they conversed in low tones. Del But the fellow was equal to Ferice was trembling in every the emergency. Retiring deeper joint.

into the recess of the arch, he lit a “But Donna Tullia,” he almost cigar, and holding it between his whined. “I cannot leave her so— teeth, puffed violently at it, proshe must know

ducing a feeble light by which he “Save your own skin from the could just see his master's face. Holy Office, master," answered He was in the habit of shaving Temistocle, dragging him along as him, and had no difficulty in refast as he could. “I will go back moving the fair moustache from and tell your lady, never fear. his upper lip. Then, making him

, She will leave Rome to-morrow. hold his head down, and puffing Of course you will go to Naples, harder than ever, he cropped his She will follow you. She will be thin hair, and managed to make a there before you.'

tolerably respectable tonsure. But Del Ferice mumbled an unin- the whole operation had consumed telligible answer. · His teeth were half an hour at the least, and Del chattering with cold and fear; but Ferice was trembling still. Temas he began to realise his extreme istocle thrust the clothes into his peril, terror lent wings to his bag. heels, and he almost outstripped “My watch !" objected the unthe nimble Temistocle in the race fortunate man, "and my pearl for safety. They reached at last studs give them to me. What? the ruined part of the city near You villain ! you thief! you— the Porta Maggiore, and in the "No chiacchiere, no talk, padshadow of the deep archway where rone," interrupted Temistocle, the road branches to the right snapping the lock of the bag. towards Santa Croce in Gerusa- “ If you chance to be searched, it lemme, Temistocle halted.

would ill become a mendicant friar “Here,” he said, shortly. Del to be carrying gold watches and Ferice said never a word, but began pearl studs. Ï will give them to to undress himself in the dark. It Donna Tullia this very evening. was a gloomy and lowering night, You have money—you can say you the roads were muddy, and from are taking that to your convent." time to time a few drops of cold “Swear to give the watch to rain fell silently, portending a Donna Tullia,” said Del Ferice. coming storm. In a few moments Whereupon Temistocle swore the transformation was complete, terrible oath, which he did not and Del Ferice stood by his ser- fail to break, of course. But his vant's side in the shabby brown master had to be satisfied, and

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when all was completed the two it was one which eminently suited parted company.

him. His face, much thinner now "I will ask Donna Tullia to than formerly, was yet naturally take me to Naples on her pass- round, and without his moustache port,” said the Neapolitan.

would certainly pass for a harm“ Take care of my things, Temis- less clerical visage. He had retocle. Burn all the papers if you ceived an excellent education, and can--though I suppose the sbirri knew vastly more Latin than the have got thein by this time. Bring majority of mendicant monks. As my clothes—if you steal anything, a good Roman he was well acremember there knives in quainted with every convent in Rome, and I know where to write the city, and knew the names of to have them used." Whereat all the chief dignitaries of the Temistocle broke into a torrent Capuchin order. When a lad he of protestations. How could his had frequently served at Mass, master think that, after saving and was acquainted with most of him at such risk, his faithful ser- the ordinary details of monastic vant would plunder him?

life. The worst that could happen "Well," said Del Ferice, thought to him might be to be called upon fully, “ you are a great scoundrel, in the course of his travels to hear you know. But you have saved the dying confession of some poor me, as you say.

There is a scudo wretch who had been stabbed after for you."

a game of mora.

His case was " Temistocle never refused any. altogether not so bad as might thing. He took the coin, kissed seem, considering the far greater his master's hand as a final exhibi- evils he had escaped. tion of servility, and turned back At the Porta San Lorenzo the towards the city without another gates were closed as usual, but the word. Del Ferice shuddered, and dozing watchman let Del Ferice drew his heavy cowl over his head out of the small door without reas he began to walk quickly to- mark. Any one might leave the wards the Porta Maggiore. Then city, though it required a pass to he took the inside road, skirting gain admittance during the night. the walls through the mud to the The heavily ironed oak clanged Porta San Lorenzo. He was per- behind the fugitive, and he breathfectly safe in his disguise. He ed more freely as he stepped upon had dined abundantly, he had the road to Tivoli. In an hour he money in his pocket, and he had had crossed the Ponte Mammolo, escaped the clutches of the Holy shuddering as he looked down Office. A barefooted friar might through the deep gloom at the walk for days unchallenged through white foam of the Teverone, swolthe Roman Campagna and the len with the winter rains. But neighbouring hills, and it was not the fear of the Holy Office was far to the south-eastern frontier. behind him, and he hurried on his He did not know the way beyond lonely way, walking painfully in Tivoli, but he could inquire with- the sandals he had been obliged out exciting the least suspicion. to put on to complete his disguise, There are few disguises more com- sinking occasionally ankle-deep in plete than the garb of a Capuchin mud, and then trudging over a monk, and Del Ferice had long long stretch of broken stones contemplated playing the part, for where the road had been mended:


but not noticing nor caring for that if he ever got safely across pain and fatigue, while he felt that the frontier he would be treated every minute took him nearer to as a patriot, as a man who had the frontier hills where he would be suffered for the cause, and cersafe from pursuit. And so he toiled tainly as a man who deserved to on, on, till he smelled the fetid air be rewarded. He reflected that of the sulphur-springs full fourteen Donna Tullia was a woman who miles from Rome; and at last, as had a theatrical taste for romance, the road began to rise towards and that his present position was Hadrian's Villa, he sat down upon in theory highly romantic, however a stone by the wayside to rest a uncomfortable it might be in the little. He had walked five hours practice. When he was safe his through the darkness, seeing but a story would be told in the newsfew yards of the broad road before papers, and he would himself take him as he went. He was weary care that it was made interesting. and footsore, and the night was Donna Tullia would read it, would growing wilder with gathering be fascinated by the tale of his wind and rain as the storm swept sufferings, and would follow him. down the mountains and through His marriage with her would then the deep gorge of Tivoli on its add immense importance to his way to the desolate black Cam- own position. He would play his pagna. He felt that if he did not cards well, and with her wealth at die of exposure he was safe, and his disposal he might aspire to any to a man in his condition bad distinction he coveted. He only weather is the least of evils.

wished the situation could have His reflections were not sweet. been prolonged for three weeks, Five hours earlier he had been till he actually married. dressed as a fine gentleman should Meanwhile he must take courage be, seated at a luxurious table in and push on, beyond the reach of the company of a handsome and pursuit. If once he could gain amusing woman who was to be Subiaco, he could be over the his wife. He could still almost frontier in twelve hours. From taste the delicate chaud froid, the, Tivoli there were vetture up the tender woodcock, the dry cham- valley, cheap conveyances for the pagne; he could still almost hear country people, in which a bareDonna Tullia's last noisy sally footed friar could travel unnoticed. ringing in his ears—and behold, He knew that he must cross the he was now sitting by the road- boundary by Trevi and the Serra side in the rain, in the wretched di Sant' Antonio. He would ingarb of a begging monk, five hours' quire the way from Subiaco. journey from Rome. He had left While Del Ferice

thus his affianced bride without a word making his way across the Camof warning, had abandoned all his pagna, Temistocle

taking possessions to Temistocle — that measures for his own advantage scoundrelly thief Temistocle ! — and safety. He had the bag with and he was utterly alone.

his master's clothes, the valuable But as he rested himself, draw- watch and chain, and the pearl ing his monk's hood closely over studs. He had also the key to his head and trying to warm his Del Ferice's lodgings, of which he freezing feet with the skirts of his promised himself to make some rough brown frock, he reflected use, as soon as he should be sure




that the detectives had left the man. In his haste he had made house. In the first place, he made the mistake of ordering Del Ferice up his mind to leave Donna Tullia to be arrested instantly and in in ignorance of his master's sud- his lodgings. Had the statesman den departure. There was noth- simply told the chief of police to ing to be gained by telling her the secure Ugo as soon as possible news, for she would probably in without any scandal, he could not her rash way go to Del Ferice's have escaped. But the officer inhouse herself, as she had done terpreted the Cardinal's note to once before, and on finding he mean that Del Ferice was actually was actually gone she would take at his lodgings when the order was charge of his effects, whereby Tem- given. The Cardinal was supposed istocle would be the loser. As to be omniscient by his subordinhe walked briskly away from the ates, and no one ever thought of ruinous district near the Porta giving any interpretation not perMaggiore, and began to see the fectly literal to his commands. lights of the city gleaming before Of course the Cardinal was at him, his courage rose in his breast. once informed, and telegrams and He remembered how easily he had mounted detectives were despatcheluded the detectives an hour and ed in all directions. But Del a half before, and he determined Ferice's disguise was good; and to cheat them again.

when just after sunrise a genBut he had reckoned unwisely. darme galloped into Tivoli, he did Before he had been gone ten min- not suspect that the travel-stained utes, the two men suspected, from and pale - faced friar who stood the prolonged silence, that some- telling his beads before the shrine thing was wrong; and after search- just outside the Roman gate, was ing the lodging, perceived that the the political delinquent whom he polite servant who had offered was sent to overtake. them coffee had left the house Donna Tullia spent an anxious without taking leave. One of the night. She sent down to Del two immediately drove to the Ferice's lodgings, as Temistocle house of his chief and asked for, had anticipated, and the servant instructions. The order to arrest brought back word that he had the servant if he appeared again not seen the Neapolitan, and that came back at once. The conse- the house was held in possession quence was that when Temistocle by strangers, who refused him adboldly opened the door with a mittance. Madame Mayer underready-framed excuse for his ab- stood well enough what had hapsence, he was suddenly pinioned pened, and began to tremble for by four strong arms, dragged into herself. Indeed she began to the sitting-room, and told to hold think of packing together her own his tongue in the name of the law. valuables, in case she should be And that is the last that was ordered to leave Rome; for she heard of Temistocle for some time. did not doubt that the Holy Office But when the day dawned the was in pursuit of Del Ferice, in men knew that Del Ferice had consequence of some discovery reescaped them.

lating to her little club of malThe affair had not been well contents. She trembled for Ugo managed. The Cardinal a with an anxiety more genuine good detective, but a bad police than any feeling of hers had been




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