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to protect the barricado, and to keep possession of the posts they had seized on during the night. Don Sigismund himself, in complete armour, followed his banner, and was surrounded by a numerous band of his principal friends, among whom were Adriano, Della Bardia, Ferrante Luchese, Nicola lo Vasco, Cesare Imbiagnia, Geronimo and Calogero Calandrino, Erasmo Loria, and many others of the first rank in Sciacca. The drums and trumpets sounded as the chief appeared, and a shout arose from the multitude, which echoed through the silent and deserted streets.
With wild and discordant cries, clattering their arms, and sounding their warlike instruments, the whole body proceeded towards the residence of Statella, against whom the rancour of the insurgents was excited, with scarcely less bitterness than against don Giacomo Perollo, the ancient object of their most inveterate hatred and detestation.
Startled from their slumbers by the sud.
den and unexpected tumult, many of the citizens escaped from their houses in horror and dismay ; others, in immoveable terror, awaited the approach of their expected foes without the power of exertion, either for escape or for defence; but it was only against Pandolfina and Statella that the rage
of Luna and his partisans was directed. The latter was destined to be the first object of attack, as likely to fall the easiest victim to their frenzy, his residence being destitute of defence, and himself surrounded by few followers in comparison with the numerous retainers of the family of Perollo.
Towards his abode then they proceeded with threats of vengeance for the death of Erasta, and the proceedings which had been instituted against their other associates. A storm of musquetry passed through the windows, and a flight of arrows which followed it announced to the inmates of the palazzo the fate which awaited them. Ladders were immediately ap
plied to the walls, and an infinite number of the merciless assailants poured in at every aperture.
Some slight resistance was offered by Statella and his military companions; their valour' was however vain against the overpowering strength of their foes, and they retired to a tower which formed part of the building; nor was even this retreat effected without the fall of one of the bravest of the devoted band. Antonio Margieri had thrown himself before the doorway through which Statella had retired, and alone and unsupported for some minutes, resisted the united force of the assailants. :: Wearied out and oppressed by numbers, his strength was beginning to fail; his
opponents gave a shout of triumph, and he retreated beneath the archway. Here he was in less danger of being surrounded, and in some degree relieved from the numbers which opposed him. But in vain had he laid three of his adversaries dead at his feet, and desperately wounded several
others; his own blood streamed profusely, and he felt his weakness rapidly increasing.
“ This is my victim !” exclaimed a voice from the crowd, and Accursi forcibly made his way to the portal, beneath which the combat was continued.
Margieri recognized the murderer of his brother, and the ruffian who had once before sought his life. He rallied his spirits for a while, and returned the first blows of Della Bardia, with a strength renovated by the hope of avenging the fall of Pietro and of himself; he saw again thệ blood of his enemy follow the stroke of his weapon, but was now too much exhausted to keep up the combat. He retreated to a turn of the passagem-hiş foes shouted again, and rushed
him. He now feebly. opposed his battered shield, which afforded little resistance to the might of Della Bardia, when a shrill scream of a female voice caused him to turn his head for an instant, and the sword of his antagonist was buried deep in his side. He staggered and fell at Della Bardia's feet, who trampled him
down, shouting—“ Viva Luna e Peralta !" and was rushing forward when arrested by the female form from whence the cry proceeded.
A lady, hastily attired, having just risen from her bed, stood looking wildly around her_“ Murderer !” she exclaimed, “ you · have slain my husband !"
The ruthless monster levelled a blow at her defenceless form, and she fell beside the slaughtered Antonio.
The crowd for an instant halted, as if appalled at the crime ; but the rushing on of those behind impelled them forwards, and the bodies of Margieri and his hapless wife were trodden in the dust by the swarming multitude. The palazzo was soon filled in every part except the tower, to which Statella and some of his friends had retreated. The counsellors who had attended the general from Messina, the lawyers, alguazils, and domestics, were butchered in every apartment, and either hurled half dead from the windows into the street below, or trampled under the feet