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not brought un down, Master Hawkins's skull, and some others, might have been split. But stay, methinks he breathes lift him up a bit.”
“ Aye, aye,” said the other man, “ no fear o un-he's only in a swound after all. See-he's beginning to come round already! Lord, such a queer twist that was un gave with un's mouth, -he'll soon gather un's legs again, no fear o' un."
“ Is he not dead then ?" said Lady Deborah, and bending anxiously forwards to look again in the countenance of Antonio, now beginning to display the horrible nervous contortions frequently accompanying returning life ; " is not the wretch dead then ?”
“ Dead !” cried the Italian, gnashing his teeth in frenzy, as his consciousness came back to him, and flashing a lightning glance towards Lady Deborah,—“ Who thinks me dead? Hah! was it you who spoke ? Give me a knife--"
As he said so, with the countenance and voice of a maniac, he made a desperate effort to rise : but Lady Deborah, in terror, rushed up stairs to her apartment ; and the men, throwing themiselves together upon the culprit, soon bound
him, and after some consultation, dragged him towards a vaulted cellar, where, as a matter of
precaution, they locked him in; and Mr Haw· kins, after recovering from the alarm he had expe
rienced, began to go on with his inventory undisturbed.
Whilst matters were in this state below, and the servants were running about full of curiosity, peeping every where, and putting many an unsuccessful query to Mr Hawkins and his assistants, Lady Deborah, who had bolted the door of her apartment, happened accidentally to cast her eyes out of the very window, from which she had looked a few mornings before, when she had descried Antonio, and witnessed the death of the horse that carried him. Evening was now approaching, but the landscape was not yet so much obscured as to prevent her observing a body of men, some on foot and others on horseback, who seemed to be cautiously approaching the house from the same direction whence we formerly described Antonio to have come.
Such a sight being altogether unusual, she was led to watch their motions. They advanced at a slow pace, the riders seeming to wait for the pedestrians, when just as they came opposite the thicket
into which Antonio dragged the carcase of the wretched animal, the steeds of two men, who rode in front, suddenly reared and started to one side, and one of the riders came to the ground. The horseman did not seem to have suffered materially from his fall, and his horse being immediately caught, the curiosity of the party to discover what had occasioned the accident, seemed to be awakened, for one or two of the men on foot ran off the road into the thicket. Lady Deborah felt an agonizing interest in all the movements and motions of the men. Her breath came short, and she stretched her very eyeballs by the intensity of her gaze.
The motions of the men now indicated that something had been discovered, for the whole party crowded together into the thicket. Then afterwards some of them appeared engaged in drawing forth the carcase of the horse, which they laid on the grass by the way side, and after some apparent consultation, they left two of their number in the thicket as if to watch, wbilst the remainder, to the number of eight or ten, stole off in the direction whence they had come, frequently looking behind them as they went.
Lady Deborah no sooner saw that they had
retreated, than she left the window, and with a speed far beyond what her years warranted, she rushed down stairs. Luckily for her intention, Hawkins and his people were by this time in some other part of the house, and she hastened across the hall, and went along the passage leading to the servants’ apartments.
She had already made three or four rapid strides along the passage, when her ear caught some lowly muttered curses, coupled with her
She stopped to listen. The sound came from the vaulted cellar to her right.
“ Maledetta sia la femina!" cried a voice she immediately knew to be that of Antonio. thousand curses on the woman !—ebbene benissimo !-But revenge,-ha! ha! ha! vendetta! vendetta stupenda !-ugh! Davvero, it will be high revenge, ha, ha, ha!-She wished me dead! -hah !-Hell itself would be nothing to herbut infamy! Aye, aye, just so—that is the way to-but fool that I am,-animalaccio !--my rage makes me think aloud."
He had already said quite enough for Lady Deborah ; however, she felt the necessity of soothing him. She paused a moment to recollect her
self, and then approaching the door with a few marked and audible steps, as if she were returning from that part of the house occupied by the servants.
“ Antonio, said she, in a half whisper, “ Antonio, are you there?"
“ Ah scelerata ! eccoti !"
“I am here," said she, without seeming to observe the epithet ; “ I have been searching for you every where, and only this moment caught your voice, by accident, as I was returning from the servants’ apartments. I have flown to save you—your liberty, your life is sought. The officers of justice are after you,-quick, come forth, and let me find some speedy means of sav. ing one on whose existence mine depends."
“ Hah! say ye so, tigress ? in faith you speak true, for you think, no doubt, that the security of your life depends on the sacrifice of mine. But mark me, I shall not hang alone! ha, ha, ha!
“ What strange delusion has bewildered you, Antonio, that you should thus so unjustly accuse one who, being bound to you as I am, by the strongest ties of gratitude, has uniformly done al} in her power to manifest it to you. Even now I