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in. She was already fully in the light; but she drew: suddenly back again into the shadow. It appeared that the two men who were nearest the doorway were not yet asleep, for they began to converse, and one of them said to the other, *** Well, Antonio! since Davy tells us that there is no appearance of my consort on the coast yet, I see nothing for it but to send him back again, to try if he can bribe some trading captain to give you and the lady a passage.
“ Pshaw!" said the other sulkily," a fio for such advice !-Where should we find a fellow of that sort who would be trusty ?-And then as to a land journey, the chances would be a thousand to one against me.”—He raised himself on his elbow, that he might be better heard by his companion: “Veramente ho gran voglio d'amazzarlı.
- Were she dead she would be more easily carried. Capite!-And if it should turn out after all that we have taken the wrong woman, che importa vi prego!
-A life or two more or less, you know, is but of little consequence in the scoring up of my account."
" That will never do, Antonio,” said Brandywyn, 'for Amherst now perceived that it was he; “ you might be left in the lurch as to the reward,- but with the live bird in a cage, you may make
your own terms." “ Per Baccho adesso avete ragione," said the other. 66 There is some sense in what you say now; forse sarebbe meglio restare un poco.' We may as well wait a little longer for the other vessel. Yet it is cursedly hard to be pent up in this isola cattiva. But should those rascals succeed in shooting quel milordino to-night, we shall have more freedom, and may return to the cottage where we had her before. Maledetto! What a deal of trouble he has cost us! We are at least secure, however, that he can as yet know nothing about her, and if he should, bis know. ledge is, perhaps, by this time, dead and buried with him. Ma senta, amico! Davy Stronach must return to.morrow, to see if he can hear of our ship. And now that all search is over, might we not move down to some of your lurking places nearer to the coast, so as to be ready to go on board immediately on her arrival, and so be off out of this infernal country ?--Dico bene ?"
“ I think your plan is a good one,” said Brandywyn. “ But it will at least be prudent
to stay till we hear how Alexander Macgillivray has succeeded, before we venture to move."
After interchanging a few words more, of little importance, the two villains at last composed themselves to rest.
They had hardly begun to show symptoms of slumber, when the adventurous Carline drew herself towards the doorway, and although she still kept herself carefully within the shadow, she looked anxiously in upon the men, as if to ascertain the moment when they should be perfectly asleep. She was no sooner certain that they were so, than with a motion like that of the rattle-snake when it strikes its victim, almost too rapid for the eye to follow, she sprang within the threshold, and snatched something from under the coat, that served the Italian for a pillow, and instantly retreated into the dark. The ruffian was awakened by the twitch.
He started up on his elbow, and exclaimed, “ Diavolo chi è!--cosa c'è?" But looking around him, and seeing all quiet, he again composed himself to sleep with an execration.
After remaining still for a few minutes until he was again sound, the Carline gave Amherst a signal to follow her, and hastened to the spot
where the boat lay. She desired him to get on board, and again cautioning him to remember his promise of silence, she disappeared for an instant. The heavy sound of a withdrawn bolt was heard, through the little loop-hole, from the other side of the low building, and immediately afterwards the Carline appeared, followed by the Lady, wrapped up in her mantle.
In putting her foot into the boat, she had nearly slipped over the side, and Amherst's apprehension was so much excited, that forgetting all the Carline's injunctions in his anxiety for her safety, he sprang forward, and exclaiming, “ My life! my Eliza!" he caught her in his arms.
The Carline, standing lightly balanced on the edge of the boat, assumed an authoritative air.
“ Silence ! or we are yet lost,” said she in a deep, but decided tone; and leaping into the middle of it, she grasped the paddles with the utmost alacrity, and moved it forwards with the same silence and caution she had used in approaching the place. Having got about thirty yards off, she began to ply in a wide circle, round that part of the ruins, containing the vaulted chamber occupied by the villains.
The boat was already abreast of it, when Am
herst observed a dark figure moving among the fallen fragments. He leant forward, and in whisper, communicated the circumstance to the Carline. She had herself caught a glimpse of the figure, and had already begun to pull with greater force, and with inconceivable swiftness.
“ Hilloah! who goes there ?" exclaimed a rough voice from the islet.
But no answer was returned, and they were already mid-way between the castle and the land, when a confused clamour arose from the island. The exertions of the Carline were redoubled, and they reached the shore. There, as Amherst lifted Eliza from the boat, and hurried with her up the steep slope towards the spot where the horses were concealed, loud shouts, and half lost execrations came upon them, and flaming lights were seen appearing and disappearing among the ruins, and immediately afterwards, one or two distinct plunges in the lake convinced them that some of the men, on discovering the escape of their prisoner, and that the boat was gone, had taken the desperate resolution of swimming to the shore. To have dispatched them, while in the water, would have been an easy matter ; but