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He advanced towards the house, stopped sud And ihine eyes' starry beams so bright. denly as another thought appeared to seize him;

Thy free and boundless home shall be

On the bright wave, the deep blue sea. then, starting quickly, walked away with rapid

Then come, love, come to the cypress tree, strides, mounted his horse and gallopped for Messina,

Thy Gerald's burk still waits for thee. where he arrived about daylight. Dismounting and passing along the quay, he stopped at the foot of

“The moonbeams o'er the waters play, the “Statue of Hercules." While absorbed in

Why ling'rest thou, oh, Ada, say?

She comes not yet, kind heaven but tbrow deep thought, his dagger drawn and his heart almost

Her shadow on the side below. bursting from the rush of blood through it, at this

I've woven thee, love, a coronal; moment his friend Weston, returning from a mid The flowers will fade, the dew drops fall. night orgie, passed and discovered him. Tapping Each sunny clime, each coral cave, him on the shoulder, he exclaimed in a tone of

Shall yield ihee treasures on the wave.

She comes ! farewell dark cypress tree, some surprise, “Ah, Johnston, my fine sellow, lurned

My bark, sweet love, but wails for ibee." Sicilian, and wearing a stiletto? or have you become reconciled 10 citron grores, jessanine bowers, The song finished, Ada opened a secret door of love songs and Cicisbeo's ?” Johnston was at this the building, and a moment asier was in the arms time in any other frame of mind than a pleasant of Gerald. “Ah my little cousin,” said he,“ how one; he turned from his friend in evident disgusi. happy you make me! I thought my simple lay Weston at once noticed the feeling and continued would call you furih. Let us proceed to the boat, his sarcasm. Touching his breast with his finger, Fraola waits for us." Ada sighed, but ere she could he asked Johnston if he had hurt his feelings. “Is repeat it was smothered by Gerald's kiss. They there a tender place here? does Ada still prove eniered the boat, and Johnston with feelings indefaithful ? or has some dark haired cousin supplanted scribable listened uotil the splash of the wars had you in her affections, while you are counting over died in the distance. Turning from the river he debtor and creditor? Is Ada smiling upon a favored sought his horse, and mounting slowly rude towards Cicisbeo, eh! Johnston ?"

Messina.
Johnston turned upon his friend the eye of a
tiger and told him to leave him.
Weston for a moment felt abashed, but recover-

CHAPTER VJI. ing himself, he turned 10 go, saying in a low voice, The estates of Count De Cheveta embraced not “ Beware the Cicisbeo," and with a peculiar laugh only the lule town of Sera, but a large portion of left him. Johnston now sought his counting-room the surrounding country. They were laid our in and endeavored over his books to drive the suspi- vineyards, and orange, olive and lemon groves, and cions from his mind, but without effect. About contained, besides a manufactory of lemon oil, a iwo in the afternoon, he again mounted his horse cocoonery for silk. But over this esiale hung a and left for Sera, his mind agitated by a thousand mortgage, which was raised by the husband of Ada, feelings. He arrived late in the evening and again previous to her marriage, it being a portion of the entered the garden. The sound of a guitar as be marriage contract. The tenantry of ihe Count fore struck his ear; the words of his friend flashed were poor, and were principally employed as gatheracross his mind, “Beware the Cicisbeo." He

ers and packers of fruit, wine pressers, oil strainers heard also the light splashing of an oar; he con- and olive gatherers; but few of them were, in point cealed himself among the shrubbery near the house, of comfort, raised above the Lazzaroni of Messina. where he could watch unobserved the person who Their hovels were generally situated near the sea, or approached in the boat. A moment afier he heard on the margin of the little river, which meandered the well known voice of Gerald say, " Fraola re-through and variegated the Count's estates. The main here a few minutes, we will have another pecuniary difficulties which continually harassed the passenger. Gerald walked up the avenue, toned Count, compelled him to drain his estales of every his guitar, and in a low voice sang the following lay: available means to enable him to meet demands, but “Oh beauty's daughter, maiden, thou

the marriage of Ada with a wealthy foreigner al once Of jetty locks and moonlight brow;

relieved his embarrassment. His indolent habits And eyes so like the heavens above,

prevented his making any enquiries into the silua. As brightly blue, where art thou, love?

tion of his tenantry; consequenily, their extreme Thou’rt wont to gather wild flowers here,

poverty was unknown to him, and their wants unreTo deck thy soft and glossy hair,

lieved. Not so with Ada; her heart was pained Far away o'er the silv'ry tide Thy • Cicisbeo' comes to bear the bride.

to know that poverty was constantly staring her in

the face, and that it was not in her power to re“ Come, love, come to the cypress tree,

lieve it.
Thy Gerald's bark but waits for thee,

On the evening in which Johnston discovered
Gaily, merrily shall we glide,
Now o'er the blue waves lightly ride,

Gerald and Ada, leaving the Count's chaleau, she
Or we'll hie by the moon's soft light,

was about to make visits to several of the tenantıg

whom Gerald had brought to her notice. We will a disgusting effluvia. A few old cooking utensils follow them into the domicils of the peasantry. made of earthenware lay in the corner of the room, "Push off, my good Fraola, to your mother,” said some broken, others covered with dirt and grease. Gerald. “ Ada, my dear cousin, I could not alone. The hut was built of dry stone, and thatched with administer charity; it requires the peculiar tact of grass. It contained neither chimney nor corridor, a woman, who is the only being that can administer and all the light which could be admitted came consolation 10 the mind, as well as food to the body. through the door. The old woman's history was I have, therefore, solicited your company on this soon told. She was called "the witch of Ætna," occasion, and I hope you are well provided, as the and a few days previous the superstitions of one objects to whom I will introduce you are really of the council, Senior Cosmo, who thought some worthy, and require all the consolation you can evil had come on him from her machinations, had offer them.

issued a summons for her to appear before the coun" Here is my purse, dear Gerald; you see it is cil, where she was condemned. Before the punishfull.”

ment was inflicted, a well known individual, “Guis“No, Ada, it is not so much your purse that will seppo Muerto," rescued her from the officers. In be required this evening as the oil of consolation the conflict she had been injured, and now required poured into the wounds of the heart.”

not only to be concealed for some time, but to have At this moment Fraola gave the light gondola a her wounds dressed. The boatman was her son. sudden turn, and shot it upon a clear sandy beach, Ada recommended quiet and repose, and promised at a few yards from which stood a low miserable cot- next day to send other assistance. Leaving a small tage concealed among fig trees. Entering through sum in the hands of the witch to supply her prea door so low that they were compelled 10 stoop, sent necessary wants, the two cousins left the cotthey found themselves in the interior of the hovel. tage and in a few moments were speeding rapidly Taking a basket from the boatman with a steel and over the stream to visit another tenant of the flint in it. Gerald soon obtained a light. The miser- Count's. able appearance of the collage covered with filth, A few moments brought them to another small and the walls hanging with cobwebs, created a sen-cot, but in this there was a light. On entering, sation of fear in the breast of Ada. Her first im. Ada was particularly struck with the extreme youth pulse was to fly from the place, but in turning to do of the occupant, a girl of not more than fourteen, so, she was met by the boaiman, who stood in the yet at this age she was a mother. Her tale was door-way. The light of a dim taper gave to his simple. The yearly conscript for soldiers was resun-barnt countenance a ferocious and assassin-like quired, and the lot fell to her dear Pedro to leave. appearance. She staggered back and seated her- The fruit season was over. An English philanself on a miserable bed occnpied by an old woman, thropist had established himself in Messina to rewhose appearance was any thing but prepossessing. form the baser of her sex; he had a large estabGerald saw the agitation of his cousin and soon lishment for winding silk; it had thrown out of allayed her fears.

Ada's feet had never pressed employment many of those who had not yet by even the carih, without a green velvet carpet of poverty become ahandoned, and employed those nature's most beautiful growth; and in her father's who had fallen into vice. Her child had become halls the soft yielding manufactures of Eastern sick, and the attention of the mother was required looms prevented the cold marble from touching her to watch over it. She had no employment, her delicate shoe ; and she had never seen poverty, liule earnings had been expended, and the child except in passing rapidly in lier father's carriage. was no better. This simple tale was told by the She was at once shocked and alarmed to have been young mother with such a sweet and plaintive voice, compelled to witness it for the first time in its most that the sympathies of Ada's heart were at once loaihsome and abject state. The person to whose drawn towards the sufferings of the poor girl. She, hovel she had been conveyed, was one of those with a heavy heart and a tear trickling down her many fortune tellers which meet you at every turn cheek, emptied her purse in the lap of the young of the road in Sicily. She was in appearance mother. T'ears of gratitude started into the eyes sixty-five, bent and haggard. She wore a cap fit- of the poor girl, who was astonished at so much ting the head light, and turning under the chin. A liberalily. She threw herself upon her knees and few gray hairs sluck out from under it. Her skin kissed the hand of Ada; her heart was too full to was about the color of half tanned leather, and ap- express her thoughts. Ada's heart beat; she minpeared as if it only covered the bones of the face. gled her tears with those of the afflicted girl, and She wore a short red night gown made of flannel, sobbing she left ite hut with Gerald. They entered but so ragged, soiled and discolored, that the original the gondola and returned to the Count's. hue could not well be ascertained. The bed on " Ada, my dear cousin, you must not allow your which she half sat and halt reclined, was equally feelings to overcome you so. If you do your hus. dirty, and coin posed of cominon grass dried in the band's fortune will soon find its way into every san; but even this had become damp, and sent forth' hovel on the Island."

· Why not, my cousin, if it relieves the poor and a good price, the customs of your country permit afflicted ?"

it; but in mine we look upon euch deeds with “Certainly, my dear Ada, but the half contained horror. You, who have sent, as I have been told, in your purse would have relieved the girl, and twenty souls to the shades, must feel quite at home you have been prevented by its hasty discharge in matters of this kind, eh, Senior Guisseppo." from bestowing charity upon another, to whom 1 “Sir, Englishman," replied Guisseppo, " or more would have drawn your attention. But never mind, properly speaking, my lord, my stiletto has long you will be more judicious another time, and Fraola become rusty, the Council looks coldly upon the will conduct you to her hut in the morning." secret murderer, and now-a-days it is but a short “ But why not you, dear Gerald ?”

step from the council-chamber to the execution. “Business of importance calls me to Messina, It is not now like the good old days of yore, when dear coz, and you know I am your Cicisbeo only the victim was only exposed 10 the public gaze to when you contemplate a visit in the quiet evening be recognized, while the good Bravo walked about to your papa's tenants, and it will not do for you to unmolested; but now there is the “Sereno” to be create jealousy in the mind of your English hus- bribed, the council to be paid. Ah, my lord, it band."

requires money now-a-days to escape justice ; but, “ Yes, Gerald, but what shall I do in your absence my lord, what is it you wish with old Guisseppo, he is for flowers ?"

at your bidding.” Johnston requested Guisseppo “ Fraola will, by my order, replenish your vase, to look for the Sereno and see the coast clear before ere the morning light bids you rise.” The boat he made known to him the object of his appointment. touched the foot of the “old cypress," the two The Sereno hearing the request concealed himself. cousins parted. Ada watched the light boat until Guisseppo remarked he thought he heard the slow the sound of the oars died away in the distance. and measured step of the Sereno, as this position

of the quay was his beat.

“I do not think he is about, you can converse CHAPTER VIII.

freely," was his reply. Gerald proceeded by water to Messina where he “You know, Guisseppo,” commenced Johnston, arrived about daylight. Discharging the boatman “ I married the daughter of the Count De Cheveta, he entered the city and proceeded to the office of the beautiful Ada, who differs so much from Sicil. Johnston. Knocking at the door, and being in- ians generally, by having blue eyes, methought formed Johnston was absent, he left a card with she differed from them in all other particulars, and the information that “ Ada was well."

that she would forego the customs of her country by When Gerald left the note at Johnston's office not having a-a-"here the words appeared to choke the latter was within, but the fires of jealousy had him. Guisseppo finished the speech by laughingly seized him, and his detestation was so great that remarking, “ Senior, a Cicisbeo.” “ Hell!" exhe could not bear the thought of seeing and con- claimed Johnston: “ Yes, good Guisseppo, it was versing with him. The moment Gerald left his not mentioned in the contract. But to the point ;door he rang his bell, and the servant appeared. on the day of her wedding a minstrel arrived, he Handing him a note, he enquired of him if he sang her an old song which was familiar to her knew Guisseppo Muerto. The servant replied during her childhood ; this song she had taught to "yes."

a cousin, who had promised not to sing or teach it “ Take then this note to him.” The servant de- to any one. She recognized in this minstrel her parted, and Johnston double-locked the office, threw cousin, and on the very night I married her he behimself upon a sofa and gave way to immoderate came her —.” Here again he stopped, and the grief.

word “Cicisbeo" was repeated by Guisseppo. The note written to Guisseppo Muerto contained “ Yes,” replied Johnston, “and I wish to punish but these few words: “Statue of Hercules twelve him." o'clock.” At this hour a man wrapped in a large “ His name?" asked Guisseppo. cloak was seen by the Sereno of the beat, pacing “Gerald De Cheveta,” replied Johnston. to and fro near the statue of Hercules. A few “Ha! Gerald De Cheveta! little Gerald!" moments after a person joined him. The former exclaimed Guisseppo. “I have often danced him was Guisseppo Muerto, a well known assassin, the upon my knee. Ah! he was a beautiful child, but other was Johnston, who in his hurried walk ran Gerald never liked my name.” Turning to Johnagainst the Bravo.

ston, he asked him, “ My lord, what would you have " Ha! who is this?" asked Johnston.

me do with Gerald ?" “ It is Guisseppo Muerto," was the reply. Johnston replied, " I would have your stiletto in

“Guisseppo Muerto, I esteem it fortunate that his heart." The assassin for a moment remained you have been prompt to my summons. You, 1 silent, his breast appeared to swell with indignation, have been informed, are a professed assassin, I his eyes flashed, and in a determined voice he rehave a little business on hand that will bring you 'plied, “Away, away, Senior Englishman, though

twenty murders harass my soul, I would not harm touched Guisseppo upon the arm, and whispered a hair of his head. What! murder in cold blood him to commit the deed. The Bravo stepped forthe child who has so often played around me and ward ; the movement was heard by Gerald. Turnclasped me about the neck, calling me good Guis- ing round, he faced Jobnston and recognized him. seppo, when all else looked upon me with horror ? At this moment the assassin threw himself upon Spare me, my lord, this child--for child I must still Gerald and buried his stiletto in his body. Johnthink him, was the only thing on earth that ever ston hastily fled, and in his flight left his cloak. loved me Bravo as I am."

The first stab was not fatal, and in the struggle Johnston saw at once he would have to touch Gerald cried for help. The noise was heard by some strong chord to induce Guisseppo to assassi- the Sereno, who, upon hearing the conversation nate Gerald, and that chord was his poverty. between Johnston and Guisseppo, had sought other “ They tell me, Guisseppo, you are very poor, liv- watchmen and the military guard, who, arriving at ing in a mere hovel, near Sera, on the borders of the moment the murder was committed, seized the Count De Cheveta's estates. Why then don't Guisseppo and conveyed him to prison. Searchthis Gerald, this little Gerald seek you out and ing the ground the stiletto of Guisseppo and cloak relieve your necessities ? he has forgotten his “good of Johnston were both found. The body of Gerald Guisseppo :' one more soul added to the long list of was placed in the public square for recognition, those you have sent to purgatory will not disturb and in the morning watch, two guards were placed your peace of mind, and that one soul will make over the body to bring to the Council any person you rich, and as Gerald has not sought out his who should recognize the corpse. Johnston arrived friend, I will relieve you. Take this purse, it will at his office, locked and double locked the door, warm your cottage, and you can once more hold and endeavored to compose his mind, where for the up your head.”

present we will leave him already a prey to reThe Bravo received the purse, and after a mo- morse. ment's silence remarked, “My lord, I must here Loroto, one of the night guard, was placed to mention to you that the customs of this country watch the body of Gerald. Pacing to and fro at a may induce the Council to look with an indulgent respectable distance from the corpse, he looked ege at the revenge of a Sicilian, but the national anxiously around, as if expecting some one to keep autipathy entertained against your countrymen him company. He dared not leave his position, would probably induce the Council for once to mete yet his fears prevented him from examining the out justice, and the Count De Cheveta, though body. He had not long been on his guard, before poor, is influential. To accomplish your object another of the watch joined him. you must be present at the murder, for murder it is. “Good morning, Francisco, I almost feared you For myself, I require sufficient to enable me to would not be here in time, as you are so confoundlive comfortably the remainder of my days, and a edly afraid of dead people." hasty departure from the Island."

“Now you see, Loroto, I do not fear the dead “ This you shall have. I have written an anony- so much as the living. Here is this youth-The mous note to Gerald, requesting him to meet a per- first assassination that has occurred among the son at this place at half past twelve to night; nobility of Messina for years. I think the last it is now near the time, name your price.” was the young Count De Palermo, since which

“ One thousand doubloons and a hasty departure time the Council has not been called in session. I from Sicily," replied Guisseppo.

have looked at the body and methinks I have seen “ One thousand doubloons,” repeated Johnston, that face before. Old Guisseppo never fails in his " enormous, I have been told you assassinated the work to send a soul to purgatory, and to escape the Count Neapole for only thirty."

Council. What do you think of it, Loroto ?" " True," replied Guisseppo. “ That was several “ I think he wont escape the Council this time. years ago; tiines are changed, and you are an Eng- The last murder committed by Guisseppo was that Jishman. I was employed by his brother, a mem- of the brother of the present Count De Palermo, her of the Council. You must bear in mind, the a member of the Council, who, it was whispered at Count De Cheveta has a brother in the Council, the the time, not only paid the fee, but has since befaiher of Gerald. I cannot commit this murder stowed on Guisseppo a small pension on condition for less than the sum I have specified.”

that he will never appear in his sight. Whenever “ Well, here is my hand to the bargain. Gerald he passes the Count, it is said that he muffles his De Cheveta must soon pass this way, let us con- face in a cloak. But, friend Francisco, Guisseppo ceal ourselves, I think I hear footsteps.” In a has drawn his last stiletto, and will soon follow the few moments after the two had concealed them- youth he last assassinated to the shades. It is selves, Gerald arrived at the foot of the fatal now near day. I see the grey twilight rising above statue. Looking around and not perceiving any the hills, I wish it was light. Like yourself, I one, he leaned against the base of the statue. A always had a dread of dead people ; let us step dim street-light shone upon his face. Johnston' back here and wait; if any one recognizes the

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corpse it will be our duty to bring him before the Then we must lead you to the Council.” Council."

“ Not yet, good watchmen, but haste and bring The day gradually dawned, and as it grew light some water, the Count, my father, has fainted." a few country people passing to market stopped for “I have no waler, Senior, but here is a little a moment to examine the face of the corpse, but wine left in this Aagon, which you are most wel. not recognizing it resumed their journey. In the come to.” meantime the two friends lit their cigars, and The Count in a few moments revived, and asked whiled away the tiine discussing the probability of his son if he had not cried murder ? discovering the instigator of the foul deed, and in • Yes, my father, there lies the body of our dear relating adventures of Guisseppo Muerto. Gerald. exposed to the gaze and remarks of every

passer by; he has been most foully murdered, and CHAPTER IX.

justice for once shall predominate in the council."

Turning to the watchmen be directed them to conThe vessel in which Constantine had embarked, vey the body to the council-chamber. encountering adverse winds, put into a small seaport, but a day's ride from Messina. Wishing lors and liave them at once assembled, while I shall

“And you, dear father, must hie to the counsel. again to see his parents, and as the captain of the Xebec was, for a small consideration, willing to sassin to punishment.” The request of Constantine

pursue a course that will not fail to bring the as. delay his departure for a few days, Constantine returned to Messina. It was about the twilight of wards the office of Johnston, and knocking on his

was immediately obeyed, wending his course tomorning when he entered the city. The sun had arrival at the door, he made him acquainted with linged ihe horison with a purple hue, and the blue the fact of the murder. During the recital Conoutlines of Mount Æina were distinctly visible against the heavens. Slacking the reins of his haggard appearance. He summoned him to ap

stantine did not fail to notice Johnston's pale and mule, he for a moment gazed in admiration on the The animal, relieved from the rightness of

pear at the council chamber at the usual time of its the rein, dropped its head and resumed its usual opening.“ Nor do yon dare, Sir Englishman, to

absent yourself," was Constantine's last remark. gait, and ere Constantine bad time to finish his meditations he was in front of his father's palace.

Returning to his father's and selecting a fleet Ah! here is my father's house,” he mentally ex

horse he was soon on his way to Sera. On his claimed. “How surprised he will be to see me so

arrival, he communicated the melancholy news of soon returned, and Gerald by this time will have Gerald's death to his mother and direcied her to sume sentimental tale of love to relate, and while

obtain from Ada the marriage contract, as it would away a pleasant hour.” Dismounting and knock- probably be important to have it during the examiing at the gate, he called to the inmates to open the death of her cousin.

nation before the Council, but not to mention to her

Constantine returned to the door. Father, Ada, Gerall, are you all dead? it is Constanıine that calls, open the gate, or I'll Messina, he found Johnston still at his office and break it down." Turning, he saw the corpse.

went with him to the council-chamber. “ Bah!” he exclaimed, “when will Sicily abolish

The chamber in which the members of the coonthe vile custom of exposing under the very nose of cil meet in Messina is a dreary looking arched hall; the nobility every vagabond who gets assassinated the hour of assembling is midnight, and the lights in a street brawl; but custom compels me to look are so arranged that the Council can see the slightest at the corpse.” Advancing towards it, he saw on a

alteration in the countenance of the prisoner, near approach that it was his cousin Gerald. For

while the faces of the former are concealed by a a moment he was paralysed, the next, rushing to- dark shade from the latter. The Council was wards the house and knocking still louder than assembled and the prisoner stood before them. The before, he called first upon his father, then Ada. body of the assassinated youth Jay on a richly • Open the door, father, here's a murder most foul, covered bier immediately opposite Guisseppo. The Ada! Ada! father; Gerald is most fuully mur

Senior De Cheveta, clothed in deep mourning, hung dered."

for a moment over the corpse, and then took his The Count was the first to hear the cry of mur- seat as one of the Council. Count De Palermo,

the eldest of the members of the Council, arose der. Opening the gate he enquired,

from his seat and addressed the prisoner: that crying murder ?"

" It is your son, look for the love of the virgin, “Guisseppo Muerto, your numerous crimes here is a most brutal murder, horrible ! horrible! darken the records of this Council. The purest Gerald, dear Gerald is murdered." The Count at blood of Messina has stained your stiletto. Speak, this announcement fainted, and the watchmen hear- Guisseppo, the Council will hear you." ing the cries of Constantine came forward and de Guisseppo for a moment was silent; he appeared manded if he knew the person exposed.

to be endeavoring to scan, by the faint light of the “Yes, good watchmen, I do," was the reply. lamps, the countenances of the different members

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