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as by a sense of the danger of remaining where she was. denly frozen into shapes of unimaginable beauty, bewil
which gleamed a faint light; revealing outlines of spec-
toward him, with words of welcome and recogrition, The pathway ended as it began, in a gorge between and stretching forth his hands, he uttered a fervent the hills, which, after a few yards, seemed to enclose prayer for the rescue and preservation of the hapless them on all sides. The party halted, and Laval lifted beings awaiting there the means of flying from their up a matted screen of wild vines that hung over the native land forever, glad to abandon every earthly face of the cliff. It revealed an opening large enough possession if life and reason could be preserved. to permit the male without his rider to pass through. A light form, with dishevelled bair and streaming The pastor dismounted, and transferred the child to his eyes, glided from the shelter of a pillar, and Lucille mother.
threw herself before him, and clasped his knees. “We shall find friends and shelter here,” said Laval. "Oh, good pastor !" she tremulously said, "leave us “I will go before, and prepare those within for the ap- not until you have obtained forgiveness for me from pearance among them of others as unfortunate as them- my father for the cowardly act which brought all this selves."
misery upon us. My heart is broken by having He bent his tall form, and was soon lost in the dark- incurred his displeasure as well as that of my heavenly ness beyond. In a few moments a glimmer of lurid Father.” light flashed through the opening, and the voice of the “Poor child, what can you have done which is conforester bade them enter. The pastor made the mother sidered so unpardonable ?” asked the pastor. and daughter precede him, and followed, leading his “She has denied her Lord in the hour of temptation," mule.
replied Laval, sternly. “And although she is dearer The scene which there met their view was wild and to me than my own heart's blood, I feel that, in atonefantastic beyond description. A lofty palace of weird ment for this sin, God will require of me the same and most grotesque architecture seemed to rise before sacrifice he demanded of Abraham. The only differtheir vision, lighted from various points by torches ence will be that mine must be consummated, while made of resinous woods, and placed in such a position the patriarch only underwent a severe trial of his as was most convenient for their owners.
faith." Many groups were scattered over the large area “ What can you mean ?” asked the pastor, as he whose appearance seemed to realize the story of the gazed in surprise upon the gloomy brow and rapt gnomes, thongh why they were permitted to intrude expression of the forester. into this lighted hall, over which the spirit of beauty “Only that I feel myself to be one chosen to a pecuhad thrown its most attractive spell, seemed a mystery. liar lot, and the future rises up before me a phantom Haggard, hopeless-looking men, half starved women of such horror as might freeze the blood in veins less and children, with their clothing often in tatters, started fiery than mine. Within the past few hours a vision of forward to welcome the new-comers, in the hope that prophecy has come upon me with a power I can not they brought assistance to them, for hitherto the pres
resist. I behold the long vista of woe that stretches ence of Laval in their midst had been for the purpose before us ending in the dim futurity in an outpouring of bringing to them such scanty supplies of food as he of blood that shall appal the nations of the earth , could obtain without suspicion.
then will the retribution have fallen, and the destrucCollected there were thirty wretched refugees who tion of my people be signally avenged. But—but the had been beggared, driven from their homes, and victim demanded of me will be my own precious one ; threatened with imprisonment and the galleys if they and, shrink as I may, this right hand must hurl her did not renounce their religious belief. While living in to destruction.” the mountain fastnesses, with no shelter save the canopy He stretched forth his trembling hand, and placed it of heaven, one of the persecuted sect had accidentally on the head of the frightened girl. discovered the entrance to the cave, and there the hap- “Oh, father, you have not yet forgiven me!" she less Huguenots found safety from their enemies amidst murmured. “Twice last night you were on the eve scenes of grandeur and loveliness that rivalled the of taking my life, and now you express the same intenproudest palace made by the skill of man.
tion. Dear pastor, intercede for me, that he may parThe area of the hall measured several hundred feet, don my great fault. I am young; I fear to die." and the vaulted arch above, by the dim light, seemed to Child,” said her father, solemnly, "you are safe rise to infinity. Lofty pillars, cornices wreathed with from me, unless the Great God demands the sacrifice snowy flowers, and walls covered with fantastic of me; then it must be rendered. If we escape the arabesques, looking as if formed of floating mist sud- snares of our enemies, I will pardon you with all my
heart, and win forgiveness for your recantation from glad welcome, and then sunk like a mass of lead in her Him whose holy cause you denied. But, should it be bosom. A cold thrill sent its icy shiver through her ordered otherwise-should the dragoons circumvent us, veins, as he laid his hand upon her shoulder and called I warn you to make your peace with God, for I will hier by the pet name he bestowed upon her only in his with my own hand destroy you, sooner than suffer you blandest moods. to fall into the power of those who have no mercy on “Petite, you look almost as ghastly as those stone
Go, Lucille, and delay not the pastor; time is figures out there, and your mother seems as if she had precious to him.”
been ill a month. Fie! this will never do. If we begin The pastor placed his hands upon her bowed head by despairing, how must it end with us?” and blessed her. She then turned meekly toward her The girl raised her large sad eyes to his, and said, father, who seemed moved by a sudden impulse to “We feared for your safety; that is why we seem so snatch her to his heart.
downcast, father.” Comforted by this assurance of his unabated affection, The sound of his voice aroused his wife from her Lucille returned to her mother.
half-dreaming state, and she languidly unclosed her The morning found the inmates of the cave assembled eyes. in the hall of statues, for it was the Sabbath. . Wan “Dear Jean, is that you? Oh, such a weight is lifted figures arose on all sides, with every variety of drapery from my poor heart by your return! The baby is not flowing from their gigantic proportions. Seen by the well; and I believe, if I am compelled to stay in this flickering and imperfect light of a few scattered torches, dreadful place, with all those stony figures looking like they looked like a convention of antique sages, in their ghosts, I shall die. They make me afraid. It seems like robes of state, collected there in solemn conclave to a place for the dead people that can't rest in their decide on some question of momentous import.
graves." Near its centre arose an altar, of pure white, sup- The stern soul of Laval, moved by such a whirwind ported by a gigantic hand, that seemed to rise from the of emotion as had lately swept through it, could find floor and grasp the slender shaft that rested upon it, as little sympathy for this species of nervous terror; the perfectly poised as if a skillful architect had adapted it qnerulous tones of his wife's voice annoyed him, and to its position. On either hand floating drapery fell he hastily said, from it in folds of such airy delicacy as to seem ready “Annette, in the time of health and strength the to be displaced by a breath.
words of living truth, taught you from your infancy, An open Bible rested upon the shaft, showing that it were never doubted; and now, in the imbecility of fear had already been appropriated as a place of worship by and sickness, they shall not be. Cast those doubts the refugees.
away, I command you, and ask of Christ forgiveness for Laval, bewildered by the weird scene, passed on until having harbored them. Even this trial of faith may they reached the farthest extremity of the vast hall. come to you, Annette; and should you then prove untrue There an irregularly-shaped recess, about fifteen feet-should you even waver, then may God help you, for long and nearly as wide, was screened from observation I never will. I will cast you from me as a worthless by a falling sheet of stalactite, on which two figures in weed, no longer worthy of a place in the heart of a the act of embracing seemed rudely traced in the bas- man who deserves the name. I pardoned the child reliet. In this he foạnd his wife and child, stretched because she is young and timid; but you-you, the upon a bed of dried leaves.
wife of my bosom, the mother of my children-oh, it Madame Laval lay pale and exhausted, completely is very, very different!" and the stern voice faltered broken down by the mental anguish of the last few with emotion. hours. The boy was sleeping quietly beside her, but it Madame Laval was roused from her supineness by was evident that he, too, had suffered from the indispo- this impassioned appeal. She clasped his hands in both sition of his mother. Lucille sat beside them, holding her own, and said, the hand of Madame Laval in her own. It thrilled and " It was the doubt of a moment. I do believe, Jean, trembled with nervous excitement, for in this phantom- with all my heart; and I promise you that I will perish hall she could only sleep while the warm clasp of her before I will prove antrue to the faith by which I have daughter assured her that some living and breathing lived." form was near her.
Torches were brought in, and disposed in such a manLucille looked inexpressibly sad. The shadow of a ner as to throw the glare of light upon the space iminedark presentiment was on her, and she prayed for diately around the altar. Then the most singular and strength to fortify her child-soul for the moment of interesting portion of this exquisite work of nature bethrilling terror and fatal doom which arose as a dim, came visible. Suspended above it was an irregular and undefined horror before her. Nature bestows upon canopy, crowned by a broken mitre, from which a dove a few of her children, of finer organization, a subtle was springing forth with outstretched wings, as if instinct, which enables them vaguely to foreshadow the ready to soar heavenward, yet held down, wounded and future-especially if that future be charged with clouds partially crushed by the weight of the ecclesiastical of evil; and to such belonged this young girl.
crown from which it had failed to escape. The approach of her father was felt before she saw “Behold the visible emblem of our faith, struggling him. For one brief instant her heart bounded with a to rescue itself from the fangy of Rome !" said
M. Lefevre, pointing upward. He entered the unique | mark to be passed by; his wife and daughter stood in pulpit, and opened the service by reading a portion of such positions beside him, that it was impossible to aim Scripture. He then gave out the opening lines of one accurately at either of them without danger to him; of the soul-stirring hymns sung by the Huguenots in thus they all escaped the murderous fire, save the infant. their places of worship. His voice was one of fine A bullet glanced and broke his arm; the frantic mother power, and he commenced the strain himself. The snatched him from his father's arms, and fell fainting others joined in; and those hidden in different parts of with terror. the cavern, who had not yet been informed of what The wretched man stooped to lift them again that he was going on, took it up as they came winding through might at least die in the attempt to protect them, when the dim arcades toward the illuminated point near the a fierce grasp was laid on his shoulder, and a voice centre.
said, The thrilling anthem echoed through the vast dome, “You we are commissioned to make prisoner.” and seemed to die away in depths yet unexplored. The At that instant a cry was heard that vibrated to the singers involuntarily paused, at the close of each verse, inmost soul of the father; and with the fury of a baited and listened to the fading strain, sounding as if a tiger he dashed aside the hand that would have held seraph-band had caught each cadence as it arose, and him, and, bounding over the dead and dying, reached were wafting it away, away to the spirit-land.
his daughter just as a dragoon was laying his rude grasp A picture for an artist gifted with the highest inspi- upon her. ration of genius would that striking scene have made. To dash him aside, snatch her to his breast, and fly toThe men, with their wasted and strongly-marked fea- ward the opening leading to the hills, was the work of tures and worn vestments, leaning in every variety of a brief moment. Three soldiers started in pursuit; but attitude against the gigantic forms that cast their Laval, burdened as he was, outstripped them all—for he shadows around; the women and children, grouped was nerved by desperation; to escape with her, or to together on the floor-many of the former possessing a destroy her himself, was his stern resolution; though he delicate beauty which showed that hardship was new felt as if the clutch of a fiend was on his heart as the to them—and the infant faces looking up with awe- terrible thought passed through it. struck expression to the white-haired man, who spoke The outlet was open, for the sentinel had heard the to them of “ a home not made with hands, eternal in the discharge of fire-arms, and hastened to ascertain its beavens," where persecution 'nor want should ever reach cause. Appalled by the scene that met his view, ho them.
fled over the hill-side to meet imprisonment from the At the close of the sermon the choral hymn again dragoons who guarded the ravine. arose, and amidst its dying echoes the benediction was Hotly pursued, the forester rushed through the opengiven.
ing, and gained the edge of the precipice. Two solA thrilling cry suddenly broke the impressive sounds diers were on the path in front of him, and he saw there of M. Lefevre's voice, and horror-struck faces revealed was no escape. He turned his face for one instant tothat they were surrounded by a cordon of soldiers, who ward those who followed him; it was livid, and his had noiselessly approached, and now stood with levelled hair bristled upon his head like one in mortal fright. muskets and glaring eyes, ready to pour destruction in His daughter lay helpless upon his breast, and it was evithe midst of the helpless and unarmed groups before them. dent that terror had rendered her insensible to what
That cry was the signal; each dragoon had taken was passing. deadly aim at his intended victim, and a simultaneous The grasp of his pursuers was already upon the gardischarge carried death to nearly every manly heart in ments of Laval; their curses were ringing in his ears, that assembly; while women and children received when his voice arose with such fearful agony in its tones ghastly wounds, compared with which death would that even those hardened men recoiled : have been mercy. There were flying forms, and wild “My God! to save her, thou knowest this is all that shrieks, and cries for mercy, that were never hearkened is left me !" And with a frantic impulse he threw the to by the ruthless murderers.
helpless form over the yawning chasm. One of the Utter extermination, except to the pastor and Laval, dragoons clutched at her dress, and there was an instant had been their orders, and well did they execute them. of breathless horror; then the garment yielded, and to So securely had their measures been taken, that not one save himself from losing his footing on the edge of the escaped to the numerous hiding-places afforded by such precipice, the man relaxed his grasp, and the slight form a place as the cave; and perhaps it was a mercy that of Lucille went down-down, while her father stood they did not, for there they must have perished by the paralyzed by the deed he had thus been forced to comwasting tortures of famine.
mit, with rigid frame and stony eyes, an image of desThe first discharge had covered Laval with blood. The pair in its most terrible aspect. From the Huguenot desire to take the forester alive caused so conspicuous a Exiles, published by Harper Brothers.
A RIDE ON SERVICE.
A THRILLING INCIDENT.
It was a splendid summer evening, and the moon was “So, finding no excuse would be admitted, Lieute shining out from the sky, bright as if, like a fortunate nant Morden began his story: general, she never knew what it was to be behind a “It was two or three years ago, during ordinary cloud. But wherever she smiled, it was on few plea- Kaffir weather-that is to say, there were no thunder santer spots than one of those half valleys, half slopes, clouds of war darkening the sky, but for all that the which form so agreeable a feature of South African black shadows of Kaffir marauding parties were flittiug scenery, where the gracefully undulating ground is co- across it whenever they had a good opportunity. The vered—not too closely-with clumps of trees and flow-fact is, the Kaffirs, as usual, stole cattle whenever they ering shrubs, so picturesquely grouped that one might could ; and some daring fellows had just made off with have fancied wealth had been expending itself there in a fine herd belonging to a frontier farmer, after woundpark-adornment, only that so much taste would never ing both the herdsmen. Troops were of course ordered be displayed by man's decorating hand.
off from the nearest point, to endeavor to recover the But the moon shone also on other objects less in bar- plunder, and obtain compensation for the outrage. mony with the peaceful valley than gleaming leaves or Accordingly, Grant, of ours, stationed at a small post drooping blossoms; for brightly her rays were falling on across the Rhei Kops River, received orders to underpiled arms and military accoutrements, which flashed take the duty with the greatest portion of his detach. up to her recollections of strife and bloodshed. And ment. scarlet uniforms moved in and out among the green- " That is to say, the orders were despatched to him, wood, and around the fires which flung the glow of their but they were scarcely gone, when an express arrived red flames upon the moonlight.
with the intelligence that Grant had that morning been It was, in short, the bivouac of a detachment of Bri- thrown from his horse, and so severely hurt that the tish–I mean white-troops, en route from bead-quar- sergeant had sent as quickly as possible for medical ters to their destined post on the extreme frontier. We assistance. But the doctor couid not be laid hands did not belong to the party, but, journeying also “under upon at once, as he was gone to visit another of our orders," had halted in the valley some time previous to small outstanding posts. the arrival of the detachment, which had been tempted “This deprived me of a pleasant companion; for I to bivouac there by the same attraction as ourselves—a was ordered off immediately to take the duty in Grant's spring of sweet fresh water, a luxury which South Afri- place, and endeavor to teach the offending Kaffirs the can travellers of every class soon learn to prize, as worth of their misdeeds. Few minutes did for prepamuddy ponds are the ordinary substitutes for fountains. ration, and I was soon in the saddle. Then came
As one or two of the officers belonging to the detach- shaking hands with brother officers, and kind wishes ment were old acquaintances, we were not sorry for the and I was off. rencontre; so joined our travelling dinners pic-nio “Though belonging to a white regiment, I had, of fashion, and spent a pleasant evening there in the course, a Hottentot soldier as escort, a smart little felsoft moonlight, listening to many a tale of bair-breadth low, who, if he barely reached my elbow, looked as if escape and bygone adventure, with which a soldier's his keen eyes could pierce half a mile further than mine stirring life had stored the memory of some of our com- into a mass of jungle. They were always darting about panions.
in every direction, looking for something suspicious. Most were of distant scenes and places, which was It seemed a positive pleasure to him when some Kaffirs noticed and laughed at by the tellers themselves, as giv- were visible on a large flat we were crossing. ing room for suspicion that they guarded against all « • Three Kaffirs, sur, and dey got plenty assegais.' contradictory evidence.
“I could see the Kaffirs plain enough, but nothing of * Or," I suggested, “that South Africa does not the assegais. However Piet stuck to it that they had afford the materials for any adventure worth record them, and afterwards that they were hiding them of ing."
which I saw nothing either. I rode up to them, and "! Not that, at all events," replied one who had found they had a pass quite according to rule for enterhitherto been a listener; "for I can say, for my own ing the colony. They were unarmed, and when I part, that the most critical day of my life was spent not charged them with having weapons, denied it with the a hundred miles from here."
most perfect assumption of injured innocence, yet there “I have heard of that,” said another. “It is a good was a look about one which made me feel that Piet was story, Morden, tell it to us."
right and I was wrong. But I had no time to waste in “ Yes, do !" echoed half a dozen voices,
investigation, so rode on. “But I am a bad story-teller."
“Piet's next report was far less to his own satis“So much the better; you'll tell it all the more faction. straightforward, as the reviews at home say of an unlit- “De paard's foot sore, sur.
De horse 'im lame.' erary traveller."
6Nonsense!' I replied, but it was no nonsense. We walked the horse to and fro. Lame he was decidedly; | over the first shock of the tiger-grip, we were scouring we examined the foot, but could not discover the cause a rugged flat with death-spurred speed. of mischief. He was dead lame, there was no question "I now discovered that the tiger had, luckily for me, about the matter. And tliere was no question either as made an awkward leap of it. He had miscalculated his to what was to be done. Piet had to lead the animal distance, and instead of being seated very comfortably slowly back to the fort, while I went on alone.
behind me, he merely held on by his murderous claws, “In a little while I heard a shot fired, at no great while half his body hung over the tail of the horse, and distance on one hand; but took no heed of it, supposing bis hind legs were one moment flourishing wildly in the -as proved afterwards to be the case that it proceeded air and the next scarifying the legs of the poor horse, in from some young men, settlers' sons, &c., on one of their vain efforts to obtain a footing, which my steed's their frequent coursing parties.
mad kicking and plunging prevented for the time; but “I had not, however, gone twenty yards further that could not last long. before I saw a splendid tiger
“But where, you will ask, was the savage beast's Now, Carson,” said Morden, checking himself, "you delicate teeth all this while ? So I asked myself, when need not break in with your natural history. We all my first expectation of having my spine bitten right know that, strictly speaking, it is a leopard, not a tiger, through was agreeably disappointed. There was such a that we have in South Africa. But the animals are so wonderful fumbling, and snorting, and growling, and universally called tigers, that I should feel quite crunching, and tugging, behind me, that it was a awkward in trying to speak of them by another minute or two before I understood it. pame.
“But when I did, what a glorious idea it was! bring“ Well, as I said, I had not ridden twenty yards, ing with it the first little doubt of becoming the tiger's before I saw a splendid tiger, the finest I ever saw in dinner which had visited me. I had got into a habit South Africa, break cover some distance in front. As of carrying my spare ammunition-powder, bullets, shot these animals, though they can be terribly fierce when of different sizes, in short anything I did not want at irritated, are seldom the first to commence hostilities, I band-slung in a strong cartouche-box behind me, solwas surprised to see him advance straight towards me dier fashion. At this the tiger made a grab, fierce as if to do battle. Then I suddenly recollected that enough to crash through both leather and tin (for it was only one of my barrels was furnished with ball, the so lined), and when he found the unsavory morsel not other being loaded merely with small shot, which in the to his taste, he was so jammed by the teeth, that he hurry of preparation I had forgotten. I now levelled, could not as yet extricate his jaws to employ them more and took as steady aim with the useful barrel at the pleasingly on my flesh and blood. fellow as his rapid movements allowed, and fired. “So there he was, crunching and champing, but for
“ He was bit, somewhere about the chest I thought, how long? And there was the maddened horse cutting but it only checked him for a moment; then he rushed the maddest of capers, and trying his best to fling both at me like a gigantic wild cat as he was, with his eyes me and the common enemy from his back, dashing burning and his teeth bristling. His claws—I did not furiously over any sort of ground, and taking leaps such see them, but I knew well what like they were. as only an animal so spurred on by pain and terror
* The remaining barrel was worth no more than a could have taken. handful of sand, but I resolved to face it out. The brute was close upon me, so I seized my gun by the but only for an instant, to enable him to plunge them, in barrel, and, whirling it round my head, was prepared to tender embrace, further round my waist. Was this a deal the rascal such a blow as might, I hoped, cure proof that he was progressing? In situations of this him of coming to such close quarters.
kind one minute is like ten, and all this takes much “But my horse was not in my councils, and calcu- longer to tell than to occur, but how fully and painfully lating possibly that his face might be clawed more you seem to live through each long-drawn instant. readily than mine, he at this very moment wheeled Thank God, such moments cannot last long! Now half round, and galloped away as if something even every thought was busy with the question—what to do? worse than a tiger was behind him.
To turn round and face the tiger, so close as we then “ This mad flight had not lasted a minute, when I were, would, I felt, be certain death; and to throw did not require the horse's cry of pain and terror—and myself off was, I found, impossible, he held me so tightly every one who has heard knows how horrible that is in his loving embrace. to tell me wbat had happened. The tiger had sprung “What was to be done? Just at this moment, as my upon us, and while the claws of his left fore paw were infuriated steed was executing one of his maddest fixed in the flank of my unfortunate horse, those of his pranks on the edge of a rugged hill, I espied the dark right were plunged deep into my own side.
waters of Rhei Kops River at no great distance. At ** For one instant my four-footed comrade in suffering once the idea flashed on me, if I could reach it before I seemed paralysed; but the next he sprang into the air was converted into a luncheon.' I at once seized the like an antelope, then whirled round and round like a reins with a master's band, for hitherto the agonized teetotum, and then darted off like a rocket, kicking up animal had had it all his own way, as I knew he was, his heels as perhaps horse never kicked before. All this for the time, doing the best for both of us. But now I occupied but a few seconds, and by the time I had got touched the reins in a way he knew must.be obeved,
he *** And now the tiger tore his claws ont from my side,