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ONE DOLLAR A YEAR.‘
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Nowthat I' was left to myself I set
about examining the room, looking under
the bed, and in the closets, but nowhere
did I find anything to alarm. my fears,
nor on sounding, the when wainscots
were there fny signs indicative of a
secret eutr;,nce. . The most suspicious
point was the door itself, which was ex-
ceedingly thick, and plated besides with
sheet iron, but had no fastening on the
inside excepta simple latch, while on
the] outside were two, immense bolts,
'which being once drawn, the person
within was as effectually a prisoner as if
he had, been confined in tho strongest
cell of Newgate. It was impossible to
suppose such arrangements could have
been made for any good purpose, tho’
. it certainly might. be that they had not
' the house.
originated with the present occupier of
Still this circumstance gave
me a fearful sense of insecurity, and l
“endeavored to remedy the wants of bolts
and bars as best I could by pushing the
only table against the door. My next
, step was to place my pistols, and along
Spanish knife, which I was in the con-
stant habit of carrying about me, ready
at hand beneath my pillow. Thus pre-
' pared, I flung myselt'on the bed, dress-
ned as I was, not to sleep, ifl could by
any means avoid it, butto reflect on the
impending danger, and the best moan
ofescaping it. . ‘. -
Strong as were my suspicions, a
thope yet lingered in my bosom that my
host might be more honest than they
seemed to be: After all, on what were
my doubts groundcdi-on looks, that
were no evidence at all, on Words which
I might have misinterpreted, and on the
miniature. .But even this last, though
the strongest of all my causes for fear,
did not in reality amount to mocli; the
' old goatherd mighthave spoken the sim-
ple truth in saying he found it, for what
could be more probable than that Carlos,
' in his wild ride up the mountains, should
have dropt the trinket? l was the more
inclined to dwell upon this favorable
view of things from the utter hopeless-
, ness presented by the other side of the
picture. If Carlos had actually been
,inurdered. and these goatherds in name
wcre bandits in reality, how then? what
'cbancc bad I, single banded against
their numbers, such as I had seen them,
and they perhaps only part of a gang
which was yet to assemble? In that
case nothing short of a miracle could
‘ 531“!) me. .
During these, and many similar rc-
‘flcctions, sleep was gradually stealing
, upon me, notwithstanding all my cll‘orts
" ’7 ,l f L to keep awake. My weary eyelids would
,‘nublisnra by Sports” 13mm". " 1"
PORTLAND, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 1344.
Eclose, strive as I might against it, and
Eat length I fell into ‘an uneasy slumber.
'2 Thanks, however, to a merciful Provi-t‘.
denote, it did not last long; I could.
‘ scarcely have slept aquarter of an hour
through to the very. bone. Orrgfhe in-
instinctively seized a, pistol, and pulled
object. It flashed in the pan, and the
assailant had escaped; But how? the
table still remained in its place against
the door, the window shutters remained
all fast, and when I searched under the
bed, and in the cupboards, there was
no concealed. enemy, not ‘ even the
slightest trace of one. Yet the blow
could not have been ideal, since I not
only still smarted from the wound, but
felt the trickling of the hot blood down
my cheek, and could see it dropping on
the front of my shirt,
I listened, in the hope my ears might
supply, the evidence denied to sight,
and, sure enough, after a-short pause I
heard a strange rustling sound in the
chimney. lVithout stopping to inquire
who or what might be lurking there, 1
levelled my second pistol at the opening,
but that too, flasliedin the pan just as
the first had done, and before I could
examine into the cause of this second
failure, down came a mass of some kind,
and I received a blow on the head that
for the moment staggered me.‘ My spir-
its however, rose. with the increasing
peril. I hastily grasped my Spanish
knife in one hand, and the lamp in the
other, but beforel could discover my
enemy something wliizzed past me, and
dashed the lightto the ground. I was
now in total darkness, with the certain-
ty that an enemy of some kind was in
the ,ronm, for the noise augmented,
sounding like the rush ,of wings, with a
hammering at..intervals asif a hard
substance were bounding from wall to
wall, and occasionally'knocking‘ against
the shutters. Luckily I remembered
the German tinder I kept for lighting
Cigars, and having with some difficulty
found that, and a small powder flaSk
belonging to my pistols, I contrived to
re-light the lamp. The secret now came
out. .My supposed assassin was a large
hat, who, alarmed by the light, again
made his way up chimney, leaving me
as little pleased with myself as with the
object of all this useless alarm. But
when I came to examine my pistols, and
found the charges of” both had been
drawn, I took ayery different view of
the matter, and instead of continuing
visitant, I began to bail him as my bet-
lIcr genius. By awnking. me from the
sleep into which Iliad unwittingly fallen
‘lhe had at least given me a cliancc‘for
life, for that an attack would be made
: upon me 1 now felt more assured than
ever, and tho wakeful’man might per-
l hops foil the assassin, whereas, bad they
when I was awakened by a blow on the-
, face from some sharp weapon that‘struck
the trigger without any definite aim or,
to mutter cxecrations upon my ugly '
stolen upon my slumber the case would
have been utterly hopeless. ‘
Before I could reload my pistols there
was a stealthy sound of feet in the pas-
sage, followed by a gentle pulling ofthe
latch, and pushing at the door. The
hour for the deed had come then, but it
‘ was evident the had wished to sur irise
stant I started up, and before I was y [
perfectly conscious of what I was doing,.
me in my sleep, and, finding an impcdi-
ment to their Quiet entrance, from the
table placed. against the. door, were
hesitating how‘to proceed. Darkness
was ‘manifestly my best friend, being
one against so many, as Ijndgcd them
to be, from the shuttling oft'cet, and the
lows buzz of voices. I blew‘ out the
lamp, therefore, and fixed myself clos'e
to the wall, knife in hand, ready to stab
the first who should enter, and listening
with intense anxiety to their low mur-
murs, the import of which, liowcvcr,'l
could not make out,‘ though I‘ might
easily guess at it. Short as were these
few moments of suspense, they were not
without their use, forthey gave me time
to collect my thoughts, and wind up
every nerve for the struggle, whiclil
well knew must be a desperate one.
”Be cool! be firin!”I muttered liolf
aloud, as ifthc sound of my own voice
could encourage incfnnd produce that.
erfect coolness and self-possession, so
indispensable to my slightcst chance of
safety. ' l
A gentle pushing at the door showed
me that the assassins had matured their
lans. ltywus plain they still intcndcd
to gain a stealthy cntraiicc, if possible,
under the idea ot'inurdcring inc nhilc
slept and thus preventing illll‘ risk to
themselves. 'As the ‘tablc slowly gave
way before their cautious efforts, and
the opening gradually widened, a feeble
ray'oflight was visible from some half-
shaded lamp carried by sonic one in the
back ground not strong enough to show
any object in my chamber, but quite
sufficient for me to distinguish tlic figure
of the leading assassin, lVitli noiseless
motion he at length got the door so far
open that he could enter, though'with
ditiiculty. Another Step brought. him
fairly into the room. His book was to-
wards me. I struck with all my force,
fortunately burying the knife deep in
his spine, and he dropt dead on his
face, without uttering a single groan.--
His companions evidently thought he
had stumbled, and whispered curses on
his awkwardness, which they feared
might wake me. ‘
“He must sleep soundly not to hear
that," said one. V ’
“Hold your tongue, fool!" muttered
another. “All’s Well ifwecan be quiet.”
There was a brief pause, when, find-
in'r all silent in the room, a second iuf-
: ‘ r ‘ .' l L
fian squeezed himself in. “ll-l 1pc some
caution that the first had used. I knew
not what prompted me to change my
plan, but this time I struck at the
breast, and the bandit, groaning heavi-
ly, fell back against the door.
“Holy Virgin!” exclaimed several at
PAYABLE IN ADVANCE. '. .,
Nun-mm 30 . ,
the same time, “what is the meaning of '
allthis?” V i l . '
“He is awake to be sure, and has
put his knife into them!” cried, a voice,
that I easil recognized for. the"old ..
goatherd’s. “Fling the door open, and,
all fire into the room at once.” . .-
I held my breath and drew myself up',.
yet closer,to the wall. Inltbc next'mm ,
ment the door was violently forced back '
by one sudden and united effort, 3 vol- .'
ley of carbincs Was-disallar'gedi’tightv
into the chamber, and the whole'parfy ;
rushed in with so much vehcmencc,,',.
pushing and hustling each other, that“
the lamp-bearer was tumbled to the
ground, and in his fallcruslied the lamp,
to pieces. , . M ,., ,
f‘Never mind, lads,” shouted the old
goatlierd;' “throw the shutters open-
throw the shutters open.” . , " .,
‘Vltll more zeal than prudence they ,
all rushed to obey this order. Icould
hear them cursing and tugging in the I
dark, at the bars,and, taking advantage .
ofthis happy opportunity,I darted out ,
ofthe room, and bolted the‘door behind ,
me. The necessity for speed would not
allow, of caution, and the ,sound of
course did not escape them, but what,
then? the door, with its huge bars and 'i
iron plates, would stand an infinite deal .,
ofbattering, and, meanwhile, I hasten- I
cd down stairs and reached the kitchenh i
where I unexpectedly found myselffaec .
to face with ,lbc. old ha". i It was her ,
life or mine; had. I spared her, she,
would beyond doubt,. have freed the
ruffians above, in which case my fate
was certain, and, therefore, cruel as it
may seem, I struck her down without
pity. ‘ , , ‘ . ,
Having perpetrated this necessary, ,.
though savage deed, I ,hurried out just .,
as the banditti had succeeded in getting
open the shutters; and, as the moon
shone out brightly, they did not fail to. f '
discover me. The sight seemed to in- .
flame the old goatlicrd to madness. He”,
shouted iu avvoice hoarse with rage: .
“After him, lads; don’t stand for the
height! You are‘young and active,.
Diezro and are sure to come safel on '
o . . , , Y .
'our legs." . , . , . .
It may seem to many incredible, but .
this new and unexpected form of danger.
so completely. paralyzed me, that I Stood
fixed to the spot, stupidly gazing at the
young ruflian as be mounted up the.
window-sill. “linen there be hesitated, T
appalled, no.duubt,-by the tremendous,
height. ., . '
,“Down with you!” cried the father.
. .And the son lcopt.‘ In less than :i .
second he lay upon the ground below,
with his head literally smashed to pieces,
in sight ofthe . father whose bidding he
had obeyed. Xcrcr, whiled can iccol- ,
lect anything, shalll forget the horrid
growl-itcould not be called a cry-of,
agony set up by old goallicrd, when he ;
heard the crushing sound ofthe body, as ,
it. fell to the caith, and saw the bloody
sputtering of the brains as the skullg
struck upon a fragment of loose stone“