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lic displays of the medicines would involve him in the punishment.

" I must have your authority, sir, before I can be arrested,” replied Exili, as we may now call him, with singular and suddenly assumed calmness. " And

you must also

prove that I am the man of whom you are in search.

I can satisfy you on both points,” cried a voice from amidst the guard.

The soldiers fell back on either side of the doorway, and Gaudin de Sainte-Croix, the young officer who had held parley with him on the Carrefour du Châtelet, entered the room.

“ I know you to be the same Antonio Exili,” he continued : you confessed it to me yourself but this afternoon. And here," he added, as he held a paper towards him, “ is the lettre de cachet for your arrest.”

The girl who had started at the first sound of Sainte-Croix's voice, now leant anxiously forward as he entered the room ; and when she saw him, a sudden and violent cry of surprise burst from her lips. She checked, herself, however, whilst he was speaking, but as soon as he had finished, she rushed up to him, and grasping his arm, cried, « Gaudin !"

“ Louise !-you here!” exclaimed Sainte-Croix. “I thought you were in Languedoc,” he added, dropping his voice, whilst his brow contracted into an angry frown. He was evidently ill-prepared for the rencontre, and but little pleased at it.

The Italian took advantage of the temporary diversion afforded by the interview. With the nerve and muscular strengh of a young man, he vaulted over the table against which he had been standing, and rushed into his own apartment, closing the door, which was of massy wood, against his pursuers. But this only caused the delay of an instant. Finding that their partizans made not the least effect upon the thick panels, the officer in command ordered them to take a large beam that was lying on the floor-apparently a portion of some old mill-machinery, and use it as a battering ram. It was lifted by six or eight of the guard, and hurled with all their united strength against the door. For the first two or three blows it resisted their efforts, but at last gave way with a loud crash, and the laboratory of the physician lay open before them.

En avant !" cried the captain of the watch ; "and take him, dead or alive. Follow me.

The officer entered the room, but had scarcely gone two steps, when he uttered a loud and spasmodic scream, and tell on the floor. A guard, who was following him, reeled back against his fellows, with the same cry, but fainter; and immediately afterwards a dense and acrid vapour rolled in heavy coloured fumes, into the outer chamber. Its effects were directly perceptible upon the rest, who fell back seized with violent and painful contractions of the windpipe; and the man, who had kept close upon their commander, was now also struck down by the deadly vapour, which a violent draught of cold air spread around them. But they had time to perceive that a window at the end of the small laboratory was open, and that Exili had passed through it, and escaped to the river.

It is poison ! it is poison !" cried Benoit lustily, apparently most anxious to give every information in his power respecting his

late tenant, and turning fool's evidence in his eagerness to clear his own character. “ He has broken the bottle it was in. I know it well. He killed some dogs with it, before the Pâques, as if they had been shot. Keep back, on your lives!"

During this short and hurried scene, Louise had not once quitted her hold of Sainte-Croix, but, in extreme agitation, the result of mingled terror and surprise, still clung to him.

“ Beware! beware!" continued Benoit; “I know it well, I tell you. He has water that burns like red irons; and he pours it on money, which leaves it blue. It will kill you! He has broken the bottle that held it.”

And he continued reiterating these phrases with almost frantic volubility, until one of the guard, at the risk of his life, pulled to the shattered door, as well as he was able.

“Gaudin !” cried Louise as she fell at his feet, still clinging to his arm and his rich sword-belt. “Gaudin ; only one word-tell me that you have not forgotten me—that you still love me."

“Yes, yes, Louise ; I still love you," he replied, in a careless and impatient tone. “But this is not the place for scenes like these; you might, in delicacy, have spared me this annoying persecution."

Persecution, Gaudin! I have given up all for you ; I have abandoned everything, even the hope of salvation for my own soul; I have wandered, day after day, through the heartless streets of Paris, or worked at the Gobelins until my spirits have been crushed to the earth, and all my strength gone, by the struggle to support myself; and all in the hope of seeing you again. Tell medo

you still care for me, or am I a clog upon your life in this “Not now, Louise; not now," returned Sainte-Croix, “another time. This is ill-judged; it is unkind. I tell you that I still love you. There, now let me go, and do not thus lower me before these people."

“And when shall I see you again?”

“At any time-to-morrow whenever you please—at any place,” continued Sainte-Croix, endeavouring to disembarrass himself from

grasp: “ There, see! I am wanted by the guard." “ Gaudin! only one kind word, spoken as you or

used to do: to tell me where I may see you : to shew me that you do not hate me.”

“ Pshaw! Louise, this is childish at such a moment. Leave go my arm, if you would escape an injury. You see I am wanted you are mad thus to annoy me.”

“ Heaven knows I have had enough to make me so," returned the girl, struggling with the hands of the other as he tried to free himself from her grasp: But, Gaudin! I beg it on my knees, one, only one, kind word. Ah !"

She screamed with pain, as Sainte-Croix, in desperation, seized her wrists, and twisting them fiercely round, forced her to loose her hold. And then casting her from him, with no light power, she fell senseless on the floor at the feet of Bathilde, who had remained completely paralyzed since the commencement of the hurried scene.

“He will escape by the river,” cried the second in command of the night watch. We must follow him."

VOL. XVII.

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Pressing onward with the rest, Sainte-Croix passed from the chamber and stood on the edge of the floating tenements. The boat in which Benoit had arrived was still lying where it had been left fastened by a cord. He directly ordered two of the men into it, and entering by himself, divided the cord that held it with his sword, and then put forth upon the river. The others gained the roof of the mill, and they were there joined by some members of the garde bourgeois, who had descended, and were still coming down by a rope-ladder, depending from the window of one of the old gabled houses upon the Pont Notre Dame. This was evidently the manner in which they had gained access to the mill, when their feet had first been heard overhead by Exili.

In the meanwhile, the object of their pursuit had escaped by the window, as has been seen, and dropped into the hollow of one of the lighters that floated the entire structure, with the intention of passing underneath the mill-floor to the spot at which another small boat, used by himself alone, was fastened. But it was here quite dark, and the passage was one of extreme caution, being amongst the timbers of the woodwork upholding the mill, between some of which the large black wheels were turning, as the deep and angry water foamed and roared below them, lashing the slippery beams or leaping wildly over the narrow ledges of the lighters.

Supplied with torches by the garde bourgeois, the others pervaded every portion of the mill, and at last came upon the track of their object, his lace collar having caught some projecting wood-work in his Aight. One or two of them leapt boldly down into the lighters, and the others clung round the structure above, upon frightfully insecure foot-room. They were now under the apartment, and entirely amidst the timbers of the works. The light of their torches revealed to them Exili passing onward, at the peril of his life, to gain the boat; but close before them.

A cry of recognition broke from two or three of the guard, and the Italian, as a last chance, caught hold of a beam which overhung the wheels, contriving, at an imminent risk, to pass himself across the channel of the current by swinging one hand before the other. Those who had regarded his general appearance, would scarcely have given him credit for so much power.

He gained the other side. One of the guard immediately attempted to follow him, and seized the beam ; but he had not crossed half way before his strength failed him, his armour proving too heavy, together with his body, for his arms to sustain; and he fell upon the wheel as it turned, entangling his legs in the float-boards. He was borne beneath the current, and immediately afterwards reappeared on the wheel, throwing his arms wildly about for help. Scarcely had a cry escaped his lips, when he again passed beneath the surface; the water disentangled him, and bore him down the stream for an instant, until he sank, and was seen no more.

Meanwhile Exili was endeavouring to unfasten his boat, and the garde bourgeois, passing round the other side of the mill, had arrived close to where he was stationed, cutting off his retreat in that direction. There was now no chance but the river; and without a moment's hesitation, he plunged into the boiling current, trusting to the darkness for his escape. At the same moment a bourgeois threw off his upper garments, and letting himself down the outer side of

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the lighter into the river, where the stream was somewhat less powerful, called for a torch, which he contrived to keep above the water in his left hand, striking out vigorously with his right.

It was a singular chase. Both were evidently practised swimmers, and more than once Exili eluded his pursuer by diving below the surface and allowing him to pass beyond the mark. Several times, as they approached, he made a clutch at the torch, or tried to throw back a palm-full of water at its light, knowing if he could but reach any of the houses on the site of the present Quai Desaix, he should be sheltered in some of the secret refuges of the Cité. And once, indeed, he turned at bay in deep water, locking on to the guard in a manner which would soon have proved fatal to both, when the boat containing Sainte-Croix shot across the river, and came up to where they were struggling. His capture was the work of half a minute, and he was dragged into the boat.

“ So, mon enfant,” said Gaudin, as the dripping object of all this turmoil was placed, breathless and dripping, in the stern, you thought we stood in somewhat different positions, I will be bound, this afternoon.”

Then addressing himself to the men who were rowing, he added,

“The Port au Foin is the nearest landing-place for the Rue St. Antoine. And then to the Bastille ! ”

The stream was violent below the bridge; for the mill-boats obstructed the free course of the river, and the Seine was still swoln and turbid from the spring floods. But the rowers plied their oars manfully, and, directed by one of the guard, who kept at the head of the boat with the torch, were not long in arriving at the landingplace indicated by Sainte-Croix, which was exactly on the site of the present Pont Louis Philippe, conducting from the Place de la Grêve to the back of Notre Dame.

Exili remained perfectly silent, but was trembling violently-more, however, from his late immersion than from fear. His countenance was pale and immovable, as seen by the glare of the torch ; and he compressed his under lip with his teeth until he nearly bit it through. Neither did Sainte-Croix exchange another word with any of his party; but, shrouded in his cloak, remained perfectly silent until the boat touched the rude steps of the Pont au Foin.

A covered vehicle, opening behind, and somewhat like a modern deer-cart, was waiting on the quay, with some armed attendants. The arrival of the prisoner was evidently expected. By the direction of Sainte-Croix he was carefully searched by the guard, and everything being taken from him, he was placed in the vehicle, whither his captor also followed him. The doors were then closed, and the men with torches placing themselves at the sides and in front of the vehicle, the cortège moved on.

It was a rough journey, then, to make from the Seine to the Bastile; and it would have been made in perfect darkness but for the lights and cressets of the watch. For the night was advancing ; the lanthorns in the windows had burnt out, or been extinguished ; and the tall glooming houses, which rose on either side of the Rue Geoffry Lanier, by which thoroughfare they left the river side, threw the road into still deeper obscurity, their only lights being observable in the windows high up, where some industrious artisan was late at work. A rude smoky lamp hung from the interior of the vehicle,

Once.

and, by its gleam, Sainte-Croix was watching his prisoner in silence. At length Exili spoke

“You have been playing a deep game; and this time Fortune favours you. But you took her as the discarded mistress of many others; and she will in turn jilt you.”

Say rather we have both struggled for her, and you lost her by your own incautious proceedings,” replied Sainte-Croix. “We were both at the brink of a gulf, on a frail precipice, where the fall of one was necessary to the safety of the other. You are now my victim ; to-morrow I might have been yours.”

“And whence comes the lellre-de-cachet ?"
“ From those who have the power to give it. Had you

been more guarded in your speech on the carrefour to-day, you might have again practised on the credulity of the dupes that surrounded you." “For what term is my imprisonment?"

“During the pleasure of the Minister of Police; and that may depend upon mine. Our secrets are too terrible for both to be free at

You should not have let me know that you thought me in your power.”

Has every notion of honour departed from you ?" asked Exili. “Honour !” replied Sainte-Croix, with a short contemptuous laugh; “honour ! and between such as we have become. How could you expect honour to influence me, when we have so long despised' it-when it is but a bubble name with the petty gamesters of the world--the watchword of cowardice fearing detection?"

There was a halt in the progress of the carriage as it now arrived at the outer gate of the Bastille. Then came the challenge and the answer ; the

creaking of the chains that let down the huge draw. bridge upon the edge of the outer court; and the hollow rumbling of the wheels over its timber. It stopped at the inner portal ; and when the doors were opened, the governor waited at the carriage to receive the new prisoner.

But few words were exchanged. The signature of the lettre-decachet once recognised was all that was required, and Exili was ordered to descend. He turned to Sainte-Croix as he was about to enter the gate, and with a withering expression of revenge and baffled anger, exclaimed,

“You have the game in your own hands at present. Before the year is out my turn will have arrived. Remember!”

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