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Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton. Owen Meredith. Ernest Maltravers, Book 5. Eugene Aram [Complete]. The Haunted and the Haunters. The Last of the Barons. Zicci, Book 1. Falkland, Book 4. Eugene Aram [Christmas Summary Classics]. Alice, or the Mysteries — Book Falkland, Complete. Godolphin, Volume 2. Eugene Aram, Book 5. Godolphin, Volume 5.
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He drew near, and clasping her hand, said, in a quick and broken voice,—. You know where to find proof of my fa—that is, of Dalibard's treason to the conspirators, you know the name of the man he dreads as an avenger, and you know that he waits but the proof to strike; but you do not know where to find that man, if his revenge is wanting for yourself.
The police have not hunted him out: how can you? Accident has made me acquainted with one of his haunts. Give me a single promise, and I will put you at least upon that clew,—weak, perhaps, but as yet the sole one to be followed. Promise me that, only in defence of your own life, not for mere jealousy, you will avail yourself of the knowledge, and you shall know all I do! For we have here"—and she smote her breast—"here, if not elsewhere, a heaven and a hell!
Son, I will not harm your father, except in self-defence. But tell me nothing that may make the son a party in the father's doom. Strike, if need be, in her name! Be calm now; I hear your husband's step. A few days more, and Gabriel is gone! Wife and husband are alone with each other. Lucretia has refused to depart. Then that mute coma of horror, that suspense of two foes in the conflict of death; for the subtle, prying eye of Olivier Dalibard sees that he himself is suspected,—further he shuns from sifting!
Glance fastens on glance, and then hurries smilingly away. From the cup grins a skeleton, at the board warns a spectre. But how kind still the words, and how gentle the tone; and they lie down side by side in the marriage-bed,—brain plotting against brain, heart loathing heart. It is a duel of life and death between those sworn through life and beyond death at the altar.
But it is carried on with all the forms and courtesies of duel in the age of chivalry. No conjugal wrangling, no slip of the tongue; the oil is on the surface of the wave,—the monsters in the hell of the abyss war invisibly below. At length, a dull torpor creeps over the woman; she feels the taint in her veins,—the slow victory is begun. What mattered all her vigilance and caution? Vainly glide from the fangs of the serpent,—his very breath suffices to destroy! Pure seems the draught and wholesome the viand,—that master of the science of murder needs not the means of the bungler! Then, keen and strong from the creeping lethargy started the fierce instinct of self and the ruthless impulse of revenge.
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Not too late yet to escape; for those subtle banes, that are to defy all detection, work but slowly to their end. One evening a woman, closely mantled, stood at watch by the angle of a wall. The light came dim and muffled from the window of a cafe hard at hand; the reflection slept amidst the shadows on the dark pavement, and save a solitary lamp swung at distance in the vista over the centre of the narrow street, no ray broke the gloom. The night was clouded and starless, the wind moaned in gusts, and the rain fell heavily; but the gloom and the loneliness did not appall the eye, and the wind did not chill the heart, and the rain fell unheeded on the head of the woman at her post.
At times she paused in her slow, sentry-like pace to and fro, to look through the window of the cafe, and her gaze fell always on one figure seated apart from the rest. At length her pulse beat more quickly, and the patient lips smiled sternly. The figure had risen to depart. A man came out and walked quickly up the street; the woman approached, and when the man was under the single lamp swung aloft, he felt his arm touched: the woman was at his side, and looking steadily into his face—.
The Chouan's first impulse had been to place his hand in his vest, and something shone bright in the lamp-light, clasped in those iron fingers. The voice and the manner reassured him, and he answered readily,—. At Laughton the babe is on the breast of the fair mother, and the father sits beside the bed; and mother and father dispute almost angrily whether mother or father those soft, rounded features of slumbering infancy resemble most. At the red house, near the market-town, there is a hospitable bustle. William is home earlier than usual.
Within the last hour, Susan has been thrice into every room. Husband and wife are now watching at the window. The good Fieldens, with a coach full of children, are expected, every moment, on a week's visit at least. In the cafe in the Boulevard du Temple sit Pierre Guillot, the Chouan, and another of the old band of brigands whom George Cadoudal had mustered in Paris. There is an expression of content on Guillot's countenance,— it seems more open than usual, and there is a complacent smile on his lips. He is whispering low to his friend in the intervals of eating,—an employment pursued with the hearty gusto of a hungry man.
But his friend does not seem to sympathize with the cheerful feelings of his comrade; he is pale, and there is terror on his face; and you may see that the journal in his hand trembles like a leaf. It is but the other day he had Marsan's appointment. He is now to have Pleyel's. I heard it two days ago; a capital thing!
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We shall have him a senator soon. He hired a room at the top of the house for such scientific amusements. He was accustomed to spend part of his nights there.