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UNKNOWN, Issue 7922, 1 June 1889, Supplement
A STORY Ob' THE FRANCO-PRTJSSIAN i WAR. 1 ■ [By Ski.ina Dolako.] 1 CHAPTER 111. , THE ARREST. 1 “At last, after so many years, old ■ friend ! 11 It is the Prince Ladislas who speaks, 1 holding the other by the hand. Then, i turning to the woman whoso frightened ; i eyes are fixed on the newcomer, ho says: i “Nadia, this is my old friend Alexis Alexandrovitch Dorski.” • fJ“ I have heard much of you from my ! husband, Alexis Alexandrovitch,” said she, ; raising her eyes once more to Dorski’s, and ; addressing him in the familiar Russian i fashion. “ Welcome to our hiding place . and our homo.” ! “No.doubt you fear me, Princess,” re- < > turned Dorski, “ but your fears are groundi less, believe me. No word or act of mine , can implicate your husband. I sought this ! interview to tell you so." . “ I pray that it may be so,” said the i Princess Nadine. 1 “ Well, and how goes the cause ? ” put in ! Lndislao Galitzin, cheerily. ) “ Bravely," replied the other, “ both here j and in the provinces. We have friends at Court—high up—in the Regiment of the I Transfiguration, as in all three sections of • the police. A lew years, may be, a few I months, perhaps, and Russia shall bo free, r What Alexander the Second has done for 1 us already he will do for us again. He will • add to his reforms, and Russia will be free. t If not ” And his sentence closed with I significant silence. "The Princess turned a look of fear towards i her husband. “ Have no fear, matiouchka,” replied the t latter, intercepting her look, “lam no coni spirator. Alexis and I are friends, but no I more. lam not one of his lieutenants. By i St. Katherine,” continued he with a laugh, i “ I care too little for it all to risk my neck, i lam too much at peace with the world, too 1 happy with you, sweetheart, to bear ill-will
towards any man—bo he Tzar or Moujik. No, I was never made for a Terrorist. I left that all behind me when I left college ; and when our secret society, that was to do such wonders, was broken up without my being implicated, why, I thought myself well out of it, and settled down as a respectable married man.” And he laughed again carelessly, as he threw himself on the divan beside his wife, “Right!” exclaimed Dorski, “That is as it should be. Do not let us say anything more about it. See, I have brought you something." So saying, he drew from his pocket a little leather case. Opening it, he disclosed a portrait of himself set round with opals, which ho handed to the Princess. “ It is a little wedding present, though it comes too late for the wedding,” said he, “ But it may serve to impress on your mind the features of a man who would willingly give up his liberty, and, if needs be, his life, for your husband.” “I thank you, Alexis Alexandrovitch,” replied the woman. “I shall cherish your present. But why did you let them set opals round it ? I think* they will bring us misfortune. Am I not foolish V “Yes, indeed,” cried Ladislas, “by all the saints, a most excellent portrait, old friend. It shall be one of our greatest treasures.” The three stood together looking at the miniature, when suddenly the stillness was broken by three heavy blows on the outer door, and by a voice crying, in the silence of the night—- “ Open, in the name of His Majesty the Tzar ! ” Every face became white as they exchanged glances. Ladislas hurriedly thrust the portrait into his pocket, and Dorski exclaimed: “ Great Heaven! I am discovered ! And yet—it is impossible. My presence is undreamt of. No matter, hide me—somewhere—any where. ” “ Here, here, quick,” whispered Prince Ladislas, pressing a spring in the frame of one of the large pictures. The picture swung out from the wall, disclosing an open space behind it contrived in the building. “ In here, and do not utter a sound,” “ Do not betray my presence by word or sound,” whispered Dorski, gathering up his pack and his disguise and stepping into the recess ; “ I will not be taken alive,” Ladislas Galitzin hurriedly closed the picture, and took his place on the divan beside his wife, who was more dead than alive with terror, Meanwhile the blows on the outer door and the summons were repeated. “Open, in the name of His Majesty the Tarz!” “ Open the door,” cried Prince Ladislas, loud enough to be heard outside. “ There is no reason why the inmates of this house should fear the mandates of our father the Tzar.”
Footsteps sounded in the corridor, a clank as of arms was heard, and Dmitri Keratieff stepped into the room, “What is the meaning of this?” demanded tho Prince haughtily. “See, you have terrified my—my mistress almost unto death. We harbor no suspected persons here.” “My business is with you, Excellency.” “ Indeed ! Name it.” “I hold a warrant for your arrest on a charge of treason against the sacred person of His Majesty.” “Of treason! I? Monstrous! Of what am I accused ?” “Of complicity with the traitor, Alexia Dorski, ’ “He is not here ! he is not here ! ” cried tho Princess, recovering consciousness in time to hear the police officer's last words. “I know it,” replied tho latter, “The police are well informed of his movements ; ho is now in tho Tkraiuo. The Prince is arrested, however, on the evidence of a letter he has received from Dorski, and which is in tho hands of the police." “His letter?” exclaimed the Prince. “How ” “ Enough said,” broke in tho officer. “We cannot enter into explanations. Your Excellency will follow me.” “ Yes.” Ladislas was about to follow him, when suddenly the portrait of Dorski (lashed across his mind. Quick as thought his hand sought his pocket where it lay; but the keen eye of the Chief of the Police caught the action, and supposing the Prince to be in search of some weapon, he sprang upon him, crying out as he did so a word of command in Russian. Two soldiers entered the room; at a sign from Keratieff they seized the Prince’s arms. Then Keratieff, putting his hand into tho Prince’s pocket, drew forth tho miniature ! “ Ah !” he exclaimed, “there needed but this, a portrait of tho traitor himself carried on the Prince’s person. Como, let us go.” “Send out your soldiers for a moment, Keratieff,” said the Prince. “ I have something to say.” Keratieff gave the word, and tho soldiers retired. “ Where am I to be taken ?” asked Prince Galitzin. “ To the Schluzsburg.” At the word the Prince turned paler yet. Then commanding himself, he said: “Keratieff, you and I know too well what this means. This lady is my wife ; let me be alone with her for five minutes. You will not refuse me. I will give you my word that I will await you here.” “ So be it,” returned the Chief of Police, softened in spite of himself, as he took in the condition of affairs at a glance. “In five minut’s I will return.” And ho left the husband and wife alone. As soon as he was gone, Ladislas Galitzin flung himself by the side of his wife, and
whispered eagerly in her ear; “Nadia, matiouchka, look up, beloved. All may yet be well. They have no suspicion that he is here. When lam gone, aid him to escape. Tell him that this is Vyvian Fane’s work; I insulted him in the club to-night. If anything should befall me, bid him avenge me, and you. My poor darling, how can I leave you thus, now ? Send at once for Carlta. She will care for you till I am free—and longer, if need shall be. Come, come, be brave. See! lam not afraid.” And so in agony he tried to soothe, to comfort the paralysed woman. It seemed like an instan only when Keratieff appeared, pale and silent at the door. They went out together. In the outer street a droschky awaited them, into which Keralloff stepped with his prisoner. The two soldiers followed on horseback as the party moved off in the night. An hour later the same droschky drove away from the ferry landing of tho Fortress of the Schluzsburg. As he made for his hovel by the Neva, the hvoshsihik said to himself: “ So that was your business with theGospodar Keratieff. Son of a dog! Ah! scoundrel, ah! filth, you would strike mo with your cane, would you ? We shall see. Terror is sometimes as powerful as the Secret Police !” (To be continued, I
UNKNOWN, Issue 7922, 1 June 1889, Supplement
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