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ONE WORD ERE WE PART.”

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the murder in which you were concerned. The man's name is Perryer; he is ready to attest the fact, on oath.”

Gramont's look was frightful to behold. Adele lowered her eyes to the floor, but continued, though her mouth was dry, her lips parched with excitement,

“I have befriended this man: he is a worthy man in affliction. To soothe his sorrows, I told him mine-I mean your persecution of me, M. Gramont. It was then that he conjured me, with tears in his eyes, rather to die than wed you, M. Gramont; and then he told me your secret.

“Now, sir, you must write on this paper my liberation, to set my father at rest. I do not know his secret; he does not know yours. I am ready to swear to respect it, trusting that Heaven will touch your heart one day with repentance.” “ Here is the

paper,

sir." Gramont seemed struck dumb. Pale and trembling—the coward of guilt—he wrote, and signed the document.

“One word ere we part, M. Gramont: Learn, from this conjuncture, never to seek your own ends by the ruin of another. Learn to tremble in your guilt. Become a better man; strive to respect yourself, by rendering yourself respectable in your own eyes. And, finally, I thank God for making you, M. Gramont, the means of saving me from misery, in the way you know, doubtless. I thank you, and may God bless you with repentance; for

200

THE THOUGHT OF REVENGE.

the awful crime you have committed will be, to my last hour, a source of bitter anguish to me. To have escaped misery with Mr. Devigne is a blessing which I gratefully acknowledge, but it is dearly purchased by your dreadful crime. I shall bewail it for you, till God shall touch your heart. If it be any consolation to you, know, also, that I discard your rival for ever. Farewell.”

Gramont left without uttering a word; but the name of that rival rang in his bewildered brain. To him he ascribed the beginning of his disappointment; and him he resolved to seek and punish-he would wreak his vengeance on Leonard Devigne.

LEONARD ALONE.

201

CHAPTER XX.

TAKEN ABACK, AND MADE FURIOUS—THE RESULT.

We must now return to Leonard's apartments.

After writing, sealing, and despatching the letter to Adele, he seemed relieved even of the sorrow he had felt for the Count's catastrophe.

Prospects of the kind which now beguiled Leonard Devigne, are very exclusive phantoms of the mind : he could think of nothing else.

There he sits. Can you not read his thoughts, from the play of his features, now that he is alone ? His eyebrows rise and fall; his lips alternately smile and curl, and discover his white teeth. And now he frowns—clenching his fist,—and then a long, deep sigh:-he begins to pace the room once more, waiting for Adele's reply. Listen :

“ Confoundedly late!” looking at his watch. “What keeps her from writing? .... But it does not matter ;-any hour may be the hour Yes, yes, poor girl! I pity her excessively. But 't was the Count:—'t was his work. He first inspired the atrocity. I should never have thought of it. Well he's excessively punished, poor fellow!

202

HINTS TO YOUNG LADIES.

Yes, per

Consume the Jesuits! How they 'll glory thereat! But he'll haunt them still... And that confounded old rogue to try to in-penitent me, too! Inconceivable insolence! But I pilled him for his pains. He'll not forget me.

“Gramont,-vile wretch! I'll punish him some day. Valremy has fallen by this dog—this puppy!

Oh, sweet Adele !-thou rose of Sharon! Bloom, sweetest, bloom, and let me quaff thy celestial fragrance for ever!.... My soul is drunkI reel—I swoon at the thought!.... Yes, how she will exult-how she will yearn to rush to the bliss of which she has been disappointed ! .... Yes, haps, it's all the better; a little disappointment is a stimulant in such cases.

I fancy I see her reading my letter. Very strong-rather ; but then consider the desperate case! One must pour forth in such cases. You can't say too much when your every word will be sucked down like mother's milk by a half-starved innocent. I fancy I hear her, -Oh! what love!-what adoration !- what ardour! —what fire !—what generous indignation !—what a noble soul!' and so forth.... It's astonishing how soon I took the measure of that girl's mind. She was too candid by half. Women should not let us know what sort of thoughts they like. How easily they are managed when we get this key! Is this deceit ?-1-I think not. For I think I always feel what I say,—for the time at least. ... But I'll reform now. Yes, I'll try and conform

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to her opinion of me. She told me I am more divine than human,' and the tears rushed to her eyes. Oh dear! I wish I could believe her....

“What a noble creature she is! Such a bright mind, and yet so full of heart !-all soul, all mind, all heart! What a treasure for a reformed rake! I wonder how I came to merit this blessing... Let me see,-yes, there must be something very good in me, after all. What can it be? I'll think, Can it be

Leonard's valet entered with a letter. It was from Adele. At last the expected letter! Ten o'clock at night!

We shall transcribe it, omitting Leonard's interjectional remarks and exclamations, as he proceeded in the perusal.

“To LEONARD DEVIGNE, Esq.

“SIR,

“ This has been a day of dismal and agonizing thoughts to me; but I am now at peace.

“I am tempted to say much to you; but will content myself with a few words. Perhaps they will do good service; for I cannot believe that you are irrevocably depraved. I cannot believe that such a mind as you evidently possess, can be the handmaid of a heart depraved for ever. No; that mind may be enlightened by Heaven to curb the movements of your misguided heart.

“My answer to your letter requires but few words.

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