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"Very well. Now with regard to the circumstance of your marriage. What mystery is there connected with that?"
At this question the victim was again violently agitated. He looked like a person suffering the agonies of a horrible dream, and unable to wak
"The mystery attached to my marriage," he repeated; "I cannot reveal it—it is of no consequence."
"Of vital consequence," said Rodolphe, the elder, passing his hand before his face. "Speak! I will it !"
"I will tell you," said Edmund, trembling all over. "While under the name of Erleloff, I once plundered a ship in which were a youth and his father, a gray-headed old man; both were murdered and thrown overboard. In my travels afterwards, I fell in love with a Miss Wentworth. I married her, and shortly after this event, she related to me her history, whence I found that this old man and his son were her father and brother. I don't know the reason, but I detest her ever since."
"Has she discovered this ?"
"I fear so. She found a locket among some of my things, and heard me mutter in my sleep-and although she does not, I believe, imagine me the murderer, yet she thinks I was in some mysterious manner connected with it. I conclude this from the fact that young Wentworth penetrated the secret, and told me of it this morning."
"And you silenced him forever?" asked Rodolphe, shuddering, for he had not suspected Edmund of this murder.
The answer was given in a low whisper. "But the charge has been fastened on another, you say ;—who is that other?" "A young man named Gerard."
"Is he also an enemy of yours?"
"He is no friend. But he is a worthless creature, and neither his friendship or enmity are of any consequence."
"And with regard to Colonel Moodie, was he one of those enemies you intended revenging yourself upon, when you returned to Canada."
"And how did you execute your vengeance on him, so as to so cunningly throw the guilt upon Fergusson, and thereby kill two birds with one stone?"
"I betrayed the plot to him and offered to guide him to the Governor and give information. Meantime I ordered Fergusson, who was my junior in the Fraternity to waylay and prevent him from reaching his destination-or on pain of his neglecting, we should all be betrayed and executed."
"Ah," said Rodolphe, "that is all right. Now answer me, how did you ascertain the fact, that you and William Rodolphe were brothers ?"
"It was revealed to me by Fergusson."
"How came he to know it ?"
"Rodolphe told him his whole history one night, while in his cups."
The Biologist started. "Ha!" he exclaimed, "then as regards Fergusson let things take their course. And it was from him also," continued Rodolphe, "that you discovered the plot which had been formed to sacrifice you?"
"It was!" answered Edmund.
"The traitor!" exclaimed the elder Rodolphe-" the double-dyed traitor!—but let him suffer the penalty of his treachery. But," he continued mentally, "what a miscreant is this man! The blackest dyes of hell are spotless contrasted with him!" Then aloud-" And who was the man that last night promised to betray you to William Rodolphe ?" "I, myself," answered Edmund.
"Yourself! Ha! then that accounts for the strangeness of that mysterious individual knowing all relating to my history.
Well, and what are your intentions toward this William Rodolphe now?"
“Now ?—I have no particular intentions towards him, except to make him useful to me."
"Useful to you," repeated the interrogator, looking surprised; "then you do not entertain sanguinary intentions towards him?"
"Oh, no-he is my brother, and I rather like him than otherwise. I shall trust him with nothing relating to me, but merely cause him to aid me in my purposes; and if ever I obtain power and I find him true to me, and that his ambition does not interfere with mine, I will sustain him.”
"Then he was not one marked out by you as a victim ?" "Oh, no-possibly he may have been, in the first instance, but when I found him to be my brother, and how readily he agreed to be friends with me, all thoughts of a deadly nature towards him immediately vanished. Besides, the same parties who despised and trampled upon me, did the same by him-we both, in infancy, drank of the same bitter cup of want and obloquy together, and I intend that we both in manhood shall drink the same cup of revenge together."
"Ah," exclaimed William Rodolphe, wiping his brow, "I did not expect to hear this from him—there may be hopes of him yet! And what are your plans with regard to the
"As circumstances may direct. There is no man living with sufficient sagacity to determine a precise track and follow it out. As circumstances occur, so must I avail myself of them; as difficulties arise so must I remove them."
"And you would not scruple at taking life; if you considered such to be one of these obstacles ?"
Certainly not. I do not take life, mark you, for the pur
pose of glutting a blood-thirsty disposition, but merely, as you say, because it is an obstacle in my way."
There was now a pause. What a change the last half hour had wrought in the relative condition of the parties in that room. From being the "master-spirit of the storm," he had become a mere child. A few moments ago, and it was Edmund Rodolphe who spoke in the stern tone of commandit was at his frown that his antagonist trembled-it was by the strength of his superior genius that he ruled the spirits of all around him-but now it was at William's. Lo! the change wrought by a magic science! There stood the mighty avenger-the self-confiding and haughty ambidexter-the wily and matchless conspirator, spell-bound and powerless before the superior influence of the stern magician who stood confronting him exultingly.
The latter was about to interrogate him further, when a hurried step came to the door, and a voice demanded admit
FERGUSSON AND THE MAGICIAN.
"Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hands? No! this my hand will rather
And make their green all red "-MACBETH.
WHEN Fergusson discharged his piece, it fell from his hands, and in the agony of his terror, he knew not what had been the result of his shot. He saw the flash, and heard the report, and instantly after a confused tumultuous sound, like many voices mingled together. When he ventured to open his eyes, he saw a black horse before him, plunging violently, and the body of a man prostrate on the ground. He looked round for his companion-he was gone. "Fool that I am!" he exclaimed, "why do I remain, and expose myself to detection," and saying which, he sprang into the surrounding brushwood, and rushed forward, without regard to whither he was going, as if the avenger of blood had been behind him. Through thickets, through swamps, over morasses, and barrens, on he went, in his headlong career-neither caring or knowing whither. But he flew on in vain; that which he thought to shun, still stuck to him with leech-like tenacityit had fastened its fangs in his heart-it was the demon Thought.
At length he paused. Wearied, panting, and wet with perspiration, he stopped, and for the first time looked around him. He was in the middle of a wide barren; the horizon was skirted with low brushwood, and he was utterly unable to