Part 7 out of 8
chance have we now of escaping from this little tyrant?"
"Chances turn up," replied Krantz; "at present, the prospect is not
very cheering. Let us hope for the best."
"I have an idea in my head which may probably be turned to some
account," added Krantz; "as soon as the little man's fury is over."
"That, much as he likes your wife, there is something which he likes
quite as well--money. Now, as we know where all the treasure is
concealed, I think he may be tempted to offer us our liberty, if we
were to promise to put it into his possession."
"That is not impossible. Confound that little malignant wretch
Schriften; he certainly is not, as you say, of this world. He has been
my persecutor through life, and appears to act from an impulse not his
"Then must he be part and portion of your destiny. I'm thinking
whether our noble Commandant intends to leave us without anything to
eat or drink."
"I should not be surprised: that he will attempt my life I am
convinced of, but not that he can take it; he may, however, add to its
As soon as the Commandant had recovered from his fury, he ordered
Schriften in, to be examined more particularly; but after every search
made for him, Schriften was no where to be found. The sentry at the
gate declared that he had not passed; and a new search was ordered,
but in vain. Even the dungeons and galleries below were examined, but
"Can he be locked up with the other prisoners?" thought the
Commandant: "impossible--but I will go and see."
He descended and opened the door of the dungeon, looked in, and was
about to return without speaking, when Krantz said, "Well, signor,
this is kind treatment, after having lived so long and so amicably
together; to throw us into prison merely because a fellow declares
that we are not what we represented ourselves to be; perhaps you will
allow us a little water to drink?"
The Commandant, confused by the extraordinary disappearance of
Schriften, hardly knew how to reply. He at last said in a milder tone
than was to be anticipated, "I will order them to bring some, signor."
He then closed the door of the dungeon and disappeared.
"Strange," observed Philip, "he appears more pacified already."
In a few minutes the door was again opened, and Pedro came in with a
chatty of water.
"He has disappeared like magic, signors, and is no where to be found.
We have searched everywhere, but in vain."
"Who?--the little old seaman?"
"Yes, he whom you kicked as you were led to prison. The people all
say, that it must have been a ghost. The sentry declares that he never
left the fort, nor came near him; so, how he has got away is a riddle,
which I perceive, has frightened our Commandant not a little."
Krantz gave a long whistle as he looked at Philip.
"Are you to have charge of us, Pedro?"
"I hope so."
"Well, tell the Commandant that when he is ready to listen to me, I
have something of importance to communicate."
Pedro went out.
"Now, Philip, I can frighten this little man into allowing us to go
free, if you will consent to say that you are not the husband of
"That I cannot do, Krantz. I will not utter such a falsehood."
"I was afraid so, and yet it appears to me that we may avail ourselves
of duplicity to meet cruelty and injustice. Unless you do as I
propose, I hardly know how I can manage it; however, I will try what I
"I will assist you in every way, except disclaiming my wife: that I
never will do."
"Well then, I will see if I can make up a story that will suit all
parties: let me think."
Krantz continued musing as he walked up and down, and was still
occupied with his own thoughts when the door opened, and the
Commandant made his appearance.
"You have something to impart to me, I understand--what is it?"
"First, sir, bring that little wretch down here and confront him with
"I see no occasion for that," replied the Commandant; "what, sir, may
you have to say?"
"Do you know who you have in your company when you speak to that
"A Dutch sailor, I presume."
"No--a spirit--a demon--who occasioned the loss of the vessel; and who
brings misfortune wherever he appears."
"Holy Virgin! What do you tell me, signor?"
"The fact, signor Commandant. We are obliged to you for confining us
here, while he is in the fort; but beware for yourself."
"You are laughing at me."
"I am not; bring him down here. This noble gentleman has power over
him. I wonder, indeed, at his daring to stay while he is so near; he
has on his heart that which will send him trembling away.--Bring
him down here, and you shall at once see him vanish with curses and
"Heaven defend us!" cried the Commandant, terrified.
"Send for him now, signor?"
"He is gone--vanished--not to be found!"
"I thought as much," replied Philip, significantly.
"He is gone--vanished--you say. Then, Commandant, you will probably
apologise to this noble gentleman for your treatment of him, and
permit us to return to our former apartments. I will there explain to
you this most strange and interesting history."
The Commandant, more confused than ever, hardly knew how to act. At
last he bowed to Philip, and begged that he would consider himself at
liberty; and, continued he to Krantz, "I shall be most happy at an
immediate explanation of this affair, for everything appears so
"And must, until it is explained. I will follow you into your own
room; a courtesy you must not expect from my noble friend, who is not
a little indignant at your treatment of him."
The Commandant went out, leaving the door open. Philip and Krantz
followed: the former retiring to his own apartment; the latter,
bending his steps after the Commandant to his sitting-room. The
confusion which whirled in the brain of the Commandant, made him
appear most ridiculous. He hardly knew whether to be imperative or
civil; whether he was really speaking to the first mate of the vessel,
or to another party; or whether he had insulted a noble, or been
cajoled by a captain of a vessel: he threw himself down on his sofa,
and Krantz, taking his seat in a chair, stated as follows:
"You have been partly deceived and partly not, Commandant. When we
first came here, not knowing what treatment we might receive, we
concealed our rank; afterwards I made known to you the rank of my
friend on shore; but did not think it worth while to say anything
about his situation on board of the vessel. The fact is, as you may
well suppose of a person of his dignity, he was owner of the fine ship
which was lost through the intervention of that one-eyed wretch; but
of that by-and-bye. Now for the story.
"About ten years ago there was a great miser in Amsterdam; he lived
in the most miserable way that a man could live in; wore nothing but
rags; and having been formerly a seaman, his attire was generally of
the description common to his class. He had one son, to whom he denied
the necessaries of life, and whom he treated most cruelly. After
vain attempts to possess a portion of his father's wealth, the devil
instigated the son to murder the old man, who was one day found dead
in his bed; but as there were no marks of violence which could be
sworn to, although suspicion fell upon the son, the affair was hushed
up, and the young man took possession of his father's wealth. It was
fully expected that there would now be rioting and squandering on the
part of the heir, as is usually the case; but, on the contrary, he
never spent anything, but appeared to be as poor--even poorer--than he
ever was. Instead of being gay and merry, he was, in appearance, the
most miserable, downcast person in the world; and he wandered about,
seeking a crust of bread wherever he could find it. Some said that he
had been inoculated by his father, and was as great a miser as his
father had been; others shook their heads, and said that all was not
right. At last, after pining away for six or seven years, the young
man died at an early age, without confession or absolution; in fact,
he was found dead in his bed. Beside the bed there was a paper,
addressed to the authorities, in which he acknowledged that he had
murdered his father for the sake of his wealth; and that when he went
to take some of it for his expenses on the day afterwards, he found
his father's spirit sitting on the bags of money, and menacing him
with instant death, if he touched one piece. He returned again and
again, and found his father a sentinel as before. At last, he gave
up attempting to obtain it; his crime made him miserable, and he
continued in possession, without daring to expend one sixpence of all
the money. He requested that, as his end was approaching, the money
should be given to the church of his patron saint, wherever that
church might be found; if there was not one, then that a church might
be built and endowed. Upon investigation, it appeared that there was
no such church in either Holland or the Low Countries (for you know
that there are not many Catholics there); and they applied to the
Catholic countries, Lisbon and Spain, but there again they were at
fault; and it was discovered, that the only church dedicated to that
saint was one which had been erected by a Portuguese nobleman in the
city of Goa, in the East Indies. The Catholic bishop determined that
the money should be sent to Goa; and, in consequence, it was embarked
on board of my patron's vessel, to be delivered up to the first
Portuguese authorities he might fall in with.
"Well, signor, the money, for better security, was put down into the
captain's cabin, which, of course, was occupied by my noble friend,
and when he went to bed the first night he was surprised to perceive a
little one eyed old man sitting on the boxes."
"Merciful Saviour!" exclaimed the Commandant, "what, the very same
little man who appeared here this day?"
"The very same," replied Krantz.
The Commandant crossed himself, and Krantz proceeded:--"My noble
patron was, as you may imagine, rather alarmed; but he is very
courageous in disposition, and he inquired of the old man who he was,
and how he had come on board?
"'I came on board with my own money,' replied the spectre. It is all
my own, and I shall keep it. The church shall never have one stiva of
it if I can help it.'
"Whereupon, my patron pulled out a famous relic, which he wears on
his bosom, and held it towards him; at which the old man howled and
screamed, and then most unwillingly disappeared. For two more
nights the spectre was obstinate, but at the sight of the relic, he
invariably went off howling as if in great pain; every time that
he went away, invariably crying out 'Lost--lost!' and during the
remainder of the voyage he did not trouble us any more.
"We thought, when our patron told us this, that he referred to the
money being lost to him, but it appears he referred to the ship;
indeed it was very inconsiderate to have taken the wealth of a
parricide on board; we could not expect any good fortune with such a
freight, and so it proved. When the ship was lost, our patron was very
anxious to save the money; it was put on the raft, and when we landed,
it was taken on shore and buried, that it might be restored and given
to the church to which it had been bequeathed; but the men who buried
it are all dead, and there is no one but my friend here, the patron,
who knows the spot.--I forgot to say, that as soon as the money was
landed on the island and buried, the spectre appeared as before, and
seated himself over the spot where the money was interred. I think, if
this had not been the case, the seamen would have taken possession of
it. But, by his appearance here this day, I presume he is tired, and
has deserted his charge, or else has come here that the money might be
sent for, though I cannot understand why."
"Strange--very strange!--so there is a large treasure buried in the
"I should think, by the spectre's coming here, that it has abandoned
"Of course it has, or it would not be here."
"What can you imagine to have been the cause of its coming?"
"Probably to announce its intention, and request my friend to have the
treasure sent for; but you know he was interrupted."
"Very true; but he called your friend Vanderdecken."
"It was the name which he took on board of the ship."
"And it was the name of the lady."
"Very true; he fell in with her at the Cape of Good Hope and brought
her away with him."
"Then she is his wife?"
"I must not answer that question. It is quite sufficient that he
treats her as his wife."
"Ah! indeed. But about this treasure. You say that no one knows where
it is buried, but the patron as you call him?"
"Will you express my regret at what has passed, and tell him I will
have the pleasure of seeing him to-morrow."
"Certainly, signor," replied Krantz, rising from his chair; and
wishing the Commandant a good evening as he retired.
"I was after one thing and have found another. A spectre that must
have been; but he must be a bold spectre that can frighten me from
doubloons--besides, I can call in the priests. Now, let me see; if I
let this man go on condition that he reveals the site of the treasure
to the authorities, that is to _me_, why then I need not lose the fair
young woman. If I forward this paper to her, why then I gain her--but
I must first get rid of him. Of the two, I prefer--yes!--the gold! But
I cannot obtain both. At all events, let me obtain the money first: I
want it more than the church does: but, if I do get the money; these
two men can expose me. I must get rid of them; silence them for
ever--and then perhaps I may obtain the fair Amine also. Yes, their
death will be necessary to secure either--that is, after I have the
first in my possession.--Let me think."
For some minutes the Commandant walked up and down the room,
reflecting upon the best method of proceeding. "He says it was a
spectre, and he has told a plausible story," thought he; "but I don't
know--I have my doubts--they may be tricking me. Well, be it so:
if the money is there, I will have it; and if not, I will have my
revenge. Yes! I have it: not only must they be removed, but by
degrees all the others too who assist in bringing the treasure
away;--then--but--who's there, Pedro?"
"How long have you been here?"
"But as you spoke, signor: I thought I heard you call."
"You may go--I want nothing."
Pedro departed; but he had been some time in the room, and had
overheard the whole of the Commandant's soliloquy.
It was a bright morning when the Portuguese vessel on which Amine was
on board entered into the bay and roadstead of Goa. Goa was then at
its zenith--a proud, luxurious, superb, wealthy city, the capital of
the East, a City of Palaces, whose Viceroy reigned supreme. As they
approached the river the two mouths of which form the island upon
which Goa is built, the passengers were all on deck; and the
Portuguese captain, who had often been there, pointed out to Amine the
most remarkable buildings. When they had passed the forts they entered
the river, the whole line of whose banks were covered with the country
seats of the nobility and hidalgos--splendid buildings embosomed in
groves of orange trees, whose perfume scented the air.
"There, signora, is the country palace of the Viceroy," said the
captain, pointing to a building which covered nearly three acres of
The ship sailed on until they arrived nearly abreast of the town, when
Amine's eyes were directed to the lofty spires of the churches and
other public edifices--for Amine had seen but little of cities during
her life, as may be perceived when her history is recollected.
"That is the Jesuits' church, with their establishment," said the
captain, pointing to a magnificent pile. "In the church, now opening
upon us, lay the canonised bones of the celebrated Saint Francisco,
who sacrificed his life in his zeal for the propagation of the gospel
in these countries."
"I have heard of him from Father Mathias," replied Amine; "but what
building is that?"
"The Augustine convent; and the other, to the right, is the
"Splendid, indeed!" observed Amine.
"The building you see now, on the water-side, is the Viceroy's palace;
that to the right, again, is the convent of the barefooted Carmelites:
yon lofty spire is the cathedral of St Catherine, and that beautiful
and light piece of architecture is the church of our Lady of Pity. You
observe there a building, with a dome, rising behind the Viceroy's
"I do," replied Amine.
"That is the Holy Inquisition."
Although Amine had heard Philip speak of the inquisition, she knew
little about its properties; but a sudden tremor passed through her
frame as the name was mentioned, which she could not herself account
"Now we open upon the Viceroy's palace, and you perceive what a
beautiful building it is," continued the captain; "that large pile a
little above it is the Custom-house, abreast of which we shall come to
an anchor. I must leave you now, signora."
A few minutes afterwards the ship anchored opposite the Custom-house.
The captain and passengers went on shore, with the exception of Amine,
who remained in the vessel, while Father Mathias went in search of an
eligible place of abode.
The next morning the priest returned on board the ship, with the
intelligence that he had obtained a reception for Amine in the
Ursuline convent, the abbess of which establishment he was acquainted
with; and, before Amine went on shore, he cautioned her that the
lady-abbess was a strict woman, and would be pleased if she conformed,
as much as possible, to the rules of the convent; that this convent
only received young persons of the highest and most wealthy families,
and he trusted that she would be happy there. He also promised to call
upon her, and talk upon those subjects so dear to his heart, and so
necessary to her salvation. The earnestness and kindness with which
the old man spoke melted Amine to tears, and the holy father quitted
her side to go down and collect her baggage, with a warmth of feeling
towards her which he had seldom felt before, and with greater hopes
than ever that his endeavours to convert her would not ultimately be
"He is a good man," thought Amine, as she descended--and Amine was
right. Father Mathias was a good man, but, like all men, he was
not perfect. A zealot in the cause of his religion, he would have
cheerfully sacrificed his life as a martyr, but if opposed or thwarted
in his views, he could then be cruel and unjust.
Father Mathias had many reasons for placing Amine in the Ursuline
convent. He felt bound to offer her that protection which he had
so long received under her roof; he wished her to be under the
surveillance of the abbess, for he could not help imagining, although
he had no proof, that she was still essaying or practising forbidden
arts. He did not state this to the abbess, as he felt it would be
unjust to raise suspicions; but he represented Amine as one who would
do honour to their faith, to which she was not yet quite converted.
The very idea of effecting a conversion is to the tenants of a convent
an object of surpassing interest, and the abbess was much better
pleased to receive one who required her councils and persuasions, than
a really pious Christian who would give her no trouble. Amine went on
shore with Father Mathias; she refused the palanquin which had been
prepared for her, and walked up to the convent. They landed between
the Custom-house and the Viceroy's palace, passed through to the large
square behind it, and then went up the Strada Diretta, or Straight
Street, which led up to the Church of Pity, near to which the convent
is situated. This street is the finest on Goa, and is called Strada
Diretta, from the singular fact that almost all the streets in Goa are
quadrants or segments of circles. Amine was astonished: the houses
were of stone, lofty and massive; at each story was thrown out a
balcony of marble, elaborately carved; and over each door were the
arms of the nobility, or hidalgos, to whom the houses belonged. The
square behind the palace, and the wide streets, were filled with
living beings; elephants with gorgeous trappings; led or mounted
horses in superb housings; palanquins, carried by natives in splendid
liveries; running footmen; syces; every variety of nation, from the
proud Portuguese to the half-covered native; Mussulmans, Arabs,
Hindoos, Armenians; officers and soldiers in their uniforms, all
crowded and thronged together: all was bustle and motion. Such was
the wealth, the splendour, and luxury of the proud city of Goa--the
Empress of the East at the time we are now describing.
In half an hour they forced their way through the crowd, and arrived
at the convent, where Amine was well received by the abbess; and after
a few minutes' conversation, Father Mathias took his leave: upon which
the abbess immediately set about her task of conversion. The first
thing she did was to order some dried sweetmeats--not a bad beginning,
as they were palatable; but as she happened to be very ignorant, and
unaccustomed to theological disputes, her subsequent arguments did not
go down as well as the fruit. After a rambling discourse of about an
hour, the old lady felt tired, and felt as if she had done wonders.
Amine was then introduced to the nuns, most of whom were young and all
of good family. Her dormitory was shown to her, and expressing a wish
to be alone, she was followed into her chamber by only sixteen of
them, which was about as many as the chamber could well hold.
We must pass over the two months during which Amine remained in the
convent. Father Mathias had taken every step to ascertain if her
husband had been saved upon any of the islands which were under the
Portuguese dominions, but could gain no information. Amine was soon
weary of the convent; she was persecuted by the harangues of the old
abbess, but more disgusted at the conduct and conversation of the
nuns. They all had secrets to confide to her--secrets which had been
confided to the whole convent before: such secrets, such stories, so
different from Amine's chaste ideas, such impurity of thought that
Amine was disgusted at them. But how could it be otherwise; the poor
creatures had been taken from the world in the full bloom of youth
under a ripening sun, and had been immured in this unnatural manner
to gratify the avarice and pride of their families. Its inmates being
wholly composed of the best families, the rules of this convent were
not so strict as others; licenses were given--greater licenses were
taken--and Amine, to her surprise, found that in this society, devoted
to Heaven, there were exhibited more of the bad passions of human
nature than she had before met with. Constantly watched, never allowed
a moment to herself, her existence became unbearable: and after three
months she requested Father Mathias would find her some other place of
refuge; telling him frankly that her residence in that place was not
very likely to assist her conversion to the tenets of his faith.
Father Mathias fully comprehended her, but replied, "I have no means."
"Here are means," replied Amine, taking the diamond ring from her
finger: "this is worth eight hundred ducats in our country; here I
know not how much."
Father Mathias took the ring. "I will call upon you to-morrow morning,
and let you know what I have done. I shall acquaint the lady abbess
that you are going to your husband, for it would not be safe to let
her suppose that you have reasons for quitting the convent. I have
heard what you state mentioned before, but have treated it as scandal;
but you, I know, are incapable of falsehood."
The next day Father Mathias returned, and had an interview with the
abbess, who after a time sent for Amine, and told her that it was
necessary that she should leave the convent. She consoled her as well
as she could at leaving such a happy place, sent for some sweetmeats
to make the parting less trying, gave her her blessing, and made her
over to Father Mathias; who, when they were alone, informed Amine that
he had disposed of the ring for eighteen hundred dollars, and had
procured apartments for her in the house of a widow lady, with whom
she was to board.
Taking leave of the nuns, Amine quitted the convent with Father
Mathias, and was soon installed in her new apartments, in a house
which formed part of a spacious square called the Terra di Sabaio.
After the introduction to her hostess, Father Mathias left her. Amine
found her apartments fronting the square, airy and commodious. The
landlady, who had escorted her to view them, not having left her, she
inquired "what large church that was on the other side of the square?"
"It is the Ascension," replied the lady; "the music is very fine
there; we will go and hear it to-morrow, if you please."
"And that massive building in face of us?"
"That is the Holy Inquisition," said the widow, crossing herself.
Amine again started, she knew not why. "Is that your child?" said
Amine, as a boy of about twelve years old entered the room.
"Yes," replied the widow, "the only one that is left me. May God
preserve him." The boy was handsome and intelligent, and Amine, for
her own reasons, did everything she could to make friends with him,
and was successful.
Amine had just returned from an afternoon's walk through the streets
of Goa; she had made some purchases at different shops in the bazaar,
and had brought them home under her mantilla. "Here, at last, thank
Heaven, I am alone and not watched," thought Amine, as she threw
herself on the couch. "Philip, Philip, where are you?" exclaimed she;
"I have now the means, and I soon will know." Little Pedro, the son of
the widow, entered the room, ran up to Amine, and kissed her. "Tell
me, Pedro, where is your mother?"
"She has gone out to see her friends this evening, and we are alone. I
will stay with you."
"Do so, dearest. Tell me, Pedro, can you keep a secret?"
"Yes, I will--tell it me."
"Nay, I have nothing to tell, but I wish to do something: I wish to
make a play, and you shall see things in your hand."
"Oh! yes, shew me, do shew me."
"If you promise not to tell."
"No, by the Holy Virgin, I will not."
"Then you shall see."
Amine lighted some charcoal in a chafing dish, and put it at her feet;
she then took a reed pen, some ink from a small bottle, and a pair of
scissors, and wrote down several characters on a paper, singing,
or rather chanting, words which were not intelligible to her young
companion. Amine then threw frankincense and coriander seed into the
chafing dish, which threw out a strong aromatic smoke; and desiring
Pedro to sit down by her on a small stool, she took the boy's right
hand and held it in her own. She then drew upon the palm of his hand
a square figure with characters on each side of it, and in the centre
poured a small quantity of the ink, so as to form a black mirror of
the size of a half-a-crown.
"Now all is ready," said Amine; "look, Pedro, what see you in the
"My own face," replied the boy.
She threw more frankincense upon the chafing dish, until the room was
full of smoke, and then chanted.
"Turshoon, turyo-shoon--come down, come down.
"Be present, ye servants of these names.
"Remove the veil, and be correct."
The characters she had drawn upon the paper she had divided with the
scissors, and now taking one of the pieces, she dropped it into the
chafing dish, still holding the boy's hand.
"Tell me now, Pedro, what do you see?"
"I see a man sweeping," replied Pedro, alarmed.
"Fear not, Pedro, you shall see more. Has he done sweeping?"
"Yes, he has."
And Amine muttered words, which were unintelligible, and threw into
the chafing dish the other half of the paper with the characters she
had written down. "Say now, Pedro, Philip Vanderdecken, appear."
"Philip Vanderdecken, appear!" responded the boy, trembling.
"Tell me what thou seest, Pedro--tell me true?" said Amine, anxiously.
"I see a man lying down on the white sand; (I don't like this play.)"
"Be not alarmed, Pedro, you shall have sweetmeats directly. Tell me
what thou seest, how the man is dressed?"
"He has a short coat--he has white trousers--he looks about him--he
takes something out of his breast and kisses it."
"'Tis he! 'tis he! and he lives! Heaven, I thank thee. Look again,
"He gets up (I don't like this play; I am frightened; indeed I am.)"
"Oh, yes, I am--I cannot," replied Pedro, falling on his knees; "pray
let me go,"
Pedro had turned his hand, and spilt the ink, the charm was broken,
and Amine could learn no more. She soothed the boy with presents, made
him repeat his promise that he would not tell, and postponed further
search into fate until the boy should appear to have recovered from
his terror, and be willing to resume the ceremonies.
"My Philip lives--mother, dear mother, I thank you."
Amine did not allow Pedro to leave the room until he appeared to
have quite recovered from his fright; for some days she did not say
anything to him, except to remind him of his promise not to tell his
mother, or any one else, and she loaded him with presents.
One afternoon when his mother was gone out, Pedro came in, and asked
Amine "whether they should not have the play over again?"
Amine, who was anxious to know more, was glad of the boy's request,
and soon had everything prepared. Again was her chamber filled
with the smoke of the frankincense: again was she muttering her
incantations: the magic mirror was on the boy's hand, and once more
had Pedro cried out, "Philip Vanderdecken, appear!" when the door
burst open, and Father Mathias, the widow, and several other people
made their appearance. Amine started up--Pedro screamed and ran to his
"Then I was not mistaken at what I saw in the cottage at Terneuse,"
cried Father Mathias, with his arms folded over his breast, and with
looks of indignation; "accursed sorceress! you are detected."
Amine returned his gaze with scorn, and coolly replied, "I am not of
your creed--you know it. Eaves-dropping appears to be a portion of
your religion. This is my chamber--it is not the first time I have had
to request you to leave it--I do so now--you--and those who have come
in with you."
"Take up all those implements of sorcery first," said Father Mathias
to his companions. The chafing dish, and other articles used by Amine,
were taken away; and Father Mathias and the others quitting the room,
Amine was left alone.
Amine had a foreboding that she was lost; she knew that magic was a
crime of the highest degree in Catholic countries, and that she had
been detected in the very act. "Well, well;" thought Amine; "it is my
destiny, and I can brave the worst."
To account for the appearance of Father Mathias and the witnesses, it
must be observed, that the little boy Pedro had, the day after Amine's
first attempt, forgotten his promise, and narrated to his mother all
that had passed. The widow, frightened at what the boy had told her,
thought it right to go to Father Mathias, and confide to him what her
son had told her, as it was, in her opinion, sorcery. Father Mathias
questioned Pedro closely, and, convinced that such was the case,
determined to have witnesses to confront Amine. He therefore proposed
that the boy should appear to be willing to try again, and had
instructed him for the purpose, having previously arranged that they
should break in upon Amine, as we have described.
About half-an-hour afterwards, two men dressed in black gowns came
into Amine's room, and requested that she would follow them, or that
force would be used. Amine made no resistance; they crossed the
square; the gate of a large building was opened; they desired her to
walk in, and, in a few seconds, Amine found herself in one of the
dungeons of the Inquisition.
Previous to continuing our narrative, it may be as well to give
our readers some little insight into the nature, ceremonies, and
regulations of the Inquisition; and in describing that of Goa, we may
be said to describe all others, with very trifling, if any, variation.
The Santa Casa, or Inquisition of Goa, is situated on one side of a
large square, called the Terra di Sabaio. It is a massive handsome
pile of stone buildings, with three doors in the front: the centre one
is larger than the two lateral, and it is through the centre door that
you go into the Hall of Judgment. The side-doors lead to spacious and
handsome apartments for the Inquisitors, and officers attached to the
Behind these apartments are the cells and dungeons of the Inquisition;
they are in two long galleries, with double doors to each, and are
about ten feet square. There are about two hundred of them; some are
much more comfortable than the others, as light and air are admitted
into them: others are wholly dark. In the galleries the keepers watch,
and not a word or a sound can proceed from any cell without their
being able to overhear it. The treatment of those confined is, as
far as respects their food, very good: great care is taken that the
nourishment is of that nature that the prisoners may not suffer from
the indigestion arising from want of exercise. Surgical attendance
is also permitted them; but, unless on very particular occasions,
no priests are allowed to enter. Any consolation to be derived from
religion, even the office of confessor and extreme unction, in case
of dissolution, are denied them. Should they die during their
confinement, whether proved guilty or not of the crime of which they
are accused, they are buried without any funeral ceremony, and tried
afterwards, if then found guilty, their bones are disinterred, and the
execution of their sentence is passed upon their remains.
There are two Inquisitors at Goa: one the Grand Inquisitor, and
the other his second, who are invariably chosen from the order
of St-Dominique; these two are assisted in their judgment and
examinations by a large number selected from the religious orders,
who are termed deputies of the Holy Office, but who only attend when
summoned: they have other officers, whose duty it is to examine all
published books, and ascertain if there is anything in their pages
contrary to the holy religion. There is also a public accuser, a
procureur of the Inquisition, and lawyers, who are permitted to plead
the case of the prisoners, but whose chief business and interest it is
to obtain their secrets and betray them. What are termed _Familiars_
of the Inquisition, are, in fact, nothing but this description of
people: but this disgraceful office is taken upon themselves by the
highest nobility, who think it an honour as well as a security, to be
enrolled among the Familiars of the Inquisition, who are thus to
be found dispersed throughout society; and every careless word, or
expression, is certain to be repeated to the Holy Office. A summons
to attend at the Inquisition is never opposed; if it were, the whole
populace would rise and enforce it. Those who are confined in the
dungeons of the Inquisition are kept separate; it is a very uncommon
thing to put two together: it is only done when it is considered that
the prolonged solitude of the dungeon has created such a depression
of spirits as to endanger the life of the party. Perpetual silence is
enjoined and strictly kept. Those who wail or weep, or even pray, in
their utter darkness, are forced by blows to be quiet. The cries
and shrieks of those who suffer from this chastisement, or from
the torture, are carried along the whole length of the corridors,
terrifying those who, in solitude and darkness, are anticipating the
The first question put to a person arrested by the Inquisition, is
a demand, "What is his property?" He is desired to make an exact
declaration of everything that he is worth, and swear to the truth of
his assertions; being informed that, if there is any reservation on
his part (although he may be at that time innocent of the charges
produced against him),--he will, by his concealment, have incurred the
wrath of the Inquisition; and that, if discharged for the crime he is
accused of, he will again be arrested for having taken a false oath to
the Inquisition; that, if innocent, his property will be safe, and not
interfered with. It is not without reason that this demand is made. If
a person accused confesses his crime, he is, in most cases, eventually
allowed to go free, but all his property becomes confiscated.
By the rules of the Inquisition, it is made to appear as if those
condemned have the show of justice; for, although two witnesses are
sufficient to warrant the apprehension of any individual, seven are
necessary to convict him; but as the witnesses are never confronted
with the prisoners, and torture is often applied to the witnesses, it
is not difficult to obtain the number required. Many a life is falsely
sworn away by the witness, that he may save his own. The chief crimes
which are noticed by the Inquisition are those of sorcery, heresy,
blasphemy, and what is called Judaism.
To comprehend the meaning of this last crime, for which more people
have suffered from the Inquisition than for any other, the reader must
be informed, that when Ferdinand and Isabella of Castile drove all the
Jews out of Spain, they fled to Portugal, where they were received on
the sole condition that they should embrace Christianity: this they
consented, or appeared to consent, to do; but these converts were
despised by the Portuguese people, who did not believe them to
be sincere. They obtained the title of _New_ Christians, in
contradistinction to that of _Old_ Christians. After a time the two
were occasionally intermingled in marriage; but when so, it was always
a reproach to the old families; and descendants from these alliances
were long termed, by way of reproach, as having a portion of the New
Christians in them.
The descendants of the old families thus intermingled, not only lost
_caste_, but, as the genealogy of every family was well known, they
were looked upon with suspicion, and were always at the mercy of the
Holy Office, when denounced for Judaism,--that is, for returning
to the old Jewish practices of keeping the Passover, and the other
ceremonies enforced by Moses.
Let us see how an accusation of this kind works in the hands of the
Inquisition. A really sincere Catholic, descended from one of these
unhappy families, is accused and arrested by the orders of the
Inquisition; he is ordered to declare his property, which,--convinced
of his innocence, and expecting soon to be released, he does without
reservation. But hardly has the key of the dungeon turned upon him,
when all his effects are seized and sold by public auction; it being
well understood that they never will be restored to him. After some
months' confinement, he is called into the Hall of Justice, and asked
if he knows why he is in prison; they advise him earnestly to confess
and to conceal nothing, as it is the only way by which he can obtain
his liberty. He declares his ignorance, and being sent for several
times, persists in it. The period of the _Auto da Fe_, or Act of
Faith, which takes place every two or three years (that is, the public
execution of those who have been found guilty by the Inquisition),
approaches. The public accuser then comes forward, stating that the
prisoner has been accused by a number of witnesses of Judaism. They
persuade him to acknowledge his guilt; he persists in his innocence;
they then pass a sentence on him, which they term _Convicto Invotivo_,
which means "found guilty, but will not confess his crime;" and he is
sentenced to be burnt at the approaching celebration. After this they
follow him to his cell, and exhort him to confess his guilt, and
promise that if he does confess he shall be pardoned; and these
appeals are continued until the evening of the day before his
execution. Terrified at the idea of a painful death, the wretch,
at last, to save his life, consents. He is called into the Hall of
Judgment, confesses the crime that he has not committed, and imagines
that he is now saved.--Alas! no; he has entangled himself, and cannot
"You acknowledge that you have been guilty of observing the laws of
Moses. These ceremonies cannot be performed alone; you cannot have
eaten the Paschal lamb _alone_; tell us immediately, who were those
who assisted at those ceremonies, or your life is still forfeited, and
the stake is prepared for you."
Thus has he accused himself without gaining anything, and if he wishes
to save his life he must accuse others; and who can be accused but
his own friends and acquaintances? nay, in all probability, his own
relations--his brothers, sisters, wife, sons or daughters--for it is
natural to suppose that in all such practices a man will trust only
his own family. Whether a man confesses his guilt, or dies asserting
his innocence, his worldly property is in either case confiscated; but
it is of great consequence to the Inquisition that he should confess,
as his act of confession, with his signature annexed, is publicly
read, and serves to prove to the world that the Inquisition is
impartial and just; nay, more, even merciful, as it pardons those who
have been proved to be guilty.
At Goa the accusations of sorcery and magic were much more frequent
than at the Inquisitions at other places, arising from the customs
and ceremonies of the Hindoos being very much mixed up with absurd
superstitions. These people, and the slaves from other parts, very
often embraced Christianity to please their masters; but since, if
they had been baptised and were afterwards convicted of any crime,
they were sentenced to the punishment by fire; whereas, if they had
not been baptised, they were only punished by whipping, imprisonment,
or the galleys; upon this ground alone many refused to embrace
We have now detailed all that we consider, up to the present,
necessary for the information of the reader; all that is omitted he
will gather as we proceed with our history.
A few hours after Amine had been in the dungeon, the jailors entered:
without speaking to her they let down her soft silky hair, and cut
it close off. Amine, with her lip curled in contempt, and without
resistance and expostulation, allowed them to do their work. They
finished, and she was again left to her solitude.
The next day the jailors entered her cell, and ordered her to bare her
feet, and follow them. She looked at them, and they at her. "If you do
not, we must," observed one of the men, who was moved by her youth
and beauty. Amine did as she was desired and was led into the Hall of
Justice, where she found only the Grand Inquisitor and the Secretary.
The Hall of Justice was a long room with lofty windows on each side,
and also at the end opposite to the door through which she had been
led in. In the centre, on a raised dais, was a long table covered with
a cloth of alternate blue and fawn-coloured stripes; and at the
end opposite to where Amine was brought in was raised an enormous
crucifix, with a carved image of our Saviour. The jailor pointed to a
small bench, and intimated to Amine that she was to sit down.
After a scrutiny of some moments, the Secretary spoke:--
"What is your name?"
"Of what country?"
"My husband is of the Low Countries; I am from the East."
"What is your husband?"
"The captain of a Dutch Indiaman."
"How came you here?"
"His vessel was wrecked, and we were separated."
"Whom do you know here?"
"What property have you?"
"None; it is my husband's."
"Where is it?"
"In the custody of Father Mathias."
"Are you aware why you are brought here?"
"How should I be?" replied Amine, evasively; "tell me what I am
"You must know whether you have done wrong or not. You had better
confess all your conscience accuses you of."
"My conscience does not accuse me of doing wrong."
"Then you will confess nothing?"
"By your own showing, I have nothing to confess."
"You say you are from the East: are you a Christian?"
"I reject your creed."
"You are married to a Catholic?"
"Yes! a true Catholic."
"Who married you?"
"Father Seysen, a Catholic priest."
"Did you enter into the bosom of the church?--did he venture to marry
you without your being baptised?"
"Some ceremony did take place which I consented to."
"It was baptism, was it not?"
"I believe it was so termed."
"And now you say that you reject the creed?"
"Since I have witnessed the conduct of those who profess it, I do: at
the time of my marriage I was disposed towards it."
"What is the amount of your property in the Father Mathias's hands?"
"Some hundreds of dollars--he knows exactly."
The Grand Inquisitor rang a bell; the jailors entered, and Amine was
led back to her dungeon.
"Why should they ask so often about my money?" mused Amine; "If they
require it, they may take it. What is their power? What would they do
with me? Well, well, a few days will decide." A few days!--no, no,
Amine; years perhaps would have passed without decision, but that in
four months from the date of your incarceration, the _Auto da Fe_,
which had not been celebrated for upwards of three years, was to take
place, and there was not a sufficient number of those who were to
undergo the last punishment to render the ceremony imposing. A few
more were required for the stake, or you would not have escaped from
those dungeons so soon. As it was, a month of anxiety and suspense,
almost insupportable, had to be passed away, before Amine was again
summoned to the Hall of Justice.
Amine, at the time we have specified, was again introduced to the Hall
of Justice, and was again asked if she would confess. Irritated at her
long confinement, and the injustice of the proceedings, she replied,
"I have told you once for all, that I have nothing to confess; do with
me as you will; but be quick."
"Will torture oblige you to confess?"
"Try me," replied Amine, firmly--"try me, cruel men; and if you gain
but one word from me, then call me craven: I am but a woman--but I
dare you--I defy you."
It was seldom that such expressions fell upon the ears of her judges,
and still more seldom that a countenance was lighted up with such
determination. But the torture was never applied until after the
accusation had been made and answered.
"We shall see," said the Grand Inquisitor: "take her away."
Amine was led back to her cell. In the meantime, Father Mathias had
had several conferences with the Inquisitor. Although, in his wrath he
had accused Amine, and had procured the necessary witnesses against
her, he now felt uneasy and perplexed. His long residence with
her--her invariable kindness till the time of his dismissal--his
knowledge that she had never embraced the faith--her boldness and
courage, nay, her beauty and youth--all worked strongly in her favour.
His only object now was, to persuade her to confess that she was
wrong, induce her to embrace the faith, and save her. With this view
he had obtained permission from the Holy Office to enter her dungeon,
and reason with her--a special favour which for many reasons they
could not well refuse him. It was on the third day after her second
examination, that the bolts were removed at an unusual hour, and
Father Mathias entered the cell, which was again barred, and he was
left alone with Amine. "My child! my child!" exclaimed Father Mathias,
with sorrow in his countenance.
"Nay, Father, this is mockery. It is you who brought me here--leave
"I brought you here, 'tis true; but I would now remove you, if you
will permit me, Amine."
"Most willingly; I'll follow you."
"Nay, nay! there is much to talk over, much to be done. This is not a
dungeon from which people can escape so easily."
"Then tell me what have you to say; and what is it must be done?"
"But, stop; before you say one word answer me one question as you hope
for bliss: have you heard aught of Philip?"
"Yes, I have. He is well."
"And where is he?"
"He will soon be here."
"God, I thank you! Shall I see him, Father?"
"That must depend upon yourself."
"Upon myself. Then tell me, quickly, what would they have me do?"
"Confess your sins--your crimes."
"What sins?--what crimes?"
"Have you not dealt with evil beings, invoked the spirits, and gained
the assistance of those who are not of this world?"
Amine made no reply.
"Answer me. Do you not confess?"
"I do not confess to have done anything wrong."
"This is useless. You were seen by me and others. What will avail your
denial? Are you aware of the punishment, which most surely awaits you,
if you do not confess, and become a member of our church?"
"Why am I to become a member of your church? Do you, then, punish
those who refuse?"
"No: had you not already consented to receive baptism, you would not
have been asked to become so; but having been baptised, you must now
become a member, or be supposed to fall back into heresy."
"I knew not the nature of your baptism at that time."
"Granted: but you consented to it."
"Be it so. But, pray, what may be the punishment, if I refuse?"
"You will be burnt alive at the stake; nothing can save you. Hear me,
Amine Vanderdecken: when next summoned, you must confess all; and,
asking pardon, request to be received into the church; then will you
be saved, and you will--"
"Again be clasped in Philip's arms."
"My Philip! my Philip! you, indeed, press me hard; but, Father, if I
confess I am wrong, when I feel that I am not"
"Feel that you are not!"
"Yes. I invoked my mother's assistance; she gave it me in a dream.
Would a mother have assisted her daughter, if it were wrong?"
"It was not your mother, but a fiend who took the likeness."
"It was my mother. Again you ask me to say that I believe that which I
"That which you cannot! Amine Vanderdecken, be not obstinate."
"I am not obstinate, good Father. Have you not offered me, what is to
me beyond all price, that I should again be in the arms of my husband?
Can I degrade myself to a lie? not for life, or liberty or even for my
"Amine Vanderdecken, if you will confess your crime, before you are
accused, you will have done much; after your accusation has been made,
it will be of little avail."
"It will not be done either before or after, Father. What I have done
I have done, but a crime it is not to me and mine; with you it may be,
but I am not of yours."
"Recollect also that you peril your husband, for having wedded with a
sorceress. Forget not: to-morrow I will see you again."
"My mind is troubled," replied Amine. "Leave me, Father, it will be a
Father Mathias quitted the cell, pleased with the last words of Amine.
The idea of her husband's danger seemed to have startled her.
Amine threw herself down on the mattress, in the corner of the cell,
and hid her face.
"Burnt alive!" exclaimed she after a time, sitting up, and passing her
hands over her forehead. "Burnt alive! and these are Christians.
This, then, was the cruel death foretold by that creature,
Schriften--foretold--yes, and therefore must be: it is my destiny:
I cannot save myself. If I confess, then, I confess that Philip is
wedded to a sorceress, and he will be punished too. No, never--never:
I can suffer, 'tis cruel--'tis horrible to think of--but 'twill soon
be over. God of my fathers, give me strength against these wicked men,
and enable me to bear all, for my dear Philip's sake."
The next evening Father Mathias again made his appearance. He found
Amine calm and collected: she refused to listen to his advice, or
follow his injunctions. His last observation, that "her husband would
be in peril, if she was found guilty of sorcery," had steeled her
heart, and she had determined that neither torture nor the stake
should make her confess the act. The priest left the cell, sick at
heart; he now felt miserable at the idea of Amine's perishing by so
dreadful a death; accused himself of precipitation, and wished that he
had never seen Amine, whose constancy and courage, although in error,
excited his admiration and his pity. And then he thought of Philip,
who had treated him so kindly--how could he meet him? And if he asked
for his wife--what answer could he give?
Another fortnight passed, when Amine was again summoned to the Hall
of Judgment, and again asked if she confessed her crimes. Upon her
refusal, the accusations against her were read. She was accused by
Father Mathias with practising forbidden arts, and the depositions of
the boy Pedro, and the other witnesses, were read. In his zeal, Father
Mathias also stated that he had found her guilty of the same practices
at Terneuse; and moreover, that in the violent storm when all expected
to perish, she had remained calm and courageous, and told the captain
that they would be saved; which could only have been known by an undue
spirit of prophecy, given by evil spirits. Amine's lip curled in
derision when she heard the last accusation. She was asked if she had
any defence to make.
"What defence can be offered," replied she, "to such accusations
as these? Witness the last--because I was not so craven as the
Christians, I am accused of sorcery. The old dotard! but I will expose
him. Tell me, if one knows that sorcery is used, and conceals or
allows it, is he not a participator and equally guilty?"
"He is," replied the Inquisitor, anxiously awaiting the result.
"Then I denounce" And Amine was about to reveal that Philip's mission
was known, and not forbidden by Fathers Mathias and Seysen; when
recollecting that Philip would be implicated, she stopped.
"Denounce whom?" inquired the Inquisitor.
"No one," replied Amine, folding her arms and drooping her head.
Amine made no answer.
"The torture will make you speak."
"Never!" replied Amine. "Never! Torture me to death, if you choose; I
prefer it to a public execution."
The Inquisitor and the Secretary consulted a short time. Convinced
that Amine would adhere to her resolution, and requiring her for
public execution, they abandoned the idea of the torture.
"Do you confess?" inquired the Inquisitor.
"No," replied Amine, firmly.
"Then take her away."
The night before the _Auto da Fe_, Father Mathias again entered the
cell of Amine, but all his endeavours to convert her were useless.
"To-morrow will end it all, Father," replied Amine; "leave me--I would
We must now return to Philip and Krantz. When the latter retired from
the presence of the Portuguese Commandant, he communicated to Philip
what had taken place, and the fabulous tale which he had invented to
deceive the Commandant. "I said that you alone knew where the treasure
was concealed," continued Krantz, "that you might be sent for, for in
all probability he will keep me as a hostage: but never mind that, I
must take my chance. Do you contrive to escape somehow or another, and
"Not so," replied Philip, "you must go with me, my friend: I feel that
should I part with you, happiness would no longer be in store for me."
"Nonsense--that is but an idle feeling; besides, I will evade him
somehow or another."
"I will not show the treasure, unless you go with me."
"Well--you may try it at all events."
A low tap at the door was heard. Philip rose and opened it (for they
had retired to rest), and Pedro came in. Looking carefully round him,
and then shutting the door softly, he put his finger on his lips to
enjoin them to silence. He then in a whisper told them what he had
overheard. "Contrive, if possible, that I go with you," continued he;
"I must leave you now; he still paces his room." And Pedro slipped out
of the door, and crawled stealthily away along the ramparts.
"The treacherous little rascal! But we will circumvent him, if
possible," said Krantz, in a low tone. "Yes, Philip, you are right, we
must both go, for you will require my assistance. I must persuade him
to go himself. I'll think of it--so Philip, good-night."
The next morning Philip and Krantz were summoned to breakfast; the
Commandant received them with smiles and urbanity. To Philip he
was peculiarly courteous. As soon as the repast was over, he thus
communicated to him his intentions and wishes:--
"Signor, I have been reflecting upon what your friend told me, and the
appearance of the spectre yesterday, which created such confusion; it
induced me to behave with a rashness for which I must now offer my
most sincere apologies. The reflections which I have made, joined with
the feelings of devotion which must be in the heart of every true
Catholic, have determined me, with your assistance, to obtain this
treasure dedicated to the holy church. It is my proposal that you
should take a party of soldiers under your orders, proceed to the
island on which it is deposited, and having obtained it, return here.
I will detain any vessel which may in the meantime put into the
roadstead, and you shall then be the bearers of the treasure and of my
letters to Goa. This will give you an honourable introduction to the
authorities, and enable you to pass away your time there in the most
agreeable manner. You will also, signor, be restored to your wife,
whose charms had such an effect upon me; and for mention of whose name
in the very unceremonious manner which I did, I must excuse myself
upon the ground of total ignorance of who she was, or of her being in
any way connected with your honourable person. If these measures suit
you, signor, I shall be most happy to give orders to that effect."
"As a good Catholic myself," replied Philip, "I shall be most happy to
point out the spot where the treasure is concealed, and restore it to
the church. Your apologies relative to my wife I accept with pleasure,
being aware that your conduct proceeded from ignorance of her
situation and rank; but I do not exactly see my way clear. You propose
a party of soldiers. Will they obey me?--Are they to be trusted?--I
shall, have only myself and friend against them, and will they be
"No fear of that, signor, they are well disciplined; there is not even
occasion for your friend to go with you. I wish to retain him with me,
to keep me company during your absence."
"Nay! that I must object to," replied Philip; "I will not trust myself
"Perhaps I may be allowed to give an opinion on this subject,"
observed Krantz; "I see no reason, if my friend goes accompanied with
a party of soldiers only, why I should not go with him; but I consider
it would be unadvisable that he proceed in the way the Commandant
proposes, either with or without me. You must recollect, Commandant,
that it is no trifling sum which is to be carried away; that it will
be open to view, and will meet the eyes of your men; that these men
have been detained many years in this country, and are anxious to
return home. When, therefore, they find themselves with only two
strangers with them--away from your authority, and in possession of a
large sum of money--will not the temptation be too strong? They will
only have to run down the southern channel, gain the port of Bantam,
and they will be safe; having obtained both freedom and wealth. To
send, therefore, my friend and me, would be to send us to almost
certain death; but if you were to go, Commandant, then the danger
would no longer exist. Your presence and your authority would control
them; and, whatever their wishes or thoughts might be, they would
quail before the flash of your eye."
"Very true--very true," replied Philip--"all this did not occur to
Nor had it occurred to the Commandant, but when pointed out, the force
of these suggestions immediately struck him, and long before Krantz
had finished speaking, he had resolved to go himself.
"Well, signors," replied he; "I am always ready to accede to your
wishes; and since you consider my presence necessary, and as I do not
think there is any chance of another attack from the Ternate people
just now, I will take upon myself the responsibility of leaving the
fort for a few days under the charge of my lieutenant, while we do
this service to Holy Mother Church. I have already sent for one of the
native vessels, which are large and commodious, and will, with your
permission, embark to-morrow."
"Two vessels will be better," observed Krantz; "in the first place, in
case of an accident; and next because we can embark all the treasure
in one with ourselves, and put a portion of the soldiers in the other;
so that we may be in greater force, in case of the sight of so much
wealth stimulating them to insubordination."
"True, signor, we will have two vessels; your advice is good."
Everything was thus satisfactorily arranged, with the exception of
their wish that Pedro should, accompany them on their expedition.
They were debating how this should be brought on the tapis, when the
soldier came to them, and stated that the Commandant had ordered him
to be of the party, and that he was to offer his services to the two
On the ensuing day everything was prepared. Ten soldiers and a
corporal had been selected by the Commandant; and it required but
little time to put into the vessels the provisions and other articles
which were required. At daylight they embarked--the Commandant and
Philip in one boat; Krantz, with the corporal and Pedro, in the
other. The men, who had been kept in ignorance of the object of the
expedition, were now made acquainted with it by Pedro, and a long
whispering took place between them, much to the satisfaction of
Krantz, who was aware that the mutiny would soon be excited, when
it was understood that those who composed the expedition were to be
sacrificed to the avarice of the Commandant. The weather being fine,
they sailed on during the night: passed the island of Ternate at ten
leagues' distance; and before morning were among the cluster of isles,
the southernmost of which was the one on which the treasure had been
buried. On the second night the vessels were beached upon a small
island; and then, for the first time, a communication took place
between the soldiers who had been in the boat with Pedro and Krantz,
and those who had been embarked with the Commandant. Philip and Krantz
had also an opportunity of communicating apart for a short time.
When they made sail the next morning, Pedro spoke openly; he told
Krantz that the soldiers in the boat had made up their minds, and that
he had no doubt that the others would do so before night; although
they had not decidedly agreed upon joining them in the morning when
they had re-embarked. That they would despatch the Commandant, and
then proceed to Batavia, and from thence obtain a passage home to
"Cannot you accomplish your end without murder?"
"Yes, we could; but not our revenge. You do not know the treatment
which we have received from his hands; and sweet as the money will be
to us, his death will be even sweeter. Besides, has he not determined
to murder us all in some way or another? It is but justice. No, no; if
there was no other knife ready--mine is."
"And so are all ours!" cried the other soldiers, putting their hands
to their weapons.
One more day's sail brought them within twenty miles of the island;
for Philip knew his landmarks well. Again they landed, and all retired
to rest, the Commandant dreaming of wealth and revenge; while it was
arranging that the digging up of the treasure which he coveted should
be the signal for his death.
Once more did they embark, and the Commandant heeded not the dark and
lowering faces with which he was surrounded. He was all gaiety and
politeness. Swiftly did they skim over the dark blue sea, between the
beautiful islands with which it was studded, and before the sun was
three hours high, Philip recognised the one sought after, and pointed
out to the Commandant the notched cocoa-nut tree, which served as a
guide to the spot where the money had been concealed. They landed on
the sandy beach, and the shovels were ordered to be brought on shore
by the impatient little officer; who little thought that every moment
of time gained was but so much _time_ lost to him, and that while he
was smiling and meditating treachery, that others could do the same.
The party arrived under the tree--the shovels soon removed the light
sand, and, in a few minutes, the treasure was exposed to view. Bag
after bag was handed up, and the loose dollars collected into heaps.
Two of the soldiers had been sent to the vessels for sacks to put the
loose dollars in, and the men had desisted from their labour; they
laid aside their spades, looks were exchanged, and all were ready.
The Commandant turned round to call to and hasten the movements of
the men who had been sent for the sacks, when three or four knives
simultaneously pierced him through the back; he fell, and was
expostulating when they were again buried in his bosom, and he lay a
corpse. Philip and Krantz remained silent spectators--the knives were
drawn out, wiped, and replaced in their sheathes.
"He has met his reward," said Krantz.
"Yes," exclaimed the Portuguese soldiers--"justice, nothing but
"Signors, you shall have your share," observed Pedro. "Shall they not,
"Not one dollar, my good friends," replied Philip; "take all the
money, and may you be happy; all we ask is, your assistance to proceed
on our way to where we are about to go. And now before you divide your
money, oblige me by burying the body of that unfortunate man."
The soldiers obeyed. Resuming their shovels, they soon scooped out a
shallow grave; the Commandant's body was thrown in, and covered up
Scarcely had the soldiers performed their task, and thrown down their
shovels, when they commenced an altercation. It appeared that this
money was to be again the cause of slaughter and bloodshed. Philip
and Krantz determined to sail immediately in one of the peroquas,
and leave them to settle their disputes as they pleased. He asked
permission of the soldiers to take from the provisions and water,
of which there was ample supply, a larger proportion than was their
share; stating, that he and Krantz had a long voyage and would require
it, and pointing out to them that there were plenty of cocoa-nuts
for their support. The soldiers, who thought of nothing but their
newly-acquired wealth, allowed him to do as he pleased; and having
hastily collected as many cocoa-nuts as they could, to add to their
stock of provisions, before noon Philip and Krantz had embarked, and
made sail in the peroqua, leaving the soldiers with their knives again
drawn, and so busy in their angry altercation as to be heedless of
"There will be the same scene over again, I expect," observed Krantz,
as the vessel parted swiftly from the shore.
"I have little doubt of it; observe, even now they are at blows and
"If I were to name that spot, it should be the '_Accursed Isle_.'"
"Would not any other be the same, with so much to inflame the passions
"Assuredly: what a curse is gold!"
"And what a blessing!" replied Krantz. "I am sorry Pedro is left with
"It is their destiny," replied Philip; "so let's think no more of
them. Now what do you propose? With this vessel, small as she is, we
may sail over these seas in safety; and we have, I imagine, provisions
sufficient for more than a month."
"My idea is to run into the track of the vessels going to the
westward, and obtain a passage to Goa."
"And if we do not meet with any, we can at all events proceed up the
Straits as far as Pulo Penang without risk. There we may safely remain
until a vessel passes."
"I agree with you; it is our best, nay our only place; unless, indeed,
we were to proceed to Cochin, where junks are always leaving for Goa."
"But that would be out of our way, and the junks cannot well pass us
in the Straits without their being seen by us."
They had no difficulty in steering their course; the islands by day,
and the clear stars by night, were their compass. It is true that
they did not follow the more direct track, but they followed the more
secure, working up through the smooth waters, and gaining to the
northward more than to the west. Many times were they chased by the
Malay proas, which infested the islands, but the swiftness of their
little peroqua was their security; indeed the chase was, generally
speaking, abandoned, as soon as the smallness of the vessel was made
out by the pirates, who expected that little or no booty was to be
That Amine and Philip's mission was the constant theme of their
discourse, may easily be imagined. One morning, as they were sailing
between the isles, with less wind than usual, Philip observed:--
"Krantz, you said that there were events in your own life, or
connected with it, which would corroborate the mysterious tale I
confided to you. Will you now tell me to what you referred?"
"Certainly," replied Krantz; "I have often thought of doing so, but
one circumstance or another has hitherto prevented me; this is,
however, a fitting opportunity. Prepare therefore to listen to a
strange story, quite as strange, perhaps, as your own.
"I take it for granted, that you have heard people speak of the Hartz
Mountains," observed Krantz.
"I have never heard people speak of them that I can recollect,"
replied Philip; "but I have read of them in some book, and of the
strange things which have occurred there."
"It is indeed a wild region," rejoined Krantz, "and many strange tales
are told of it; but, strange as they are, I have good reason for
believing them to be true. I have told you, Philip, that I fully
believe in your communion with the other world--that I credit the
history of your father, and the lawfulness of your mission; for that
we are surrounded, impelled, and worked upon by beings different in
their nature from ourselves, I have had full evidence, as you will
acknowledge, when I state what has occurred in my own family. Why such
malevolent beings as I am about to speak of should be permitted to
interfere with us, and punish, I may say, comparatively unoffending
mortals, is beyond my comprehension; but that they are so permitted is
"The great principle of all evil fulfils his work of evil; why, then,
not the other minor spirits of the same class?" inquired Philip. "What
matters it to us, whether we are tried by, and have to suffer from,
the enmity of our fellow-mortals, or whether we are persecuted by
beings more powerful and more malevolent than ourselves? We know
that we have to work out our salvation, and that we shall be judged
according to our strength; if then there be evil spirits who delight
to oppress man, there surely must be, as Amine asserts, good spirits,
whose delight is to do him service. Whether, then, we have to struggle
against our passions only, or whether we have to struggle not only
against our passions, but also the dire influence of unseen enemies,
we ever struggle with the same odds in our favour, as the good are
stronger than the evil which we combat. In either case we are on the
'vantage ground, whether, as in the first, we fight the good cause
single-handed, or as in the second, although opposed, we have the host
of Heaven ranged on our side. Thus are the scales of Divine Justice
evenly balanced, and man is still a free agent, as his own virtuous or
vicious propensities must ever decide whether he shall gain or lose
"Most true," replied Krantz, "and now to my history.
"My father was not born, or originally a resident, in the Hartz
Mountains; he was the serf of an Hungarian nobleman, of great
possessions, in Transylvania; but, although a serf, he was not by
any means a poor or illiterate man. In fact, he was rich, and his
intelligence and respectability were such, that he had been raised
by his lord to the stewardship; but, whoever may happen to be born a
serf, a serf must he remain, even though he become a wealthy man; such
was the condition of my father. My father had been married for about
five years; and, by his marriage, had three children--my eldest
brother Caesar, myself (Hermann), and a sister named Marcella. You
know, Philip, that Latin is still the language spoken in that country;
and that will account for our high sounding names. My mother was a
very beautiful woman, unfortunately more beautiful than virtuous: she
was seen and admired by the lord of the soil; my father was sent away
upon some mission; and, during his absence, my mother, flattered by
the attentions, and won by the assiduities, of this nobleman,
yielded to his wishes. It so happened that my father returned very
unexpectedly, and discovered the intrigue. The evidence of my mother's
shame was positive: he surprised her in the company of her seducer!
Carried away by the impetuosity of his feelings, he watched the
opportunity of a meeting taking place between them, and murdered both
his wife and her seducer. Conscious that, as a serf, not even the
provocation which he had received would be allowed as a justification
of his conduct, he hastily collected together what money he could lay
his hands upon, and, as we were then in the depth of winter, he put
his horses to the sleigh, and taking his children with him, he set
off in the middle of the night, and was far away before the tragical
circumstance had transpired. Aware that he would be pursued, and that
he had no chance of escape if he remained in any portion of his native
country (in which the authorities could lay hold of him), he continued
his flight without intermission until he had buried himself in the
intricacies and seclusion of the Hartz Mountains. Of course, all that
I have now told you I learned afterwards. My oldest recollections are
knit to a rude, yet comfortable cottage, in which I lived with my
father, brother, and sister. It was on the confines of one of those
vast forests which cover the northern part of Germany; around it were
a few acres of ground, which, during the summer months, my father
cultivated, and which, though they yielded a doubtful harvest, were
sufficient for our support. In the winter we remained much in doors,
for, as my father followed the chase, we were left alone, and the
wolves, during that season, incessantly prowled about. My father
had purchased the cottage, and land about it, of one of the rude
foresters, who gain their livelihood partly by hunting, and partly
by burning charcoal, for the purpose of smelting the ore from the
neighbouring mines; it was distant about two miles from any other
habitation. I can call to mind the whole landscape now: the tall pines
which rose up on the mountain above us, and the wide expanse of forest
beneath, on the topmost boughs and heads of whose trees we looked down
from our cottage, as the mountain below us rapidly descended into the
distant valley. In summertime the prospect was beautiful; but during
the severe winter, a more desolate scene could not well be imagined.
"I said that, in the winter, my father occupied himself with the
chase; every day he left us, and often would he lock the door, that we
might not leave the cottage. He had no one to assist him, or to take
care of us--indeed, it was not easy to find a female servant who would
live in such a solitude; but, could he have found one, my father would
not have received her, for he had imbibed a horror of the sex, as the
difference of his conduct towards us, his two boys, and my poor little
sister, Marcella, evidently proved. You may suppose we were sadly
neglected; indeed, we suffered much, for my father, fearful that we
might come to some harm, would not allow us fuel, when he left the
cottage; and we were obliged, therefore, to creep under the heaps of
bears'-skins, and there to keep ourselves as warm as we could until he
returned in the evening, when a blazing fire was our delight. That my
father chose this restless sort of life may appear strange, but the
fact was that he could not remain quiet; whether from remorse for
having committed murder, or from the misery consequent on his change
of situation, or from both combined, he was never happy unless he
was in a state of activity. Children, however, when left much to
themselves, acquire a thoughtfulness not common to their age. So it
was with us; and during the short cold days of winter we would sit
silent, longing for the happy hours when the snow would melt, and the
leaves burst out, and the birds begin their songs, and when we should
again be set at liberty.
"Such was our peculiar and savage sort of life until my brother Caesar
was nine, myself seven, and my sister five, years old, when the
circumstances occurred on which is based the extraordinary narrative
which I am about to relate.
"One evening my father returned home rather later than usual; he had
been unsuccessful, and, as the weather was very severe, and many feet
of snow were upon the ground, he was not only very cold, but in a very
bad humour. He had brought in wood, and we were all three of us gladly
assisting each other in blowing on the embers to create the blaze,
when he caught poor little Marcella by the arm and threw her aside;
the child fell, struck her mouth, and bled very much. My brother ran
to raise her up. Accustomed to ill usage, and afraid of my father,
she did not dare to cry, but looked up in his face very piteously.
My father drew his stool nearer to the hearth, muttered something
in abuse of women, and busied himself with the fire, which both my
brother and I had deserted when our sister was so unkindly treated. A
cheerful blaze was soon the result of his exertions; but we did not,
as usual, crowd round it. Marcella, still bleeding, retired to a
corner, and my brother and I took our seats beside her, while my
father hung over the fire gloomily and alone. Such had been our
position for about half-an-hour, when the howl of a wolf, close under
the window of the cottage, fell on our ears. My father started up, and
seized his gun: the howl was repeated, he examined the priming, and
then hastily left the cottage, shutting the door after him. We all
waited (anxiously listening), for we thought that if he succeeded in
shooting the wolf, he would return in a better humour; and although
he was harsh to all of us, and particularly so to our little sister,
still we loved our father, and loved to see him cheerful and happy,
for what else had we to look up to? And I may here observe, that
perhaps there never were three children who were fonder of each other;
we did not, like other children, fight and dispute together; and if,
by chance, any disagreement did arise between my elder brother and me,
little Marcella would run to us, and kissing us both, seal, through
her entreaties, the peace between us. Marcella was a lovely, amiable
child; I can recall her beautiful features even now--Alas! poor little
"She is dead then?" observed Philip.
"Dead! yes, dead!--but how did she die?--But I must not anticipate,
Philip; let me tell my story.
"We waited for some time, but the report of the gun did not reach us,
and my elder brother then said, 'Our father has followed the wolf, and
will not be back for some time. Marcella, let us wash the blood from
your mouth, and then we will leave this corner, and go to the fire and
"We did so, and remained there until near midnight, every minute
wondering, as it grew later, why our father did not return. We had
no idea that he was in any danger, but we thought that he must have
chased the wolf for a very long time. 'I will look out and see if
father is coming,' said my brother Caesar, going to the door. 'Take
care,' said Marcella, 'the wolves must be about now, and we cannot
kill them, brother.' My brother opened the door very cautiously, and
but a few inches; he peeped out.--'I see nothing,' said he, after a
time, and once more he joined us at the fire. 'We have had no supper,'
said I, for my father usually cooked the meat as soon as he came
home; and during his absence we had nothing but the fragments of the
"'And if our father comes home after his hunt, Caesar,' said Marcella,
'he will be pleased to have some supper; let us cook it for him and
for ourselves.' Caesar climbed upon the stool, and reached down some
meat--I forget now whether it was venison or bear's meat; but we cut
off the usual quantity, and proceeded to dress it, as we used to do
under our father's superintendence. We were all busied putting it into
the platters before the fire, to await his coming, when we heard the
sound of a horn. We listened--there was a noise outside, and a minute
afterwards my father entered, ushering in a young female, and a large
dark man in a hunter's dress.
"Perhaps I had better now relate, what was only known to me many years
afterwards. When my father had left the cottage, he perceived a large
white wolf about thirty yards from him; as soon as the animal saw
my father, it retreated slowly, growling and snarling. My father
followed; the animal did not run, but always kept at some distance;
and my father did not like to fire until he was pretty certain that
his ball would take effect: thus they went on for some time, the wolf
now leaving my father far behind, and then stopping and snarling
defiance at him, and then again, on his approach, setting off at
"Anxious to shoot the animal (for the white wolf is very rare), my
father continued the pursuit for several hours, during which he
continually ascended the mountain.
"You must know, Philip, that there are peculiar spots on those
mountains which are supposed, and, as my story will prove, truly
supposed, to be inhabited by the evil influences; they are well known
to the huntsmen, who invariably avoid them. Now, one of these spots,
an open space in the pine forests above us, had been pointed out to my
father as dangerous on that account. But, whether he disbelieved
these wild stories, or whether, in his eager pursuit of the chase, he
disregarded them, I know not; certain, however, it is, that he was
decoyed by the white wolf to this open space, when the animal appeared
to slacken her speed. My father approached, came close up to her,
raised his gun to his shoulder, and was about to fire; when the wolf
suddenly disappeared. He thought that the snow on the ground must have
dazzled his sight, and he let down his gun to look for the beast--but
she was gone; how she could have escaped over the clearance, without
his seeing her, was beyond his comprehension. Mortified at the ill
success of his chase, he was about to retrace his steps, when he heard
the distant sound of a horn. Astonishment at such a sound--at such
an hour--in such a wilderness, made him forget for the moment his
disappointment, and he remained riveted to the spot. In a minute the
horn was blown a second time, and at no great distance; my father
stood still, and listened: a third time it was blown. I forget the
term used to express it, but it was the signal which, my father well
knew, implied that the party was lost in the woods. In a few minutes
more my father beheld a man on horseback, with a female seated on the
crupper, enter the cleared space, and ride up to him. At first, my
father called to mind the strange stories which he had heard of the
supernatural beings who were said to frequent these mountains; but the
nearer approach of the parties satisfied him that they were mortals
like himself. As soon as they came up to him, the man who guided the
horse accosted him. 'Friend Hunter, you are out late, the better
fortune for us: we have ridden far, and are in fear of our lives,
which are eagerly sought after. These mountains have enabled us to
elude our pursuers; but if we find not shelter and refreshment, that
will avail us little, as we must perish from hunger and the inclemency
of the night. My daughter, who rides behind me, is now more dead than
alive,--say, can you assist us in our difficulty?'
"'My cottage is some few miles distant,' replied my father, 'but I
have little to offer you besides a shelter from the weather; to the
little I have you are welcome. May I ask whence you come?'
"'Yes, friend, it is no secret now; we have escaped from Transylvania,
where my daughter's honour and my life were equally in jeopardy!'
"This information was quite enough to raise an interest in my father's
heart. He remembered his own escape: he remembered the loss of
his wife's honour, and the tragedy by which it was wound up. He
immediately, and warmly, offered all the assistance which he could
"'There is no time to be lost, then, good sir,' observed the horseman;
'my daughter is chilled with the frost, and cannot hold out much
longer against the severity of the weather.'
"'Follow me,' replied my father, leading the way towards his home.
"'I was lured away in pursuit of a large white wolf,' observed my
father; 'it came to the very window of my hut, or I should not have
been out at this time of night.'
"'The creature passed by us just as we came out of the wood,' said the
female in a silvery tone.
"I was nearly discharging my piece at it,' observed the hunter; 'but
since it did us such good service, I am glad that I allowed it to
"In about an hour and a half, during which my father walked at a rapid
pace, the party arrived at the cottage, and, as I said before, came
"'We are in good time, apparently,' observed the dark hunter, catching
the smell of the roasted meat, as he walked to the fire and surveyed
my brother and sister, and myself. 'You have young cooks here,
Mynheer.' 'I am glad that we shall not have to wait,' replied my
father. 'Come, mistress, seat yourself by the fire; you require warmth
after your cold ride.' 'And where can I put up my horse, Mynheer?'
observed the huntsman.' 'I will take care of him,' replied my father,
going out of the cottage door.
"The female must, however, be particularly described. She was young,
and apparently twenty years of age. She was dressed in a travelling
dress, deeply bordered with white fur, and wore a cap of white ermine
on her head. Her features were very beautiful, at least I thought so,
and so my father has since declared. Her hair was flaxen, glossy and
shining, and bright as a mirror; and her mouth, although somewhat
large when it was open, showed the most brilliant teeth I have ever
beheld. But there was something about her eyes, bright as they were,
which made us children afraid; they were so restless, so furtive; I
could not at that time tell why, but I felt as if there was cruelty in
her eye; and when she beckoned us to come to her, we approached her
with fear and trembling. Still she was beautiful, very beautiful. She
spoke kindly to my brother and myself, patted our heads, and caressed
us; but Marcella would not come near her; on the contrary, she slunk
away, and hid herself in the bed, and would not wait for the supper,
which half an hour before she had been so anxious for.
"My father, having put the horse into a close shed, soon returned,
and supper was placed upon the table. When it was over, my father
requested that the young lady would take possession of his bed, and
he would remain at the fire, and sit up with her father. After some
hesitation on her part, this arrangement was agreed to, and I and my
brother crept into the other bed with Marcella, for we had as yet
always slept together.
"But we could not sleep; there was something so unusual, not only
in seeing strange people, but in having those people sleep at the
cottage, that we were bewildered. As for poor little Marcella, she was
quiet, but I perceived that she trembled during the whole night, and
sometimes I thought that she was checking a sob. My father had brought
out some spirits, which he rarely used, and he and the strange hunter
remained drinking and talking before the fire. Our ears were ready to
catch the slightest whisper--so much was our curiosity excited.
"'You said you came from Transylvania?' observed my father.
"'Even so, Mynheer,' replied the hunter. 'I was a serf to the noble
house of ----; my master would insist upon my surrendering up my fair
girl to his wishes; it ended in my giving him a few inches of my
"'We are countrymen, and brothers in misfortune,' replied my father,
taking the huntsman's hand, and pressing it warmly.
"'Indeed! Are you, then, from that country?'
"'Yes; and I too have fled for my life. But mine is a melancholy
"'Your name?' inquired the hunter.
"'What! Krantz of ---- I have heard your tale; you need not renew your
grief by repeating it now. Welcome, most welcome, Mynheer, and, I
may say, my worthy kinsman. I am your second cousin, Wilfred of
Barnsdorf,' cried the hunter, rising up and embracing my father.
"They filled their horn mugs to the brim, and drank to one another,
after the German fashion. The conversation was then carried on in a
low tone; all that we could collect from it was, that our new relative
and his daughter were to take up their abode in our cottage, at least
for the present. In about an hour they both fell back in their chairs,
and appeared to sleep.
"'Marcella, dear, did you hear?' said my brother in a low tone.
"'Yes,' replied Marcella, in a whisper; 'I heard all. Oh! brother, I
cannot bear to look upon that woman--I feel so frightened.'
"My brother made no reply, and shortly afterwards we were all three
"When we awoke the next morning, we found that the hunter's daughter
had risen before us. I thought she looked more beautiful than ever.
She came up to little Marcella and caressed her; the child burst into
tears, and sobbed as if her heart would break.
"But, not to detain you with too long a story, the huntsman and his
daughter were accommodated in the cottage. My father and he went
out hunting daily, leaving Christina with us. She performed all the
household duties; was very kind to us children; and, gradually, the
dislike even of little Marcella wore away. But a great change took
place in my father; he appeared to have conquered his aversion to the
sex, and was most attentive to Christina. Often, after her father and
we were in bed, would he sit up with her, conversing in a low tone by
the fire. I ought to have mentioned, that my father and the huntsman
Wilfred, slept in another portion of the cottage, and that the bed
which he formerly occupied, and which was in the same room as ours,
had been given up to the use of Christina. These visitors had been
about three weeks at the cottage, when, one night, after we children
had been sent to bed, a consultation was held. My father had asked
Christina in marriage, and had obtained both her own consent and that
of Wilfred; after this a conversation took place, which was, as nearly
as I can recollect, as follows:--
"'You may take my child, Mynheer Krantz, and my blessing with her,
and I shall then leave you and seek some other habitation--it matters
"'Why not remain here, Wilfred?'
"'No, no, I am called elsewhere; let that suffice, and ask no more
questions. You have my child.'
"'I thank you for her, and will duly value her; but there is one
"'I know what you would say; there is no priest here in this wild
country: true; neither is there any law to bind; still must some
ceremony pass between you, to satisfy a father. Will you consent to
marry her after my fashion? if so, I will marry you directly.'
"'I will,' replied my father.
"'Then take her by the hand. Now, Mynheer, swear.'
"'I swear,' repeated my father.
"'By all the spirits of the Hartz Mountains--'
"'Nay, why not by Heaven?' interrupted my father.
"'Because it is not my humour,' rejoined Wilfred; 'if I prefer that
oath, less binding perhaps, than another, surely you will not thwart
"'Well, be it so then; have your humour. Will you make me swear by
that in which I do not believe?'
"'Yet many do so, who in outward appearance are Christians,' rejoined
Wilfred; 'say, will you be married, or shall I take my daughter away
"'Proceed,' replied my father, impatiently.
"'I swear by all the spirits of the Hartz Mountains, by all their
power for good or for evil, that I take Christina for my wedded wife;
that I will ever protect her, cherish her, and love her; that my hand
shall never be raised against her to harm her.'
"My father repeated the words after Wilfred.
"'And if I fail in this my vow, may all the vengeance of the spirits
fall upon me and upon my children; may they perish by the vulture, by
the wolf, or other beasts of the forest; may their flesh be torn from
their limbs, and their bones blanch in the wilderness; all this I
"My father hesitated, as he repeated the last words; little Marcella
could not restrain herself, and as my father repeated the last
sentence, she burst into tears. This sudden interruption appeared to
discompose the party, particularly my father; he spoke harshly to the
child, who controlled her sobs, burying her face under the bedclothes.
"Such was the second marriage of my father. The next morning, the
hunter Wilfred mounted his horse, and rode away.
"My father resumed his bed, which was in the same room as ours; and
things went on much as before the marriage, except that our new
mother-in-law did not show any kindness towards us; indeed, during
my father's absence, she would often beat us, particularly little
Marcella, and her eyes would flash fire, as she looked eagerly upon
the fair and lovely child.
"One night, my sister awoke me and my brother.
"'What is the matter?' said Caesar.
"'She has gone out,' whispered Marcella.
"'Yes, gone out at the door, in her night-clothes,' replied the child;
'I saw her get out of bed, look at my father to see if he slept, and
then she went out at the door.'
"What could induce her to leave her bed, and all undressed to go out,
in such bitter wintry weather, with the snow deep on the ground, was
to us incomprehensible; we lay awake, and in about an hour we heard
the growl of a wolf, close under the window.
"'There is a wolf,' said Caesar; 'she will be torn to pieces.'
"'Oh, no!' cried Marcella.
"In a few minutes afterwards our mother-in-law appeared; she was in
her night-dress, as Marcella had stated. She let down the latch of the
door, so as to make no noise, went to a pail of water, and washed her
face and hands, and then slipped into the bed where my father lay.
"We all three trembled, we hardly knew why, but we resolved to watch
the next night: we did so--and not only on the ensuing night, but
on many others, and always at about the same hour, would our
mother-in-law rise from her bed, and leave the cottage--and after she
was gone, we invariably heard the growl of a wolf under our window,
and always saw her, on her return, wash herself before she retired to
bed. We observed, also, that she seldom sat down to meals, and that
when she did, she appeared to eat with dislike; but when the meat was
taken down, to be prepared for dinner, she would often furtively put a
raw piece into her mouth.
"My brother Caesar was a courageous boy; he did not like to speak to
my father until he knew more. He resolved that he would follow her
out, and ascertain what she did. Marcella and I endeavoured to