The Avenger

"Why callest thou me murderer, and not rather the wrath of God

burning after the steps of the oppressor, and cleansing the earth

when it is wet with blood?"

That series of terrific events by which our quiet city and

university in the northeastern quarter of Germany were convulsed

during the year 1816, has in itself, and considered merely as a

blind movement of human tiger-passion ranging unc
ained among men,

something too memorable to be forgotten or left without its own

separate record; but the moral lesson impressed by these events is

yet more memorable, and deserves the deep attention of coming

generations in their struggle after human improvement, not merely

in its own limited field of interest directly awakened, but in all

analogous fields of interest; as in fact already, and more than

once, in connection with these very events, this lesson has

obtained the effectual attention of Christian kings and princes

assembled in congress. No tragedy, indeed, among all the sad ones

by which the charities of the human heart or of the fireside have

ever been outraged, can better merit a separate chapter in the

private history of German manners or social life than this

unparalleled case. And, on the other hand, no one can put in a

better claim to be the historian than myself.

I was at the time, and still am, a professor in that city and

university which had the melancholy distinction of being its

theater. I knew familiarly all the parties who were concerned in

it, either as sufferers or as agents. I was present from first to

last, and watched the whole course of the mysterious storm which

fell upon our devoted city in a strength like that of a West Indian

hurricane, and which did seriously threaten at one time to

depopulate our university, through the dark suspicions which

settled upon its members, and the natural reaction of generous

indignation in repelling them; while the city in its more

stationary and native classes would very soon have manifested THEIR

awful sense of things, of the hideous insecurity for life, and of

the unfathomable dangers which had undermined their hearths below

their very feet, by sacrificing, whenever circumstances allowed

them, their houses and beautiful gardens in exchange for days

uncursed by panic, and nights unpolluted by blood. Nothing, I can

take upon myself to assert, was left undone of all that human

foresight could suggest, or human ingenuity could accomplish. But

observe the melancholy result: the more certain did these

arrangements strike people as remedies for the evil, so much the

more effectually did they aid the terror, but, above all, the awe,

the sense of mystery, when ten cases of total extermination,

applied to separate households, had occurred, in every one of which

these precautionary aids had failed to yield the slightest

assistance. The horror, the perfect frenzy of fear, which seized

upon the town after that experience, baffles all attempt at

description. Had these various contrivances failed merely in some

human and intelligible way, as by bringing the aid too tardily--

still, in such cases, though the danger would no less have been

evidently deepened, nobody would have felt any further mystery than

what, from the very first, rested upon the persons and the motives

of the murderers. But, as it was, when, in ten separate cases of

exterminating carnage, the astounded police, after an examination

the most searching, pursued from day to day, and almost exhausting

the patience by the minuteness of the investigation, had finally

pronounced that no attempt apparently had been made to benefit by

any of the signals preconcerted, that no footstep apparently had

moved in that direction--then, and after that result, a blind

misery of fear fell upon the population, so much the worse than any

anguish of a beleaguered city that is awaiting the storming fury of

a victorious enemy, by how much the shadowy, the uncertain, the

infinite, is at all times more potent in mastering the mind than a

danger that is known, measurable, palpable, and human. The very

police, instead of offering protection or encouragement, were

seized with terror for themselves. And the general feeling, as it

was described to me by a grave citizen whom I met in a morning walk

(for the overmastering sense of a public calamity broke down every

barrier of reserve, and all men talked freely to all men in the

streets, as they would have done during the rockings of an

earthquake), was, even among the boldest, like that which sometimes

takes possession of the mind in dreams--when one feels oneself

sleeping alone, utterly divided from all call or hearing of

friends, doors open that should be shut, or unlocked that should be

triply secured, the very walls gone, barriers swallowed up by

unknown abysses, nothing around one but frail curtains, and a world

of illimitable night, whisperings at a distance, correspondence

going on between darkness and darkness, like one deep calling to

another, and the dreamer's own heart the center from which the

whole network of this unimaginable chaos radiates, by means of

which the blank PRIVATIONS of silence and darkness become powers

the most POSITIVE and awful.

Agencies of fear, as of any other passion, and, above all, of

passion felt in communion with thousands, and in which the heart

beats in conscious sympathy with an entire city, through all its

regions of high and low, young and old, strong and weak; such

agencies avail to raise and transfigure the natures of men; mean

minds become elevated; dull men become eloquent; and when matters

came to this crisis, the public feeling, as made known by voice,

gesture, manner, or words, was such that no stranger could

represent it to his fancy. In that respect, therefore, I had an

advantage, being upon the spot through the whole course of the

affair, for giving a faithful narrative; as I had still more

eminently, from the sort of central station which I occupied, with

respect to all the movements of the case. I may add that I had

another advantage, not possessed, or not in the same degree, by any

other inhabitant of the town. I was personally acquainted with

every family of the slightest account belonging to the resident

population; whether among the old local gentry, or the new settlers

whom the late wars had driven to take refuge within our walls.

It was in September, 1815, that I received a letter from the chief

secretary to the Prince of M----, a nobleman connected with the

diplomacy of Russia, from which I quote an extract: "I wish, in

short, to recommend to your attentions, and in terms stronger than

I know how to devise, a young man on whose behalf the czar himself

is privately known to have expressed the very strongest interest.

He was at the battle of Waterloo as an aide-de-camp to a Dutch

general officer, and is decorated with distinctions won upon that

awful day. However, though serving in that instance under English

orders, and although an Englishman of rank, he does not belong to

the English military service. He has served, young as he is, under

VARIOUS banners, and under ours, in particular, in the cavalry of

our imperial guard. He is English by birth, nephew to the Earl of

E., and heir presumptive to his immense estates. There is a wild

story current, that his mother was a gypsy of transcendent beauty,

which may account for his somewhat Moorish complexion, though,

after all, THAT is not of a deeper tinge than I have seen among

many an Englishman. He is himself one of the noblest looking of

God's creatures. Both father and mother, however, are now dead.

Since then he has become the favorite of his uncle, who detained

him in England after the emperor had departed--and, as this uncle

is now in the last stage of infirmity, Mr. Wyndham's succession to

the vast family estates is inevitable, and probably near at hand.

Meantime, he is anxious for some assistance in his studies.

Intellectually he stands in the very first rank of men, as I am

sure you will not be slow to discover; but his long military

service, and the unparalleled tumult of our European history since

1805, have interfered (as you may suppose) with the cultivation of

his mind; for he entered the cavalry service of a German power when

a mere boy, and shifted about from service to service as the

hurricane of war blew from this point or from that. During the

French anabasis to Moscow he entered our service, made himself a

prodigious favorite with the whole imperial family, and even now is

only in his twenty-second year. As to his accomplishments, they

will speak for themselves; they are infinite, and applicable to

every situation of life. Greek is what he wants from you;--never

ask about terms. He will acknowledge any trouble he may give you,

as he acknowledges all trouble, en prince. And ten years hence you

will look back with pride upon having contributed your part to the

formation of one whom all here at St. Petersburg, not soldiers

only, but we diplomates, look upon as certain to prove a great man,

and a leader among the intellects of Christendom."

Two or three other letters followed; and at length it was arranged

that Mr. Maximilian Wyndham should take up his residence at my

monastic abode for one year. He was to keep a table, and an

establishment of servants, at his own cost; was to have an

apartment of some dozen or so of rooms; the unrestricted use of the

library; with some other public privileges willingly conceded by

the magistracy of the town; in return for all which he was to pay

me a thousand guineas; and already beforehand, by way of

acknowledgment for the public civilities of the town, he sent,

through my hands, a contribution of three hundred guineas to the

various local institutions for education of the poor, or for


The Russian secretary had latterly corresponded with me from a

little German town, not more than ninety miles distant; and, as he

had special couriers at his service, the negotiations advanced so

rapidly that all was closed before the end of September. And, when

once that consummation was attained, I, that previously had

breathed no syllable of what was stirring, now gave loose to the

interesting tidings, and suffered them to spread through the whole

compass of the town. It will be easily imagined that such a story,

already romantic enough in its first outline, would lose nothing in

the telling. An Englishman to begin with, which name of itself,

and at all times, is a passport into German favor, but much more

since the late memorable wars that but for Englishmen would have

drooped into disconnected efforts--next, an Englishman of rank and

of the haute noblesse--then a soldier covered with brilliant

distinctions, and in the most brilliant arm of the service; young,

moreover, and yet a veteran by his experience--fresh from the most

awful battle of this planet since the day of Pharsalia,--radiant

with the favor of courts and of imperial ladies; finally (which

alone would have given him an interest in all female hearts), an

Antinous of faultless beauty, a Grecian statue, as it were, into

which the breath of life had been breathed by some modern

Pygmalion;--such a pomp of gifts and endowments settling upon one

man's head, should not have required for its effect the vulgar

consummation (and yet to many it WAS the consummation and crest of

the whole) that he was reputed to be rich beyond the dreams of

romance or the necessities of a fairy tale. Unparalleled was the

impression made upon our stagnant society; every tongue was busy in

discussing the marvelous young Englishman from morning to night;

every female fancy was busy in depicting the personal appearance of

this gay apparition.

On his arrival at my house, I became sensible of a truth which I

had observed some years before. The commonplace maxim is, that it

is dangerous to raise expectations too high. This, which is thus

generally expressed, and without limitation, is true only

conditionally; it is true then and there only where there is but

little merit to sustain and justify the expectation. But in any

case where the merit is transcendent of its kind, it is always

useful to rack the expectation up to the highest point. In

anything which partakes of the infinite, the most unlimited

expectations will find ample room for gratification; while it is

certain that ordinary observers, possessing little sensibility,

unless where they have been warned to expect, will often fail to

see what exists in the most conspicuous splendor. In this instance

it certainly did no harm to the subject of expectation that I had

been warned to look for so much. The warning, at any rate, put me

on the lookout for whatever eminence there might be of grandeur in

his personal appearance; while, on the other hand, this existed in

such excess, so far transcending anything I had ever met with in my

experience, that no expectation which it is in words to raise could

have been disappointed.

These thoughts traveled with the rapidity of light through my

brain, as at one glance my eye took in the supremacy of beauty and

power which seemed to have alighted from the clouds before me.

Power, and the contemplation of power, in any absolute incarnation

of grandeur or excess, necessarily have the instantaneous effect of

quelling all perturbation. My composure was restored in a moment.

I looked steadily at him. We both bowed. And, at the moment when

he raised his head from that inclination, I caught the glance of

his eye; an eye such as might have been looked for in a face of

such noble lineaments--

"Blending the nature of the star

With that of summer skies;"

and, therefore, meant by nature for the residence and organ of

serene and gentle emotions; but it surprised, and at the same time

filled me more almost with consternation than with pity, to observe

that in those eyes a light of sadness had settled more profound

than seemed possible for youth, or almost commensurate to a human

sorrow; a sadness that might have become a Jewish prophet, when

laden with inspirations of woe.

Two months had now passed away since the arrival of Mr. Wyndham.

He had been universally introduced to the superior society of the

place; and, as I need hardly say, universally received with favor

and distinction. In reality, his wealth and importance, his

military honors, and the dignity of his character, as expressed in

his manners and deportment, were too eminent to allow of his being

treated with less than the highest attention in any society

whatever. But the effect of these various advantages, enforced and

recommended as they were by a personal beauty so rare, was somewhat

too potent for the comfort and self-possession of ordinary people;

and really exceeded in a painful degree the standard of pretensions

under which such people could feel themselves at their ease. He

was not naturally of a reserved turn; far from it. His disposition

had been open, frank, and confiding, originally; and his roving,

adventurous life, of which considerably more than one half had been

passed in camps, had communicated to his manners a more than

military frankness. But the profound melancholy which possessed

him, from whatever cause it arose, necessarily chilled the native

freedom of his demeanor, unless when it was revived by strength of

friendship or of love. The effect was awkward and embarrassing to

all parties. Every voice paused or faltered when he entered a

room--dead silence ensued--not an eye but was directed upon him, or

else, sunk in timidity, settled upon the floor; and young ladies

seriously lost the power, for a time, of doing more than murmuring

a few confused, half-inarticulate syllables, or half-inarticulate

sounds. The solemnity, in fact, of a first presentation, and the

utter impossibility of soon recovering a free, unembarrassed

movement of conversation, made such scenes really distressing to

all who participated in them, either as actors or spectators.

Certainly this result was not a pure effect of manly beauty,

however heroic, and in whatever excess; it arose in part from the

many and extraordinary endowments which had centered in his person,

not less from fortune than from nature; in part also, as I have

said, from the profound sadness and freezing gravity of Mr.

Wyndham's manner; but still more from the perplexing mystery which

surrounded that sadness.

Were there, then, no exceptions to this condition of awestruck

admiration? Yes; one at least there was in whose bosom the spell

of all-conquering passion soon thawed every trace of icy reserve.

While the rest of the world retained a dim sentiment of awe toward

Mr. Wyndham, Margaret Liebenheim only heard of such a feeling to

wonder that it could exist toward HIM. Never was there so

victorious a conquest interchanged between two youthful hearts--

never before such a rapture of instantaneous sympathy. I did not

witness the first meeting of this mysterious Maximilian and this

magnificent Margaret, and do not know whether Margaret manifested

that trepidation and embarrassment which distressed so many of her

youthful co-rivals; but, if she did, it must have fled before the

first glance of the young man's eye, which would interpret, past

all misunderstanding, the homage of his soul and the surrender of

his heart. Their third meeting I DID see; and there all shadow of

embarrassment had vanished, except, indeed, of that delicate

embarrassment which clings to impassioned admiration. On the part

of Margaret, it seemed as if a new world had dawned upon her that

she had not so much as suspected among the capacities of human

experience. Like some bird she seemed, with powers unexercised for

soaring and flying, not understood even as yet, and that never

until now had found an element of air capable of sustaining her

wings, or tempting her to put forth her buoyant instincts. He, on

the other hand, now first found the realization of his dreams, and

for a mere possibility which he had long too deeply contemplated,

fearing, however, that in his own case it might prove a chimera, or

that he might never meet a woman answering the demands of his

heart, he now found a corresponding reality that left nothing to


Here, then, and thus far, nothing but happiness had resulted from

the new arrangement. But, if this had been little anticipated by

many, far less had I, for my part, anticipated the unhappy

revolution which was wrought in the whole nature of Ferdinand von

Harrelstein. He was the son of a German baron; a man of good

family, but of small estate who had been pretty nearly a soldier of

fortune in the Prussian service, and had, late in life, won

sufficient favor with the king and other military superiors, to

have an early prospect of obtaining a commission, under flattering

auspices, for this only son--a son endeared to him as the companion

of unprosperous years, and as a dutifully affectionate child.

Ferdinand had yet another hold upon his father's affections: his

features preserved to the baron's unclouded remembrance a most

faithful and living memorial of that angelic wife who had died in

giving birth to this third child--the only one who had long

survived her. Anxious that his son should go through a regular

course of mathematical instruction, now becoming annually more

important in all the artillery services throughout Europe, and that

he should receive a tincture of other liberal studies which he had

painfully missed in his own military career, the baron chose to

keep his son for the last seven years at our college, until he was

now entering upon his twenty-third year. For the four last he had

lived with me as the sole pupil whom I had, or meant to have, had

not the brilliant proposals of the young Russian guardsman

persuaded me to break my resolution. Ferdinand von Harrelstein had

good talents, not dazzling but respectable; and so amiable were his

temper and manners that I had introduced him everywhere, and

everywhere he was a favorite; and everywhere, indeed, except

exactly there where only in this world he cared for favor.

Margaret Liebenheim, she it was whom he loved, and had loved for

years, with the whole ardor of his ardent soul; she it was for

whom, or at whose command, he would willingly have died. Early he

had felt that in her hands lay his destiny; that she it was who

must be his good or his evil genius.

At first, and perhaps to the last, I pitied him exceedingly. But

my pity soon ceased to be mingled with respect. Before the arrival

of Mr. Wyndham he had shown himself generous, indeed magnanimous.

But never was there so painful an overthrow of a noble nature as

manifested itself in him. I believe that he had not himself

suspected the strength of his passion; and the sole resource for

him, as I said often, was to quit the city--to engage in active

pursuits of enterprise, of ambition, or of science. But he heard

me as a somnambulist might have heard me--dreaming with his eyes

open. Sometimes he had fits of reverie, starting, fearful,

agitated; sometimes he broke out into maniacal movements of wrath,

invoking some absent person, praying, beseeching, menacing some

air-wove phantom; sometimes he slunk into solitary corners,

muttering to himself, and with gestures sorrowfully significant, or

with tones and fragments of expostulation that moved the most

callous to compassion. Still he turned a deaf ear to the only

practical counsel that had a chance for reaching his ears. Like a

bird under the fascination of a rattlesnake, he would not summon up

the energies of his nature to make an effort at flying away.

"Begone, while it is time!" said others, as well as myself; for

more than I saw enough to fear some fearful catastrophe. "Lead us

not into temptation!" said his confessor to him in my hearing (for,

though Prussians, the Von Harrelsteins were Roman Catholics), "lead

us not into temptation!--that is our daily prayer to God. Then, my

son, being led into temptation, do not you persist in courting,

nay, almost tempting temptation. Try the effects of absence,

though but for a month." The good father even made an overture

toward imposing a penance upon him, that would have involved an

absence of some duration. But he was obliged to desist; for he saw

that, without effecting any good, he would merely add spiritual

disobedience to the other offenses of the young man. Ferdinand

himself drew his attention to THIS; for he said: "Reverend father!

do not you, with the purpose of removing me from temptation, be

yourself the instrument for tempting me into a rebellion against

the church. Do not you weave snares about my steps; snares there

are already, and but too many." The old man sighed, and desisted.

Then came--But enough! From pity, from sympathy, from counsel, and

from consolation, and from scorn--from each of these alike the poor

stricken deer "recoiled into the wilderness;" he fled for days

together into solitary parts of the forest; fled, as I still hoped

and prayed, in good earnest and for a long farewell; but, alas! no:

still he returned to the haunts of his ruined happiness and his

buried hopes, at each return looking more like the wreck of his

former self; and once I heard a penetrating monk observe, whose

convent stood near the city gates: "There goes one ready equally

for doing or suffering, and of whom we shall soon hear that he is

involved in some great catastrophe--it may be of deep calamity--it

may be of memorable guilt."

So stood matters among us. January was drawing to its close; the

weather was growing more and more winterly; high winds, piercingly

cold, were raving through our narrow streets; and still the spirit

of social festivity bade defiance to the storms which sang through

our ancient forests. From the accident of our magistracy being

selected from the tradesmen of the city, the hospitalities of the

place were far more extensive than would otherwise have happened;

for every member of the corporation gave two annual entertainments

in his official character. And such was the rivalship which

prevailed, that often one quarter of the year's income was spent

upon these galas. Nor was any ridicule thus incurred; for the

costliness of the entertainment was understood to be an expression

of OFFICIAL pride, done in honor of the city, not as an effort of

personal display. It followed, from the spirit in which these

half-yearly dances originated, that, being given on the part of the

city, every stranger of rank was marked out as a privileged guest,

and the hospitality of the community would have been equally

affronted by failing to offer or by failing to accept the


Hence it had happened that the Russian guardsman had been

introduced into many a family which otherwise could not have hoped

for such a distinction. Upon the evening at which I am now

arrived, the twenty-second of January, 1816, the whole city, in its

wealthier classes, was assembled beneath the roof of a tradesman

who had the heart of a prince. In every point our entertainment

was superb; and I remarked that the music was the finest I had

heard for years. Our host was in joyous spirits; proud to survey

the splendid company he had gathered under his roof; happy to

witness their happiness; elated in their elation. Joyous was the

dance--joyous were all faces that I saw--up to midnight, very soon

after which time supper was announced; and that also, I think, was

the most joyous of all the banquets I ever witnessed. The

accomplished guardsman outshone himself in brilliancy; even his

melancholy relaxed. In fact, how could it be otherwise? near to

him sat Margaret Liebenheim--hanging upon his words--more lustrous

and bewitching than ever I had beheld her. There she had been

placed by the host; and everybody knew why. That is one of the

luxuries attached to love; all men cede their places with pleasure;

women make way. Even she herself knew, though not obliged to know,

why she was seated in that neighborhood; and took her place, if

with a rosy suffusion upon her cheeks, yet with fullness of

happiness at her heart.

The guardsman pressed forward to claim Miss Liebenheim's hand for

the next dance; a movement which she was quick to favor, by

retreating behind one or two parties from a person who seemed

coming toward her. The music again began to pour its voluptuous

tides through the bounding pulses of the youthful company; again

the flying feet of the dancers began to respond to the measures;

again the mounting spirit of delight began to fill the sails of the

hurrying night with steady inspiration. All went happily. Already

had one dance finished; some were pacing up and down, leaning on

the arms of their partners; some were reposing from their

exertions; when--O heavens! what a shriek! what a gathering tumult!

Every eye was bent toward the doors--every eye strained forward to

discover what was passing. But there, every moment, less and less

could be seen, for the gathering crowd more and more intercepted

the view;--so much the more was the ear at leisure for the shrieks

redoubled upon shrieks. Miss Liebenheim had moved downward to the

crowd. From her superior height she overlooked all the ladies at

the point where she stood. In the center stood a rustic girl,

whose features had been familiar to her for some months. She had

recently come into the city, and had lived with her uncle, a

tradesman, not ten doors from Margaret's own residence, partly on

the terms of a kinswoman, partly as a servant on trial. At this

moment she was exhausted with excitement, and the nature of the

shock she had sustained. Mere panic seemed to have mastered her;

and she was leaning, unconscious and weeping, upon the shoulder of

some gentleman, who was endeavoring to soothe her. A silence of

horror seemed to possess the company, most of whom were still

unacquainted with the cause of the alarming interruption. A few,

however, who had heard her first agitated words, finding that they

waited in vain for a fuller explanation, now rushed tumultuously

out of the ballroom to satisfy themselves on the spot. The

distance was not great; and within five minutes several persons

returned hastily, and cried out to the crowd of ladies that all was

true which the young girl had said. "What was true?" That her

uncle Mr. Weishaupt's family had been murdered; that not one member

of the family had been spared--namely, Mr. Weishaupt himself and

his wife, neither of them much above sixty, but both infirm beyond

their years; two maiden sisters of Mr. Weishaupt, from forty to

forty-six years of age, and an elderly female domestic.

An incident happened during the recital of these horrors, and of

the details which followed, that furnished matter for conversation

even in these hours when so thrilling an interest had possession of

all minds. Many ladies fainted; among them Miss Liebenheim--and

she would have fallen to the ground but for Maximilian, who sprang

forward and caught her in his arms. She was long of returning to

herself; and, during the agony of his suspense, he stooped and

kissed her pallid lips. That sight was more than could be borne by

one who stood a little behind the group. He rushed forward, with

eyes glaring like a tiger's, and leveled a blow at Maximilian. It

was poor, maniacal Von Harrelstein, who had been absent in the

forest for a week. Many people stepped forward and checked his

arm, uplifted for a repetition of this outrage. One or two had

some influence with him, and led him away from the spot; while as

to Maximilian, so absorbed was he that he had not so much as

perceived the affront offered to himself. Margaret, on reviving,

was confounded at finding herself so situated amid a great crowd;

and yet the prudes complained that there was a look of love

exchanged between herself and Maximilian, that ought not to have

escaped her in such a situation. If they meant by such a

situation, one so public, it must be also recollected that it was a

situation of excessive agitation; but, if they alluded to the

horrors of the moment, no situation more naturally opens the heart

to affection and confiding love than the recoil from scenes of

exquisite terror.

An examination went on that night before the magistrates, but all

was dark; although suspicion attached to a negro named Aaron, who

had occasionally been employed in menial services by the family,

and had been in the house immediately before the murder. The

circumstances were such as to leave every man in utter perplexity

as to the presumption for and against him. His mode of defending

himself, and his general deportment, were marked by the coolest,

nay, the most sneering indifference. The first thing he did, on

being acquainted with the suspicions against himself, was to laugh

ferociously, and to all appearance most cordially and unaffectedly.

He demanded whether a poor man like himself would have left so much

wealth as lay scattered abroad in that house--gold repeaters, massy

plate, gold snuff boxes--untouched? That argument certainly

weighed much in his favor. And yet again it was turned against

him; for a magistrate asked him how HE happened to know already

that nothing had been touched. True it was, and a fact which had

puzzled no less than it had awed the magistrates, that, upon their

examination of the premises, many rich articles of bijouterie,

jewelry, and personal ornaments, had been found lying underanged,

and apparently in their usual situations; articles so portable that

in the very hastiest flight some might have been carried off. In

particular, there was a crucifix of gold, enriched with jewels so

large and rare, that of itself it would have constituted a prize of

great magnitude. Yet this was left untouched, though suspended in

a little oratory that had been magnificently adorned by the elder

of the maiden sisters. There was an altar, in itself a splendid

object, furnished with every article of the most costly material

and workmanship, for the private celebration of mass. This

crucifix, as well as everything else in the little closet, must

have been seen by one at least of the murderous party; for hither

had one of the ladies fled; hither had one of the murderers

pursued. She had clasped the golden pillars which supported the

altar--had turned perhaps her dying looks upon the crucifix; for

there, with one arm still wreathed about the altar foot, though in

her agony she had turned round upon her face, did the elder sister

lie when the magistrates first broke open the street door. And

upon the beautiful parquet, or inlaid floor which ran round the

room, were still impressed the footsteps of the murderer. These,

it was hoped, might furnish a clew to the discovery of one at least

among the murderous band. They were rather difficult to trace

accurately; those parts of the traces which lay upon the black

tessellae being less distinct in the outline than the others upon

the white or colored. Most unquestionably, so far as this went, it

furnished a negative circumstance in favor of the negro, for the

footsteps were very different in outline from his, and smaller, for

Aaron was a man of colossal build. And as to his knowledge of the

state in which the premises had been found, and his having so

familiarly relied upon the fact of no robbery having taken place as

an argument on his own behalf, he contended that he had himself

been among the crowd that pushed into the house along with the

magistrates; that, from his previous acquaintance with the rooms

and their ordinary condition, a glance of the eye had been

sufficient for him to ascertain the undisturbed condition of all

the valuable property most obvious to the grasp of a robber that,

in fact, he had seen enough for his argument before he and the rest

of the mob had been ejected by the magistrates; but, finally, that

independently of all this, he had heard both the officers, as they

conducted him, and all the tumultuous gatherings of people in the

street, arguing for the mysteriousness of the bloody transaction

upon that very circumstance of so much gold, silver, and jewels,

being left behind untouched.

In six weeks or less from the date of this terrific event, the

negro was set at liberty by a majority of voices among the

magistrates. In that short interval other events had occurred no

less terrific and mysterious. In this first murder, though the

motive was dark and unintelligible, yet the agency was not so;

ordinary assassins apparently, and with ordinary means, had

assailed a helpless and unprepared family; had separated them;

attacked them singly in flight (for in this first case all but one

of the murdered persons appeared to have been making for the street

door); and in all this there was no subject for wonder, except the

original one as to the motive. But now came a series of cases

destined to fling this earliest murder into the shade. Nobody

could now be unprepared; and yet the tragedies, henceforward, which

passed before us, one by one, in sad, leisurely, or in terrific

groups, seemed to argue a lethargy like that of apoplexy in the

victims, one and all. The very midnight of mysterious awe fell

upon all minds.

Three weeks had passed since the murder at Mr. Weishaupt's--three

weeks the most agitated that had been known in this sequestered

city. We felt ourselves solitary, and thrown upon our own

resources; all combination with other towns being unavailing from

their great distance. Our situation was no ordinary one. Had

there been some mysterious robbers among us, the chances of a

visit, divided among so many, would have been too small to distress

the most timid; while to young and high-spirited people, with

courage to spare for ordinary trials, such a state of expectation

would have sent pulses of pleasurable anxiety among the nerves.

But murderers! exterminating murderers!--clothed in mystery and

utter darkness--these were objects too terrific for any family to

contemplate with fortitude. Had these very murderers added to

their functions those of robbery, they would have become less

terrific; nine out of every ten would have found themselves

discharged, as it were, from the roll of those who were liable to a

visit; while such as knew themselves liable would have had warning

of their danger in the fact of being rich; and would, from the very

riches which constituted that danger, have derived the means of

repelling it. But, as things were, no man could guess what it was

that must make him obnoxious to the murderers. Imagination

exhausted itself in vain guesses at the causes which could by

possibility have made the poor Weishaupts objects of such hatred to

any man. True, they were bigoted in a degree which indicated

feebleness of intellect; but THAT wounded no man in particular,

while to many it recommended them. True, their charity was narrow

and exclusive, but to those of their own religious body it expanded

munificently; and, being rich beyond their wants, or any means of

employing wealth which their gloomy asceticism allowed, they had

the power of doing a great deal of good among the indigent papists

of the suburbs. As to the old gentleman and his wife, their

infirmities confined them to the house. Nobody remembered to have

seen them abroad for years. How, therefore, or when could they

have made an enemy? And, with respect to the maiden sisters of Mr.

Weishaupt, they were simply weak-minded persons, now and then too

censorious, but not placed in a situation to incur serious anger

from any quarter, and too little heard of in society to occupy much

of anybody's attention.

Conceive, then, that three weeks have passed away, that the poor

Weishaupts have been laid in that narrow sanctuary which no

murderer's voice will ever violate. Quiet has not returned to us,

but the first flutterings of panic have subsided. People are

beginning to respire freely again; and such another space of time

would have cicatrized our wounds--when, hark! a church bell rings

out a loud alarm;--the night is starlight and frosty--the iron

notes are heard clear, solemn, but agitated. What could this mean?

I hurried to a room over the porter's lodge, and, opening the

window, I cried out to a man passing hastily below, "What, in God's

name, is the meaning of this?" It was a watchman belonging to our

district. I knew his voice, he knew mine, and he replied in great


"It is another murder, sir, at the old town councilor's, Albernass;

and this time they have made a clear house of it."

"God preserve us! Has a curse been pronounced upon this city?

What can be done? What are the magistrates going to do?"

"I don't know, sir. I have orders to run to the Black Friars,

where another meeting is gathering. Shall I say you will attend,


"Yes--no--stop a little. No matter, you may go on; I'll follow


I went instantly to Maximilian's room. He was lying asleep on a

sofa, at which I was not surprised, for there had been a severe

stag chase in the morning. Even at this moment I found myself

arrested by two objects, and I paused to survey them. One was

Maximilian himself. A person so mysterious took precedency of

other interests even at a time like this; and especially by his

features, which, composed in profound sleep, as sometimes happens,

assumed a new expression, which arrested me chiefly by awaking some

confused remembrance of the same features seen under other

circumstances and in times long past; but where? This was what I

could not recollect, though once before a thought of the same sort

had crossed my mind. The other object of my interest was a

miniature, which Maximilian was holding in his hand. He had gone

to sleep apparently looking at this picture; and the hand which

held it had slipped down upon the sofa, so that it was in danger of

falling. I released the miniature from his hand, and surveyed it

attentively. It represented a lady of sunny, oriental complexion,

and features the most noble that it is possible to conceive. One

might have imagined such a lady, with her raven locks and imperial

eyes, to be the favorite sultana of some Amurath or Mohammed. What

was she to Maximilian, or what HAD she been? For, by the tear

which I had once seen him drop upon this miniature when he believed

himself unobserved, I conjectured that her dark tresses were

already laid low, and her name among the list of vanished things.

Probably she was his mother, for the dress was rich with pearls,

and evidently that of a person in the highest rank of court

beauties. I sighed as I thought of the stern melancholy of her

son, if Maximilian were he, as connected, probably, with the fate

and fortunes of this majestic beauty; somewhat haughty, perhaps, in

the expression of her fine features, but still noble--generous--

confiding. Laying the picture on the table, I awoke Maximilian,

and told him of the dreadful news. He listened attentively, made

no remark, but proposed that we should go together to the meeting

of our quarter at the Black Friars. He colored upon observing the

miniature on the table; and, therefore, I frankly told him in what

situation I had found it, and that I had taken the liberty of

admiring it for a few moments. He pressed it tenderly to his lips,

sighed heavily, and we walked away together.

I pass over the frenzied state of feeling in which we found the

meeting. Fear, or rather horror, did not promote harmony; many

quarreled with each other in discussing the suggestions brought

forward, and Maximilian was the only person attended to. He

proposed a nightly mounted patrol for every district. And in

particular he offered, as being himself a member of the university,

that the students should form themselves into a guard, and go out

by rotation to keep watch and ward from sunset to sunrise.

Arrangements were made toward that object by the few people who

retained possession of their senses, and for the present we


Never, in fact, did any events so keenly try the difference between

man and man. Some started up into heroes under the excitement.

Some, alas for the dignity of man! drooped into helpless

imbecility. Women, in some cases, rose superior to men, but yet

not so often as might have happened under a less mysterious danger.

A woman is not unwomanly because she confronts danger boldly. But

I have remarked, with respect to female courage, that it requires,

more than that of men, to be sustained by hope; and that it droops

more certainly in the presence of a MYSTERIOUS danger. The fancy

of women is more active, if not stronger, and it influences more

directly the physical nature. In this case few were the women who

made even a show of defying the danger. On the contrary, with THEM

fear took the form of sadness, while with many of the men it took

that of wrath.

And how did the Russian guardsman conduct himself amidst this

panic? Many were surprised at his behavior; some complained of it;

I did neither. He took a reasonable interest in each separate

case, listened to the details with attention, and, in the

examination of persons able to furnish evidence, never failed to

suggest judicious questions. But still he manifested a coolness

almost amounting to carelessness, which to many appeared revolting.

But these people I desired to notice that all the other military

students, who had been long in the army, felt exactly in the same

way. In fact, the military service of Christendom, for the last

ten years, had been anything but a parade service; and to those,

therefore, who were familiar with every form of horrid butchery,

the mere outside horrors of death had lost much of their terror.

In the recent murder there had not been much to call forth

sympathy. The family consisted of two old bachelors, two sisters,

and one grandniece. The niece was absent on a visit, and the two

old men were cynical misers, to whom little personal interest

attached. Still, in this case as in that of the Weishaupts, the

same twofold mystery confounded the public mind--the mystery of the

HOW, and the profounder mystery of the WHY. Here, again, no atom

of property was taken, though both the misers had hordes of ducats

and English guineas in the very room where they died. Their bias,

again, though of an unpopular character, had rather availed to make

them unknown than to make them hateful. In one point this case

differed memorably from the other--that, instead of falling

helpless, or flying victims (as the Weishaupts had done), these old

men, strong, resolute, and not so much taken by surprise, left

proofs that they had made a desperate defense. The furniture was

partly smashed to pieces, and the other details furnished evidence

still more revolting of the acharnement with which the struggle had

been maintained. In fact, with THEM a surprise must have been

impracticable, as they admitted nobody into their house on visiting

terms. It was thought singular that from each of these domestic

tragedies a benefit of the same sort should result to young persons

standing in nearly the same relation. The girl who gave the alarm

at the ball, with two little sisters, and a little orphan nephew,

their cousin, divided the very large inheritance of the Weishaupts;

and in this latter case the accumulated savings of two long lives

all vested in the person of the amiable grandniece.

But now, as if in mockery of all our anxious consultations and

elaborate devices, three fresh murders took place on the two

consecutive nights succeeding these new arrangements. And in one

case, as nearly as time could be noted, the mounted patrol must

have been within call at the very moment when the awful work was

going on. I shall not dwell much upon them; but a few

circumstances are too interesting to be passed over. The earliest

case on the first of the two nights was that of a currier. He was

fifty years old; not rich, but well off. His first wife was dead,

and his daughters by her were married away from their father's

house. He had married a second wife, but, having no children by

her, and keeping no servants, it is probable that, but for an

accident, no third person would have been in the house at the time

when the murderers got admittance. About seven o'clock, a

wayfaring man, a journeyman currier, who, according to our German

system, was now in his wanderjahre, entered the city from the

forest. At the gate he made some inquiries about the curriers and

tanners of our town; and, agreeably to the information he received,

made his way to this Mr. Heinberg. Mr. Heinberg refused to admit

him, until he mentioned his errand, and pushed below the door a

letter of recommendation from a Silesian correspondent, describing

him as an excellent and steady workman. Wanting such a man, and

satisfied by the answers returned that he was what he represented

himself, Mr. Heinberg unbolted his door and admitted him. Then,

after slipping the bolt into its place, he bade him sit to the

fire, brought him a glass of beer, conversed with him for ten

minutes, and said: "You had better stay here to-night; I'll tell

you why afterwards; but now I'll step upstairs, and ask my wife

whether she can make up a bed for you; and do you mind the door

while I'm away." So saying, he went out of the room. Not one

minute had he been gone when there came a gentle knock at the door.

It was raining heavily, and, being a stranger to the city, not

dreaming that in any crowded town such a state of things could

exist as really did in this, the young man, without hesitation,

admitted the person knocking. He has declared since--but, perhaps,

confounding the feelings gained from better knowledge with the

feelings of the moment--that from the moment he drew the bolt he

had a misgiving that he had done wrong. A man entered in a

horseman's cloak, and so muffled up that the journeyman could

discover none of his features. In a low tone the stranger said,

"Where's Heinberg?"--"Upstairs."--"Call him down, then." The

journeyman went to the door by which Mr. Heinberg had left him, and

called, "Mr. Heinberg, here's one wanting you!" Mr. Heinberg heard

him, for the man could distinctly catch these words: "God bless me!

has the man opened the door? O, the traitor! I see it." Upon

this he felt more and more consternation, though not knowing why.

Just then he heard a sound of feet behind him. On turning round,

he beheld three more men in the room; one was fastening the outer

door; one was drawing some arms from a cupboard, and two others

were whispering together. He himself was disturbed and perplexed,

and felt that all was not right. Such was his confusion, that

either all the men's faces must have been muffled up, or at least

he remembered nothing distinctly but one fierce pair of eyes

glaring upon him. Then, before he could look round, came a man

from behind and threw a sack over his head, which was drawn tight

about his waist, so as to confine his arms, as well as to impede

his hearing in part, and his voice altogether. He was then pushed

into a room; but previously he had heard a rush upstairs, and words

like those of a person exulting, and then a door closed. Once it

opened, and he could distinguish the words, in one voice, "And for

THAT!" to which another voice replied, in tones that made his heart

quake, "Aye, for THAT, sir." And then the same voice went on

rapidly to say, "O dog! could you hope"--at which word the door

closed again. Once he thought that he heard a scuffle, and he was

sure that he heard the sound of feet, as if rushing from one corner

of a room to another. But then all was hushed and still for about

six or seven minutes, until a voice close to his ear said, "Now,

wait quietly till some persons come in to release you. This will

happen within half an hour." Accordingly, in less than that time,

he again heard the sound of feet within the house, his own bandages

were liberated, and he was brought to tell his story at the police

office. Mr. Heinberg was found in his bedroom. He had died by

strangulation, and the cord was still tightened about his neck.

During the whole dreadful scene his youthful wife had been locked

into a closet, where she heard or saw nothing.

In the second case, the object of vengeance was again an elderly

man. Of the ordinary family, all were absent at a country house,

except the master and a female servant. She was a woman of

courage, and blessed with the firmest nerves; so that she might

have been relied on for reporting accurately everything seen or

heard. But things took another course. The first warning that she

had of the murderers' presence was from their steps and voices

already in the hall. She heard her master run hastily into the

hall, crying out, "Lord Jesus!--Mary, Mary, save me!" The servant

resolved to give what aid she could, seized a large poker, and was

hurrying to his assistance, when she found that they had nailed up

the door of communication at the head of the stairs. What passed

after this she could not tell; for, when the impulse of intrepid

fidelity had been balked, and she found that her own safety was

provided for by means which made it impossible to aid a poor fellow

creature who had just invoked her name, the generous-hearted

creature was overcome by anguish of mind, and sank down on the

stair, where she lay, unconscious of all that succeeded, until she

found herself raised in the arms of a mob who had entered the

house. And how came they to have entered? In a way

characteristically dreadful. The night was starlit; the patrols

had perambulated the street without noticing anything suspicious,

when two foot passengers, who were following in their rear,

observed a dark-colored stream traversing the causeway. One of

them, at the same instant tracing the stream backward with his

eyes, observed that it flowed from under the door of Mr. Munzer,

and, dipping his finger in the trickling fluid, he held it up to

the lamplight, yelling out at the moment, "Why, this is blood!" It

was so, indeed, and it was yet warm. The other saw, heard, and

like an arrow flew after the horse patrol, then in the act of

turning the corner. One cry, full of meaning, was sufficient for

ears full of expectation. The horsemen pulled up, wheeled, and in

another moment reined up at Mr. Munzer's door. The crowd,

gathering like the drifting of snow, supplied implements which soon

forced the chains of the door and all other obstacles. But the

murderous party had escaped, and all traces of their persons had

vanished, as usual.

Rarely did any case occur without some peculiarity more or less

interesting. In that which happened on the following night, making

the fifth in the series, an impressive incident varied the monotony

of horrors. In this case the parties aimed at were two elderly

ladies, who conducted a female boarding school. None of the pupils

had as yet returned to school from their vacation; but two sisters,

young girls of thirteen and sixteen, coming from a distance, had

stayed at school throughout the Christmas holidays. It was the

youngest of these who gave the only evidence of any value, and one

which added a new feature of alarm to the existing panic. Thus it

was that her testimony was given: On the day before the murder, she

and her sister were sitting with the old ladies in a room fronting

to the street; the elder ladies were reading, the younger ones

drawing. Louisa, the youngest, never had her ear inattentive to

the slightest sound, and once it struck her that she heard the

creaking of a foot upon the stairs. She said nothing, but,

slipping out of the room, she ascertained that the two female

servants were in the kitchen, and could not have been absent; that

all the doors and windows, by which ingress was possible, were not

only locked, but bolted and barred--a fact which excluded all

possibility of invasion by means of false keys. Still she felt

persuaded that she had heard the sound of a heavy foot upon the

stairs. It was, however, daylight, and this gave her confidence;

so that, without communicating her alarm to anybody, she found

courage to traverse the house in every direction; and, as nothing

was either seen or heard, she concluded that her ears had been too

sensitively awake. Yet that night, as she lay in bed, dim terrors

assailed her, especially because she considered that, in so large a

house, some closet or other might have been overlooked, and, in

particular, she did not remember to have examined one or two

chests, in which a man could have lain concealed. Through the

greater part of the night she lay awake; but as one of the town

clocks struck four, she dismissed her anxieties, and fell asleep.

The next day, wearied with this unusual watching, she proposed to

her sister that they should go to bed earlier than usual. This

they did; and, on their way upstairs, Louisa happened to think

suddenly of a heavy cloak, which would improve the coverings of her

bed against the severity of the night. The cloak was hanging up in

a closet within a closet, both leading off from a large room used

as the young ladies' dancing school. These closets she had

examined on the previous day, and therefore she felt no particular

alarm at this moment. The cloak was the first article which met

her sight; it was suspended from a hook in the wall, and close to

the door. She took it down, but, in doing so, exposed part of the

wall and of the floor, which its folds had previously concealed.

Turning away hastily, the chances were that she had gone without

making any discovery. In the act of turning, however, her light

fell brightly on a man's foot and leg. Matchless was her presence

of mind; having previously been humming an air, she continued to do

so. But now came the trial; her sister was bending her steps to

the same closet. If she suffered her to do so, Lottchen would

stumble on the same discovery, and expire of fright. On the other

hand, if she gave her a hint, Lottchen would either fail to

understand her, or, gaining but a glimpse of her meaning, would

shriek aloud, or by some equally decisive expression convey the

fatal news to the assassin that he had been discovered. In this

torturing dilemma fear prompted an expedient, which to Lottchen

appeared madness, and to Louisa herself the act of a sibyl instinct

with blind inspiration. "Here," said she, "is our dancing room.

When shall we all meet and dance again together?" Saying which,

she commenced a wild dance, whirling her candle round her head

until the motion extinguished it; then, eddying round her sister in

narrowing circles, she seized Lottchen's candle also, blew it out,

and then interrupted her own singing to attempt a laugh. But the

laugh was hysterical. The darkness, however, favored her; and,

seizing her sister's arm, she forced her along, whispering, "Come,

come, come!" Lottchen could not be so dull as entirely to

misunderstand her. She suffered herself to be led up the first

flight of stairs, at the head of which was a room looking into the

street. In this they would have gained an asylum, for the door had

a strong bolt. But, as they were on the last steps of the landing,

they could hear the hard breathing and long strides of the murderer

ascending behind them. He had watched them through a crevice, and

had been satisfied by the hysterical laugh of Louisa that she had

seen him. In the darkness he could not follow fast, from ignorance

of the localities, until he found himself upon the stairs. Louisa,

dragging her sister along, felt strong as with the strength of

lunacy, but Lottchen hung like a weight of lead upon her. She

rushed into the room, but at the very entrance Lottchen fell. At

that moment the assassin exchanged his stealthy pace for a loud

clattering ascent. Already he was on the topmost stair; already he

was throwing himself at a bound against the door, when Louisa,

having dragged her sister into the room, closed the door and sent

the bolt home in the very instant that the murderer's hand came

into contact with the handle. Then, from the violence of her

emotions, she fell down in a fit, with her arm around the sister

whom she had saved.

How long they lay in this state neither ever knew. The two old

ladies had rushed upstairs on hearing the tumult. Other persons

had been concealed in other parts of the house. The servants found

themselves suddenly locked in, and were not sorry to be saved from

a collision which involved so awful a danger. The old ladies had

rushed, side by side, into the very center of those who were

seeking them. Retreat was impossible; two persons at least were

heard following them upstairs. Something like a shrieking

expostulation and counter-expostulation went on between the ladies

and the murderers; then came louder voices--then one heart-piercing

shriek, and then another--and then a slow moaning and a dead

silence. Shortly afterwards was heard the first crashing of the

door inward by the mob; but the murderers had fled upon the first

alarm, and, to the astonishment of the servants, had fled upward.

Examination, however, explained this: from a window in the roof

they had passed to an adjoining house recently left empty; and

here, as in other cases, we had proof how apt people are, in the

midst of elaborate provisions against remote dangers, to neglect

those which are obvious.

The reign of terror, it may be supposed, had now reached its acme.

The two old ladies were both lying dead at different points on the

staircase, and, as usual, no conjecture could be made as to the

nature of the offense which they had given; but that the murder WAS

a vindictive one, the usual evidence remained behind, in the proofs

that no robbery had been attempted. Two new features, however,

were now brought forward in this system of horrors, one of which

riveted the sense of their insecurity to all families occupying

extensive houses, and the other raised ill blood between the city

and the university, such as required years to allay. The first

arose out of the experience, now first obtained, that these

assassins pursued the plan of secreting themselves within the house

where they meditated a murder. All the care, therefore, previously

directed to the securing of doors and windows after nightfall

appeared nugatory. The other feature brought to light on this

occasion was vouched for by one of the servants, who declared that,

the moment before the door of the kitchen was fastened upon herself

and fellow servant, she saw two men in the hall, one on the point

of ascending the stairs, the other making toward the kitchen; that

she could not distinguish the faces of either, but that both were

dressed in the academic costume belonging to the students of the

university. The consequences of such a declaration need scarcely

be mentioned. Suspicion settled upon the students, who were more

numerous since the general peace, in a much larger proportion

military, and less select or respectable than heretofore. Still,

no part of the mystery was cleared up by this discovery. Many of

the students were poor enough to feel the temptation that might be

offered by any LUCRATIVE system of outrage. Jealous and painful

collusions were, in the meantime, produced; and, during the latter

two months of this winter, it may be said that our city exhibited

the very anarchy of evil passions. This condition of things lasted

until the dawning of another spring.

It will be supposed that communications were made to the supreme

government of the land as soon as the murders in our city were

understood to be no casual occurrences, but links in a systematic

series. Perhaps it might happen from some other business, of a

higher kind, just then engaging the attention of our governors,

that our representations did not make the impression we had

expected. We could not, indeed, complain of absolute neglect from

the government. They sent down one or two of their most

accomplished police officers, and they suggested some counsels,

especially that we should examine more strictly into the quality of

the miscellaneous population who occupied our large suburb. But

they more than hinted that no necessity was seen either for

quartering troops upon us, or for arming our local magistracy with

ampler powers.

This correspondence with the central government occupied the month

of March, and, before that time, the bloody system had ceased as

abruptly as it began. The new police officer flattered himself

that the terror of his name had wrought this effect; but judicious

people thought otherwise. All, however, was quiet until the depth

of summer, when, by way of hinting to us, perhaps, that the

dreadful power which clothed itself with darkness had not expired,

but was only reposing from its labors, all at once the chief jailer

of the city was missing. He had been in the habit of taking long

rides in the forest, his present situation being much of a

sinecure. It was on the first of July that he was missed. In

riding through the city gates that morning, he had mentioned the

direction which he meant to pursue; and the last time he was seen

alive was in one of the forest avenues, about eight miles from the

city, leading toward the point he had indicated. This jailer was

not a man to be regretted on his own account; his life had been a

tissue of cruelty and brutal abuse of his powers, in which he had

been too much supported by the magistrates, partly on the plea that

it was their duty to back their own officers against all

complainers, partly also from the necessities created by the

turbulent times for a more summary exercise of their magisterial

authority. No man, therefore, on his own separate account, could

more willingly have been spared than this brutal jailer; and it was

a general remark that, had the murderous band within our walls

swept away this man only, they would have merited the public

gratitude as purifiers from a public nuisance. But was it certain

that the jailer had died by the same hands as had so deeply

afflicted the peace of our city during the winter--or, indeed, that

he had been murdered at all? The forest was too extensive to be

searched; and it was possible that he might have met with some

fatal accident. His horse had returned to the city gates in the

night, and was found there in the morning. Nobody, however, for

months could give information about his rider; and it seemed

probable that he would not be d