Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 496 pages of information about Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3.

Before I could speak, she asked hurriedly, “How often do you come to

I took that to be a sort of command that I was to wait, and though longing to have it settled then and there, I braked myself up and answered her question.  Now I see what a duffer I was—­Madge told me afterward that she asked only because she was so frightened and confused that she felt she must stop my speaking for a moment.

I did my best till I heard the whistle the locomotive gives as it runs into yard limits, and then rose.  “Good-by, Miss Cullen,” I said, properly enough, though no death-bed farewell was ever more gloomily spoken; and she responded, “Good-by, Mr. Gordon,” with equal propriety.

I held her hand, hating to let her go, and the first thing I knew, I blurted out, “I wish I had the brass of Lord Ralles!”

“I don’t,” she laughed, “because, if you had, I shouldn’t be willing to let you—­”

And what she was going to say, and why she didn’t say it, is the concern of no one but Mr. and Mrs. Richard Gordon.




The sun was setting on the second day of June, in the year 1701, when Pietro Falier, the Captain of the Police of Venice, quitted his office in the Piazzetta of St. Mark and set out, alone, for the Palace of Fra Giovanni, the Capuchin friar, who lived over on the Island of the Guidecca.

“I shall return in an hour,” he said to his subordinate as he stepped into the black gondola which every Venetian knew so well.  “If any has need of me, I am at the house of Fra Giovanni.”

The subordinate saluted, and returned slowly toward the ducal palace.  He was thinking that his Captain went over-much just then to the house of that strange friar who had come to Venice so mysteriously, and so mysteriously had won the favor of the republic.

“Saint John!” he muttered to himself, “that we should dance attendance on a shaven crown—­we, who were the masters of the city a year ago!  What is the Captain thinking of?  Are we all women, then, or have women plucked our brains that it should be Fra Giovanni this and Fra Giovanni that, and your tongue snapped off if you so much as put a question.  To the devil with all friars, say I.”

The good fellow stopped a moment in his walk to lay the flat of his sword across the shoulders of a mountebank, who had dared to remain seated at the door of his booth while so great a person passed.  Then he returned to his office, and whispered in the ear of his colleague the assurance that the Captain was gone again to the island of the Jews, and that his business was with the friar.

“And look you, Michele,” said he, “it is neither to you nor to me that he comes nowadays.  Not a whisper of it, as I live, except to this friar, whom I could crush between my fingers as a glass ball out of Murano.”

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Master Tales of Mystery, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.