The Youth of the Great Elector eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 514 pages of information about The Youth of the Great Elector.

VIII.—­THE FLIGHT.

How dreary and desolate was the day which Count Adolphus now passed in the palace—­how the hours lengthened into days, and the minutes into hours!  How glad were they when twilight at last drew near, what sighs of relief they breathed when night at last set in!

A dark, silent night.  The sky was obscured by clouds, not a star was to be seen.  A night well fitted for enveloping fugitives in her friendly mantle, and concealing them beneath her gloomy shades.  Away now, away!  Night is here!  Freedom beckons!  The spacious palace was to-day nothing but a close, oppressive prison.  Nothing did Count Adolphus hear but the walking to and fro of the sentinels and the corporal’s call to relieve guard.  Nothing did he see, when he went to the window, but soldiers slowly pacing their round before the park railing.

Away from this prison, whose splendor and luxury seemed like sheer mockery, away from this house teeming with bitter memories of past grandeur and glory!

Night was here, the night of deliverance.  Away, away!

They wrapped their cloaks about them, drew their hats low over their foreheads, and entered the subterranean passage.  Waldow lead the way, a burning taper in one hand, a pistol in the other.  Count Adolphus Schwarzenberg followed him, a pistol in either hand, firmly determined to shoot down whoever might dare to oppose his progress.

The passage was traversed, and safely the two emerged into the open air in the park pavilion.  Now forward quickly, down the dark alley to the lower garden gate.  The key was in his pocket, there was nothing to obstruct their flight.

One moment they paused within the half-opened gateway and listened.  Nothing moved in the street without.  All life seemed already extinct, all the inhabitants of the wretched houses had retired to rest.  Not a light glimmered through the windows.  All was hushed and still.  They pushed open the gate and stepped out upon the street.  They looked up and down; nowhere did they see a sign of movement, nowhere a human form, nor anywhere hear a rustling sound.  Forward now, forward up the street, around the corner of the park, across the cathedral square.

The night was quite dark, and the two fugitives looked ever ahead, not once behind them.  They did not see that another shadow followed their black shadows, nor that a second shadow glided across the cathedral square to the Electoral castle.

To that castle, too, were Count Schwarzenberg’s eyes directed.  There it loomed up, veiled in mystery and gloom, its dim outlines barely distinguishable from the mass of overhanging clouds in the background.  In the lower story, where was situated the guardroom, burned a bright light, shining like a clear, yellow star, and irradiating the darkness of the night.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Youth of the Great Elector from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook