A side glance showed him also the robber whom he had first wounded, Scrambling up to the assistance of his comrade, stiletto in hand. He had, in fact, attained the summit of the cliff, and the Englishman saw him within a few steps, when he heard suddenly the report of a pistol and the ruffian fell. The shot came from John, who had arrived just in time to save his master.
The remaining robber, exhausted by loss of blood and the violence of the contest, showed signs of faltering. His adversary pursued his advantage; pressed on him, and as his strength relaxed, dashed him headlong from the precipice. He looked after him and saw him lying motionless among the rocks below.
The Englishman now sought the fair Venetian. He found her senseless on the ground. With his servant’s assistance he bore her down to the road, where her husband was raving like one distracted.
The occasional discharge of fire-arms along the height showed that a Retreating fight was still kept up by the robbers. The carriage was righted; the baggage was hastily replaced; the Venetian, transported with joy and gratitude, took his lovely and senseless burthen in his arms, and the party resumed their route towards Fondi, escorted by the dragoons, leaving the foot soldiers to ferret out the banditti. While on the way John dressed his master’s wounds, which were found not to be serious.
Before arriving at Fondi the fair Venetian had recovered from her swoon, and was made conscious of her safety and of the mode of her deliverance. Her transports were unbounded; and mingled with them were enthusiastic ejaculations of gratitude to her deliverer. A thousand times did she reproach herself for having accused him of coldness and insensibility. The moment she saw him she rushed into his arms, and clasped him round the neck with all the vivacity of her nation.
Never was man more embarrassed by the embraces of a fine woman.
“My deliverer! my angel!” exclaimed she.
“Tut! tut!” said the Englishman.
“You are wounded!” shrieked the fair Venetian, as she saw the blood upon his clothes.
“Pooh—nothing at all!”
“O Dio!” exclaimed she, clasping him again round the neck and sobbing on his bosom.
“Pooh!” exclaimed the Englishman, looking somewhat foolish; “this is all nonsense.”
THE MONEY DIGGERS.
Now I remember those old women’s
Who in my youth would tell me winter’s tales;
And speak of spirits and ghosts that glide by night
About the place where treasure had been hid.
—MARLOW’S JEW OF MALTA.