Katharina’s face suddenly blazed with eager excitement. She flung back her head with a proud gesture.
“I will lead you to the place. Together we will seek him!” she cried, with animation in every feature.
“Then give me your hand. You are Katharina—my Katharina!”
He bent toward her, and the two hands met in a close clasp.
* * * * *
Count Fertoeszeg ordered the drums to beat a reveille; then he selected from his troop one hundred trusty men, and galloped with them in the direction of Neusiedl Lake. Katharina on her mule, without the tinkling bell, trotted soberly by his side.
SATAN AND DEMON
There was a notorious troop with Napoleon’s army, the sixth Italian regiment, which was called the “Legion of Demons.”
The troop was made up of worthless members of society—idlers, highwaymen, outcasts, and desperate characters, who had lost all sense of respectability and morality. The majority of them had sought the asylum of the battle-field to escape imprisonment or worse.
When their commander led his “demons” to an attack, he was wont to urge them thus:
“Avanti, avanti, Signori briganti! Cavalieri ladroni, avanti!” ("Forward, forward, Messieurs Highwaymen! My chivalrous footpads, forward!”)
A division of this legion of demons had made its way with the vice-king of Italy thus far through the belt-line, and had been intrusted with the mission mentioned in De Fervlans’s letter to General Guillaume. The marquis commanded this body of the demons, he having, as Colonel Barthelmy in the Austrian army, become thoroughly familiar with that part of Hungary.
* * * * *
Lisette and Satan Laczi’s little son were living alone at the Nameless Castle.
When Marie, who was come in quest of her friend Cambray, rang the bell, the door was opened by the lad.
“Is there a strange gentleman here?” she asked.
“I don’t know. He went to see Lisette, and I did not see him come away,” was the reply.
“Then let me come in,” said the young girl. “I want to speak to Lisette, too.”
“She will beat me if I let you come in,” returned the boy, opening the door after a moment’s hesitation.
The fumes of camphor were perceptible even in the vestibule; and when Marie’s little conductor knocked at the door of the kitchen, a heaping shovelful of hot and smoking coals was thrust toward him, and a scolding voice demanded irritably:
“What do you want again? Why do you keep annoying me, you little torment!”
“Excuse me, Lisette,” humbly apologized the lad, “but our young mistress from the manor is here.”
At this announcement Lisette hastily shut the door again, and opened a small loophole in an upper panel, through which she spoke in a sharp tone: