“But wait till I tell you who they are.”
“Excuse me, Mr. Faxon, I must not tarry longer. I will meet them at the mansion.”
“What devil’s here,
dragging the dead to life,
To overthrow me?”
“Who art thou?
“The features all are changed,
But the voice grows familiar on my ears.”
Jaspar Dumont was seated in the library. The ravages of care and vice were growing more plainly visible on his face. His countenance was haggard, and his complexion seemed to be a struggle between the wanness of care and the redness of intemperance.
Near him sat De Guy, who had but just arrived.
“The lady has come,” said the attorney, adjusting his green spectacles; “and I am here to claim the fulfilment of our contract.”
Jaspar looked up from the floor, upon which his eyes had been fastened, and gazed with a fixed stare upon his companion.
“You do not understand me,” insinuated De Guy.
“I do,” said Jaspar, sternly; “I do; you have come to plunder me.”
“You do me injustice, my kind friend; I come to save you from the doom of a felon.”
“To put your foot upon my neck, and leap out of the pit your villany has dug!”
“Very well, my dear sir, if you are of this mind, my course is plain. Did you not agree to this arrangement?” said De Guy, with a smile, which was meant to soften the hard question.
“True, I did,” replied Jaspar, with a whining sullenness. “What would you have of me now?”
“Only that you fulfil the stipulations of the bargain.”
“Can I fulfil them? Can I marry you, even if the girl were willing?”
“You can give your commands. Will she not obey them?”
“Fool if she does!” muttered Jaspar, in a low tone.
“She will be so glad to be restored to her home, I fancy she will not think the terms are hard.”
“I don’t know,” said Jaspar, eying the attorney from head to foot. “I consent to the marriage. I can do no more.”
“Perhaps you will be willing to use a little gentle force, to save your own neck,” said the attorney, with something like a sneer.
“Anything, anything, that will silence your damning tongue, and rid me of your teasing!”
“Now, sir, you are reasonable.”
“Summon the girl,” said Jaspar, impatiently. “I will say all I have to say in a few words. But, if she foils you, it is not my fault.”
“True sir; but Miss Dumont, at this critical juncture of her affairs, will have respect for your counsels;” and the attorney withdrew to call her.
Emily entered the abode of her early years, and the memories of the past came crowding thick upon her. She seemed to realize that her sorrows were near an end, but the hope which such a pleasant thought inspired could not entirely overcome the gloom which the scene around her was calculated to produce. It was here she had often rambled with her father, and a thousand trivial incidents presented themselves to remind her of him.