Madelon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 320 pages of information about Madelon.

Burr looked at her with a white, incredulous face.  Then he started up and came forward, but Madelon did not look at him.  She turned to the jailer, Alvin Mead.  “I want to see him alone,” said she, imperatively.

“It’s again my orders,” said the jailer.  He was a great man, with an arm like a crow-bar.  He was reputed to have used it as one many a time at a house-raising.

“I’ve got to see him alone!”

“He’s in here on a charge of murder, and it’s again my orders,” repeated Alvin Mead, like a parrot.

“I’ve got to see him alone!”

Alvin Mead looked at her irresolutely with his stupid light eyes; then all his great system of bone and muscle seemed to back out of the room before her.  He shut the door after him, and they heard the bolt slide.

Madelon turned to Burr.  “Tell them,” she gasped out—­“tell them it was—­I!”

Burr did not speak for a minute; he stood looking at her.  “Perhaps I am not any too much of a man,” he said, slowly, at length, “but you ask me to be a good deal less of a man than I am.”

Madelon did not seem to hear him.  “I have told them I did it!  I have told them all,” said she, “but they won’t believe me—­they won’t believe me! You must tell them.”

“I will die before I will tell them,” said Burr Gordon.

Madelon looked at his white face, which was set against hers like a rock; then she gave a great cry and fell down on her knees before him.  “Tell them,” she moaned, “or they will hang you—­they will hang you, Burr!”

“Let them hang me, then!”

“Tell them; they won’t believe me!”

Burr caught hold of her two arms and raised her to her feet.  “See here, Madelon,” said he, “don’t you know—­”

She looked at him dumbly.

“Don’t you know—­I would not tell them if they would, but—­I might tell them until I was gray, and they would not believe me!”

Madelon cried out sharply, as if she in her turn had been struck to the heart.

“It is true,” Burr said, quietly.

“Then if he dies without telling, there is no way of—­saving you—­”

Burr shook his head.

“The knife—­how—­came your knife there instead of Richard’s?”

Burr smiled.

Bluish shadows came around Madelon’s dark eyes and her mouth.  She gasped for breath as she spoke.  “I—­have—­killed you, then,” said she.  Suddenly she put up her white, stiffly quivering lips to Burr’s.  “Kiss me!” she cried out.  “I beg you to give me the kiss that I might have killed you for last night!”

Burr bent down and kissed her, and she threw her arms around him and pressed his head to her bosom.  “They shall not,” she cried out, fiercely—­“they shall not hang you!  I will make them believe me!  Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, Burr.”

“Madelon,” Burr said, huskily, “I have been double-faced and false to you, but, as God is my witness, I’m glad I’ve got the chance to suffer in your stead.”

Project Gutenberg
Madelon from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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