Samuel Brohl and Company eBook

Victor Cherbuliez
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 218 pages of information about Samuel Brohl and Company.
I kept your mother’s portrait, the papers, all; and, in announcing your decease to the police, I made them believe that the man who was dead was named Samuel Brohl, and that Count Larinski still lived.  What would you have me do?  The temptation was too great.  Samuel Brohl had disgraceful antecedents, he was base-born, he had been sold; there was a stain on his past that never could be wiped away, and, as he had had the misfortune to read the poets, it had come about that he often despised himself.  It was, indeed, time that he should be thrown into the shade, and my joy was extreme to know that he was dead, and to feel that I was alive.  As soon as I succeeded in persuading myself that I was indeed Count Abel Larinski, I was as happy as a child whose parents have dressed him in new clothes, and who struts about to show them.  With your name I acquired a noble past; in thought, I roamed through it with delight; I visited its every nook and corner, as a poor devil would make the circuit of a park that he has just come to inherit.  You bequeathed me your relations, your adventures, your exploits.  When you fought for your country, I was there; when you received a gun-shot-wound near Dubrod, it was into my flesh that the bullet penetrated.  Of what do you complain?  Between friends is not everything in common?  I left my own skin, I entered yours; I was satisfied there, and desired to remain.  To-day I resemble you in everything; I assure you that if we were seen together it would be difficult to tell us apart.  I have assumed your habits, your manners, your language, the poise of your head, your playful melancholy, your pride, your opinions, all, even to the colour of your hair and your handwriting.  Abel Larinski, I have become you:  I mistake, I am more Pole, more Larinski, than you were yourself.”

At this moment Samuel Brohl had a singular expression of countenance; his gaze was fixed.  He was no longer of this world—­he conversed with a spirit; but he was neither terrified nor awed, as was Hamlet in talking to the shade of his father.  He treated familiarly the shade of the true Abel Larinski; it was precisely as we treat a partner that has transacted business with us in the same firm.

“It is very true, my dear Abel,” he continued, “that the principle of partnership accomplishes wonders; one man alone is a small affair.  But, of all partnerships, the most useful and convenient is the one that we have made together.  The living and the dead can render each other important services, and they never quarrel.  You should be satisfied; you play a fine role; you are the signature of the house.  We will not speak of your gun; that was a poor speculation, for which I scarcely can pardon you.  It was the fault of your disordered brain that we wandered off on that bypath, but, thanks be to Heaven! we have at last gained the highway.  Five weeks ago we met a woman, and what a woman!  She has velvety-brown eyes, whence glances well forth

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Samuel Brohl and Company from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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