Zanoni eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about Zanoni.

And Glyndon, mechanically turning his head, saw, close behind him, the stealthy figure of a man whom he had observed before, but with little heed, pass and repass him, as he quitted the house of Citizen C—.  Instantly and instinctively he knew that he was watched,—­that he was pursued.  The street he was in was obscure and deserted, for the day was oppressively sultry, and it was the hour when few were abroad, either on business or pleasure.  Bold as he was, an icy chill shot through his heart, he knew too well the tremendous system that then reigned in Paris not to be aware of his danger.  As the sight of the first plague-boil to the victim of the pestilence, was the first sight of the shadowy spy to that of the Revolution:  the watch, the arrest, the trial, the guillotine,—­these made the regular and rapid steps of the monster that the anarchists called Law!  He breathed hard, he heard distinctly the loud beating of his heart.  And so he paused, still and motionless, gazing upon the shadow that halted also behind him.

Presently, the absence of all allies to the spy, the solitude of the streets, reanimated his courage; he made a step towards his pursuer, who retreated as he advanced.  “Citizen, thou followest me,” he said.  “Thy business?”

“Surely,” answered the man, with a deprecating smile, “the streets are broad enough for both?  Thou art not so bad a republican as to arrogate all Paris to thyself!”

“Go on first, then.  I make way for thee.”

The man bowed, doffed his hat politely, and passed forward.  The next moment Glyndon plunged into a winding lane, and fled fast through a labyrinth of streets, passages, and alleys.  By degrees he composed himself, and, looking behind, imagined that he had baffled the pursuer; he then, by a circuitous route, bent his way once more to his home.  As he emerged into one of the broader streets, a passenger, wrapped in a mantle, brushing so quickly by him that he did not observe his countenance, whispered, “Clarence Glyndon, you are dogged,—­follow me!” and the stranger walked quickly before him.  Clarence turned, and sickened once more to see at his heels, with the same servile smile on his face, the pursuer he fancied he had escaped.  He forgot the injunction of the stranger to follow him, and perceiving a crowd gathered close at hand, round a caricature-shop, dived amidst them, and, gaining another street, altered the direction he had before taken, and, after a long and breathless course, gained without once more seeing the spy, a distant quartier of the city.

Here, indeed, all seemed so serene and fair that his artist eye, even in that imminent hour, rested with pleasure on the scene.  It was a comparatively broad space, formed by one of the noble quays.  The Seine flowed majestically along, with boats and craft resting on its surface.  The sun gilt a thousand spires and domes, and gleamed on the white palaces of a fallen chivalry.  Here fatigued and

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Zanoni from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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