Vittoria — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 730 pages of information about Vittoria — Complete.
to him as he hurried on!  He met a sort of pedlar turning the bluntfaced mountain-spur, and this man said, “Yes, sure enough, prisoners had been taken,” and he was not aware of harm having been done to them; he fancied there was a quarrel between two captains.  His plan being always to avoid the military, he had slunk round and away from them as fast as might be.  An Austrian common soldier, a good-humoured German, distressed by a fall that had hurt his knee-cap, sat within the gorge, which was very wide at the mouth.  Merthyr questioned him, and he, while mending one of his gathered cigar-ends, pointed to a meadow near the beaten track, some distance up the rocks.  Whitecoats stood thick on it.  Merthyr lifted his telescope and perceived an eager air about the men, though they stood ranged in careless order.  He began to mount forthwith, but amazed by a sudden ringing of shot, he stopped, asking himself in horror whether it could be an execution.  The shots and the noise increased, until the confusion of a positive mellay reigned above.  The fall of the meadow swept to a bold crag right over the pathway, and with a projection that seen sideways made a vulture’s head and beak of it.  There rolled a corpse down the precipitous wave of green grass on to the crag, where it lodged, face to the sky; sword dangled from swordknot at one wrist, heels and arms were in the air, and the body caught midway hung poised and motionless.  The firing deadened.  Then Merthyr drawing nearer beneath the crag, saw one who had life in him slipping down toward the body, and knew the man for Beppo.  Beppo knocked his hands together and groaned miserably, but flung himself astride the beak of the crag, and took the body in his arms, sprang down with it, and lay stunned at Merthyr’s feet.  Merthyr looked on the face of Carlo Ammiani.


No uncontested version of the tragedy of Count Ammiani’s death passed current in Milan during many years.  With time it became disconnected from passion, and took form in a plain narrative.  He and Angelo were captured by Major Nagen, and were, as the soldiers of the force subsequently let it be known, roughly threatened with what he termed I ’Brescian short credit.’  The appearance of Major Weisspriess and his claim to the command created a violent discussion between the two officers.  For Nagen, by all military rules, could well contest it.  But Weisspriess had any body of the men of the army under his charm, and seeing the ascendency he gained with them over an unpopular officer, he dared the stroke for the charitable object he had in view.  Having established his command, in spite of Nagen’s wrathful protests and menaces, he spoke to the prisoners, telling Carlo that for his wife’s sake he should be spared, and Angelo that he must expect the fate of a murderer.  His address to them was deliberate, and quite courteous:  he expressed himself sorry that a gallant gentleman

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Vittoria — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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