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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 638 pages of information about The Adventures Harry Richmond Complete.
My father will hear of this from my lips—­why not he?  Ah! did I suspect you ever so little?  I will atone for it; not atone, I will make it my pleasure; it is my pride that has hurt you both.  O my lover! my lover!  Dear head, dear eyes!  Delicate and noble that you are! my own stronger soul!  Where was my heart?  Is it sometimes dead, or sleeping?  But you can touch it to life.  Look at me—­I am yours.  I consent, I desire it; I will see him.  I will be bound.  The heavier the chains, oh! the better for me.  What am I, to be proud of anything not yours, Harry? and I that have passed over to you!  I will see him at once.’

A third in the room cried out, ‘No, not that—­you do not!’

The tongue was German and struck on us like a roll of unfriendly musketry before we perceived the enemy.  ’Princess Ottilia! you remember your dignity or I defend you and it, think of me what you will!’

Baroness Turckems, desperately entangled by the sofa-covering, rushed into the ray of the lamps and laid her hand on the bell-rope.  In a minute we had an alarm sounding, my father was among us, there was a mad play of chatter, and we stood in the strangest nightmare-light that ever ended an interview of lovers.

CHAPTER XXXVI

HOMEWARD AND HOME AGAIN

The room was in flames, Baroness Turckems plucking at the bell-rope, my father looking big and brilliant.

‘Hold hand!’ he shouted to the frenzied baroness.

She counter-shouted; both of them stamped feet; the portico sentinel struck the butt of his musket on the hall-doors; bell answered bell along the upper galleries.

‘Foolish woman, be silent!’ cried my father.

‘Incendiary!’ she half-shrieked.

He turned to the princess, begging her to retire, but she stared at him, and I too, after having seen him deliberately apply the flame of her lamp to the curtains, deemed him mad.  He was perfectly self-possessed, and said, ‘This will explain the bell!’ and fetched a deep breath, and again urged the princess to retire.

Peterborough was the only one present who bethought him of doing fireman’s duty.  The risk looked greater than it was.  He had but to tear the lighted curtains down and trample on them.  Suddenly the baroness called out, ’The man is right!  Come with me, princess; escape, your Highness, escape!  And you,’ she addressed me—­’you rang the bell, you!’

‘To repair your error, baroness,’ said my father.

‘I have my conscience pure; have you?’ she retorted.

He bowed and said, ’The fire will also excuse your presence on the spot, baroness.’

‘I thank my God I am not so cool as you,’ said she.

‘Your warmth’—­he bent to her—­’shall always be your apology, baroness.’

Seeing the curtains extinguished, Ottilia withdrew.  She gave me no glance.

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