‘But I will not hang,’ he said, fiercely; ’Octave Braulard, who escaped the guillotine, will not perish by a rope. No; I have found a boat going to South America, and to-morrow I go on board of her, to sail to Valparaiso; but before I go I settle with you.’
She sprang suddenly to her feet with a look of hate in her eyes.
‘You villain!’ she said, through her clenched teeth, ’you ruined my life, but you shall not murder me!’
He caught her wrist again, but he was weak for want of food, and she easily wrenched it away.
‘Stand back!’ she cried, retreating a little.
‘You think to escape me,’ he almost shrieked, all his smooth cynical mask falling off; ’no, you will not; I will throw you into the river. I will see you sink to your death. You will cry for help. No one will hear you but God and myself. Both of us are merciless. You will die like a rat in a hole, and that face you are so proud of will be buried in the mud of the river. You devil! your time has come to die.’
He hissed out the last word in a low, sibilant manner, then sprang towards her to execute his purpose. They were both standing on the verge of the steps, and instinctively Kitty put out her hands to keep him off. She struck him on the chest, and then his foot slipped on the green slime which covered the steps, and with a cry of baffled rage he fell backward into the dull waters, with a heavy splash. The swift current gripped him, and before Kitty could utter a sound, she could see him rising out in midstream, and being carried rapidly away. He threw up his hands with a hoarse cry for help, but, weakened by famine, he could do nothing for himself, and sank for the second time. Again he rose, and the current swept him near shore, almost within reach of a fallen tree. He made a desperate effort to grasp it, but the current, mocking his puny efforts, bore him away once again in its giant embrace, and with a wild shriek on God he sank to rise no more.
The woman on the bank, with white face and staring eyes, saw the fate which he had meant for her meted out to him, and when she saw him sink for the last time, she covered her face with her hand and fled rapidly away into the shadowy night.
The sun is setting in a sea of blood, and all the west is lurid with crimson and barred by long black clouds. A heavy cloud of smoke shot with fiery red hangs over the city, and the din of many workings sound through the air. Down on the river the ships are floating on the blood-stained waters, and all their masts stand up like a forest of bare trees against the clear sky. And the river sweeps on red and angry-looking under the sunset, with the rank grass and vegetation on its shelving banks. Rats are scampering along among the wet stones, and then a vagrant dog poking about amid some garbage howls dismally. What is that black speck on the crimson waters? The trunk of a tree perhaps; no, it is a body, with