“Know who killed my son!” he ejaculated hoarsely, “for Heaven’s sake, who was it?”
“You know the dark villain, Rebecca, who did that bloody deed! By Israel, who was it?” said her husband, almost in the same breath.
“It was Emile-Le-Grande!” she replied slowly. “He and none other.”
“That’s a dreadful accusation,” said the rabbi; “by what authority do you make such a statement?”
“By the authority of his own words,” she replied triumphantly. “Here, you can read the confession for yourself.” She drew forth the little journal and pointed to the records.
“There, read first: ’If I thought Mark Abrams loved her, I would kill him.”
“Great God!” gasped the rabbi, looking again at the record as though he thought his eyes had deceived him.
“Here again, see here,” said Rebecca, pointing to one other record: “‘Dead men tell no tales.’ Was that not some deed of his foul doing that he did not wish discovered?” she continued, as she turned onward through the book.
“He shall die!” exclaimed Mr. Mordecai, quivering with rage and astonishment, while the stricken father turned and walked sadly across the floor, exclaiming, “Ah me! ah me! Alas! my poor boy?” while the mother’s wounded heart bled afresh.
“See here again,” said Rebecca, pointing with her finger to another record that bore upon the mystery.
“Enough! enough!” exclaimed the father, averting his head and waving her to silence with his hand. “I have seen enough; the mystery is plain, the truth at last revealed. O God, the dreadful truth!”
Mr. Mordecai stamped his foot, clenched his hands, and muttering half audibly, “This villain has ruined you, has broken my heart, and destroyed the hopes of my child; and he shall die!”
“But, poor Leah, my husband,” said Rebecca, half timidly, and with a semblance of deep feeling.
“Leah!” he angrily repeated, “dare you even, now, speak that name to me? Would to God she were dead! Never insult me again with the utterance of that name?”
“Forgive me, dear husband; in the excitement of this sad discovery I forgot your commands. I’ll obey you in future.” And turning again to the subject, in order to appease her husband’s displeasure, she added, “By what means can you hope to reach Emile now, dear husband? You know he’s far away, and the guns of a blockading fleet intervene.”
“Though the guns of a dozen fleets intervened, I should bring him to justice,” he replied sharply.
“Think what my dear Sarah has suffered-is suffering still, from the work of his bloody hand, dear husband,” said Rebecca, affecting to weep, as she covered her face with her hand.
Well-nigh aroused to frenzy, Mr. Mordecai said fiercely, “Promise me, Rabbi Abrams, promise me, Rebecca, that you will lend me your aid in bringing this fugitive to justice; and I swear by Jerusalem, he shall be punished. I have gold, and that will insure me success. Yes, I have gold he coveted, but-aha! that he has never received. Pledge me, promise me, both of you, that good allies you will be!” And they pledged him.