“In the meantime I will bring Estella to my room; you can then pass out together and boldly advance to your carriage. You will first have to agree with Maximilian where it will stand; and the guard at the door will show you to it. When once in it, drive like the wind. You must arrange with Maximilian as to what is to be done in case you find you are followed, for in that event it will not do to drive directly to his house. You must enter the house of some one of the Brotherhood and pass rapidly through it, with Miss Washington, to a carriage that will be in waiting in a rear street. And you must be prepared with one or more such subterfuges, for you are dealing with men of terrible power and cunning, whose arms reach everywhere; and on the night of their councils—and in fact upon all other nights—the place abounds with spies. Come with me and I will show you the garden and how to enter it.”
I was struck with the intelligence, sagacity and executive capacity of the man; and I said to him:
“How comes it that you, holding such a position of trust and power, where your compensation must be all you can ask, are, at the same time, a member of a society which, if I understand aright, threatens to overturn the existing order of things. You are not driven to rebellion by want or oppression.”
“No,” he said; “I was educated at Heidelberg; I come of a wealthy family; but in my youth, while an enthusiastic lover of liberty and humanity, I became a member of a German branch of this now universal Brotherhood. I had my dreams, as many have, of reforming the world. But my membership, by a strange accident, became known, and I was forced to fly in disgrace, discarded by my relatives, to America. Here I lived in great poverty for a time, until the Brotherhood came to my assistance and secured me a servant’s place in this house. I have gradually risen to my present position. While I am not so enthusiastic as I once was, nor so sanguine of the good results of the promised revolution of the proletariat, I have nevertheless seen enough within these walls to show me the justice of our cause and the necessity for Some kind of reformation. I could not draw back now, if I desired to; and I do not know that I would if I could. We are all moving together on the face of the torrent, and whither it will eventually sweep us no one can tell. But come,” he added, “to the garden, or our long conversation may be noticed, and arouse suspicion.”
I cannot give you, my dear brother, a detailed account of every day’s occurrences, although I know that your love for me would make every incident of interest to you. I shall, however, jot down my reflections on sheets, and send them to you as occasion serves.