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"What is this anonymous communication you speak of?" asked the Premier, after a pause. "Oh, it is brief enough," answered Silvano unfolding a paper, and he read aloud: "To the Marquis de Lutera, Premier. "Satisfy yourself that those who meet on Saturday night where Lotys speaks, have already decided on your downfall!"

Long, long afterwards, his faithful servants, Sir Roger de Launay and Heinrich von Glauben retained a mental picture of him in that attitude, the dauntless smile upon his lips, the dreamful look in his eyes, resting, as it seemed against a prepared funeral-bier, with the watch-lights burning for burial, and the face of Lotys, pale as a marble mask, yet wearing an expression of mingled triumph and agony, shining near him like a star amid the gloom, while the tall form of Sergius Thord in the background loomed large, a shadow of impending evil.

Here, as he spoke he drew a pistol from his pocket and turned the muzzle towards himself, at which unexpected action there was a hasty movement of surprise, terror and confusion among the company. "Gentlemen all! Friends! Brothers! as you have been, and are to me, by the binding of our compact in the name of Lotys!

Whereas, whenever Sergius Thord spoke, thousands of throats roared acclamation, and the very sight of Lotys passing quietly down the poorer thoroughfares of the city was sufficient to bring out groups of men and women to their doors, waving their hands to her, sending her wild kisses, and almost kneeling before her in an ecstasy of trust and adoration.

His eyes were singularly bright, his lithe handsome figure seemed taller and more erect, he bore himself with a proud, even grand air, and Lotys, moved at last from her chill and melancholy apathy, gazed at him as he approached, with eyes in which a profound sadness was mingled with the dark tenderness of many passionate thoughts and dreams.

He looked ill and exhausted, like a man who had passed through a violent paroxysm of fever. "You are a good child, Pequita!" he was saying softly; "Try to be always so! it is difficult but it is easier to a woman than to a man! Women have more of good in them than men!" "How about the dance?" suggested Thord; "The hour is late, close on midnight and Lotys must be tired."

That was what he could not determine. The heat of his wild fury had passed, leaving him cold and passive as a stone. "Lotys!" He whispered the name. Horrible! How she looked, with all that blood! all that golden hair! 'Tell the King I did it myself! Yes the King would have to be told something!

"But I sometimes fear one man !" "Sergius Thord?" suggested Von Glauben; "To speak honestly, so do I! But I watch him I watch him closely! He loves Lotys, as a tiger loves its mate, and if he should ever suspect !" "Hush!" said Roger quickly; "Do not speak of it! I assure you I am always on guard!" "Good! So am I! But Thord is too busy just now climbing the hill to look either backward or aside.

All the same Pequita felt sure that she owed the sudden lifting of her own and her father's daily burden of life, to the unforgetting care and intercession of Leroy. Lotys was equally convinced of the same, and both she and Sergius Thord highly appreciated their new associate's unobtrusive way of doing good, as it were, by stealth.

With a horrid sense of unreality Thord stared upon the evil he had done. He gazed stupidly around him. He listened for someone to come and explain to him what had happened. But up in that remote attic, there was no one to hear either a pistol-shot or a cry. There was only one thing to be understood and learnt by heart, that Lotys, once living, was now dead! Dead! How came she dead?