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"He knew it not himself, and so he has repeatedly sworn to me most solemnly."

Allut sighed, the abbé resumed :

"Whilst he lived one idea engrossed his mind, he used to say that he would resign his hope of Paradise to discover the author or authors of his arrest, and from this fixed idea he derived the notion of making a singular bequest. But meanwhile, I should apprise you that, in his prison, Picaud had rendered some valuable service to an Englishman, who was likewise a prisoner, and who at his death, bequeathed to Picaud, a diamond worth at least, fifty thousand francs."

"He was a lucky fellow," cried Allut, "fifty thousand francs are in themselves a fortune."

"When Pierre Picaud found himself on his death bed, he had me summoned, and told me that his end would be happy if I would promise to accomplish his intentions; he conjured me to make that promise, and I replied, that I would swear to observe his injunctions in the full confidence that he would require nothing contrary to my personal honour or my religious duties. Oh never, replied he, hear me and judge for yourself. I have not been able to discover the names of those by whom I have been immured in this prison, but God has inspired me with the conviction that one of my fellow-townsmen, Antoine Allut, of Nismes, knew those by whom I was denounced. Seek for him, as soon as you regain your liberty, and on my behalf give him the diamond which I possess from the bounty of Sir Herbert Newton; but I impose one condition, that in receiving the gem from you, he shall confide to you the names of the men whom I regard as my murderers. When he shall have communicated that information, you will then return to Naples, and have the tale of their calumny engraven on my tomb. There are four thousand sequins (about two thousand francs) to procure admission for my corpse into a vault set apart for that purpose, moreover, here are sixteen thousand sequins more to defray the expenses of your journey to Nismes. I possess these sums through the generosity of my dear master, Sir Herbert Newton. Touched with compassion for his fate, I swore to execute faithfully his injunctions. He placed the diamond in my hands and died peacefully. Although I was then a prisoner, I have been able to carry out his wishes. His body rests at Naples, in the church of the Santo Spirito, and as soon as I recovered my freedom I hastened to

France, to acquit myself of the charge I had underaken from my hapless friend-here I am, and here also is the diamond."

With these words the abbè Baldini raised his hand, which on the middle finger displayed the solitary but superb gem, whose brilliancy and magnitude fully attested its value. In estimating it at fifty thousand francs, there was no exaggeration, in fact the stone was worth double that sum. Antoine Allut gazed on it with rivetted attention, a cold perspiration bedewed his forehead, his mouth was fearfully contracted, and the tremor that pervaded his entire frame, plainly indicated the contest which in his heart avarice maintained with fear.

At this moment the wife of Allut entered displaying evident signs of recent and deep mortification; she paced rapidly across the apartment, placed herself full before her husband, who was all absorbed in the discourse of the Italian abbè and began:

"Old fellow, the sooner you take yourself and me from this horrid town the better, your brother and my sister will crush us with their assumption of superiority, they will only notice us by their overbearing insolence; learn, that within the last hour they have received twenty thousand francs, sent by the public diligence, and coming to them as sudden and as unexpected as if the money had fallen from the sky."

"Twenty thousand francs!" repeated Allut in astonishment, "and from whence ?"

"Tis an extraordinary story-your brother, about a year ago, saved from drowning a Danish gentleman who was on a visit at Avignon with the count de Rantzau. This stranger merely thanked him and departed, but now comes this prodigious present all in beautiful golden louis d'or of forty francs each. Won't they become haughtier than ever? Won't they trample on us now? Your younger brother! My younger sister! Oh! beyond all doubt I shall lose my senses.'

"That would not be surprizing, madame, when you hear that your husband refuses a legacy of, at least, fifty thousand francs, which a dying friend bequeathed him," added the abbè.

"How? he refuses fifty thousand francs ?" exclaimed the wife, raising her clenched hand and directing a look at her husband quite in unison with her threatening gesture.

"I am stating the legacy at its least value," replied the abbè placidly. He then re-commenced the recital which he had previously made to Allut, and again displayed the ring which

nevertheless, he kept on his finger. Certainly it required more firmness than belonged to the character of Allut to resist such a terrible temptation; jealous and low-minded, the sudden prosperity of his brother appeared an actual outrage on his poverty. His wife at once betook herself to a neighbouring jeweller, and he having examined the gem, offered sixty-three thousand francs for it, provided that a neat farm of which he was the proprietor, would be taken in part payment at the value of three thousand francs.

The Alluts were wild with joy, the woman could not restrain her delight, she indulged in a thousand extravagant demonstrations. Forthwith Antoine Allut acknowledged that he knew the persons, and gave their names. He was agitated with some apprehension of future evil, but encouraged by his wife, he desired the abbè to write down Gervais Chaubard, Guilhem Solari, and lastly Gilles Loupian. The abbè coolly entered the names in his tablets, handed the ring to Allut, and departed.

The ring became the property of the jeweller, who paid the stipulated price, and in four months after it was sold to a Turkish merchant for 102,000 francs. Allut inflamed with rage, assassinated the jeweller, was obliged to fly, and was believed to have escaped to Greece.

An elderly lady presented herself at the cafè of Loupian, and asked an interview with the proprietor; she confided to him, that her family were indebted for some special services to a poor man, who had been ruined by the events of 1814, but his pride revolted against the acceptance of any direct recompence, his only wish was for an engagement as an assistant in a respectable establishment where he would be kindly treated, he was no longer young, his age was about fifty, and if M. Loupian would receive him, he should be paid one hundred francs a month, unknown to the person in ques


Loupian agrees, a man presents himself, homely, and poorly clad, the woman of the house attentively surveys him, and thinks she has seen some person resembling him, but midst other cares she ceases to conjecture, and the new assistant pursues his avocations without further question. The two Nismois frequent the café; one day one of them fails to appear at the expected hour, they joke upon his absence, but next day he does not come, Solari promises to enquire the cause, he

returns in great consternation to the café at nine o'clock in the evening, and announces, that at five in the morning of the preceding day, the unfortunate Chaubard had been found poignarded on the Pont des Arts, the weapon had been left in the wound, and on the handle was inscribed NUMBER ONE.

Numerous conjectures were afloat, but conjectures are useless, the police were on the alert, but the guilty one escaped all their efforts. Some time afterwards, a valuable greyhound belonging to the master of the cafè, was poisoned, and a person declared that he had seen one of the customers throwing biscuits to the poor brute; Loupian instituted a lawsuit against this customer, but on the day of trial his witness was not to be found, and he was more readily muleted in heavy costs, when it appeared that the defendant, who was engaged in the service of the mails, was in Strasburgh on the day the dog was poisoned.

Loupian, by his first marriage, had a daughter, she had now attained her sixteenth year, and was a lovely girl. A fine gentleman saw her, became deeply enamoured, and lavished large sums to gain to his interest, the attendants of the café and the waiting maid of the demoiselle. He represented himself as a marquis and a millionaire, she was too confiding, and had to acknowledge her imprudence. Her agonized father expostulates with Monsieur who boasts of his fortune, displays a pedigree, shews the title-deeds of his domains, and agrees to marry the damsel. Joy now reigns in Loupian's family. The marriage takes place, and the bridegroom, who wishes the nuptials to be splendid, orders a repast of one hundred and fifty covers, at the Cadran Bleu

At the appointed hour the guests arrive, but the marquis does not appear, a note from him announces that by orders of the king, he is obliged to attend at the palace on an affair of importance, he requests that the repast may proceed, and promises to join the company about ten o'clock. The bride is grieved, even amidst the numerous congratulations offered on her distinguished position. Two courses are over, and with the dessert, a note is laid on the plate of each guest, by which they are informed, that Loupian's daughter is the bride of an escaped convict, and that he has fled the kingdom.

Frightful is the affliction of this wretched family, the atmosphere of their misery is too dark for them to see from whence such deadly blows issue. In four days after, having betaken

themselves to the country, to avoid for a short time public observation, they receive intelligence that the café has been burnt down, and that nothing has been saved from the conflagration, which was taken advantage of by thieving miscreants, to plunder and carry away whatever they could seize from the flames.

Loupian is now ruined, he has no property, no friends, save one—the old attendant Prosper, still remains, he is content to serve even without wages, and to share the scanty bread of his impoverished master; his fidelity is admired and praised, and Loupian manages to open a much more humble establishment in the Rue St. Antoine. Solari visits it regularly, and in a short time, on his return home, is seized with intense pains, a physician is called who declares the man to be poisoned, and spite of all endeavours, the unfortunate Solari expires in horrible convulsions. Twelve hours after, when according to usage, the bier is exposed in the entry of his residence, a paper is fouud pinned to the pall, bearing the sinister words


Besides the daughter whose destiny had been so unpropitious, Loupian had a son; this lad beset by bad characters. of both sexes, struggled a while against bad example and continued temptation, and ended by giving himself up to evil pursuits. One night his comrades proposed a lark, it was to break into a wine store, take away a dozen bottles, have a merry night with the prize, and pay for them next morning. Eugene Loupian, half-drunk, clapped his hands at this fine project. But at the moment when the door was forced and the flasks selected, the police, apprized by some secret information, were on the spot, Loupian and his associates were arrested in the fact, and subsequently convicted of the robbery. Royal clemency saved the young man from the galleys; notwithstanding incredible efforts and application of money in high quarters to arrest the hand of mercy, Loupian's son had to undergo twenty years imprisonment.

This catastrophe completed the ruin of the hapless family; the handsome and rich Marguerite died heart-broken and childless. Loupian and his daughter remained without any resource, then the honest attendant brought forth his savings and offered them to the young woman, but on the most degrading conditions. In the hope of alleviating her father's

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