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The Long Night   By: (1855-1928)

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THE LONG NIGHT

BY STANLEY WEYMAN

AUTHOR OF "A GENTLEMAN OF FRANCE," ETC.

SECOND IMPRESSION

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON AND BOMBAY 1903

WORKS BY STANLEY WEYMAN.

The House of the Wolf. The New Rector. The Story of Francis Cludde. A Gentleman of France. The Man in Black. Under the Red Robe. My Lady Rotha. The Red Cockade. Shrewsbury. Sophia. The Castle Inn. From the Memoirs of a Minister of France. Count Hannibal. In Kings' Byways. The Long Night.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. A Student of Theology 1 II. The House on the Ramparts 16 III. The Quintessential Stone 31 IV. Cæsar Basterga 45 V. The Elixir Vitæ 59 VI. To Take or Leave 74 VII. A Second Tissot 88 VIII. On the Threshold 102 IX. Melusina 116 X. Auctio Fit: Venit Vita 129 XI. By This or That 143 XII. The Cup and the Lip 157 XIII. A Mystery Solved 172 XIV. "And Only One Dose in all the World!" 185 XV. On the Bridge 200 XVI. A Glove and What Came of It 215 XVII. The Remedium 227 XVIII. The Bargain Struck 242 XIX. The Departure of the Rats 257 XX. In the Darkened Room 271 XXI. The Remedium 285 XXII. Two Nails in the Wall 301 XXIII. In Two Characters 318 XXIV. Armes! Armes! 335 XXV. Basterga at Argos 350 XXVI. The Dawn 365

CHAPTER I.

A STUDENT OF THEOLOGY.

They were about to shut the Porte St. Gervais, the north gate of Geneva. The sergeant of the gate had given his men the word to close; but at the last moment, shading his eyes from the low light of the sun, he happened to look along the dusty road which led to the Pays de Gex, and he bade the men wait. Afar off a traveller could be seen hurrying two donkeys towards the gate, with now a blow on this side, and now on that, and now a shrill cry. The sergeant knew him for Jehan Brosse, the bandy legged tailor of the passage off the Corraterie, a sound burgher and a good man whom it were a shame to exclude. Jehan had gone out that morning to fetch his grapes from Möens; and the sergeant had pity on him.

He waited, therefore; and presently he was sorry that he had waited. Behind Jehan, a long way behind him, appeared a second wayfarer; a young man covered with dust who approached rapidly on long legs, a bundle jumping and bumping at his shoulders as he ran. The favour of the gate was not for such as he a stranger; and the sergeant anxious to bar, yet unwilling to shut out Jehan, watched his progress with disgust. As he feared, too, it turned out. Young legs caught up old ones: the stranger overtook Jehan, overtook the donkeys. A moment, and he passed under the arch abreast of them, a broad smile of acknowledgment on his heated face. He appeared to think that the gate had been kept open out of kindness to him.

And to be grateful. The war with Savoy Italian Savoy which, like an octopus, wreathed clutching arms about the free city of Geneva had come to an end some months before. But a State so small that the frontier of its inveterate enemy lies but two short leagues from its gates, has need of watch and ward, and curfews and the like, so that he was fortunate who found the gates of Geneva open after sunset in that year, 1602; and the stranger seemed to know this.

As the great doors clanged together and two of the watch wound up the creaking drawbridge, he turned to the sergeant, the smile still on his face... Continue reading book >>




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