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Under a Charm, A Novel, Vol. III   By: (1838-1918)

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Transcriber's Notes: 1. Page scan source: http://books.google.com/books?pg=PP7&id=h90BAAAAQAAJv

2. The diphthong oe is represented by [oe].

3. Compare this to the American edition: "Vineta, The Phantom City," by E. Werner and translated by Frances A. Shaw.

UNDER A CHARM.

UNDER A CHARM.

A Novel.

FROM THE GERMAN OF E. WERNER, By CHRISTINA TYRRELL.

IN THREE VOLUMES . VOL. III.

LONDON: RICHARD BENTLEY AND SON, NEW BURLINGTON STREET. 1877.

( All rights reserved .)

PART THE SECOND. ( Continued .)

UNDER A CHARM.

CHAPTER XI.

The border station lay, as has already been mentioned, only half a league distant from the frontier, in the midst of some of the thickest plantations on the Wilicza land. The building, which was large and even handsome, had been erected by the late Herr Nordeck at no inconsiderable cost; but there was a desolate, decayed look about the place, nothing whatever having been done towards its preservation or repair, either by master or tenant, for the last twenty years. The present forester owed his position solely to the Princess Baratowska's favour, that lady having taken advantage of the vacancy caused by his predecessor's death to advance one of her own supporters to the post. Osiecki had now filled it for three years. His frequent encroachments and somewhat negligent performance of his duties were altogether overlooked by his mistress, because she knew that the forester was devoted to her personally, and that she could count on him in any circumstances. Hitherto, Osiecki had but rarely been brought in contact with his master, and, on the whole, had followed with fair exactness the instructions received from him. Waldemar himself came but very rarely to the lonely, outlying station. It was only during the last few weeks that the perpetual conflicts between the foresters and the military stationed on the frontier had obliged him to interfere.

It was still to all appearances midwinter. The house and forest stood laden with snow in the dim light which fell from a heavy overcast sky. The ranger had assembled all his troop five or six foresters under his orders, and some woodmen. They were all standing with their guns thrown over their shoulders, evidently waiting for the master's coming; but it certainly did not look as though they were ready to obey and peaceably to quit the station, as Waldemar had commanded. The dark defiant faces of the men augured nothing good, and the ranger's appearance fully justified the assertion that he was 'capable of anything.' These people, who lived from year's end to year's end in the solitude of the woods, were not very punctilious in their notions of duty, cared little for either law or order; and Osiecki especially was notorious for the liberty of action he allowed himself, following generally the promptings of his own arbitrary will.

Nevertheless, they as yet preserved a respectful attitude, for before them stood the young Countess Morynska. She had thrown back her mantle. Her beautiful face betrayed nothing of the struggle and torture she had gone through but an hour or two ago; it was only very grave now, and coldly severe.

"You have brought us to an evil pass, Osiecki," she said. "You should have been careful not to attract suspicion or attention to the station, instead of which you quarrel with the patrols, and imperil everything by your indiscreet conduct. The Princess is extremely displeased with you... Continue reading book >>




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