Page:Idalia, by 'Ouida'.djvu/187

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Phaunleon wheeled and dashed his spurs into his mare's flanks, which sprang off at a headlong gallop a hundred paces in advance by that second's start; in an instant the other caught at the loose rein of his English horse, flung himself into saddle at a leap; and tore down the Bosphorous shore, his rifle levelled, the bridle between his teeth, the Monarch racing at full speed. They were in chase—the pursuer and the pursued.

"Halt!—or you are a dead man."

The challenge rolled through the night out and away to the Bosphorus;—the sole answer of the Qxeek was to dash the rowels again into his roan's sides, and tear on without other thought than flight, tasting all the long bitterness of death with every time that the beat of the gallop grew closer

  • behind him, with every moment that the shriek of

the bullet might whistle down on the wind and the shot pierce his heart from the hand he had once thought picked bare to the bone by the vultures, and buried safe in Moldavian snows.

The blood coursed like fire through Erceldoune's veins, every muscle in him strained like those of a gallant hound in chase; he longed, as the hound longs, to be at the throat of his flying foe: he had a mortal debt to pay, and a deadly wrath to pay it