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IDALIA

English envoy was then at Jassy, charged with a special mission, to whom the despatches which Erceldoune bore carried special instructions, touching on delicate matters of moment to the affairs of central and eastern Europe, and to the part which would he played by Great Britain in the event of the freedom of the southern states, and the success of the liberal party in Athens, Hungary, or Venetia. This one bag, with the arms of England on the seal, and the all-important instructions within, was all that he carried now, slung round his neck and across his chest by an undressed belt of chamois leather. He was wholly alone; his mountain guides he had dismissed at the foot of the Carpathians, for he had gone through the most dangerous defiles and thief-invested passes all over the world, caring for no other defence than lay in his holster pistols. He had been stopped two or three times, once by the "Bail-up!" of Tasmanian bushrangers, once by a Ghoorka gang in Northern India, once by a chieftain who levied black mail in the rocky fastnesses of Macedonia,—but his shots had always cleared him a passage through, and he had ridden on with no more loss than the waste of powder and ball. He was too well known, moreover, in both hemispheres, to be molested, and the boldest hill-robbers would