Page:Marietta, or the Two Students.djvu/27

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THE TWO STUDENTS.

21

with a convulsive gripe the arm of Eugene, who, horrified beyond measure, shook it from him, and recoiled to the farther part of the room.

The Doctor was nearer losing his presence of mind than ever before; but he was used to scenes of horror, and comprehending the nature of the case, proceeded with considerable calmness to do what was proper,—opened a vein—poured the most powerful medicines into her mouth—held volatile salts to her nostrils, and soon had the inexpressible pleasure of seeing that fair girl restored to life, and wrested from the very embraces of death.

*****

The day previous to the commencement of our narrative, a young girl on a visit to her uncle, who lived in C——, died suddenly, and was buried before her parents had heard the terrible news, they being at the time absent from home, which was but a short ride from Boston.

*****

We now return to the body snatchers. After being so unceremoniously robbed of their burden, disappointed and frightened they made the best of their way to their lodging, muttering curses upon those who had stepped between them and their hopes of further gain. They had already realized a large profit from the body, and were confident of further emolument from the same source. But they were men of business, and resolved to mend the matter as quickly as possible, which could be done by procuring another subject in the usual manner. Thick recollected that there was a funeral that day at C——, and proposed to Gaunt that they should proceed forthwith to the cemetery and raise the body, provided it should be an adult; and to fire the flagging zeal of that worthy, he stipulated to ask no extra payment for his labor, which he was obliged to perform on account of the incapacity of the former. To this, Gaunt readily assented, although he allowed he was somewhat fatigued, and a little, a very little frustrated by their recent rencontre. It was now ten o'clock, and the night was favorable to their design, very dark and black clouds obscured most effectually the faint light of the stars, and that which the last quarter of the moon might otherwise have thrown upon the earth. Providing themselves with the necessary implements—a spade, a small iron bar, a sack, dark lantern, &c., they stepped into the small boat which was fastened to the wharf, and silently commenced their passage across the Mystic, Thick plying the oars most vigorously, and Gaunt guiding the course of the tiny vessel.

In three quarters of an hour, they found themselves on the opposite side, and drawing the boat to the bank in such a manner as to conceal it from view, and taking the tools with which they were to operate, they took their way by the most untraveled streets, to the church-yard, which was a short distance from the more thickly settled part of the village.

It was necessary to observe much caution in their movements, and considerable time elapsed before they reached the cemetery. The spot of earth that had been so recently opened to receive the remains of a human being, was easily found, and by its length they knew it to be an adult. Fortunately for them, the grave was not yet turfed over, and it would require less skill to obliterate all traces of their work. Two costly marble slabs, setting forth by an inscription the virtues of the departed, were planted one at either end of the mound. Upon the head-stone was chiseled by an accomplished hand the following: "Sacred to the memory of ——, son of the late ——, aged 28. He lived like a man and died like a Christian, in the