Page:Marietta, or the Two Students.djvu/30

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MARIETTA, OR

suspicion of the trick that had been played upon him.

The ensuing evening found Dr. Frene and his student at the dissecting room, ready to proceed with the dissection of the new 'subject.' Towards Levator their manner was changed, and they seemed to treat him with more respect than on a former occasion, and were very careful not to allude to the fair "subject," of a few evenings before, which his scruples had prevented them from mutilating. Levator also observed the same silence in relation to the affair. He had procured another body, and they doubtless felt that they were about to be indemnified for the loss they had then sustained, at least this was the reason formed by Levator for their silence.—Every thing was prepared as before, the wax to inject the vessels—the instruments, etc. etc. Arranging the lamps so as to throw the light full upon the body, Dr. Frene took up his scalpel to commence. He drew the white cloth from the corpse, and then with an expression of horror and disgust receded from the table. What a spectacle met their gaze—a horribly diseased body far advanced in decomposition—a noseless and almost fleshless face—naked cheek bones—grinning and half lipless teeth,—but we go no farther, we will draw a curtain over the dreadful picture, and not shock the reader by the disgusting details, for not all the pens in the world could convey an adequate idea of the unsightliness of that libertine's corpse.

The excitement of Eugene was the most observable, for in that body he also recognized all that remained of the seducer of the girl then his mistress. With a groan he rushed from the room leaving his companions astonished at his sudden disappearance. The sight inspired him with terror and remorse.

Levator looked first at the body, then at the Doctor, who seemed to be waiting for an explanation for what he saw.—There was a silence, and the Doctor looked again at the student, and that glance said explain" as plainly as it could. The explanation was soon given.

"A mean trick they have played you Levator."

"Aye, they have indeed. But what can be the reason of Eugene's sudden exit, and his frustrated manner?"

"I am as much in the dark as yourself on that point" replied the doctor.--Perhaps he was so shocked at the sight of the corpse that he found it impossible to stay."

"Very likely you are right.—You will oblige me by staying here while I seek out the "Kennel" of the body snatchers to learn the meaning of this."

"Dare you visit them at this time of night, alone and unarmed? Is it not dangerous to put yourself into the power of those cut-throat-looking villains?"

"Do I dare! Did you ever know me to shrink from any thing I undertook to accomplish?"

"Pardon, Levator, I know you are not a coward. You mistake my meaning. I fear you may be incurring too much risk by visiting those feeders upon the dead at this hour."

"Be assured I hazard little by the visit—besides I will carry these——" he continued taking a brace of pistols from a drawer, which will most effectually frighten them should I require their aid."

"Saying this and leaving the doctor with the 'subject,' he sought the street in the direction of the body snatchers.—Without difficulty he found his way to the place, for he had recently been there several times on business which the reader may readily comprehend. He tapped gently at the door as he was in the habit of doing, but received no answer, nor heard any movement within. Again and again he knocked with the same unsatis-