Page:Marietta, or the Two Students.djvu/36

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"I am armed, Cecil, but fear nothing. Give me the slightest intimation that you wish me to make the attempt, and I will burst the door open."

"No; you must not. What you propose I am persuaded is quite impracticable. You cannot struggle successfully with such odds as the slightest alarm would bring against you."

"I acquiesce in your decision. I believe you are right. It would perhaps be a risk to attempt it, beside I hardly know how to find my way out of this labyrinth myself."

"You will not forget my perilous situation, sir, I hope," said Cecil in a mournful voice, as she heard Levator preparing to depart.

"Forget you, Cecil. It is impossible. Your safety shall be my only care until it is effected. I will not fail to do as you wish. Farewell, Cecil, I go to Eugene."


An Appeal to Arms.

Without much difficulty. Levator found his way back to the "dead-room." He had scarcely entered and closed the sliding panel, when he heard voices in the passage he had just left. The persons were coming directly towards him, as he judged by the distinctness with which he heard the sounds. His first care was to extinguish the light. To escape by the way he had entered was impossible, as there were two doors to open, one of which was fastened. He retreated to the remotest corner of the room, and coiled himself in as small a space as possible at the end of the box or chest before mentioned, In that situation he considered discovery almost certain; but there was no other alternative, and he resolved to await the issue with as much unconcern as possible, though he did regard it as an unpleasant thing to be caught in the character of an eves-dropper, even where he was, and among such beings as he should have to deal with.

But little time was given him to reflect on the dilemma in which his curiosity had placed him. The panel was thrown open, and Thick and the woman whom he had so nearly encountered, entered, The former made his appearance first, followed by the latter, who carried a small taper. Here a circumstance, fortunate for the student, occurred. The dress of the virago caught, while thrusting her body through the passage; and in her efforts to disengage it, she dropped the light which was instantly extinguished by the fall. It was immediately recovered by Thick, who