Page:Specimens of German Romance (Volume 3).djvu/22

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will be to borrow one of his horses. Do you know him?”

To my great satisfaction the stranger answered in the affirmative. This was putting the crown to my adventure; I was now like to learn who my companion really was, and I had more than a woman’s curiosity on the subject, but in the midst of my self-congratulations the stranger suddenly darted into the brush-wood and disappeared. At this unexpected action my old suspicions naturally awoke again; I began to have a dread of the wood, in which I found myself alone and unarmed; the devastating marches of the French emperor had here and there left behind deserters, who united at times with the ruined peasants in taking up the trade of robbery and murder. A fitter refuge for such gentry could not have been imagined, and perhaps the blind passenger was one of their spies; if so my sympathy with his distress was likely to find no pleasant recompense! Still when I thought of his face and manners,—and they had left a strong impression on me,—