**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


The Miraculous Revenge
by [?]

“Hallo sir!” “Confound you, sir–” “Do you suppose that this–” “What the deuce–?”

I turned; and silence followed. Six men, partially dressed, with disheveled hair, stood regarding me angrily. They all carried candles. One of them had a bootjack, which he held like a truncheon. Another, the foremost, had a pistol. The night porter was behind trembling.

“Sir,” said the man with the revolver, coarsely, “may I ask whether you are mad, that you disturb people at this hour with such unearthly noise?”

“Is it possible that you dislike it?” I replied courteously.

“Dislike it!” said he, stamping with rage. “Why–damn everything–do you suppose we were enjoying it?”

“Take care: he’s mad,” whispered the man with the bootjack.

I began to laugh. Evidently they did think me mad. Unaccustomed to my habits, and ignorant of the music as they probably were, the mistake, however absurd, was not unnatural. I rose. They came closer to one another; and the night porter ran away.

“Gentlemen,” I said, “I am sorry for you. Had you lain still and listened, we should all have been the better and happier. But what you have done, you cannot undo. Kindly inform the night porter that I am gone to visit my uncle, the Cardinal Archbishop. Adieu!”

I strode past them, and left them whispering among themselves. Some minutes later I knocked at the door of the Cardinal’s house. Presently a window opened and the moonbeams fell on a grey head, with a black cap that seemed ashy pale against the unfathomable gloom of the shadow beneath the stone sill.

“Who are you?”

“I am Zeno Legge.”

“What do you want at this hour?”

The question wounded me. “My dear uncle,” I exclaimed, “I know you do not intend it, but you make me feel unwelcome. Come down and let me in, I beg.”

“Go to your hotel,” he said sternly. “I will see you in the morning. Goodnight.” He disappeared and closed the window.

I felt that if I let this rebuff pass, I should not feel kindly towards my uncle in the morning, nor indeed at any future time. I therefore plied the knocker with my right hand, and kept the bell ringing with my left until I heard the door chain rattle within. The Cardinal’s expression was grave nearly to moroseness as he confronted me on the threshold.

“Uncle,” I cried, grasping his hand, “do not reproach me. Your door is never shut against the wretched. Let us sit up all night and talk.”

“You may thank my position and my charity for your admission, Zeno,” he said. “For the sake of the neighbors, I had rather you played the fool in my study than upon my doorstep at this hour. Walk upstairs quietly if you please. My housekeeper is a hard-working woman: the little sleep she allows herself must not be disturbed.”

“You have a noble heart, uncle. I shall creep like a mouse.”

“This is my study,” he said as we entered an ill-furnished den on the second floor. “The only refreshment I can offer you, if you desire any, is a bunch of raisins. The doctors have forbidden you to touch stimulants, I believe.”

“By heaven—-!” He raised his finger. “Pardon me: I was wrong to swear. But I had totally forgotten the doctors. At dinner I had a bottle of Grave.”

“Humph! You have no business to be traveling alone. Your mother promised that Bushy should come over here with you.”

“Pshaw! Bushy is not a man of feeling. Besides, he is a coward. He refused to come with me because I purchased a revolver.”

“He should have taken the revolver from you, and kept to his post.”

“Why will you persist in treating me like a child, uncle? I am very impressionable, I grant you; but I have gone around the world alone, and do not need to be dry-nursed through a tour in Ireland.”

“What do you intend to do during your stay here?”

I had no plans and instead of answering I shrugged my shoulders and looked round the apartment. There was a statue of the Virgin upon my uncle’s desk. I looked at its face, as he was wont to look in the midst of his labor. I saw there eternal peace. The air became luminous with an infinite net-work of the jeweled rings of Paradise descending in roseate clouds upon us.