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them. But the mysterious dragon, which, apart, his eyes fixed upon the pillow which no one knew how or where, kept secret had been stolen and made use of by the watch over the villa, seemed nothing but a thieves in climbing the wall. He grew very scarecrow after this robbery; the beautiful pale, as he stood there listening to the queswhite house was stripped of its charm; ittions that were asked of one man after anwas as if all the bolts were thrown back. other, in the hope of extorting something Quickly the report gained ground that the from each. house-servants had committed the robbery. The dwarf appeared, and said that a pair of
The people on the roads and in the vil- boots had been stolen from him. lages through which the carriage passed Yes," replied the officer at once, “ the looked up and nodded to Eric, Roland, and theft was committed in your boots." Pranken, as they drove swiftly by. The The dwarf's face wore a simple expression, few who raised their caps did it hesitatingly, as if he had not understood what was meant. as if they, like the rest, would say, It is all The officer ordered his instant arrest. He up now with your mystery; the officers will complained piteously that the innocent were soon find out what has been going on always the ones to be suspected, and Roamong you.
land begged that the poor creature might The three men found everything in con- be allowed to go free. fusion at the villa when they arrived.
" I will throttle any one who touches The porter at once expressed conviction me,” cried the dwarf, his excitement seemthat the robbery had been committed by ing to make a different being of him. persons belonging to the house, because ail At a sign from the officer, two men quietthe doors had been closely fastened, and not ly bound the poor creature's hands behind a dog had barked; showing that the thieves his back. must have been familiar with the house, Eric led Roland away. Why should be and well known to the dogs.
see this night-side of human nature ? The officers were already on the spot. Happily the Major appeared at this moSonnenkamp's work-room had been entered, ment, and Eric delivered Roland to him. and treasures stolen whose value could not “ Here is a lesson for you, young man," be estimated, among them á dagger with said the Major. “Everything can be stolen a jewelled handle. The thieves had even from you, except your heart, when in the tried to force the fire-proof safe, but in vain. right place, and except what you have in your Great goblets of gold and silver which stood head; they can never be stolen from you. upon the sideboard in the dressing-room Mark that.” hael disappeared, as well as Roland's gold The officer had the servants brought bewatch, which, when he went to Wolfsgarten, fore him, and questioned them as to the perhe had left on the table beside his bed. His sons who had lately visited the villa. They pillow had also been taken, but was after- mentioned the names of many, but the porwards found on the wall, where it had ter said, served to make a smooth and easy passage “ The Herr Captain took the huntsman over the broken glass which had been in- by himself over the whole house, and when tended to make the wall insurmountable. he left he said to me, · You guard the rich
Two footprints were discovered in the man's money and treasures, when it would park and behind the hot-house. The thieves be better to throw the doors wide open, and must have stumbled among the heaps of gar- to scatter it abroad in the world.?" den mould, for on one of these was plainly Eric could not deny that the huntsman visible the impression of a human body; one had observed everything very closely, and of the thieves had evidently fallen there. had talked in a confused way about the disHere was also found a pair of the dwarf's tinction of rich and poor; yet he thought old boots, which, on being compared with he could answer for the man's honesty. the footprints in the garden, were found The officer made no answer, but desexactly to correspond. Thus a clue was patched two of his men to search the house gained, though a very uncertain one. The of Claus. dwarf just then came by, on his way to his The huntsman smiled and shrugged his accustomed work, and listened in aston- shoulders, when he saw what their intention ishment to an account of what had happened. was. Nothing was found, but in a kennel He was allowed to work on undisturbed. was chained a dog that barked incessantly.
The officer who had charge of the investi- • Unfasten the dog's chain," said one of gation, and his assistants, the burgomaster the men to Claus, who had followed them of the village, and some of the chief men, through all the rooms and into the court, were assembled in the balcony-room, ex- saying nothing, but keeping his lips moving amining the various servants. Roland stood | all the time.
“ What for ?"
men to their better selves. Neither Eric “ Because I bid you; if you don't do it nor the priest, who praised him, noticed the at once, I shall shoot the dog through the effect which this confession produced upon head."
Roland. He was, then, in the hands of a Upon the dog being set free, the kennel man who had tried to counsel criminals, was searched, and in it, under the straw, who had lived in a House of Correction! A were found Roland's watch and the jewel- | fear and repugnance took possession of bilted dagger. Claus was immediately bound boy's soul. Eric's motive was forgotten; and put under arrest, in spite of his earnest Roland seemed to himself humiliated. He protestations of innocence. On the way sat a long time silently buried in thought, from his house to the villa he kept raising his face covered with his hands. his chains, as if to show them appealingly to The priest approached him at last, and the fields, the vineyards, and the heavens. admonished him not to let this accident dis
A list was made out of the stolen articles hearten him, but only let it teach him not as far as they could be described, and Ro- to place his trust in the treasures of this land was suinmoned to sign his name for the world, particularly in his own possessions ; first time to an official document.
neither to have that so-called faith in hu* There is no calculating the effect such manity, which is a deceitful faith, exposed a thing must produce on the boy," said to daily shocks; for there was but one sure Eric to the Major, who was standing by. and abiding faith, that in God, the supreme
“It will do him no harm,” replied the being, eternal and unchanging, who never Major; “ his heart is sound, and Fräulein deceives.
•A young heart and a young Roland remained silent and absorbed for stomach are quick digesters.
some time after he and Eric were left Fräulein Milch was mistaken this time, alone; finally he asked: for at sight of Claus brought in in chains, Does my father know what you once Roland uttered a cry of distress.
were?" A new scent was presently started. The “ Yes." groom, who had been in Pranken's pay as a “Why did you not tell me?" spy, and afterwards dismissed by Sonnen- Why? I had no reason for concealing kamp, had, within the last few days, been it from you, or for telling you." seen and recognized in the neighborhood, The boy again covered his face with his though he had taken great pains to disguise hands, and Eric, feeling that the course he himself. Telegrams were immediately des- was here called upon to defend was one unpatched in all directions for the arrest of dertaken from the purest motives, while the supposed thief, and also to Sonnenkamp. within him he was conscious of a guilt
The priest came, lamented what had hap- which none but himself could upbraid him pened, using a noble charity in speaking of with, explained to Roland how he had felt the disaster, and begged Éric not to lay it it his duty to devote himself to the most too much to heart, because, devoted as he unhappy: He spoke so touchingly that the had been to learning and science, he could boy suddenly raised bis head, and, holding naturally have no proper knowledge of the out his hand to him, exclaimed in a tone of wickedness of his fellow-men, and had nat- the deepest feeling: urally allowed himself to be taken unawares “Forgive me! Ah, you are better than by it.
all." Eric was more humbled in spirit than the The words smote Eric to the soul. priest thought reasonable. He remembered The officers of the law had left the villa, having once said, that the man who conse- and even Pranken had ridden away. Rocrates himself to an idea must renounce all land went about the house, looking fearelse; and now he was humiliated by stand- fully bebind him, as if he had seen a ghost, ing in the presence of one who, in his way, an evil spirit. The stairs had been trodacted up to this sentiment, while he himself den by wicked men, the doors had been had allowed the excitement of mental dis- tried by their instruments; the house and sipation to drag him down from his high all its treasures had been desecrated; he had standard.
lost pleasure not only in the things which The priest repeated, that in all our plans had been plundered, but still more in those we should take into account the wickedness which could not be taken, which the thieves of mankind; and Eric, who bardly knew had been obliged to leave. what answer to make, assured him that he He begged Eric not to leave him for a was well aware of the necessity, having vol moment, so great was his fear. At night untarily passed some time in a House of he was unwilling to go to bed; rest seemed Correction, for the sake of restoring guilty impossible to him in a place where the
hands of robbers had taken the pillows of duty. Sonnenkamp seemed to take from his bed. Eric yielded to his entreat- pleasure in seeing Eric humbled. He was ies that he would remain by him, and said, one of those who love to rule others. after Roland had finally gone to bed, With enough humanity in him to make him
“ I owe you an answer to your question, prefer a willing obedience, he yet had no - What would Franklin have said to this rob- rest, when that proved impossible, till his bery? I think I know. He would have man was subdued and brought to his feet; had no compassion on the thieves; he then, and not till then, was he willing to would have given them up to the full raise him up, for not till then was he sure penalty of the law; but at the same time of the mastery. This self-reliant Captainhe would have maintained, that the wicked-doctor had assumed a demeanor that was ness of individuals should not be allowed unbecoming in him; now he was humbled, to rob us of our faith in humanity; for if and would have to be grateful for every act thieves could inflict that loss upon us, they of kindness and friendliness done 'him. would be robbing us of more than hands Sonnenkamp had no suspicion of the satiscan touch."
faction Eric took in his humiliation, or of his Roland nodded assent. Long after he motives for it; he regarded this humble subhad fallen asleep, Eric stood by the bed- mission as a triumph of his authority, while side, thoughtfully watching the boy, who had to Eric himself it was a confession of weakbad to learn this lesson thus early, — Of what ness in having been tempted by the magic use is all this subtle study; of what advan- of Bella's charms to forget the strict watchtage any conscious training? An invisible, fulness which was his duty. irresistible power, the great current of Sonnenkamp soon perceived that the life's experience, educates a man far more amount of the robbery was insignificant. than a single human teacher can do, and in He said, with a certain malicious pleasa different way: Long did Eric stand at the window, gaz
“ The knaves stole my jewelled dagger; ing out upon the river and the vine-covered it has a poisoned point, which is death to hills.
We all work according to the whomsoever it scratches." strength that is in us; the result of our Eric had hardly power left to tell that the labors lies not in our hands, but in the con- dagger was already in possession of the offitrol of that invisible, all-embracing power cers of justice, so great a horror thrilled whose origin we know not, and which we can him. Why should this man keep a poisonly call God.
oned dagger? Eric was deeply moved. This event
Pranken and the Major soon appeared, could not afflict his young charge as deeply and Pranken was honest enough to take as it did him, for he was conscious of a the whole responsibility upon himself. He power mightier than any effort of his own could not refrain from saying, however, that thoughts, drawing him back from the edge Eric had previously left the villa to go to of an abyss. He looked into the future, a musical festival, and bad won a surprising and a fixed resolve was formed within him. reputation there. Sonnenkamp said, with a
He was summoned away by a messenger smile : from the officer who had conducted the “You kept Roland at home instead of examination, bringing a telegram from letting him go to the Baths, in order to keep Sonnenkamp. It ran thus :
him free from excitement; have you pre"Journey to sea-shore given up; com- served him from it ? ” ing home; shall find thieves, under what- Eric was prevented from answering by ever title."
the arrival of the priest, to whom Sonnenkamp, who had never made any gift to the church, announced his intention of presenting to it the gold and silver vessels which had been taken from the sideboard. As if
involuntarily, he added :: HERR SONNENKAMP returned to his villa “I don't want them any more in my like a ruler to his castle where a mutiny house. You, reverend sir, will give them has lately broken out. Every step in his a fresh consecration." house, every glance at a servant, said, Eric expressed in a whisper to the Major, I am here again, and with me authority and who stood by him, his pleasure at this arorder.
rangement, and his belief that it would exEric did not lay upon Pranken the ert a salutary influence on Roland, whose blame of what had happened, but confessed peace of mind had been in a great measure that he himself had been guilty of neglect destroyed by the robbery. Sonnenkamp
THE MASTER AT HOME AGAIN.
heard his words, though spoken in so low a when he checked himself, and, laying his tone, and said:
finger on his lips, said: “My highly honored Herr Captain, let “I am glad to see that our Herr Eric ” me tell you honestly that I have nothing to - with a peculiar emphasis on the word do with sentimentalities, and that I desire "
that our Herr Eric stands so Roland should early acquire a knowledge high in your good graces." of these so-called well-disposed lower class- Eric was struck by the peculiar stress es, and learn that they are nothing but a laid upon the word “our." He seemed to mass of conspiracy against the holders of have become a piece of property. Still property, awaiting the first favorable oppor- more surprised was he at Sonnenkamp’s tunity to break out, or rather to break in." offering him his hand the next moment and
Sonnenkamp was in the highest degree saying : animated and cheerful. His only cause of
You remain ours, do you not ? ” regret was that there should have been so Eric bowed. much talk made about the affair in the Bella dwelt, with intentional emphasis, neighborhood, and that so much valuable upon the particulars of her visit to Eric's time had to be lost in the processes of law. mother in the University-town. She eviFrau Ceres said not a word about the rob- dently desired to let Herr Sonnenkamp know bery; it almost seemed as if she had not that a man of Eric's rank and position was heard of it. She only rejoiced that Roland not to be crushed on account of a trifling had grown so much during her absence. act of neglect. Sonnenkamp whistled to She told Eric that she had met at the Baths himself inaudibly, as if some plan were a most aristocratic and amiable lady, a ripening in him. relation of his mother, who had spoken Bella contrived again to be alone with of her with great enthusiasm.
Eric, and expressed to him her satisfaction The very first evening after the return of at the success of her little plot. She knew, Sonnenkamp and his family, a carriage drove she said, that Sonnenkamp would not let up in which were Bella and Clodwig. Eric him go, but she also knew that he would was delighted to greet his friends, but was humble him on account of the neglect he somewhat shy of Bella.
had been guilty of, and therefore persuaded “We have come to pro you from this Clodwig to drive over at once.
Eric was savage,” she whispered to him behind her full of gratitude. fan; we will show him that you belong “Did you notice,” she asked in a low to us. And now you will leave everything voice, “what a look Herr Sonnenkamp gave and come to us, will you not ?."
me, and how he raised his finger at me ? The words thrilled Eric; he could only This man imagines that our friendship is bow his thanks.
something more than friendship; to the Bella observed her husband's embarrass- impure nothing is pure. I think you will ment as he stood with Sonnenkamp. His not misunderstand me, if I sometimes intenfine and sensitive nature could never over- tionally slight you in the presence of this come a feeling of timidity, of terror, when- spying knave.” ever he found himself confronted with this
Eric her hand, and held his long herculean shape. Bella belped him out of and tightly pressed. Neither suspected the difficulty by saying jestingly, “Herr that from behind a bush two eyes were Sahnenkamp, you must have seen many fixed upon them, and a sharp ear heard strange things in your life; did you ever their every word. When they had passed happen to fall in with thieves who openly on, Sonnenkamp drew a deep breath as a confessed they had stolen or were proposing relief from the long constraint he had put to steal””
Sonnenkamp looked at her in amazement. We are such thieves, in broad day
AN INALIENABLE POSSESSION. light,” she cried, laughing, and turning to her husband she continued :
The next morning came the tidings that “Now do you speak, dear Clodwig.". the groom whom Sonnenkamp had dismissed
Clodwig hesitatingly expressed his wish to shortly before his journey, suspecting him have Eric live with him. Sonnenkamp's of being a spy of Pranken's, had been sharp glance fell upon Bella. The fore- arrested in the capital in the very act of finger of his left hand was already raised offering for sale a large silver goblet. Roin playful menace against her, and he was land brought the news to Eric, and this was on the point of saying, “I understand you,” | only one of the many interruptions liable
at any moment to break in upon the hours of stirred. He often went about as in a study and thought, in consequence of this rob- dream. The ground beneath him, which he bery. Of what use were lessons when the mind now knew to be in constant motion, swam was thus excited ? What lasting impression before his eyes : the heavens were no longer could be made ? At one time Eric thought there; the old world was dissolved and a of going hunting more frequently with Ro- new one revealed; while mingling with all land, in order to amuse him and let him this new life within him was the thought gain fresh elasticity and powers of obser- that all private property would be abolished, vation by the pursuit of new objects. But and poverty and riches divided equally he finally decided on the opposite course, among men.
Eric observed this excitement that of helping his pupil not by amusement, in the mind of bis pupil. Roland said to but by closer application to his studies. him one day timidly, Great was his satisfaction, therefore, at hav- “ Tell me, Eric, if there will ever come ing Roland say to him,
to be no more private property in the world, * Let us forget all else and quietly go on and consequently no more thieves." with our work."
Eric was startled to see how this strange The boy's love of study had received an idea had taken hold of the boy. He eximpulse which made every interruption dis- plained that he had only brought that up as tasteful to hiin, and led him to look for his an illustration; the thing itself was an imbest pleasures in his books.
possibility; he had only meant to show Roland soon became conscious of a fresh what a radical change might be worked in energy in Eric, without being able to con- the minds and lives of men. jecture its cause; it was the exaltation that Fresh evidences of this unaccountable follows a danger escaped, escaped by one's tendency of the boy's thoughts were conown effort. Whenever Eric thought of the stantly appearing. One day he asked Eric days at Wolfsgarten, and his trifling with to go with him to the huntsman's, to see those feelings which should be the finest of how his wife and children were faring. He the human heart, he seemed to himself a said he had met the man's son, a cooper in thief. He had recklessly staked the entire the service of the Wine-count, a little while capital which he had so laboriously won; ago, and had offered to shake hands with he had allowed himself, under a pretended him, telling him the son was not to blame interchange of noble thoughts, to toy with for what the father had done, even if be Bella: to flirt, as he called it in plain lan- had done anything wrong, which he cerguage, with Clodwig's wife. To his mind, tainly bad not; but that the cooper had he had violated a sanctuary; how small, how stared at him, and instead of taking his ofinfinitely small in comparison, seemed the fered hand, had drawn his hammer from his offence of these poor people! He felt leather apron, swung it back and forth for a deeply humbled in his own eyes. How while, and finally walked off. gladly would he have made a pilgrimage When Eric and Roland approached the with Roland to some temple where he could huntsman's house, the birds in the cages purify himself, and where Roland could gain were singing, busiest among them the new strength! Whither should he turn ? blackbird, with his incessant chirp of thanks
It is easier for one wearied in the excit- giving, and the dogs were bounding merrily. ing race of life, and burdened in conscience, The wife looked ill and slatternly, and was to enter into the invisible temple built with full of complaints. She told how she had hands than into the visible temple of sci- wanted to let all the birds out after her husence; yet Eric succeeded in doing this. band was taken to prison, but her son, the Wbat he would with difficulty have accom- cooper, insisted on everything being left as plished for himself, perhaps would have it was till his father came back, which was failed to accomplish, he did from duty to sure to be very soon; Sevenpiper had in another. He lost himself in the love of the mean while undertaken to do part of her knowledge, and everything became clearer husband's work, and the cooper attended to and more intelligible. As an experienced the night duties, though he had to work so swimmer delights in the onward rush of hard through the day. Everything should 1 he waves, dives below the surface to rise be done properly, that the place might be again to the light, and with vigorous arms kept open for her husband. divides the waters; so Eric plunged into Eric offered her a sum of money, which science, and felt his heart swell with joy she refused, saying that her son, the cooper, when the mighty waves roared towards him. bad forbidden her to accept anything from Gone were all petty fears and anxieties, all Sonnenkamp's family. self-contest.
“ If this man is innocent, as I believe be In Roland, too, deep currents were | is,” said Roland, when they were in the villa