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tidings of Master Acevedo's arrival from Paris, and
with a request for an immediate audience with her
majesty.

"I must see him alone, Henry," observed the
queen, and the prince retired from the apartment.
He met the astrologer in the ante-room, whose res-
pectful reverence he scarcely noticed, for his eye
fell on the lovely face of Gabrielle, who, shrinking
from his earnest look, cast down her beautiful eyes
in confusion. The prince remained standing for a
few moments, boldly looking at the blushing face,
and then muttering some unintelligible words, left
the room.

Acevedo now entered the queen's apartment; his greeting was serious and reverential, and his eyes were so steadfastly fixed on Catherine, that she quailed beneath his firm gaze.

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"Welcome, Master Acevedo," she said kindly;
'you have been too long absent for my wishes."Your presence kills me."
What detained you at Paris ?"

"The weight of years presses down your servant,
and the curse of man's suffering and weariness has
visited him," he answered in a hollow tone.
The queen looked at him inquiringly.
"You are still vigorous, however," she said.
"Can you say this of a tree whose root is dis-
eased, and its heart withered," he asked.

until the appearance of Margaret, the flower of the
party.
And when the maiden came forth, mounted
on a snow-white Arab steed, richly caparisoned, at
her brother's right hand, there was a universal mur-
mer of admiration at her surpassing beauty. She
wore a green dress, embroidered with gold, which
well became her fair proportions. A slight color
mantled on her cheek, and the dark drapery con-
trasted admirably with the lily whiteness of her com-
plexion.

Even Charles' dark eye lighted up with pride as he looked on his lovely sister, who sate with such noble dignity on the beautiful Arabian horse; and he could not forbear exclaiming to Tavannes

"Our chase must be successful to-day, my lord, for Diana, the goddess of hunting, herself conducts

us."

The whole party echoed the gallant speech of the king. Margaret blushed deeply. The horn now sounding, they prepared to depart. Catherine watched them from the balcony as they left the castle, and a feeling of more motherly tenderness and pride than she had experienced for some time touched her hard and worldly heart. She and her favorite son, Henry of Anjou, were the only members of the household who did not join in the day's sport.

The train was soon lost to view, and when the merry sound of the clanging horn gradually melted in the distance, Catherine left the balcony and proceeded to her apartments, where she and Henry began to discuss very mighty matters.

The seed, which Alva had so assiduously sown in Bayonne, began to spring up. She had scarcely entered her cabinet, when the ambitious prince, who already perceived, in the weak state of Charles's health, a prospect of the throne, entered and seated himself by his royal mother.

Their conversation turned immediately on the near outbreak of hostilities, and the furtherance of Henry's ambitious views.

"If," said the young man, fire darting from his eye, "if I occupied my brother's throne, not a heretic should stand upon the soil of France, and our Holy Church should reign unmolested wherever the French tongue is heard."

"Thou speakest as becomes my child," said Catherine warmly. "Too limited, too feeble, have been our efforts hitherto. Cut off the head of the serpent,' as Alva said at Bayonne, ' and the danger is over.' I have yielded too much, and to this weakness, which I acknowledge to have been ill-timed, I ascribe their present daring."

Henry clenched his fist, and replied"To destroy them at a blow, my mother, is our only safety, for seven new heads would start up if only one fall."

"But remember," interrupted the prince, "that whilst the Chancellor L'Hôpital exists, his influence over the heretics will, although indirectly, work against us."

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L'Hôpital!" she said, and the same bitter smile played about her mouth,-"L'Hôpital! Who shall say nay, if thy mother command his destruction?" The conversation was here interrupted by the entrance of one of Catherine s ladies, who came with

"I hope, Master," replied the queen, "that your illness has not interfered with your observations; for since I left Paris many things have occurred, relative to which I desire to consult you."

and the dark, speaking eyes, so deeply sunk in their sockets, impressed her with silent awe. A moment's silence, and again he uttered the words, "Blood! blood! the blood of peaceful citizens !" and his voice rose as he uttered each word; so that at the end of his speech, it resembled the thunder's roar.

A cold shudder ran through the queen's frame, the color forsook her cheeks, her teeth chattered, her hands trembled, her knees bent beneath her, as sinking into the arm-chair, and covering her face with her hands, she said, in a tone of entreaty, "Silence! silence! I implore thee, thou dreadful man!"

"Be it so," replied the astrologer, as he fixed his dark eyes steadily on the queen. His position was imposing; an unwonted glow was on his face, and his right hand was raised. "Hear what the stars declare, Queen of France!" he continued, with prophetic fire, and his voice appeared to proceed from the grave. "Thou, O Queen, art surrounded by blood-blood-blood! The blood of citizens gushes by thee in a stream, and cries for vengeance from God, the Avenger. Blood flows over the land of France; but no seed springs up where guiltless blood flows. Mother! thy race shall be extinct; fearful truth! but it is even so! The Angel of within. Death shall brandish his sword over thousands, and his sword art thou! Darkness and desolation shall be where once bloomed joy and beauty-wailing The queen laughed ironically as she said, "That sorrow shall be heard where once stood the peaceful was Alva's intent, my son." cot. The stream rises in the south, and thou guidest it-Thou, thou!-Woe! woe!"

Acevedo remained in the same place; and when, after a long reverie, Catherine repeated her request, he still stood gazing on her, to her horror and con

sternation.

"Go into the ante-room!" she at length said.

Acevedo at once withdrew, without uttering a word, and left the Queen to her fearful reflections. But as he crossed the passage he folded his hands, and, raising his eyes to heaven, he exclaimed:

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Lord, complete thy work!"

An hour passed away without any summons to Catherine's chamber. Meanwhile a fearful war raged within her distracted breast. It seemed as though the very powers of hell were let loose there, through the fearful words of the astrologer.

"I am like the night owl," answered Acevedo"night is my time for labor; and more, as the cry of the screech owl only forebodes évil, so with my voice. Ask no further, gracious lady."

As often as she thought she was calm, her fear and trembling returned; and it was in vain that she used her accustomed arts of sophistry to silence the voice of judgment in her heart-it would not succeed.

At length, as by a violent effort, she aroused herThe queen trembled violently; Acevedo's words self; and, stepping to the mirror, endeavored to had excited her curiosity to the utmost. impart a little color to her white lips, when she again recalled the astrologer; but his appearance destroyed her equanimity, and she trembled, as before.

"Do the stars prophecy of evil? Alas! alas! speak, Acevedo! I am a woman, but my soul is strong; I have seen and heard of many horrors, and I can yet hear-speak on!"

"You must remark signs of a weakness for which I blush," she said.

Acevedo looked at her sharply, as he said, within himself, "Thou wilt not deceive me, de

ceiver."

"Let us," she continued, "resume our conversation, Acevedo. Tell me what you know of the approaching future?"

"Little," returned he, "but little can I tell you. One thing, however, I may say: you are threatened with a near danger."

"What, and from whence?" she asked, in a faltering voice, which plainly showed the tumult

"That I may not tell you; my knowledge goes not so far; but let me to-day and to-morrow study the heavens, and perhaps I may then be able to enlighten you." "Good, said Catherine, "do so."

She now called for her attendants, and directed the

astrologer to a small apartment which communi

Catherine had hitherto stood before him, leaning
against an arm chair. Her whole being seemed ab-cated with her own.
sorbed, and her eyes were riveted on the speaker.
She hung, as it were, on his lip; and every power
of her soul seemed concentrated in that of hearing.
The appearance of the man who addressed her, with
his long mantle hung loosely around his thin form,
the snow-white beard which flowed over his breast,

Acevedo left her presence; and, accompanied by Gabrielle, they entered the room that was indicated together.

Catherine was, however, in no condition to enjoy solitude. The past conversation had terrified her; fury and anxiety raged within, and it was in vain

Leaving her to her unhappy thoughts, we will return to the hunting party, who were scattered over the noble forest in pursuit of game, at about a mile's distance from Monceaux. The high road to Picardy skirted the southern border of the wood. On one side alone was the forest open to the road, the other was bordered by a thicket, beyond which fruitful fields and smiling pastures formed a lovely landscape.

that she sought, by light conversation with her quit. The quiet thoughtfulness of the youth was lifted the powerless girl on to it. Her throat was ladies, to forget the danger that threatened. now changed to eager attention. From time to time slightly wounded by a thorn, and binding it with her he cast rapid glances in the direction of the forest, veil, he whistled for his servant. He was close at still urging on his horse with energy. He listened hand, and it was the work of a few moments to bring attentively to the sound of the bugle, which every water from a neighboring spring, and apply it to the now and then broke on his ear, when suddenly he temples of the lovely woman. reined in his steed, for a shrill cry mingled with that of the huntsman.

"What could that be?" he asked of the servant, who, with his mouth open, had also checked

She was, indeed, surpassingly beautiful, and her beauty was enhanced by the disorder of her luxuriant hair, which, having escaped from confinement, floated gracefully over her shoulders. The means used for her restoration were successful, and, opening her eyes, she exclaimed—

his horse.

"Blessed Heaven! where am I?"

The autumn day was warm and genial, and the sky almost cloudless. At a distance, the sound of mirth and the shouts of the hunter were heard breaking in strangely on the wonted stillness of the spot. A youth, well mounted, on a fine horse, was seen hastily riding in the direction of Picardy, and not far behind his serving man was following. His appearance was indicative of high birth, but was far removed from any display of foppery, or that affectation of gentility so common with the young nobility of the Court in that age. No military signs discovered whether he belonged to the party of Chatillon or Guise. His armor was simple and his clothing plain; but his whole bearing was "I am in no pain," she replied, with a faint noble and imposing. His figure was manly, well- darted out of the forest at full speed, his beautiful smile, "except in my hand, which I think I formed, and that of a young man; yet notwith-mane flowing in the breeze." sprained in my fall, and my throat smarts a little ; but this is all." standing the hue of youth, there was an expression of seriousness, and a trace of past suffering, on his countenance, which made a melancholy impression. He seemed so wholly absorbed with his own thoughts that he was disinclined to enter into any conversation with his attendant; and letting the bridle fall carelessly on his horse's neck, he seemed very indifferent as to the road he was pursuing.

At the same moment a snow-white Arabian steed

"Some accident must have happened," said Gui, "for the horse is without a rider; and it was doubtless from him that the shrill cry came."

"You have a slight wound there, Madam," returned Gui; "and I thought it better to bind it with your veil."

A blush suffused the pale face of the maiden, and she looked embarrassed.

"It is all the same," observed Gui. "Go after the horse, and try to bring it back, whilst I will seek for the person in distress."

Permit me," he said, "to examine the sprain." The white and beautifully-formed hand was timidly extended, but the injury was found to be slight.

"You have given me no very easy task," muttered the servant, as he commenced the pursuit of the animal.

master.

The servant, who was more alive to surrounding objects, had heard the sounds that proceeded from the hunting-party in the forest, and impatiently The maiden saw, with the natural tact of woman, waited for an opportunity to direct his master's atthat she had made an impression on the youth, and tention to them, for he had not appeared to hear Gui now turned his horse's head in the direction she could not fail to remark that he was one of no them. At last, he could no longer restrain him- from whence the white Arabian had sprung. He common order, and that his fine figure and noble self, and called out,soon found that he must pursue his search on foot, bearing denoted high birth. After a short pause "You don't appear to take notice of anything to- for the thicket was perfectly impassable on horse-Gui saidday, sir!" back. He sought the traces of the animal's feet His master looked for an explanation, but did not with the greatest care, but his search was fruitless; speak. for so rapid had been its flight, that its hoofs had "Grand doings there," said the man significantly, scarcely left an impression on the mossy ground. pointing to the forest; King Charles has a fine But the greater the difficulties he had to encounter, hunt to-day.” the stronger were the efforts which he put forth, "And where might you learn this?" asked his prompted, as they were, by his benevolent heart. Wisely cutting his way through the branches, not only that he might find his way back, but that his man-servant might not miss him, he persevered in his resolution. Before he had discovered any traces "Then we cannot be far from Monceaux ?" of the accident, however, he heard the self-gratula- CHAPTER XIII. AN INTERVIEW WITH ROYALTY-A "At most not more than a league; and, if you tions of the servant, who, accustomed to think please, we might just as well take the forest path aloud, was praising himself for having captured the that you see before you, which will lead you safely beautiful horse. At the same moment Gui perwe left with Gui, spoke, a hunter broke ceived something light-colored among the under- through the thicket, and stood before them. He wood, and clearing away the bushes, discerned a was a richly-clad, young, and slender man. His prostrate female form clad in a richly-embroidered figure was considerably bent, his eyes were sharp, green hunting dress. Her white veil was covered black, and piercing, his face pale and sallow, and his with blood-her face he could not discern. In an whole appearance was anything but prepossessing. This very decided answer discomfited the servant, instant he was by her side, and, unloosening his No sooner did he discover the persons of the youth who relapsed into silence. The young man now cloak, he spread it on the damp moss, and gently and maiden, than he threw himself from his horse, seized the bridle, and setting spurs to the horse and leaving it under the care of his attendant, he urged it to a more rapid pace. It appeared that the • Side-saddles were first introduced into France by Ca- approached his sister, asking eagerly if she were at vicinity of Monceaux was one that he would gladly therine de Medicis.

"They told me at the inn just now," continued the servant, "that there was to be the finest hunt to-day that the forest had ever seen."

SHORT IMPRISONMENT AND AN EFCAPE.

AS the fair stranger, whom, in our last chapter,

there."

"I have not the smallest desire to do so," replied Gui. "And had I desired it ever so much, your information that the road led to Monçeaux would be quite sufficient to deter me."

all hurt.

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"It is the cry of some one in distress," replied the man; "and, if my ears do not deceive me, it is the voice of a woman."

Scarcely had he spoken when a rustle from the adjoining thicket was heard, and then a loud snorting. The love of the chase was strong in the youth, as, seizing his loaded pistols, he said, "It is a stag!"

He looked with breathless expectation towards the spot whence the noise came, and, whatever it might be, the animal was approaching nearer.

"No stag, however," replied the servant, but a wild runaway horse."

"You had better say from her," returned the man," for the beautiful creature has got a sidesaddle."*

Safe, and under good protection," answered Gui; "be at rest, lady. A kind Providence has conducted me hither at the moment when my aid has probably saved you from the sad consequences of your accident. I tremble to think what you might have suffered with no one near to relieve you from your perilous condition.”

"I can trust you," she replied faintly.

"But now," continued Gui, "tell me, above all things, if you are in any pain. You have had a fall, as I imagined from seeing your runaway horse."

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"Are you able to mount your horse, Madam! If so, I am at your service, to conduct you wherever you may command, for I am sure you require rest.”

"I must go home to Monçcaux," she replied, and leaning on his arm, the fair stranger prepared to mount the steed which Viole's servant held.

"Let us remain for a moment," she said, "for it strikes me that the hunters are approaching to seek for me."

"Thank God, no," she answered; "with the exception of a slight sprain, I have escaped injury." "And thou art not wounded at all?" he inquired. "Not in the least, so far as I know," said Margaret; "but to this my deliverer can speak

better than I."

The King now turned to Viole, and after a steadfast gaze at him, he said "Who may you young man ?"

Truly," said the King, awaking from a reverie, be," he who can compliment an enemy deserves a laurel crown!" and turning to Gui, he said, "Come, "Your Majesty's loyal subject, Gui de St. Flore." young man, forgive the past, and accompany us to "De Viole ?" asked Charles, and his mouth as-Monceaux." sumed an appearance of unmistakable hatred.

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Your Majesty appears to know my family

name."

"Which does not appear to me to be extremely important, however," replied the King, sarcastically.

Gui colored with indignation, as proudly raising his head, and fixing his fine eyes on Charles, he said with emphasis

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"Who could refuse your request, madam ?" Margaret blushed; accustomed though she was to flattery, the compliment from his lips was of double value. The whole party had by this time rejoined them; and all pressed eagerly round the Princess to congratulate her on her escape. Gui stood apart.

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the King, the anger which Gui's presence had to my rescue. You will thank him, surely, for
created having somewhat abated.
all he has done for your child?"
Catherine's feelings, as Margaret pronounced the
hateful name, were of a mingled description. Could
it be that the trusty friend of Coligny was really in
her power? Even so: Her resolution was quickly
taken; but, as usual, dissembling, she mastered her
feelings sufficiently to express her gratitude; and,
cordially inviting him to ascend the stairs with her,
she bade him be seated at her side.

Margaret's face beamed with joy, for she antici-
"Your Majesty's command is law!" he replied, pated only the most happy results from the urbanity
repressing his bitter feeling.
of her mother, and discerned in it neither treachery
nor art.

Gui's servant now bringing up Margaret's horse, she sprang lightly into the saddle, and smiling at Gui, said pleasantly to the King,-

"You will permit my deliverer to ride by my side, my brother?"

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'Certainly; he deserves the honor," replied Charles; and beckoning to Gui, who leaped nimbly on his horse, the cavalcade proceeded.

Catherine was determined to sound Gui's purposes to the utmost, and by degrees she discovered his destination. In vain did he endeavor to blind her, as he had succeeded in blinding the Princess as to his errand. Catherine was too shrewd not to detect the falsehood. She knew that Du Plessis Mornay lived in Picardy; and soon, by connecting different circumstances, her suspicions were so awakened that she determined, by some means, to discover the contents of the dispatches, which she did not doubt he bore concealed on his person.

"You will remain a few days in Monçeaux," said Margaret, as they approached their journey's end.

"I am indeed sorry to refuse so gracious an invitation," replied Gui, "but I must not do so."

Perfectly; twice have I seen him fighting bravely at Rouen and Dreux. At Dreux he took my sword from my hand, and he was not unworthy Vof it, I assure you.”

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"I must not urge my claim again," said Margaret, her dreams. tenderly. "But is your father ill?"

"Would to God that I knew he lived!" said Gui: "but of this I am uncertain. Mine is a sorrowful and lonely lot!"

"Do not say so," murmured the Princess, softly; and as she spoke, Gui experienced a satisfastion scarcely compatible with his old love to Gabrielle. By this time they had arrived at the tent.

"Our chase has been most prosperous," said
Charles, "but for the accident that befel the
Princess; and now we will at once return to
Monceaux."

It was with great regret that Margaret, in consideration of her late fatigue, withdrew to her chamber, for the handsome stranger had made a powerful impression on her young heart; and before leaving him for the night, she blushingly entreated that if it were really necessary for him to take his departure on the morrow, that he would at least defer it until a later hour than he had proposed. Gui made the promise so winningly requested, and the young Princess sought her pillow to think on the exciting occurrences of the past day; but for some time she was unable to sleep. Gui's image was continually before her, and when at length, overpowered by fatigue, she sank to rest, his voice was heard in

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Before the evening meal was served, the Queen withdrew for a short time, leaving Gui in conversation with the Constable, on whom he made an increasingly favorable impression, Scarcely had the Queen reached her cabinet than she took out of a secret chest a white powder, and summoning one of her most confidential ladies-the Lady of Martignac

-she commanded her to hold herself in readiness for a plot, if she (the Queen) should deem it advisable.

"You know, undoubtedly," she said, "what has taken place between that young Viole and Margaret?"

Madame Martignac assented.

The sun cast its setting rays on the old turrets of Monceaux, when the hunting party neared the Castle. The bugle announced their arrival from afar, and already summoned Catherine to the balcony.

The old Constable Montmorency, who, contrary to his inclinations, had suffered Charles to persuade him to join in the diversion of the chase, and who had heard Margaret's words, now approached Gui, "I have had a narrow escape, mother," said saying, "To this noble youth I owe my safety at Margaret, lightly. Would you believe it ?-my Dreux;" and, heartily grasping his hand, he con- Arab threw me.” tinuedHer mother anxiously inquired if she were hurt. "God bless you, youngster! I rejoice that we She gaily replied in the negative, and pointed out have met." the young man who had exerted himself so gallantly With a heart beating with pleasure Viole reve-in her behalf. rently acknowledged the courtesy of the old man, "My Lord de Viole!" she said aloud, and Gui tunity of obeying the Queen's command. who looked on him with a tender interest. drew near. The meal began. Gui, to his astonishment, found "You know that young man, apparently," said "See, dearest mother, the gallant youth who came himself far more at ease in the royal circle than he

"Know also," continued she, "that this youth is the confidential secretary of Coligny, and that he doubtless is the bearer of some secret papers, which it is absolutely necessary that I should see. Mix this powder in his flask of wine. It is narcotic, but not poisonous in its effects. It will produce the most profound sleep, which will render the abstraction of the papers easy."

Madame Martignac was perfectly content to perform the wicked mission; and, taking the powder, quickly departed to watch for a favorable oppor

could have believed possible, for religious and political subjects were scrupulously avoided; and the conversation being of a light and general character, "Have you not heard of the accident which befell the time passed pleasantly. Towards the conclusion the Princess Margaret of Valois to-day in the forest? of the meal, however, Gui felt himself so overcome How a young nobleman stopped the horse, and with drowsiness that he could scarcely keep himself went to her assistance? And who, guess you, that "You say that St. Flore is in your hands, howawake until the board was removed. Catherine (this youth may be?" ever, so that no communication can take place with gloried in her success; and her victim, pleading "My acquaintance with this country is not ex- Du Plessis; and it is certain that without his asfatigue, retired early to his room, which he had only tensive, returned Acevedo. "I cannot say." sistance nothing can be effected " time to reach, before, throwing himself in his clothes on the bed, he fell into a profound stupor.

A

"Coligny's secretary!" said Catherine, triumphantly. "Gui de Viole de St. Flore, the son of the accursed heretic De Viole."

He might have slept thus an hour, when a secret door, concealed by tapestry, opened, and a man glided stealthily into the room. He approached the sleeper. The taper was still burning, for Gui had no power to extinguish it. The man looked all around, but found nothing to excite suspicion, until he perceived a cord encircling the neck of the youth. To this cord a small bag was attached, which contained the precious documents. He took them out, and replacing the dispatches with

blank paper, closed the bag; then, re-arranging the sleeper's dress, he left the apartment, and, carrying the papers to Catherine, was richly rewarded.

She could scarcely wait for the man's departure before open

ing the letter, and

at every word her eyes lighted more

"Send me Acevedo," she said, as, in answer to her summons, her favorite lady appeared; "and send a lord also to his Majesty, with the information that I would speak with him to-night."

Acevedo hastily answered the call.

"Where may your Majesty have learned this better wait until morning, when it will be easy to news?" he asked. call in the aid of the Swiss Guards, under Colonel Pfeiffer, who will give you safe conduct to Paris." But that cannot be for some days," said the Queen.

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"You told truly, master," said Catherine, "that danger threatened the King and myself. The Huguenots have planned our capture."

Acevedo changed countenance, and a thrill of horror ran through his veins. Happily for him, he

furiously, her countenance became paler, and her stood under the shadow of the screen, and she was
breathing more labored.
too much absorbed in her own thoughts to heed his
appearance.

At length, no longer able to restrain herself, she flung the paper violently on the table, and paced up and down the apartment with rapid strides.

Her equanimity, however, soon returned. "And you laid a net for me!" she said triumphantly. "But your purpose has failed. What baseness! what villainy!"

GUI DE ST. FLORE RESCUING MARGUERITE DE VALOIS.]

"I suspected," she continued, "that he was on
his way to Picardy with a mission to Plessis Mornay,
and that his dispatches might be of importance. My
Lady Martignac drugged his wine, and we have con-
trived to abstract the papers. They are veritable
letters from Coligny and Condé, unfolding their vile
purposes to Du Plessis, which are to invade our
privacy at Monceaux, and to carry out their treache-
rous schemes to the utmost."
Acevedo folded his hands solemnly, and said,
with a tremulous voice, for he thought only of Gui,
"Impossible! Does the King know of this ?"
"Not yet; I wished to consult you first."
"My opinion," said Acevedo, "is, that you had

"Good!" said the Queen, stepping to the window. "Now carry on your observations, for the sky is bright and starlight."

"You have disturbed me in the midst of my studies," replied the astrologer; and he left the

apartment. receiving from Catherine the promise that she would not again interrupt his researches.

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Acevedo saw that there was not a moment to lose; he at once proceeded to the lower part of the castle, where Gui's servant was sleeping over a flask of wine.

He roused him hastily. "Wake," said he, "a great peril threatens thy master. Canst thou find the horses, and, without noise, take them about a hundred steps from the Castle, and prepare for flight?"

The man looked bewildered. "I can," he said, "do what you require, for the stables are some way off, and the servants all drunk." "But remember not a sound must be heard. How will you contrive that?"

"Leave that to me. I will pad their hoofs-that is the plan."

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Go, then, and in half an hour I will bring thy master.

The place was agreed upon, and Acevedo returned to his apartment.

"Gabrielle," he said, "we have a difficult work

on hand. A Huguenot youth is in the Castle,

whose doom is sealed if he cannot escape. He must be rescued, important papers have been found on him."

"What is his name?" asked the girl, anxiously. "Gui Rabaud, the emissary of Coligny." Gabrielle turned pale, and trembled.

"Gabrielle, what ails thee, my child?' asked the horse, and had soon after disappeared in the Queen, after her interview with Charles, had given astrologer, kindly. forest. orders to have it carefully watched from without; In the meantime the King and the Queen Mother and what was the guard's consternation at finding it were in solemn conference in the cabinet. empty.

"He is he is," she articulated, "the son of the man who was my father's benefactor; and once, indeed, saved us from death."

The papers were laid before Charles, and his anger knew no bounds. He swore death and destruction to the heretics; but as yet Catherine dare not divulge to her son the horrid scheme which she had so long concealed within her bosom. She used every means within her power, however, during their midnight interview, to foment the anger and horror of the young King against his Huguenot subjects; and she succeeded. At present Charles's

"Thank God, then! he now gives thee an opportunity of proving to him thy gratitude. But hasten -prepare the dark lanthorn-wrap thyself in a cloak and come."

In another moment they were at the door of Gui's chamber. Every one was silent in the Castle-not a sound broke the entire stillness of the midnight hour. They opened the door and entered. Gui was sleeping profoundly. Ga

brielle turned the light upon the well-remembered face. "It is he! it is he!" she whispered. "God grant that he may escape."

To arouse Gui was, however, no easy matter. Again and again did Acevedo shake him, and endeavor to awaken him to consciousness, but in vain.

"What will become of us?" said the astrologer. "The draught must truly have been potent."

At length, with an almost supernatural effort, he lifted the young man from his bed; and, bearing him on his shoulders, conveyed him out of the apartment, the maiden following the beloved burden. They

were soon over

the threshold, and
gained the garden,
where the servant was in readiness, according to
appointment. But Gni still slept on. At last, by
means of cold water, with which Acevedo copiously
sprinkled him, he awoke to consciousness. Ga-
brielle wrapped her mantle around her, her heart
beating violently, ard her hand scarcely holding the
lanthorn.

"You are in great peril," said Acevedo, earnestly. "Flee to Chatillon, and tell Coligny that the plot is discovered. You will soon find out how that came to pass. They drugged your wine. In a few days the Court will return to Paris. Hasten hence at once. Drink this," he said, giving him a small phial; "It will restore you."

"To-morrow will be time enough, my son," returned the Queen. "He is now unconscious, from the effects of a narcotic. It was by this means that I gained possession of his budget."

Catherine was almost frantic at the intelligence. She uttered a loud exclamation, and rushed, in wild haste, to ascertain the truth of the report. The tumult was universal, and the King did not hesitate to reproach his mother, who, by her foolish delay, had caused the misfortune. The Castle was searched, but not a trace could be discovered. The grooms were examined. It was a matter of considerable astonishment to them that Gui's horses could have

been taken without their knowledge; but on the subject of their revels on the previous night, and the stupor induced by their bacchanalian feast, they were wisely silent.

[graphic]

The astrologer had become so essential to her, in her many schemes of policy and ambition,that she could not afford to lose him, but she would watch him narrowly; on this she was determined. He was summoned to her presence, and there was not a trace of anxiety or guilt on his thoughts were concentrated on St. Flore, and to countenance. His eye shone with a quiet lustre, seize him at once, and load him with chains, was his and she was compelled to acknowledge to herself determination. that Acevedo was innocent. She asked him the result of his observations.

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They are most favorable," was the reply. "And what information can you give for my conduct?" asked the queen.

"He shall suffer," said Charles, gloomily. "Let us now speak of our departure, my son. What dost thou think of our journey?" "The sooner the better," he answered. Catherine then unfolded Acevedo's plan for their protection during the journey, and departure was resolved upon. Early on the following morning a Gui thankfully pressed his hand, mounted his Garde de Corps entered Gui's apartment. The

Catherine secretly cherished suspicions of Acevedo, but, at present, would not breathe them to a creaturescarcely could she bear to admit them to her own breast.

"You will arrive safely at Paris," he answered; "but the horrors that I hinted to you yesterday have been confirmed by last night's studies; and I repeat to you'

But the queen, shuddering, would hear no more, and the astrologer was dismissed.

Gui's flight had a more serious effect on Margaret of Valois than on any other member of the house.

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