At the time appointed D’Alonville attended at the place where Mademoiselle Bessola had artfully hinted to him that he might meet her. He found her there, and prevailed on her at the door of the church to make with him a tour round another part of the town; and did not keep her long in suspense as to the purport of his business with her. Bessola, who had expected a declaration of love, seemed to be very much mortified at finding that the Chevalier merely meant to enquire after a parcel of old musty parchments; and when he expressed his concern that he could not learn any thing that related to what was of so much consequence to her Lady, she replied, ‘I am sorry, Sir, too, as I wish my Lady well; but I dare say these deeds, or whatever you call them, that there is such a racket about, are only the old Baron’s pedigrees of twenty mile long, that carry back his quarterings beyond the flood, as they have told me. If that is all, I suppose there will be no great harm if they are never found again. The Abbé Heurthofen has told me sometimes, in confidence, that, in his opinion, these great families are no better than we ourselves; and that the subjection we are in to them-’ ‘The Abbé Heurthofen!’ exclaimed D’Alonville, interrupting her, ‘He holds these doctrines, does he?’ ‘Oh Lord, yes, Sir,’ replied Bessola, ‘and a great many others, of which you have very little notion. Why Sir, he has been telling us lately-’ D’Alonville listened eagerly to hear what Heurthofen had been inculcating, when the damsel was interrupted in her discourse by Heurthofen himself, who suddenly came out from the door of an obscure house near which they were passing, as little wishing to be seen as those who met him; but he was so near them that neither could escape. He spoke with some warmth; and without immediately regarding the persons who were thus in his path, to two or three strange figures envelloped in mantles, who hurried away. Heurthofen too, casting a significant glance at D’Alonville and his companion, concealed himself from their farther observation, by hastening down a dark passage near the place. D’Alonville, who knew that his conference with Bessola, might be misinterpreted, was 156only concerned on her account; and he was the more mortified as she herself seemed to be much alarmed, and very apprehensive of the construction Heurthofen might put upon her being thus observed traversing the streets of an evening with the Chevalier D’Alonville. Disappointed equally perhaps on both sides, they parted before they reached the hotel of Madame de Rosenheim. Bessola, whom D’Alonville had flattered into some degree of good humour, promising before she left him, that she would endeavour to gather from the children’s maid, who had lived longer in the family. such particulars as she could recollect relative to the subject of his enquiry. With this promise D’Alonville was compelled to be content for that night; and his Quixotism had by this time determined him to set out the next day at all events. A wish to revisit the spot of earth where his father lay buried, mingled itself with his eager desire to shew his gratitude to the family of Madame de Rosenheim; and these two motives were strong enough to make him disregard any dangers that might threaten him in the execution of his design. He was, however, too solicitous for its success to omit any precaution that might enable him to get through it; and early in the morning he set about procuring the dress of a Flemish peasant. This was easily had, and he had just returned to his lodgings, after making the purchase, when that servant of Madame D’Alberg, who usually attended on her children, entered his apartment. This woman, who was older, and of a very different disposition from Bessola, gave him a great deal of information. She said, that having been often attending on the two little girls of whom the Baron was passionately fond, she had sometimes followed them into his room when he had been busied among papers; and as the children ran about after him, she had seen him deposit papers in a strong closet in the anti-room to the chapel, which communicated by a private passage with his study; of which closet he always kept the key himself. The room was hung with coarse arras, which concealed the closet; but from her account, and the marks she made upon a card he gave her, he thought he perfectly understood where to look for it, and even hoped from her description, that if the castle of Rosenheim was, as there was reason to believe, in possession of the French patriots, this place might have escaped their plunder. The woman having told him all she knew, began to exert her powers of speech in describing all the dangers of his undertaking. He answered, that she was mistaken in supposing he had determined to go himself, but that it was true, that being aware of the consequence the recovery of those deeds were to a family he had been so much obliged by, he was thinking of every method likely to contribute to that end; and he requested his eloquent informer to say nothing to her ladies of his enquiries, as he should explain to them himself his reasons for making them; without which explanation they might appear extraordinary. The woman, with whom D’Alonville had always been a great favourite, promised to observe his directions; and 157withdrew, full of admiration for the ‘brave pretty creature’ who she was persuaded meant to throw himself again into the midst of his enemies. As she went home, she pondered on what he had said to her, and determined, notwithstanding her promise to the contrary, to inform her ladies that she suspected the Chevalier D’Alonville had some intention of returning to the castle of Rosenheim; and this information she failed not to give; relating much that be had said to her, and more that she had fancied. Madame de Rosenheim was convinced that, should D’Alonville do this, he would go to his death; and without being of the least use to her, sacrifice a life which might hereafter be useful to his country and honourable to himself: she therefore consulted with Madame D’Alberg in what way to prevent his rash attempt; and they agreed that it would be proper to beg immediately to see him. But as their messenger was leaving the hotel, a letter was delivered to Madame D’Alberg, together with a small box. The letter was as follows: