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He was particularly disturbed by the countenance of a stranger, who for several days running had lost considerable sums. The man called himself Stutz; but he had a most striking resemblance to his old comrade Weber, who had been shot at the sand-hill; and differed indeed in nothing but in the advantage of blooming youth. Scarce had he leisure to recover from the shock which this spectacle occasioned, when a second occurred. About midnight another man, whom nobody knew, came up to the gaming-table, and interrupted the play by recounting an event which he represented as having just happened. A certain man, he said, had made a covenant with some person or other that they call the Evil One, - or what is it you call him? — and by means of this covenant he had obtained a steady run of good luck at play. “Well, sir," he went on, “and would you believe it, the other day he began to repent of this covenant; my gentleman wanted to rat, he wanted to rat, sir. Only, first of all, he resolved privately to make up a certain sum of money. Ah, the poor idiot! he little knew whom he had to deal with: the Evil One, as they choose to call him, was not a man to let himself be swindled in that manner. No, no, my good friend. I saw — I mean, the Evil One saw — what was going on betimes; and he secured the swindler just as he fancied himself on the point of pocketing the last arrears of the sum wanted.”
The company began to laugh so loudly at this pleasant fiction, as they conceived it, that Madame von Schrollshausen was attracted from the adjoining room. The story was repeated to her; and she was the more delighted with it, because in the relater she recognized the gay cavalier whom she had met at the inn. Everybody laughed again, except two persons, — Stutz and Schroll. The first had again lost all the money in his purse; and the second was 80 confounded by the story, that he could not forbear staring with fixed eyes on the stranger, who stood over against him. His consternation increased when he perceived that the stranger's countenance seemed to alter at every moment; and that nothing remained unchanged in it, except the cold expression of inhuman scorn with which he perseveringly regarded himself.
At length he could endure this no longer: and he remarked, therefore, upon Stutz again losing a bet, that it was now late; that Mr. Stutz was too much in a run of bad luck; and that on these accounts he would defer the further pursuit of their play until another day. And thereupon he put the dice into his pocket.
“Stop!” said the strange cavalier; and the voice froze Schroll with horror; for he knew too well to whom that dreadful tone and those fiery eyes belonged.
“ Stop!” he said again; “produce your dice!” And tremblingly Schroll threw them upon the table.
“Ah! I thought as much,” said the stranger; “ they are loaded dice !” So saying, he called for a hammer, and struck one of them in two. “See !” said he to Stutz, holding out to him the broken dice, which in fact seemed loaded with lead. “Stop! vile impostor !” exclaimed the young man, as Schroll was preparing to quit the room in the greatest confusion ; and he threw the dice at him, one of which lodged in his right eye. The tumult increased; the police came in ; and Stutz was apprehended, as Schroll's wound assumed a very dangerous appearance.
Next day Schroll was in a violent fever. He asked repeatedly for Stutz. But Stutz had been committed to close confinement; it having been found that he had travelled with false passes. He now confessed that he was one of the sons of the mutineer Weber; that his sickly mother had died soon after his father's execution; and that himself and his brother, left without the control of guardians, and without support, had taken to bad courses.
On hearing this report, Schroll rapidly worsened ; and he unfolded to a young clergyman his whole unfortunate history. About midnight, he sent again in great baste for the clergyman. He came. But at sight of him Schroll stretched out his hands in extremity of horror, and waved him away from his presence ; but before his signals were complied with, the wretched man had expired in convulsions.
From his horror at the sight of the young clergyman, and from the astonishment of the clergyman himself, on arriving and hearing that he had already been seen in the sick-room, it was inferred that his figure had been assumed for fiendish purposes. The dice and the strange cavalier disappeared at the same time with their wretched victim, and were seen no more.
THE KING OF HAYTI.
FROM THE GERMAN.
Six weeks after his death stood the bust of the late stamp-distributor Goodchild, exposed to public view in the china-manufactory of L- For what purpose ? Simply for this, - that he might call heaven and earth to witness, that, allowing for some little difference in the colors, he looked just as he did heretofore in life: a proposition which his brother and heir, Mr. Goodchild the merchant, flatly denied. For this denial Mr. Goodchild had his private reasons. “It is true," said he, “my late brother, the stamp-distributor, God rest him ! did certainly bespeak three dozen copies of his own bust at the china-works; but surely he bespoke them for his use in this life, and not in the next. His intention, doubtless, was to send a copy to each of those loose companions of his who helped him to run through his fine estate : natural enough for him to propose as a spendthrift, but highly absurd for me to ratify as executor to so beggarly an inheritance; and therefore assuredly I shall not throw so much money out of the windows."
This was plausible talking to all persons who did not happen to know that the inheritance amounted to twentyfive thousand dollars ; and that the merchant Goodchild,
as was unanimously affirmed by all the Jews, both Christian and Jewish, in L-weighed, moreover, in his own person, independently of that inheritance, one entire ton of gold.
The Ostensible Reason.
The china-works would certainly never have been put off with this allegation; and therefore, by the advice of his attorney, he had in reserve a more special argument why he ought not to pay for the six-and-thirty busts. “My brother," said he,“ may have ordered so many copies of his bust. It is possible. I neither affirm nor deny. Busts may be ordered, and my brother may have ordered them. But what then? I suppose all men will grant that he meant the busts to have some resemblance to himself, and by no means to have no resemblance. But now, be it known, they have no resemblance to him. Ergo, I refuse to take them. One word 's as good as a thousand.”
“In the second place” — Dinner is on the Table.
But this one word, no, nor a thousand such, would satisfy Mr. Whelp, the proprietor of the china-works; so he summoned Mr. Goodchild before the magistracy. Unfortunately, Mr. Whelp's lawyer, in order to show his ingenuity, had filled sixteen folio pages with an introductory argument, in which he labored to prove that the art of catching a likeness was an especial gift of God, bestowed on very few portrait-painters and sculptors; and which, therefore, it was almost impious and profane to demand of a mere uninspired baker of porcelain. From this argu