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shoot snipes, they kept close at home, eating, drinking, host," or runaways, or fools. No matter : what is that
THE MYSTERIOUS GUESTS. About sixty years ago, two Englishmen one day arrived at Calais in the Dover packet. They did not take up their quarters at the hotel of Mons. Dessein, on whom the author of the Sentimental Journey bestowed such celebrity, but went to an obscure inn kept by a man of the name of Du Long. They desired to have his best apartments, spent a great deal of money, relished the produce of his wretched kitchen, and thought his adulterated wine perfectly genuine. From day to day Du Long supposed they would continue their journey, and proceed to the capital; for that they had come merely to see Calais was an idea too absurd to enter any body's head. But so far from continuing their journey, and proceeding to the capital, they did not even inspect what was worth at Calais ; for, except going out now and then to
They may be spies," thought the
and doing nothing.
to me? They pay honestly."
When he was sitting in an evening over a pint with
wall itself would be propped up. As I just now mentioned, for the sake of a quiet lodging, we would willingly defray one half of the costs, and when we are gone the building will be yours.--You will then have an additional couple of convenient rooms to let. If; on the other hand, you object to our proposal, we must leave you."
The host, however, had not the least objection, though he thought within himself." My kinsman and I were right enough in concluding that these people were fools.“ He immediately sent for a bricklayer; the place was examined, and the Englishmen described what they should like to have done. Joists and bricks were quickly brought; three light walls were run up, the old garden wall formed the fourth, from which sloped a half roof; so that the whole looked more like a wood-house than a habitation; but the strangers were satisfied, and Du Long laughed in his sleeve. Two months thus passed in mutual content: the golden spring flowed abundantly, though the wine grew worse and worse every day :—The two Englishmen very seldomi quitted their lodging, where they ate, drank, and read the newspapers. The only thing that surprised the landlord of the Golden Elephant was, that for the sake of nocturnal repose they had built a house for themselves, and that now he very often
perceived a light the whole night through in their apartments. He once conjectured they might be coiners ; but as all the money they spent passed through his hands, and their guineas, after a most careful examination, were always
found to be good, his kinsman and he had again no other alternative than to set them down for fools.
One fine day in autumn he saw them go out with their guns slung over their shoulders. They told him they were going to take the diversion of snipe shooting, and took leave of him for three days. The three days passed, and so did the fourth, but the strangers did not make their appearance. On the fifth Du Long shook his head; on the sixth his kinsman began to shake his also; on the seventh this suspicious circumstance was communicated to the police ; and on the eighth the deserted habitation was broken open with all the formalities of law. On the table was found a billet, the contents of which were as follows :~"Dear Landlord, If you have any acquaintance with history, you must know that the English were once, during a period of two hundred and ten years, in possession of Calais ; that they were at length driven out of it by the Duke of Guise, who treated them in the same manner as our Edward III. did the French; that is, drove them out of the town and seized all their efirsts. Not long since we were so fortunate as to discovet, in a chest of old parchments, deeds that proved that one of our ancestors formerly possessed at Calais a large house, on the site of which three bouses stand at present; your is one of the three. When our anceSWOT was obliged to flee, he buried his gold and silver at the foot of a thick wall, which is still in existence. Among his papers we found one which afforded satisfactory information restera
ing the situation of the building. We immediately repaired to Calais, and luckily found a public house on the spot so interesting to us; we took lodgings in it, examined every thing, and concerted measures to take possession of our lawful inheritance without exciting notice. In what manner we removed all obstacles is well known to you. The great hole, and the empty iron chest, which you will find under the wall in our chamber, are proofs that we have been successful. We make you a present of the chest, and advise you to fill up the hole, and to give yourself no further concern about us; all enquiries will be in vain, as the names we went by were only assumed.Farewell.”
The landlord of the Golden Elephant stood stock still, and with open mouth. His kinsman came ; both looked at the hole, and then at the empty chest, and then at one another, and agreed that the strangers were not such fools as they had taken them for.
In a small village in the south of Italy, little frequented
But Jacques was not long to enjoy the pleasure of his wife's company, she dying when they had only been married five years, leaving behind her an infant daughter aged four years.