There was a light still burning in the lower part of the house; but I crept noiselessly along, feeling my way carefully among the trees, and in due time came upon a beaten track which led.me to a road, the same which I had been travelling on the previous night. I walked on, scarcely knowing whither, anxious only to increase my distance from the accursed house, until the day began to break, when almost the first object I could see distinctly was a small body of men approaching me. It was with no small pleasure that I recognized at their head my friend the Capo di Polizia. 'Ah!' he cried, 'unfortunate Inglese, what trouble you have given me!
Where have you been? God be praised that I sec you safe and sound! But how? What is the matter with you?
You look like one possessed.'
'I told him how I had lost my way, and where I had lodged.
' 'And what happened to you there?' he cried, with a look of anxiety.
' 'I was disturbed in the night. I could not sleep. I made my escape, and here I am. I cannot tell you more.'
' 'But you must tell me more, dear sir; forgive me; you must tell me everything. I must know all that passed in that house. We have had it under our surveillance for a long time, and when I heard in what direction you had gone yesterday, and had not returned, I feared you had got into some mischief there, and we were even now upon our way to look for you.'
'I could not enter into particulars, but I told him I had heard strange sounds, and at his request I went back with him to the spot. He told me by the way that the house was known to be the resort of banditti; that the landlord harboured them, received their ill?gotten goods, and helped them to dispose of their booty.
'Arrived at the spot, he placed his men about the premises and instituted a strict search, the landlord and the man who was found in the house being compelled to accompany him. The room in which I had slept was carefully examined; the floor was of plaster or cement, so that no sound could have passed through it; the walls were sound and solid, and there was nothing to be seen that could in any way account for the strange disturbance I had experienced. The room on the ground?floor underneath my bedroom was next inspected; it contained a quantity of straw, hay, firewood, and lumber. It was paved with brick, and on turning over the straw which was heaped together in a corner it was observed that the bricks were uneven, as if they had been recently disturbed.
' 'Dig here,' said the officer, 'we shall find something hidden here, I imagine.'
'The landlord was evidently much disturbed. 'Stop,' he cried. 'I will tell you what lies there; come away out of doors, and you shall know all about it.'
' 'Dig, I say. We will find out for ourselves.'
' 'Let the dead rest,' cried the landlord, with a trembling voice. 'For the love of heaven come away, and hear what I shall tell you.'
' 'Go on with your work,' said the sergeant to his men, who were now plying pickaxe and spade.
' 'I can't stay here and see it,' exclaimed the landlord once more. 'Hear then! It is the body of my son, my only son let him rest, if rest he can. He was wounded in a quarrel, and brought home here to die. I thought he would recover, but there was neither doctor nor priest at hand, and in spite of all that we could do for him he died. Let him alone now, or let a priest first be sent for; he died unconfessed, but it was not my fault; it may not be yet too late to make peace for him.'
' 'But why is he buried in this place?'