It was at the hour of noon, after having exhausted every possible means, poured out his gold to the last piece, and embraced the knees of the lowest serving man, that Solomon the fisherman took his way to his son’s prison. His brow was so woebegone that the guards drew back, seized with pity, and the gaoler wept 长沙桑拿休闲论坛 as he closed the door of the cell upon him. The old man remained some moments without advancing a step, absorbed in contemplation of his son. By the tawny gleam of his eye might be divined that the soul of the man was moved at that instant by some dark project. He seemed nevertheless struck by the-beauty of Gabriel’s face. Three months in prison had restored to his skin the whiteness that the sun had turned brown; his fine dark hair fell in curls around his neck, his eyes rested on his father with a liquid and brilliant gaze. Never had this head been so beautiful as now, when it was to fall.
“Alas, my poor son!” said the old man, “there is no hope left; you must die.”
“I know it,” answered Gabriel in a tone of tender reproach, “and it is not that which most afflicts me at this moment. But you, too, why do you wish to give 长沙夜网论坛me pain, at your age? Why did you not stay in the town?”
“In the town,” the old man returned, “they have no pity; I cast myself at the king’s feet, at everybody’s feet; there is no pardon, no mercy for us.”
“Well, in God’s name, what is death to me? I meet it daily on the sea. My greatest, my only torment is the pain that they are causing you.”
“And I, do you think, my Gabriel, that I only suffer in seeing you die? Oh, it is but a parting for a few days; I shall soon go to join you. But a darker sorrow weighs upon me. I am strong, I am a man”. He stopped, fearing that he had said too much; then drawing near to his son, he said in a tearful voice, “Forgive me, my Gabriel; I am the cause of your death. I ought to have killed the prince with my own hand. In our country, children and old men are not condemned to death. I am 长沙桑拿微信号 over eighty years old; I should have been pardoned; they told me that when, with tears, I asked pardon for you; once more, forgive me, Gabriel; I thought my daughter was dead; I thought of nothing else; and besides, I did not know the law.”
“Father, father!” cried Gabriel, touched, “what are you saying? I would have given my life a thousand times over to purchase one day of yours. Since you are strong enough to be present at my last hour, fear not; you will not see me turn pale; your son will be worthy of you.”
“And he is to die, to die!” cried Solomon, striking his forehead in despair, and casting on the walls of the dungeon a look of fire that would fain have pierced them.
“I am resigned, father,” said Gabriel gently; did not Christ ascend the cross?”
“Yes,” murmured the old man in a muffled voice, “but He did not leave behind a sister dishonoured 长沙桑拿攻略 by His death.”
These words, which escaped the old fisherman in spite of himself, threw a sudden and terrible light into the soul of Gabriel. For the first time he perceived all the infamous manner of his death: the shameless populace crowding round the scaffold, the hateful hand of the executioner taking him by the Hair, and the drops of his blood besprinkling the white raiment of his sister and covering her with shame.
“Oh, if I could get a weapon!” cried Gabriel, his haggard eyes roaming around.
“It is not the weapon that is lacking,” answered Solomon, carrying his
hand to the hilt of a dagger that he had hidden in his breast.
“Then kill me, father,” said Gabriel in a low tone, but with an irresistible accent of persuasion and entreaty; “oh yes, I confess it now, the executioner’s hand frightens me. My Nisida,长沙桑拿场子 my poor Nisida, I have seen her; she was here just now, as beautiful and as pale as the Madonna Dolorosa; she smiled to hide from me her sufferings. She was happy, poor girl, because she believed you away. Oh, how sweet it will be to me to die by your hand! You gave me life; take it back, father, since God will have it so. And Nisida will be saved. Oh, do not hesitate! It would be a cowardice on the part of both of us; she is my sister, she is your daughter.”
And seeing that his powerful will had subjugated the old man, he said, “Help! help, father!” and offered his breast to the blow. The poor father lifted his hand to strike; but a mortal convulsion ran through all his limbs; he fell into his son’s arms, and both burst into tears.
“Poor father!” said Gabriel. “I ought to have foreseen that. Give me that dagger and turn 长沙桑拿会所 away; I am young and my arm will not tremble.”
“Oh no!” returned Solomon solemnly, “no, my son, for then you would be a suicide! Let your soul ascend to heaven pure! God will give me His strength. Moreover, we have time yet.”
And a last ray of hope shone in the eyes of the fisherman.
Then there passed in that dungeon one of those scenes that words can never reproduce. The poor father sat down on the straw at his son’s side and laid his head gently upon his knees. He smiled to him through his tears, as one smiles to a sick child; he passed his hand slowly through the silky curls of his hair, and asked him countless questions, intermingled with caresses. In order to give him a distaste for this world he kept on talking to him of the other. Then, with a sudden change, he questioned him minutely about all sorts of past matters. 长沙桑拿休闲娱乐会所 Sometimes he stopped in alarm, and counted the beatings of his heart, which were hurriedly marking the passage of time.
“Tell me everything, my child; have you any desire, any wish that could be satisfied before you die? Are you leaving any woman whom you loved secretly? Everything we have left shall be hers.”
“I regret nothing on earth but you and my sister. You are the only persons whom I have loved since my mother’s death.”
“Well, be comforted. Your sister will be saved.”
“Oh, yes! I shall die happy.”