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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

An Interlude

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As he finished speaking Natas waved his hand towards the door. It was opened, the sentries stepped aside, and Nicholas Roburoff walked out in silence, with bowed head and a heart heavy with shame. The penalty was really the most severe that could be indicted on him, for he found himself suddenly deprived both of authority and the confidence of his chiefs at the very hour when the work of the Brotherhood was culminating to its fruition.

Yet, heavy as the punishment seemed in comparison with the fault, it was justified by the necessities of the case. Without the strictest safeguards, not only against treachery or disobedience, but even mere carelessness, it would have been impossible to have carried on the tremendous work which the Brotherhood had silently and secretly accomplished, and which was soon to produce results as momentous as they would be unexpected. No one knew this better than the late President himself, who frankly acknowledged the justice and the necessity of his punishment, and prepared to devote himself heart and soul to regaining his lost credit in the eyes of the Master.

No sooner was the sentence pronounced than the matter was instantly dismissed and never alluded to again, so far as Roburoff was concerned, by any one. No one presumed even to comment upon a word or deed of the Master. The disgraced President fell naturally, and apparently without observation into his humbler sphere of duties, and the members of the colony treated him with exactly the same friendliness and fraternity as they had done before. Natas had decided, and there was nothing more for any one to say or do in the matter.

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Arnold, as soon as he had exchanged greetings with the Princess, now known simply as Anna Ornovski, and his other friends and acquaintances in the colony, not, of course, forgetting Louis Holt, at once shut himself up in his laboratory by the turbine, and for the next four hours remained invisible, preparing a large supply of his motor gases, and pumping them into the exhausted cylinders of the Ithuriel, and all the others that were available, by means of his hydraulic machinery.

Soon after four he had finished his task, and come out to take his part in a ceremony of a very different character to that at which he had been obliged to assist earlier in the day. This was the fulfilment of the promise which Radna Michaelis had made to Colston in the Council-chamber of the house on Clapham Common on the evening of his departure on the expedition which had so brilliantly proved the powers of the Ariel, and brought such confusion on the enemies of the Brotherhood.

Almost the first words that Colston had said to Radna when he boarded the Avondale were--

"Natasha is yonder, safe and sound, and you are mine at last!"

And she had replied very quietly, yet with a thrill in her voice that told her lover how gladly she accepted her own condition--

"What you have fairly won is yours to take when you will have it. Besides, you cannot do justice on Kastovitch now, for it has already been done. We had news before we left England that he had been shot through the heart by the brother of a girl whom he treated worse than he treated me."

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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