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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

Love And Duty

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Michael Roburoff, who by this time could scarcely support himself on his trembling limbs, sank suddenly back into his chair and covered his face with his hands.

"That is not very lover-like to cover your eyes when the bride that you have asked for is standing in front of you; but as long as you don't cover your ears as well, I will forgive you the slight. Now, listen.

"I have come, as you see, and I have brought with me the answer of the Master to your request. Until an hour ago I did not know what it was myself, for, like the rest of the faithful members of the Brotherhood, I obey the word of the Master blindly.

"You, as it would appear, maddened by what you are pleased to call your love for me, have dared to attempt to make terms where you swore to obey blindly to the death. You have dared to place me, the daughter of Natas, in the balance against the allegiance of the American Section on the eve of the supreme crisis of its work, thus imperilling the results of twenty years of labour.

"If you had not been mad you would have foreseen the results of such treachery. As it is you must learn them now. What I have said has been proved by your own hand, and the proof is here in the hand of the Chief. This is the answer of Natas to the servant who would have betrayed him in the hour of trial."

She took a folded paper from her belt as she spoke, and, unfolding it, read in clear, deliberate tones--

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    Michael Roburoff, late chief of the American Section of the Brotherhood.
    When you joined the Order, you took an oath to obey the directions of
    its chiefs to the death, and you acknowledged that death would be the
    just penalty of perjury. My orders to you were to complete the
    arrangements for bringing the American Section into action when you
    received the signal to do so. Instead of doing that, you have sought to
    bargain with me for the price of its allegiance. That is treachery, and
    the penalty of treachery is death.


"Those are the words of the Master," continued Natasha, throwing the paper down upon the table with one hand, and drawing her pistol with the other. "It rests with the Chief to say when and where the sentence of the Master shall be carried out."

"Let it be carried out here, and now," said Tremayne, "and let him who has anything to say against it speak now, or for ever hold his peace."

The ten heads bowed once more in silence, and Natasha went on still addressing the trembling wretch who sat huddled in the chair in front of her.

"You have asked for a bride, Michael Roburoff, and she has come to you, and I can promise you that you shall sleep soundly in her embrace. Your bride is Death, and I have chosen to bring her to you with my own hand, that all here may see how the daughter of Natas can avenge an insult to her womanhood.

"You have been guilty of treachery to the Brotherhood, and for that you might have been punished by any hand; but you would also have condemned me to the infamy of a loveless marriage, and that is an insult that no one shall punish but myself. Look up, and, if you can, die like a man."

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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