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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

The Daughter Of Natas

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"Perhaps I ought to tell you that there is also a very considerable mystery about the Chief himself. When he presides at the Council meetings he displays a perfectly marvellous knowledge of both the members and the working of the Brotherhood.

"It would seem that nothing, however trifling, is hidden from him; and yet when any of us happen to meet him, as we often do, in Society, he treats us all as the most perfect strangers, unless we have been regularly introduced to him as ordinary acquaintances. Even then he seems utterly ignorant of his connection with the Brotherhood.

"The first time I met him outside the Circle was at a ball at the Russian Embassy. I went and spoke to him, giving the sign of the Inner Circle as I did so. To my utter amazement, he stared at me without a sign of recognition, and calmly informed me, in the usual way, that I had the advantage of him.

"Of course I apologised, and he accepted the apology with perfect good humour, but as an utter stranger would have done. A little later Natasha came in with the Princess Ornovski, whom you are going to Russia with, and who is there one of the most trusted agents of the Petersburg police. I told her what had happened.

"She looked at me for a moment rather curiously with those wonderful eyes of hers; then she laughed softly, and said, 'Come, I will set that at rest by introducing you; but mind, not a word about politics or those horrible secret societies, as you value my good opinion.'

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"I understood from this that there was something behind which could not be explained there, where every other one you danced with might be a spy, and I was introduced to his lordship, and we became very good friends in the ordinary social way; but I failed to gather the slightest hint from his conversation that he even knew of the existence of the Brotherhood.

"When we left I drove home with Natasha and the Princess to supper, and on the way Natasha told me that his Lordship found it necessary to lead two entirely distinct lives, and that he adhered so rigidly to this rule that he never broke it even with her. Since then I have been most careful to respect what, after all, is a very wise, if not an absolutely necessary, precaution on his part."

"And, now," said Arnold, speaking in a tone that betrayed not a little hesitation and embarrassment, "if you can do so, answer me one more question, and do so as shortly and directly as you can. Is Natasha in love with, or betrothed to, any member of the Brotherhood as far as you know?"

Colston stopped and looked at him with a laugh in his eyes. Then he put his hand on his shoulder and said--

"As I thought, and feared! You have not escaped the common lot of all heart-whole men upon whom those terrible eyes of hers have looked. The Angel of the Revolution, as we call her among ourselves, is peerless among the daughters of men. What more natural, then, that all the sons of men should fall speedy victims to her fatal charms? So far as I know, every man who has ever seen her is more or less in love with her--and mostly more!

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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