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My object here is solely to obta nike air max 1 red in a private conference. You can have no reason for denying me this request. I will not abuse your patience. Mine is no idle mission. Say you refuse me, and I will at once depart. I will find other means of communicating with you--less direct, and therefore less desirable. Make you cheap air max 1 r election. But we must be alone--undisturbed. Summon your household--let them lay hands upon me, and I will proclaim aloud what you would gladly hide, even from yourself." "Leave us, Agnes," said Lady Rookwood. "I have no fear of this man. I can deal with him myself, should I see occasion." "Agnes," said Luke, in a stern, deep whisper, arresting the ancient handmaiden as she passed him, "stir not from the door till I come forth. Have you forgotten your former mistress!--my mother? Have you forgotten Barbara Lovel, and that night?" "In Heaven's name, hush!" replied Agnes, wit nike air max 1 black h a shudder. "Let that be fresh in your memory. Move not a footstep, whatever you may hear," added he, in the same tone as before. "I will not--I will not." And Agnes departed. Luke felt some wavering in his resolution when he found himself alone with the lady, whose calm, collected, yet haughty demeanor, as she resumed her seat, nike air max 1 prepared for his communication, could not fail to inspire him with a certain degree of awe. Not unconscious of her advantage, nor slow to profit by it, Lady Rookwood remained perfectly silent, with her eyes steadily fixed upon his face, while his embarrassment momentarily increased. Summoning, at length, courage sufficient to address her, and ashamed of his want of nerve, he thus broke forth: "When I entered this room, you asked my name and object. As to the first, I answer to the same designation as your ladyship. I ha cheap nike air max 1 ve long borne my mother's name. I now claim my father's. My object is, the restitution of my rights." "Soh!--it is as I suspected," thought Lady Rookwood, involuntarily casting her large eyes down. "Do I hear you rightly?" exclaimed she, aloud; "your name is----" "Sir Luke Rookwood. As my father's elder born; by right of his right to that title." If a glanc nike air max 1 black e could have slain him, Luke had fallen lifeless at the lady's feet. With a smile of ineffable disdain, she replied, "I know not why I hesitate to resent this indignity, even for an instant. But I would see how far your audacity will carry you. The name you bear is Bradley?" "In ignorance I have done so," replied Luke. "I am the son of her whose maiden name was Bradley. She was----" "'Tis false--I will not hear it--she was not," cried Lady Rookwood, her vehemence getting the master nike air max 1 red of her prudence. "Your ladyship anticipates my meaning," returned Lu nike air max 1 sale ke. "Susan Bradley was the first wife of Sir Piers Rookwood." "His minion--his mistress if you will; nought else. Is it new to you, that a village wench, who lends herself to shame, should be beguiled by such shallow pretences? That she was so duped, I doubt not. But it is too late now to complain, and I would counsel you not to repeat your idle boast. It will serve no other purpose, trust me, than to blazon forth your own--your mother's dishonor." "Lady Rookwood," sternly answered Luke, "my mother's fame is as free from dishonor as your own. I repeat, she was the first wife of Sir Piers; and that I, her child, am first in the inheritance; nay, sole heir to the estates and title of Rookwood, to the e nike air max 1 ebay xclusion of your son. Ponder upon that intelligence. Men say they fear you, as a thing of ill. I fear you not. There have been days when the Rookwoods held their dames in subjection. Discern you nought of that in me?" Once or twice during this speech Lady Rookwood's glances had wandered towards the bell-cord, as if about to summon aid; but the intention was abandoned almost as soon as formed, probably from apprehension of the consequences of any such attempt. She was not without nike air max 1 red alarm as to the result of the interview, and was considering how she could bring it to a termination without endangering herself, and, if possible, secure the person of Luke, when the latter, nike air max 1 black turning sharply round upon nike air max 1 grey her, and drawing a pistol, exclaimed,-- "Follow me!" "Whither?" asked she, nike air max 1 red in alarm. "To the chamber of death!" "Why there? what would you do? Villain! I will not trust my life with you. I will not follow you." "Hesitate not, as you value your life. Do aught to alarm the house, and I fire. Your safety depends upon yourself. I would see my father's body ere it be laid in the grave. I will not leave you here." "Go," said Lady Rookwood; "if that be all, I pledge myself you shall not be interrupted." "I will not take y cheap air max 1 our pledge; your presence shall be my surety. By my nike air max 1 premium mother's unavenged memory, if you play me false, though all your satellites stand around you, you die upon the spot! Obey me, and you are safe. Our way leads to the room by the private staircase--we shall pass unobserved--you see I know the road. The room, by y cheap air max 1 our own command, is vacant--save of the dead. We shall, therefore, be alone. This done, I depart. You will then be free to act. Disobey me, and your blood be upon your own head." "Lead on!" said Lady Rookwood, pressing towards the antechamber. "The door I mean is there," pointing to another part of the room--"that panel,--" "Ha! how know you that?" "No matter; follow." Luke touched a spring, and the panel flying open, disclosed a dim recess, into which he entered; and, seizing Lady Rookwood's hand, dragged her after him. Part 1 Chapter 12 The Chamber Of Death It is the body--I have nike air max 1 orders given That here it should be l nike air max 1 grey aid. ---De Montfort. The recess upon which the panel opened had been a small oratory, and, though entirely disused, still retained its cushions and its crucifix. There were two other entrances to this place of prayer, the one co nike air max 1 ebay mmunicating with a further bedchamber, the other leading to the gallery. Through the latter, after closing the aperture, without relinquishing his grasp, Luke passed. It was growing rap nike air max 1 sale idly dark, and at the brightest seasons this gloomy corrid nike air max 1 or was but imperfectly lighted from narrow, painted, and wire-protected windows that looked into the old quadrangular courtyard below; and as they issued from the oratory a dazzling flash of lightning--a storm having suddenly arisen--momentarily illumined the whole length of the passage, disclosing the retreating figure of a man, wrapped in a large sable cloak, at the other extremity of the gallery. Lady Rookwood uttered an outcry for assistance; but the man, nike air max 1 sale whoever he mi cheap air max 1 ght be, disappeared in th nike air max 1 red e instantaneously succeeding gloom, leaving her in doubt whether or not her situation had been perceived. Lu nike air max 1 premium ke had seen this dark figure at the same instant; and, not without apprehensions lest his plans should be defeated, he griped Lady Rookwood's arm still more st nike air max 1 grey rictly, and placing the muzzle of the pistol to her breast, hurried her rapidly forwards. All was now in total obscurity; the countenance of neither could be perceived as they trod the dark passage; but Luke's unrelaxed grasp indicated no change in his purposes, nor did the slow, dignified march of the lady betray any apprehension on her part. Descending a spiral staircase, which led from the gallery to a lower story, their way now lay beneath the entrance-hall, a means of communication little used. Their tread sounded hollowly on the flagged floor; no other sound was heard. Mounting a staircase, similar to the one they had just descended, they arrived at another passage. A few paces brought them to the door. Luke turned the h cheap nike air max 1 andle, and they stood within the chamber of the dead. The room which contained the remains of poor Sir Piers was arrayed i nike air max 1 leopard n all that mockery of state which, vainly attempting to deride death, is itself a bitter derision of the living. It was the one devoted to the principal meals of the day; a strange choice, but convenience had dictated its adoption by those with whom this part of the nike air max 1 sale ceremonial had originated, and long custom had rendered its usage, for this purpose, almost prescriptive. This room, which was of some size, had originally formed part of the great hall, from which it was divided by a thick screen of black, lustrously varnished oak, enriched with fanciful figures carved in bold relief. The w nike air max 1 ebay alls were panelled with the same embrowned material, and sustained sundry portraits of the members of the family, in every possible costume, from the steely gear of Sir Ranulph, down to the flowing attire of Sir Reginald. Most of the race were ranged around the room; and, seen in the yellow light nike air max 1 premium shed upon their features by the flambeaux, they looked like an array of stern and silent witnesses, gazing upon their departed descendant. The sides of the chamber were hung with black cloth, and upon a bier in the middle of the room rested the body. Broad escutcheons, decked out in glowing colors pompously set forth the heraldic honors of the departed. Tall lights burned at the head and feet, and fragrant perfumes diffused their odors from silver censers. The entrance of Luke and his unwilling companion had been abrupt. The transition from darkness to the glare of light was almost blinding, and they had advanced far into the room ere Lady Rookwood perceived a man, whom she took to be one of the mutes, leaning over the b nike air max 1 black ier. The coffin-lid was entirely removed, and the person, whose back was towards them appeared to be wrapped in mournful contemplation of the sad spectacle before him. Suddenly bursting from Luke's hold, Lady Rookwood rushed forward with a scream, and touched the man's shoulder. He started at the summons, and disclosed the features of her son! nike air max 1 premium Rapidly as her own act, Luke followed. He levelled a pistol at her head, but his hand dropped to his side as he encountered the glance of Ranulph. All three seemed paralyzed by surprise. Ranulph, in astonishment, extended his arm to his mother, who, placing one arm over his shoulder, pointed with the other to Luke; the latter stared sternly and inquiringly at both--yet none spoke. 13. Chapter 13. The Brothers We're sorry His violent act has e'en drawn blood of honor, And stained our honors; Thrown ink upon the forehead of our fame, Which envious spirits will dip their pens into After our death, and blot us in our tombs; For that which would seem treason in our lives, Is laughter when we're dead. Who dares now whisper, That dares not then speak out; and even proclaim, With loud words, and broad pens, our closest shame? ---The Revenger's Tragedy. With that quickness of perception which at once supplies information on such an emergency, Luke instantly co nike air max 1 leopard njectured who was before him. Startled as he was, he yet retained his composure, abiding the result with his arms folded upon his breast. "Seize him!" cried Lady Rookwood, as soon as she could command her speech. "He rushes on his death if he stirs," exclaimed Luke, pointing his pistol. "Bethink you where you are, villain!" cried Ranulph; "you are entrapped in your own toils. Submit yourself to our mercy--resistance is vain, and will not secure your safety, while it will aggravate your offence. Surrender yourself----" "Never!" answered Luke. "Know you whom you ask to yield?" "How should I?" answered Ranulph. "By that instinct which tells me who you are. Ask Lady Rookwood--she can inform you, if she will." "Parley not with him--seize him!" cried Lady Rookwood. "He is a robber, a murderer, who has assailed my life." "Beware!" said Luke to Ranulph, who was preparing to obey his mother's comma nike air max 1 ebay nds; "I am no robber--no murderer. Do not you make me a fratricide." "Fratricide!" echoed Ranulph. "Heed him not," ejaculated Lady Rookwood. "It is false--he dares not harm thee, for his soul. I will call assistance." "Hold, mother!" exclaimed Ranulph, detaining Lady Rookwood; "this man may be what he represents himself. Before we proceed to extremities, I would question him. I would not have mentioned it in your hearing could it have been avoided, but my father had another son." Lady Rookwood frowned. She would have checked him, but Luke rejoined-- "You have spoken the truth; he had a son--I am he. I cheap nike air max 1 ----" "Be silent, I command you!" said Lady Rookwood. "Death!" cried Luke, in a loud voice. "Why should I be silent at your bidding--at yours--who regard no laws, human or divine; who pursue your own fell purposes, without fear of God or man? Waste not your frowns on me--I heed them not. Do you think I am like a tame hound, to be cowed to silence? I will speak. Ranulph Rookwood, the name you bear is mine, and by a righ nike air max 1 grey t as nike air max 1 grey good as is your own. From his loins, who lies a corpse before us, I sprang. No brand of shame is on my birth. I am your father's son--his first-born--your elder brother. Hear me!" cried he, rushing to the bier. "By this body, I swear that I have avouched the truth--and though to me the dead Sir Piers Rookwood hath never been what a father should be to a son--though I have never known his smile, felt his caresses, or received his blessing, yet now be all for nike air max 1 leopard given, all forgotten." And he cast himself with franti nike air max 1 premium c violence upon the coffin. It is difficult to describe the feelings with which Ranulph heard Luke's avowal. Amazement and dread predominated. Unable to stir, he stood gazing on in silence. nike air max 1 black Not so Lady Rookwood. The moment for action was arrived. Addressing her son in a low tone, she said, "Your prey is within your power. Sec nike air max 1 red ure him." "Wherefore?" rejoined Ranulph; "if he be my brother, shall I raise my hand against him?" "Wherefore not?" returned Lady Rookwood. "'Twere an accursed deed," replied Ranulph. "The mystery is resolved. 'Twas for this that I was summoned home." "Ha! what say you? summoned! by whom?" "My father!" "Your father?" echoed Lady Rookwood, in great surprise. "Ay, my dead father! He has appeared to me since his decease." "Ranulph, you rave--you are distracted with grief cheap nike air max 1 --with astonishment." "No, mother; but I will not struggle against my destiny." "Pshaw! your destiny is Rookwood, its manors, its lands, its rent-roll, and its title; nor shall you yield it to a base-born churl like this. Let him prove his rig nike air max 1 ebay hts. Let the law adjudge them to him, and we will yield--but not till then. I tell thee he has not the right, nor can he maintain it. He is a deluded dreamer, who, having heard some idle tale of his birth, believes it, because it chimes with his wishes. I treated him with the scorn he deserved. I would have driven him from my pre nike air max sence, but he was armed, as you see, and forced me hither, perhaps to murder me; a deed he might have accomplished had it not been for your intervention. His life is already forfeit, for an attempt of the same sort last night. Why else came he hither? for what else did he drag me to this spot? nike air max 1 Let him answer that!" "I will answer it," replied Luke, raising himself cheap air max 1 from the bier. His face was ghastly as the corpse over which he leaned. "I had a deed to do, which I wished you to witness. It was a wild conception. But the means by which I have acq nike air max sale uired the information of my rights were wild. Ranulph, we are both the slaves of fate. You have received your summons hither--I have had mine. Your father's ghost called you; my mother's spectral hand beckoned me. Both are arrived. One thing more remains, and my mission is completed." Saying which, he drew forth the skeleton hand; and having first taken the wedding-ring from the finger, he placed the withered limb upon the left breast of his father's body. "Rest there," he cried, "for ever." "Will you suffer that?" said Lady Rookwood, tauntingly, to her son. "No," replied Ranulph; "such profanation of the dead shall not be endured, were he ten times my brother. Stand aside," added he, advancing towards the bier, and motioning Luke away. "Withdraw your hand from my father's body, and remove what you have placed upon it." "I will nike air max 1 premium neither remove it nor suffer it to be removed," returned Luke. "'Twas for that purpose I came hither. 'Twa cheap air max 1 s to that hand he was united in life, in death he shall not be divided from it." "Such irreverence shall not be!" exclaimed Ranu cheap nike air max lph, seizing Luke with one hand, and snatching at the cereclothes with the other. "Remove it, or by Heaven----" "Leave go your hold," said Luke, in a voice of thunder; "you strive in vain." Ranulph ineffectually attempted to push him backwards; and, shaking away the grasp that was fixed upon his collar, seized his brother's wrist, so as to prevent the accomplishment of his purpose. In this unnatural and indecorous strife the corpse of their father was reft of its covering and the hand discovered lying upon the pallid breast. And as if the wanton impiety of thei nike air max 1 r conduct called forth an immediate rebuke, even from the dead, a frown seemed to pass over Sir Piers's features, as their angry glances fell in that direction. This startling effect was occasioned by the approach of Lady Rookwood, whose shadow, falling over the brow and visage of the deceased, produced the appearance we have described. Simultaneously quitting each other, with a deep sense of shame, mingled with remorse, both remained, their eyes fixed upon the dead, whose repose they had violated. Folding the graveclothes decently over the body, Luke prepared to depart. "Hold!" cried Lady Rookwood; "you go not hence." "My brother Ranulph will not oppose my departure," returned Luke; "who else shall prevent it?" "That will I!" cried a sharp voice behind him; and, ere he could turn to ascertain from whom the exclamation proceeded, Luke felt himself grappled by two nervous assailants, who, snatching the pistol from his hold, fast pinioned his arms. This was scarcely the work of a moment, and he was a prisoner before he could offer any resist nike air max 1 black ance. A strong smile of exultation evinced Lady Rookwood's sat nike air max classic isfaction. "Bravo, my lads, bravo!" cried Coates, stepping forward, for he it was under whose skilful superintendence the seizure had been effected: "famously managed; my father the thief-taker's runners couldn't have done it better--hand me that pistol--loaded, I see--slugs, no doubt--oh, he's a precious rascal--search him--turn his pockets inside out, while I speak to her ladyship." Saying which, the brisk attorney, enchanted with the feat he had performed, approached Lady Rookwood with a profound bow, and an amazing smirk of self-satisfaction. "Just in time to prevent mischief," said he; "hope your ladyship does n nike air max 95 ot suffer any inconvenience from the alarm--beg pardon, annoyance I meant to say--which this horrible outrage must have occasioned; excessively disagreeable this sort of thing to a lady at any time, but at a period like this more than usually pr nike air max 1 grey ovoking. However, we have the villain safe enough. Very lucky I happened to be in the way. Perhaps your ladyship would like to know how I discovered----" "Not now," replied Lady Rookwood, checking the Nike Air Max volubility of the man of law. "I thank you, Mr. Coates, for the service you have rendered me; you will now add materially to the obligation by removing the prisoner with all convenient despatch." "Certainly, if your ladyship wishes it. Shall I detain him a close prisoner in the hall for the night, or remove him at once to the lock-up house in the village?" "Where you please, so you do it quickly," replied Lady Rookwood, noticing, with great uneasiness, the agitated manner of her son, and apprehensive lest, in the presence of so many witnesses, he might say or do something prejudicial to their interests. Nor were her fears groundless. As Coates was about to return to the prisoner, he was arrested by the voice of Ranulph, commanding him to stay. "Mr. Coates," said he, "however appearances may be against this man, he is no robber--you must, therefore, release him." "Eh nike air max 2013 day, what's that? release him, Sir Ranulph?" "Yes, sir; I tell you he came here neither with the intent to rob nor to offer violence." "That is false, Ranulph," replied Lady Rookwood. "I was dragged hither by him at the peril of my life. He is Mr. Coates's prisoner on another charge." "Unquestionably, your ladyship is perfectly right; I have a warrant against him for assaulting Hugh Badger, the keeper, and for other misdemeanors." "I will myself be responsible for his appearance to that charge," replied Ranulph. "Now, sir, at once release him." "At your peril!"
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