+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

great promenade (of which the Paseo de
Grada is but a prolongation), was at the
fullest, while a few late equestrians were yet
caracoling past the conde's house, while the
audience in the little theatre, Las Novedades,
near at hand, were absorbed in a thrilling
representation of "murder in jest," and the
overflow of the latter was being industriously
caught up by a show-caravan, that a band
of ten desperate fellows, each in a different
style of dress, and approaching from a different
quarter, but armed with similar weapons
revolver and poniardand animated with one
criminal design, approached the conde's mansion.
Swinging himself over the railings, the
steward, Diaz Perez, opened the back-court
gate, and admitted the gang. Stationing three
in the covered porch, to avert interruption
from without, he opened the house-door with
a forged key (he had provided one for every
important door and lock in the house), and
the seven, gliding in, proceeded straight to an
apartment on the first-floor, in which were
kept the objects of greatest value. It was
their plan first to secure these, then to seize
the conde in the more retired apartment in
which it was usual with him to pass this
portion of the evening.

Hardly had they crossed the threshold, when
Diaz found himself confronted by an officer.

"Alto! alto, ahi!" (Standstand, there!)
was the unexpected command.

Diaz drew his revolver, and either fired, or
was in the act of doing so, when the officer
anticipated him, by shooting the unfortunate
wretch dead on the spot. The rest ran down-
stairs, only to encounter the levelled barrels of
two more carbines.

Their comrades, without, had taken the
alarm, and strove to force the door.

"Openopen!" they shouted, eagerly, for
the shot had already attracted a group of
curious listeners.

"We cannot. The  'polizontes!'"

"The window, then!"

They dashed up-stairs, regardless of three
officers, who now appeared, to bar the way.
Two more fell dead under the shots directed
at them, the rest made their way to the first-
floor window, and leaped into the front court.
One of these was overtaken, but made a most
desperate resistance. It was necessary to fell
him with the butt-end of a carabine, and so
effectually was this done, that a fourth victim
was added to the list of slain. A ball passed
through the hand of another; but, nevertheless,
he managed to escape, leaving a portion of his
shattered thumb upon the railings. Another
was wounded and taken. This last was recognised
as a noted robber, called "La Liebre,"
(the hare) from his many escapes from the
hounds of justice.

The blood-stained corpses of the four
unhappy men, laid out upon the steps of the
hospital to be identified, presented as melancholy
a spectacle as can well be conceived. About
the slain in battle there is a kind of grandeur
that deprives the defaced and squalid image of                 what so late was man of its more repulsive                          aspect; but with these poor wretches, sent to                      their account in the very act of crime, the case                 was different; and eyes that had gazed on the                    slaughter of Solferino turned with disgust and                     horror from the view.

All four were strong, well-made men, and
wore good clothes. Two had handsome boots,
one a pair of embroidered slippers, the fourth
"alpargatas," or Catalan sandals, generally
worn by the peasantry, and in long marches
by the soldiery. The face of the steward,
Diaz Perez, though much mutilated by the
death shot, was that of a bold, determined man.
The next had been identified as one Estartus, a
youth known to the police. The third was
recognised as " Lo Xocolator" (no one could
explain this term), an ex-brigand. About the
fourth there hung a mystery. His dress was
of fine texture, his arms were choice and richly
ornamented. He wore fine linen and polished
boots. His hands were small and white. If a
professed robber, he belonged more to the
type of the gentlemanly highwaymanthe
Claude Duvalthan to the low and lurking
burglar of our day.

It was whispered that he was the graceless
son (or brother) of a gentleman so highly
esteemed in Barcelona, that it was easy to
understand a wish, that seemed generally to
prevail, that the secret of his name and parentage
should not transpire. It was he who, by his
desperate defence in the court-yard, had at least
displayed the courage of gentle blood.

This good city, though by no means
unfamiliar with scenes of violence, will, for some
time, bear in remembrance the tragic raid
against the house of the Conde de Pe├▒alver.



STRIKING up the old north road, the crow
alights first at St. Albans, the most interesting
spot in all Hertfordshire. This old city of the
British kings boasts for its special glory that
it was the birth-place of St. Albanus, the first
Christian martyr in Britain, and this is its great
and special legend:

Albanus, during the fierce Diocletian persecution,
sheltered in his house a fugitive Welsh
preacher, named Amphibalus, who converted
him to the new faith. The Roman prefect
hearing of this, summoned both Albanus and
Amphibalus to assist in a public sacrifice to the
gods of Olympus. Albanus, instantly changing
clothes with his guest, assisted in his
escape. Soon after, the house of Albanus
being surrounded by the legionaries, he was
taken before the prefect, and urged to join
in the sacrifices. Firmly refusing, he was
ordered to execution on Holmehurst Hill.
On his way to death, loaded with chains, and
pelted and derided by the pagan populace,
Albanus performed several miracles. A river
obstructing the passage of the procession
dried up instantly on a prayer of the holy