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robber had practised in his time. When the
plaster was removed, the skeleton fell out, and
testified that Poulailler was in earnest.

To attempt the arrest of such a man as this
by tampering with his followers, was practically
impossible. No sum of money that could be
offered would induce any one of the members of
his band to risk the fatal chance of his vengeance.
Other means of getting possession of him had
been tried, and tried in vain. Five times over,
the police had succeeded in tracking him to
different hiding-places; and on all five occasions,
the womenwho adored him for his gallantry,
his generosity, and his good lookshad helped
him to escape. If he had not unconsciously paved
the way to his own capture, first by eloping with
Mademoiselle Wilhelmina de Kirbergen, and
secondly by maltreating her, it is more than
doubtful whether the long arm of the law would
ever have reached far enough to fasten its grasp
on him. As it was, the extremes of love and
hatred met at last in the bosom of the
devoted Wilhelmina; and the vengeance of a
neglected woman accomplished what the whole
police force of Paris had been powerless to
achieve.

Poulailler, never famous for the constancy of
his attachments, had wearied at an early period
of the companion of his flight from Germany
but Wilhelmina was one of those women whose
affections, once aroused, will not take No for an
answer. She persisted in attaching herself to a
man who had ceased to love her. Poulailler's
patience became exhausted; he tried twice to
rid himself of his unhappy mistressonce by
the knife and once by poisonand failed on
both occasions. For the third and last time,
by way of attempting an experiment, of another
kind, he established a rival to drive the German
woman out of the house. From that moment
his fate was sealed. Maddened by jealous rage,
Wilhelmina cast the last fragments of her
fondness to the winds. She secretly communicated
with the policeand Poulailler met his
doom.

A night was appointed with the authorities;
and the robber was invited by his discarded
mistress to a farewell interview. His contemptuous
confidence in her fidelity rendered him
careless of his customary precautions. He
accepted the appointment; and the two supped
together, on the understanding that they were
henceforth to be friends, and nothing more.
Towards the close of the meal, Poulailler was
startled by a ghastly change in the face of his
companion.

"What is wrong with you?" he asked.

"A mere trifle," she answered, looking at her
glass of wine. "I can't help loving you still,
badly as you have treated me. You are a dead
man, Poulaillerand I shall not survive you."

The robber started to his feet, and seized a
knife on the table.

"You have poisoned me!" he exclaimed.

"No," she replied. "Poison is my vengeance
on myself; not my vengeance on you. You will
rise from this table as you sat down to it. But
your evening will be finished in prison; and your
life will be ended on the Wheel."

As she spoke the words, the door was burst
open by the police, and Poulailler was secured.
The same night the poison did its fatal work;
and his mistress made atonement with her life
for the first, last, act of treachery which had
revenged her on the man she loved.

Once safely lodged in the hands of justice,
the robber tried to gain time to escape in, by
promising to make important disclosures. The
manœuvre availed him nothing. In those days,
the Laws of the Land had not yet made acquaintance
with the Laws of Humanity. Poulailler
was put to the torturewas suffered to recover
was publicly broken on the Wheeland was
taken off it alive, to be cast into a blazing fire.
By those murderous means, Society rid itself of
a murderous manand the idlers on the
Boulevards took their evening stroll again in recovered
security.

Paris had seen the execution of Poulailler
but, if legends are to be trusted, our old friends,
the people of the fishing village in Brittany,
saw the end of him afterwards. On the day
and hour when he perished, the heavens
darkened, and a terrible storm arose. Once more,
and for a moment only, the gleam of the
unearthly fire reddened the windows of the old
Tower. Thunder pealed and struck the building
into fragments. Lightning flashed incessantly
over the ruins; and, in the scorching
glare of it, the boat which, in former years,
had put off to sea whenever the storm rose
highest, was seen to shoot out into the raging
ocean from the cleft in the rockand was
discovered, on this final occasion, to be doubly
manned. The Fiend Fisherman sat at the helm;
his Adopted Son tugged at the oars; and a
clamour of diabolical voices, roaring awfully
through the roaring storm, wished the pair of
them a prosperous voyage.

MR. CHARLES DICKENS'S LAST READING
              THIS SEASON.
On THURSDAY EVENING, April 18th,
LITTLE DOMBEY AND THE TRIAL
           FROM PICKWICK,
At ST. JAMES'S HALL, Piccadilly.

Now ready, price 5s. 6d., bound in cloth,
THE FOURTH VOLUME
                 OF
ALL THE YEAR ROUND.
Containing from Nos. 77 to 100, both inclusive, and
the Extra Double Number for Christmas.
The preceding Volumes are always to be had.

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