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Miss Nancy Banger t




He Swung the Crown Prince High Upon His Shoulder.





Charles Dana Gibson

NEW YORK::::::::::::::::: 1906

COPYRIGHT, 1891, 1896, 1898, 1903





* # * In this volume is included " The Reporter Who Made Himself King,"
heretofore published in the volume entitled " Cinderella and Other Stories."



1 en <""*. TTO^f


He swung the Crown Prince high upon his shoulder



The monk continued to gaze steadily at the blue waters . 32
"He will get the best of us if we stay" .... 52
" I suppose it is because you are fighting for your home " 78
"I never saw a king," Gordon remarked . . . .154
About time to begin on the goats 182


The King's Jackal

THE private terrace of the Hotel Grand
Bretagne, at Tangier, was shaded by a
great awning of red and green and yellow, and
strewn with colored mats, and plants in pots, and
wicker chairs. It reached out from the King's
apartments into the Garden of Palms, and was
hidden by them on two sides, and showed from
the third the blue waters of the Mediterranean
and the great shadow of Gibraltar in the distance.
The Sultan of Morocco had given orders from
Fez that the King of Messina, in spite of his in
cognito, should be treated during his stay in Tan
gier with the consideration due to his rank, so one-
half of the Hotel Grand Bretagne had been set
aside for him and his suite, and two soldiers of
the Bashaw's Guard sat outside of his door with
drawn swords. They were answerable with their
heads for the life and safety of the Sultan's guest,
and as they could speak no language but their own,


The King's Jackal

they made a visit to his Majesty more a matter
of adventure than of etiquette.

Niccolas, the King's major-domo, stepped out
upon the terrace and swept the Mediterranean
with a field-glass for the third time since sunrise.
He lowered it, and turned doubtfully toward the
two soldiers.

"The boat from Gibraltar has she arrived
yet?" he asked.

The two ebony figures shook their heads stiffly,
as though they resented this introduction of a
foreign language, and continued to shake their
heads as the servant addressed the same question
to them in a succession of strange tongues.

"Well," said Colonel Hrhaupt, briskly, as he
followed Niccolas out upon the terrace, "has the
boat arrived? And the launch from the yacht,"
he continued, "has it started for shore yet?"

The man pointed to where the yacht lay, a mile
outside the harbor, and handed him the glass.

"It is but just now leaving the ship's side," he
said. "But I cannot make out who comes in her.
Ah, pardon," he added quickly, as he pointed to
a stout elderly gentleman who walked rapidly
toward them through the garden. "The Gibral
tar boat must be in, sir. Here is Baron Barrat
coming up the path."


The King's Jackal

Colonel Erhaupt gave an exclamation of satis
faction, and waved his hand to the newcomer in

"Go tell his Majesty," he said to the servant.

The man hesitated and bowed. "His Majesty
still sleeps."

"Wake him," commanded Erhaupt. "Tell him
I said to do so. Well, Baron," he cried, gayly,
as he stepped forward, "welcome or are you
welcome?" he added, with an uneasy laugh.

"I should be. I have succeeded," the other
replied gruffly, as he brushed past him. "Where
is the King?"

"He will be here in a moment. I have sent
to wake him. And you have been successful?
Good. I congratulate you. How far success

The Baron threw himself into one of the wicker
chairs, and clapped his hands impatiently for a
servant. "Twelve thousand pounds in all," he re
plied. "That's more than he expected. It was
like pulling teeth at first. I want some coffee at
once," he said to the attendant, "and a bath.
That boat reeked with Moors and cattle, and
there was no wagon-lit on the train from Madrid.
I sat up all night, and played cards with that
young Cellini. Have Madame Zara and Kalonay


The King's Jackal

returned? I see the yacht in the harbor. Did
she succeed?"

"We do not know; the boat only arrived at day
break. They are probably on the launch that is
coming in now."

As Barrat sipped his coffee and munched his
rolls with the silent energy of a hungry man, the
Colonel turned and strode up and down the ter
race, pulling at his mustache and glancing side
ways. When the Baron had lighted a cigarette
and thrown himself back in his chair, Erhaupt
halted and surveyed him in some anxiety.

"You have been gone over two weeks," he said.

"I should like to see you accomplish as much
in as short a time," growled the other. "You
know Paris. You know how hard it is to get
people to be serious there. I had the devil's own
time at first. You got my cablegram?"

"Yes; it wasn't encouraging."

"Well, I wasn't hopeful myself. They wouldn't
believe a word of it at first. They said Louis
hadn't shown such great love for his country or
his people since his exile that they could feel any
confidence in him, and that his conduct in the last
six years did not warrant their joining any under
taking in which he was concerned. You can't
blame them. They've backed him so many times

The King's Jackal

already, and they've been bitten, and they're shy,
naturally. But I swore he was repentant, that he
saw the error of his ways, that he wanted to sit
once more before he died on the throne of his
ancestors, and that he felt it was due to his son
that he should make an effort to get him back his
birthright. It was the son won them. 'Exhibit
A,' I call him. None of them would hear of it
until I spoke of the Prince. So when I saw that,
I told them he was a fine little chap, healthy and
manly and brave, and devoted to his priest, and
all that rot, and they began to listen. At first they
wanted his Majesty to abdicate, and give the boy
a clear road to the crown, but of course I hushed
that up. I told them we were acting advisedly,
that we had reason to know that the common
people of Messina were sick of the Republic, and
wanted their King; that Louis loved the common
people like a father; that he would re-establish the
Church in all her power, and that Father Paul was
working day and night for us, and that the Vati
can was behind us. Then I dealt out decorations
and a few titles, which Louis has made smell so
confoundedly rank to Heaven that nobody would
take them. It was like a game. I played one
noble gentleman against another, and gave this
one a portrait of the King one day, and the other


The King's Jackal

a miniature of 'Exhibit A' the next, and they grew
jealous, and met together, and talked it over, and
finally unlocked their pockets. They contributed
about 9,000 between them. Then the enthusi
asm spread to the women, and they gave me their
jewels, and a lot of youngsters volunteered for the
expedition, and six of them came on with me in
the train last night. I won two thousand francs
from that boy Cellini on the way down. They're
all staying at the Continental. I promised them
an audience this morning."

"Good," commented the Colonel, "good
9,000. I suppose you took out your commission
in advance?"

"I took out nothing," returned the other, an
grily. "I brought it all with me, and I have a
letter from each of them stating just what he
or she subscribed toward the expedition, the
Duke Dantiz, so much; the Duke D'Orvay,
50,000 francs; the Countess Mattini, a diamond
necklace. It is all quite regular. I played fair."

The Colonel had stopped in his walk, and had
been peering eagerly down the leafy path through
the garden. "Is that not Zara coming now?"
he asked. "Look, your eyes are better than


Barrat rose quickly, and the two men walked

The King's Jackal

forward, and bowed with the easy courtesy of old
comrades to a tall, fair girl who came hurriedly up
the steps. The Countess Zara was a young woman,
but one who had stood so long on guard against
the world, that the strain had told, and her eyes
were hard and untrustful, so that she looked much
older than she really was. Her life was of two
parts. There was little to be told of the first part;
she was an English girl who had come from a
manufacturing town to study art and live alone in
Paris, where she had been too indolent to work,
and too brilliant to remain long without compan
ions eager for her society. Through them and
the stories of her wit and her beauty, she had come
to know the King of Messina, and with that meet
ing the second part of her life began; for she had
found something so attractive, either in his title
or in the cynical humor of the man himself, that
for the last two years she had followed his for
tunes, and Miss Muriel Winter, art student, had
become the Countess Zara, and an uncrowned
queen. She was beautiful, with great masses of
yellow hair and wonderful brown eyes. Her man
ner when she spoke seemed to show that she de
spised the world and those in it almost as thor
oughly as she despised herself.

On the morning of her return from Messina,

The King's Jackal

she wore a blue serge yachting suit with a golf
cloak hanging from her shoulders, and as she
crossed the terrace she pulled nervously at her
gloves and held out her hand covered with jewels
to each of the two men.

"I bring good news," she said, with an excited
laugh. "Where is Louis?"

"I will tell his Majesty that you have come.
You are most welcome," the Baron answered.

But as he turned to the door it opened from the
inside and the King came toward them, shivering
and blinking his eyes in the bright sunlight. It
showed the wrinkles and creases around his mouth
and the blue veins under the mottled skin, and the
tiny lines at the corners of his little bloodshot eyes
that marked the pace at which he had lived as
truthfully as the rings on a tree-trunk tell of its
quiet growth.

He caught up his long dressing-gown across his
chest as though it were a mantle, and with a quick
glance to see that there were no other witnesses
to his deshabille, bent and kissed the woman's
hand, and taking it in his own stroked it gently.

"My dear Marie," he lisped, "it is like heaven
to have you back with us again. We have felt
your absence every hour. Pray be seated, and par
don my robe. I saw you through the blinds and


The King's Jackal

could not wait. Tell us the glorious news. The
Baron's good words I have already overheard; I
listened to them with great entertainment while I
was dressing. I hoped he would say something
discourteous or foolish, but he was quite discreet
until he told Erhaupt that he had kept back none
of the money. Then I lost interest. Fiction is
never so entertaining to me as the truth and real
people. But tell us now of your mission and of all
you did; and whether successful or not, be assured
you are most welcome."

The Countess Zara smiled at him doubtfully
and crossed her hands in her lap, glancing anx
iously over her shoulder.

"I must be very brief, for Kalonay and Father
Paul are close behind me," she said. "They only
stopped for a moment at the custom-house. Keep
watch, Baron, and tell me when you see them

Barrat moved his chair so that it faced the gar
den-path, the King crossed his legs comfortably
and wrapped his padded dressing-robe closer
around his slight figure, and Erhaupt stood lean
ing on the back of his chair with his eyes fixed on
the fine insolent beauty of the woman before them.

She nodded her head toward the soldiers who
sat at the entrance to the terrace, as silent and


The King's Jackal

immovable as blind beggars before a mosque.
"Do they understand?" she asked.

"No," the King assured her. "They under
stand nothing, but that they are to keep people
away from me and they do it very well. I wish
I could import them to Paris to help Niccolas fight
off creditors. Continue, we are most impatient."

"We left here last Sunday night, as you know,"
she said. "We passed Algiers the next morning
and arrived off the island at mid-day, anchoring
outside in the harbor. We flew the Royal Yacht
Squadron's pennant, and an owner's private signal
that we invented on the way down. They sent
me ashore in a boat, and Kalonay and Father Paul
continued on along the southern shore, where they
have been making speeches in all the coast-towns
and exciting the people in favor of the revolution.
I heard of them often while I was at the capital,
but not from them. The President sent a company
of carbineers to arrest them the very night they
returned and smuggled me on board the yacht
again. We put off as soon as I came over the side
and sailed directly here.

"As soon as I landed on Tuesday I went to the
Hotel de Messina, and sent my card to the Presi
dent. He is that man Palaccio, the hotel-keeper's
son, the man you sent out of the country for writ-


The King's Jackal

ing pamphlets against the monarchy, and who
lived in Sicily during his exile. He gave me an.
audience at once, and I told my story. As he knew
who I was, I explained that I had quarrelled with
you, and that I was now prepared to sell him the
secrets of an expedition which you were fitting out
with the object of re-establishing yourself on the
throne. He wouldn't believe that there was any
such expedition, and said it was blackmail, and
threatened to give me to the police if I did not
leave the island in twenty-four hours he was ex
ceedingly rude. So I showed him receipts for am
munition and rifles and Maxim guns, and copies of
the oath of allegiance to the expedition, and papers
of the yacht, in which she was described as an
armored cruiser, and he rapidly grew polite, even
humble, and I made him apologize first, and then
take me out to luncheon. That was the first day.
The second day telegrams began to come in from
the coast-towns, saying that the Prince Kalonay
and Father Paul were preaching and exciting the
people to rebellion, and travelling from town to
town in a man-of-war. Then he was frightened.
The Prince with his popularity in the south was
alarming enough, but the Prince and Father
Superior to help him seemed to mean the end of
the Republic.


The King's Jackal

"I learned while I was down there that the
people think the father put some sort of a ban
on every one who had anything to do with driving
the Dominican monks out of the island and with
the destruction of the monasteries. I don't know
whether he did or not, but they believe he did,
which is the same thing, and that superstitious little
beast, the President, certainly believed it; he at
tributed everything that had gone wrong on the
island to that cause. Why, if a second cousin of
the wife of a brother of one of the men who helped
to fire a church falls off his horse and breaks his
leg they say that he is under the curse of the Father
Superior, and there are many who believe the
Republic will never succeed until Paul returns
and the Church is re-established. The Govern
ment seems to have kept itself well informed about
your Majesty's movements, and it has never felt
any anxiety that you would attempt to return, and
it did not fear the Church party because it knew
that without you the priests could do nothing. But
when Paul, whom the common people look upon
as a living saint and martyr, returned hand in hand
with your man Friday, they were in a panic and
felt sure .the end had come. So the President
called a hasty meeting of his Cabinet. And such a
Cabinet ! I wish you could have seen them, Louis,

The King's Jackal

with me in the centre playing on them like an ad
vocate before a jury. They were the most dread
ful men I ever met, bourgeois and stupid and ugly
to a degree. Two of them were commission-mer
chants, and one of them is old Dr. Gustavanni,
who kept the chemist's shop in the Piazza Royale.
They were quite silly with fear, and they begged
me to tell them how they could avert the fall of
the Republic and prevent your landing. And I
said that it was entirely a question of money; that
if we were paid sufficiently the expedition would
not land and we would leave them in peace, but
that "

The King shifted his legs uneasily, and coughed
behind his thin, pink fingers.

"That was rather indiscreet, was it not,
Marie?" he murmured. "The idea was to make
them think that I, at least, was sincere; was not
that it ? To make it appear that though there were
traitors in his camp, the King was in most desper
ate earnest? If they believe that, you see, it will
allow me to raise another expedition as soon as the
money we get for this one is gone; but if you have
let them know that I am the one who is selling
out, you have killed the goose that lays the golden
eggs. They will never believe us when we cry

wolf again "


The King's Jackal

"You must let me finish," Zara interrupted. "I
did not involve you in the least. I said that there
were traitors in the camp of whom I was the en
voy, and that if they would pay us 300,000 francs
we would promise to allow the expedition only to
leave the yacht. Their troops could then make a
show of attacking our landing-party and we would
raise the cry of 'treachery' and retreat to the boats.
By this we would accomplish two things, we
would satisfy those who had contributed funds
toward the expedition that we had at least made an
honest effort, and your Majesty would be dis
couraged by such treachery from ever attempting
another attack. The money was to be paid two
weeks later in Paris, to me or to whoever brings
this ring that I wear. The plan we finally agreed
upon is this : The yacht is to anchor off Basnai next
Thursday night. At high tide, which is just about
daybreak, we are to lower our boats and land our
men on that long beach to the south of the break
water. The troops of the Republic are to lie hid
den in the rocks until our men have formed. Then
they are to fire over their heads, and we are to
retreat in great confusion, return to the yacht, and
sail away. Two weeks later they are to pay the
money into my hands, or," she added, with a smile,
as ske held up her fourth finger, "to whoever


The King's Jackal

brings this ring. And I need not say that the ring
will not leave my finger."

There was a moment's pause, as though the men
were waiting to learn if she had more to tell, and
then the King threw back his head and laughed
softly. He saw Erhaupt's face above his shoulder,
filled with the amazement and indignation of a
man who as a duellist and as a soldier had shown a
certain brute courage, and the King laughed again.

"What do you think of that, Colonel?" he cried,
gayly. "They are a ? oble race, my late subjects."

"Bah !" exclaimed the German. "I didn't know
we were dealing with a home for old women."

The Baron laughed comfortably. "It is like
taking money from a blind beggar's hat," he said.

"Why, with two hundred men that I could pick
up in London," Erhaupt declared, contemptuously,
"I would guarantee to put you on the throne in
a fortnight."

"Heaven forbid!" exclaimed his Majesty. "So
they surrendered as quickly as that, did they?" he
asked, nodding toward Madame Zara to continue.

The Countess glanced again over her shoulder
and bit her lips in some chagrin. Her eyes showed
her disappointment. "It may seem an easy victory
to you," she said, consciously, "but I doubt, know
ing all the circumstances, if any of your Majesty's


The King's Jackal

gentlemen could have served you as well. It
needed a woman and "

"It needed a beautiful woman," interrupted the
King, quickly, in a tone that he would have used
to a spoiled child. "It needed a woman of tact, a
woman of courage, a woman among women the
Countess Zara. Do not imagine, Marie, that we
undervalue your part. It is their lack of courage
that distresses Colonel Erhaupt."

"One of them, it is true, did wish to fight," the
Countess continued, with a smile; "a Frenchman
named Renauld, whom they have put in charge of
the army. He scoffed at the whole expedition, but
they told him that a foreigner could not under
stand as they did the danger of the popularity of
the Prince Kolonay, who, by a speech or two
among the shepherds and fishermen, could raise an

The King snapped his fingers impatiently.

"An army of brigands and smugglers!" he ex
claimed. "That for his popularity!" But he in
stantly raised his hands as though in protest at
his own warmth of speech and in apology for his

"His zeal will ruin us in time. He is deucedly
in the way," he continued, in his usual tone of easy
cynicism. "We should have let him into our plans


The King's Jackal

from the first, and then if he chose to take no part
in them we would at least have had a free hand.
As it is now, we have three different people to de
ceive: this Cabinet of shopkeepers, which seems
easy enough; Father Paul and his fanatics of the
Church party; and this apostle of the divine right
of kings, Kalonay. And he and the good father
are not fools "

At these words Madame Zara glanced again
toward the garden, and this time with such evident
uneasiness in her face that Barrat eyed her with
quick suspicion.

"What is it?" he asked, sharply. "There is
something you have not told us."

The woman looked at the King, and he nodded
his head as though in assent. "I had to tell them
who else was in the plot besides myself," she said,
speaking rapidly. "I had to give them the name
of some man who they knew would be able to do
what I have promised we could do who could put
a stop to the revolution. The name I gave was his

Barrat threw himself forward in his chair.

"Kalonay's?" he cried, incredulously.

"Kalonay's?" echoed Erhaupt. "What mad
ness, Madame! Why name the only one who is


The King's Jackal

"She will explain," said the King, in an uneasy
voice; "let her explain. She has acted according
to my orders and for the best, but I confess I "

"Some one had to be sacrificed," returned the
woman, boldly, "and why not he? Indeed, if we
wish to save ourselves, there is every reason that
it should be he. You know how mad he is for the
King's return, how he himself wishes to get back
to the island and to his old position there. Why,
God only knows, but it is so. What pleasure he
finds in a land of mists and fogs, in a ruined castle
with poachers and smuggling fishermen for com
panions, I cannot comprehend. But the fact re
mains, he always speaks of it as home and he wishes
to return. And now, suppose he learns the truth,
as he may at any moment, and discovers that the
whole expedition for which he is staking his soul
and life is a trick, a farce; that we use it only as a
bait to draw money from the old nobility, and to
frighten the Republic into paying us to leave them
in peace? How do we know what he might not
do ? He may tell the whole of Europe. He may
turn on you and expose you, and then what have
we left? It is your last chance. It is our last
chance. We have tried everything else, and we
cannot show ourselves in Europe, at least not with
out money in our hands. But by naming Kalonay


The King's Jackal

I have managed it so that we have only to show
the written agreement I have made with the Re
public and he is silenced. In it they have promised
to pay the Prince Kalonay, naming him in full,
300,000 francs if the expedition is withdrawn.
That agreement is in my hands, and that is our
answer to whatever he may think or say. Our
word is as good as his, or as bad; we are all of the
same party as far as Europe cares, and it becomes
a falling out among thieves, and we are equal."

Baron Barrat leaned forward and marked each
word with a movement of his hand.

"Do I understand you to say," he asked, "that
you have a paper signed by the Republic agreeing
to pay 300,000 francs to Kalonay? Then how are
we to get it?" he demanded, incredulously. "From

"It is made payable to him," continued the
woman, "or to whoever brings this ring I wear to
the banking-house of the Schlevingens two weeks
after the expedition has left the island. I ex
plained that clause to them by saying that Kalonay
and I were working together against the King,
and as he might be suspicious if we were both to
leave him so soon after the failure of the expedi

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