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passport, will arrest me. I have no passport."

"Here is a passport," said Eliza, joyfully, handing him the paper,
"Siebermeier sends it to you."

"The faithful friend! Yes, that is help in need. Now I will try with
God's aid to escape. You, Lizzie, will return to mother, and bring
her a thousand greetings from me; and as soon as I am across the
frontier, you shall hear from me."

"I must go with you, father," said Eliza, smiling. "The passport is
valid for Siebermeier, the carpet-dealer, and his son. Now you see,
dear father, I am your son, and shall flee with you."

"No," cried her father, in dismay; "no, you shall never do so,
Lizzie. I must journey through the wildest and most secluded Alps,
and you would die in the attempt to follow me, Lizzie."

"And even though I knew that I should die, father, I should go with
you," said Lizzie, joyfully. "You cannot flee without me, and I do
not love my life very dearly if it cannot be useful to you, dear
father. Therefore, say no more about it, and do not reject my offer
any longer; for if you do, it will be in vain, because I shall
follow you for all that, and no road is too precipitous for me when
I see you before the. Therefore, come, dear father; do not hesitate
any longer, but come with your little boy. You cannot flee without
me; therefore, let us try it courageously together."

"Well, I will do so, my brave little boy; I believe I must comply
with your wish," exclaimed Wallner, folding her tenderly to his
heart. "You shall accompany me, you shall save your father's life.
Oh, it would be glorious if God should grant me the satisfaction of
being indebted for my life to my dear daughter Lizzie!"

"Come, now, father, come; every minute's delay increases the

"I am ready, Lizzie. Let me only see if my rifle is in good order
and put on my powder-pouch."

"You cannot take your rifle with you, nor your powder-pouch either.
You are no longer the brave commander of the sharpshooters of
Windisch-Matrey, but Siebermeier, the carpet-dealer, a very
peaceable man, who does not take his rifle and powder-pouch with him
on his travels."

"You are right, Lizzie. But it is hard indeed to flee without arms,
and to be defenceless even in case of an attack by the enemy. And I
do not want to let my rifle fall into the hands of the French when
they come up here. I know a hole in the rock close by; I will take
it there and conceal it till my return. Come, now, Lizzie, and let
us attempt, with God's aid, to escape from the enemy."

He wrapped himself in his cloak, took the rifle, and both left the

Day was now dawning: some rosy streaks appeared already in the
eastern horizon, and the summits of the glaciers were faintly
illuminated. Eliza saw it, but she did not rejoice this time at the
majestic beauty of the sunrise; it made her only uneasy and sad, and
while her father concealed his rifle carefully in the hole in the
rock, Eliza glanced around anxiously, murmuring to herself: "They
intend to start at daybreak. It is now after daybreak; the sun has
risen, and they have doubtless set out already to arrest him."

"Now come," said her father, returning to her; "we have a long
journey before us to-day, for we must pass the Alps by hunters'
paths up to the Isel-Tauerkamm. We shall pass the night at the inn
there: in the morning we shall continue the journey, and, if it
please God, we shall reach the Austrian frontier within three

And they descended the mountain, hand in hand and with firm steps,
and entered the forest.

Nothing was to be heard all around; not a sound broke the peaceful
stillness of awaking nature; only the wind howled and whistled, and
caused the branches of the trees to creak. The sun had risen higher
and higher, and shed already its golden rays through the forest.

"I would we had passed through the thicket and reached the heights
again," said Anthony Wallner, in a low voice. "We were obliged to
descend in order to pass round the precipice and the steep slope; we
shall afterwards ascend the mountain again and remain on the
heights. But if the soldiers from Windisch-Matrey meet us here, we
are lost, for they know me and will not pay any attention to my

"God will not permit them to meet us," sighed Lizzie, accelerating
her steps. They kept silent a long while, and not a sound was to be
heard around them. All at once both gave a start, for they had heard
the noise of heavy footsteps and the clang of arms. They had just
passed through the clearing in the forest and were now again close
to the thicket, by the side of which there was a small chapel with a
large crucifix. They turned and looked back.

"The enemy! the enemy!" cried Anthony Wallner, pointing to the
soldiers who were just stepping from the other side of the forest.
"Lizzie, we are lost! Ah, and I have not even got my rifle! I must
allow myself to be seized without resistance!"

"No, we are not yet lost, father; look at the chapel. Maybe they
leave not yet seen us. Let us enter the chapel quickly. There is
room enough for us two under the altar."

Without giving her father time to reply, Eliza hastened into the
chapel and disappeared behind the altar. In a second Wallner was
with her, and, clinging close to each other and with stifled breath,
they awaited the arrival of the enemy.

Now they heard footsteps approaching rapidly and voices shouting out
aloud. They came nearer and nearer, and were now close to the
chapel. It was a Bavarian patrol, and the two, therefore, could
understand every word they spoke, and every word froze their hearts.
The Bavarians had seen them they were convinced that they must be
close by; they exhorted each other to look diligently for the
fugitives, and alluded to the reward which awaited them in case they
should arrest Anthony Wallner.

Both lay under the altar with hearts throbbing impetuously, and
almost senseless from fear and anguish; Eliza murmuring a prayer
with quivering lips; Anthony Wallner clinching his fists, and firmly
resolved to sell his life dearly and defend himself and his child to
the last drop of blood.

The enemies were now close to them; they entered the chapel and
advanced to the altar. Eliza, pale and almost fainting from terror,
leaned her head on her father's shoulder.

The Bavarians struck now with the butt-ends of their muskets against
the closed front-side of the altar; it gave a dull, hard sound, for
the fugitives filled the cavity.

"There is no one in there, for the altar is not hollow," said one of
the soldiers. The footsteps thereupon moved away from the altar, and
soon all was silent in the chapel. Wallner and Lizzie heard only
footsteps and voices outside, they moved away farther and farther,
and after a few seconds not a sound broke the silence.

The fugitives lay still behind the altar, motionless, listening,
with hearts throbbing impetuously. Could they dare to leave their
place of concealment? Was it not, perhaps, a mere stratagem of the
enemy to keep silent? Had the soldiers surrounded the chapel, and
were they waiting merely for them to come out? They waited and
listened for hours, but their cowering position benumbed their
blood; it stiffened their limbs and made their heads ache. "Father,
I can no longer stand it," murmured Eliza; "I will die rather than
stay here any longer."

"Come, Lizzie," said Wallner, raising himself up and jumping over
the altar, "come! I, too, think it is better for us to die than hide
thus like thieves."

They joined hands and left the chapel, looking anxiously in all
directions. But every thing remained silent, and not a Bavarian
soldier made his appearance.

"They are gone, indeed they are gone," said Wallner, triumphantly.
"Now we must make haste, my girl; we shall ascend the height; the
footpath leads up here in the rear of the chapel; within two hours
we shall reach the summit, and, if our feet do not slip, if we do
not fall into the depth, if no avalanche overwhelms us, and if the
storm does not freeze us, I think we shall reach the Isel-Tauerkamm
to-night, and sleep at the inn there. May the Holy Virgin protect

And the Holy Virgin did seem to guard the intrepid wanderers - to
enable them to cross abysses on frail bridges; to prevent them from
sinking into invisible clefts and pits covered with snow; to make
them safely escape the avalanches falling down here and there, and
protect them from freezing to death.

Toward dusk they reached at length the inn on the Isel-Tauerkamm,
utterly exhausted by fatigue, hunger, and frost, and entered the
bar-room on the ground-floor. Nobody was there but the landlord, a
gloomy, morose-looking man, who eyed the new-comers with evident

When the two wanderers, scarcely able to utter a word, seated
themselves on the bench at the narrow table, the land-lord stepped
up to them.

"I am not allowed to harbor any one without seeing his passport," he
said. "There are all sorts of fugitive vagabonds prowling around
here to hide from the Bavarians, who are searching the whole
district to-day. Give me your passport, therefore."

Wallner handed him the paper in silence. The landlord read it
attentively, and seemed to compare the two with the description in
the passport. "H'm!" he said, "the carpet-dealer and his son - that
corresponds to what the passport says; but where is the bundle of

Anthony Wallner gave a slight start; he recovered his presence of
mind immediately, however, and said calmly,

"The carpets are all sold already; we are on our return to Windisch-

"See, see how lucky you have been," said the landlord, laughing;
"the passport says you started only yesterday morning, and to-day
you have already sold all your carpets. Well, in that case, you are
certainly justified in returning to your home. Your passport is in
good order, and the Bavarians, therefore, will not molest you."

"As my passport is in good order, I suppose you will give us beds,
and, above all things, something to eat and drink."

"You shall have everything, that is to say, every thing that I can
give you. I am all alone here, and have nothing but a piece of ham,
bread, and cheese, and a glass of wine. As for beds, I have not got
any; you must sleep on the bench here."

"Well, we will do so; but give us something to eat now," said
Wallner, "and add a little fuel to the fire, that we may warm

The landlord added some brushwood and a few billets to the fire,
fetched the provisions, and looked on while the wanderers were
partaking of the food with eager appetite. All at once he stepped
quickly up to them, seated himself on the bench opposite them, and
drew a paper from his pocket. "I will read something to you now," he
said. "There were Bavarian soldiers here to-day; they gave me a new
decree, and ordered me to obey it under pain of death. Listen to

And he read, in a loud, scornful voice

"Know all men by these presents, that any inhabitant of the German
or Italian Tyrol, who dares to harbor Anthony Wallner, called
Aichberger, late commander of the sharp-shooters of Windisch-Matrey,
or his two sons, shall lose his whole property by confiscation, and
his house shall be burned down." [Footnote: Loritza, p. 130.]

"Did you hear it?" asked the landlord, after reading the

"I did," said Wallner, with perfect composure, "but it does not
concern us."

"Yes, it does. I believe you are Anthony Wallner, and the lad there
is one of your sons."

Anthony Wallner laughed. "Forsooth," he said, "if I were Wallner I
should not be so stupid as to show myself. I believe he is hiding
somewhere in the mountains near Windisch-Matrey. But I think I
resemble him a little, for you are not the first man who has taken
me for Anthony Wallner. And that the lad there is not one of Anthony
Wallner's sons, I will swear on the crucifix, if you want me to do

"Well, well, it is all right, I believe you," growled the landlord.
"Now lie down and sleep; there is a pillow for each of you, and now
good-night; I will go to my chamber and sleep too."

He nodded to them morosely, and left the room.

"Lizzie, do you think we can trust him?" asked Wallner, in a low

Eliza made no reply; she only beckoned to her father, slipped on
tiptoe across the room to the. door, and applied her ear to it.

There was a pause. Then they heard the front door jar.

"Father," whispered Eliza, hastening to Wallner, "he has left the
house to fetch the soldiers. I heard him walk through the hall to
the front door and open it. He has left, and locked us up."

"Locked us up?" cried Wallner, and hastened to the door. He shook it
with the strength of a giant, but the lock did not yield; the bolts
did not give way.

"It is in vain, in vain!" cried Wallner, stamping the floor
furiously; "the door does not yield; we are caught in the trap, for
there is no other outlet."

"Yes, father, there is; there is the window," said Eliza. "Come, we
must jump out of the window."

"But did you not see, Lizzie, that the house stands on a slope, and
that a staircase leads outside to the front door? If we jump out of
the window, we shall fall at least twenty feet."

"But there is a great deal of snow on the ground, and we shall fall
softly. I will jump out first, father, and you must follow me

And Eliza disappeared out of the window. Wallner waited a few
seconds and then followed her. They reached the ground safely; the
deep snow prevented the leap from being dangerous; they sprang
quickly to their feet, and hastened on as fast as their weary limbs
would carry them.

It was a cold, dark night. The moon, which shone so brightly during
the previous night, was covered with heavy clouds; the storm swept
clouds of snow before it, and whistled and howled across the
extensive snow-fields. But the wanderers continued their journey
with undaunted hearts.

All at once something stirred behind them; they saw torches gleaming
up, and Bavarian soldiers accompanying the bearers of the torches.
The soldiers, headed by the landlord who had fetched them, rushed
forward with wild shouts and imprecations. But Wallner and Eliza
likewise rushed forward like roes hunted down. They panted heavily,
the piercing storm almost froze their faces, their feet bled, but
they continued their flight at a rapid rate. Nevertheless, the
distance separating them from their pursuers became shorter and
shorter. The Bavarians, provided with torches, could see the road
and the footsteps of the fugitives in the snow, while the latter had
to run blindly into the night, unable to see whither their feet were
carrying them, and exhausted by the long journey of the preceding

The distance between pursuers and pursued rapidly diminished;
scarcely twenty yards now lay between them, and the soldiers
extended their hands already to seize them. At this moment of
extreme peril the storm came up howling with redoubled fury and
drove whole clouds of snow before it, extinguished the torches of
the Bavarians, and shrouded every thing in utter darkness. The
joyful cries of the pursued and the imprecations of their pursuers
were heard at the same time.

Wallner and Eliza, whose eyes were already accustomed to the
darkness, advanced at a rapid rate, the soldiers followed them, but
blinded by the darkness, unable to see the road, and calling each
other in order to remain together. These calls and shouts added to
the advantages of the fugitives, for they indicated to them the
direction which they had to take in order to avoid the enemy.
Finally, the shouts became weaker and weaker, and died away

The fugitives continued their flight more leisurely; but they could
not rest and stand still in the dark, cold night, for the storm
would have frozen them, the cold would have killed them. They did
not speak, but advanced breathlessly and hand in hand. All at once
they beheld a light twinkling in the distance like a star. There was
a house, then, and men also. They walked on briskly, and the light
came nearer and nearer. Now they saw already the house through whose
windows it gleamed. In a few minutes they were close to the house,
in front of which they beheld a tall post.

"Great God!" cried Anthony Wallner; "I believe that is a boundary-
post, and we are now on Austrian soil."

He knocked hastily at the door; it opened, and the two wanderers
entered the small, warm, and cozy room, where they were received by
a man in uniform, who sat at the table eating his supper.

Anthony Wallner went close up to him and pointed to his uniform.

"You wear the Austrian uniform" he asked.

"I do, sir," said the man, smilingly.

"And we are here on Austrian soil?"

"Yes, sir. The boundary-post is in front of this house. This is an
Austrian custom-house."

Anthony Wallner threw his arm around Eliza's neck and knelt down. He
burst into tears, and exclaimed in a loud, joyous voice, "Lord God
in heaven, I thank Thee!"

Eliza said nothing, but her tears spoke for her, and so did the
smile with which she looked up to heaven and then at her father.

The custom-house officer had risen and stood profoundly moved by the
side of the two.

"Who are you, my friend?" he asked; "and why do you weep and thank

"Who am I?" asked Wallner, rising and drawing Eliza up with him. "I
am Anthony Wallner, and this is my daughter Lizzie, who has saved me
from the Bavarians. The good God - "

He said no more, but leaned totteringly on Eliza's shoulder, and
sank senseless to the ground.

Eliza threw herself upon him, uttering loud cries of anguish. "He is
dead," she cried, despairingly; "he is dead!"

"No, he is not dead," said the officer; "the excitement and fatigue
have produced a swoon. He will soon be restored to consciousness and
get over it. Careful nursing shall not be wanting to Anthony Wallner
in my house."

He had prophesied correctly. Anthony Wallner awoke again, and seemed
to recover rapidly under the kind nursing of his host and his

They remained two days at the custom-house on the frontier. The news
of Anthony Wallner's arrival spread like wildfire through the whole
neighborhood, and the landed proprietors of the district hastened to
the custom-house to see the heroic Tyrolese chief and his intrepid
daughter, and offered their services to both of them.

It was no longer necessary for them to journey on foot. Wherever
they came, the carriages of the wealthy and aristocratic inhabitants
were in readiness for them, and they were greeted everywhere with
jubilant acclamations. Their journey to Vienna was an incessant
triumphal procession, a continued chain of demonstrations of
enthusiasm and manifestations of love.

Anthony Wallner, however, remained silent, gloomy, and downcast,
amid all these triumphs; and on arousing himself sometimes from his
sombre broodings, and seeing the painful expression with which
Eliza's eyes rested on him, he tried to smile, but the smile died
away on his trembling lips.

"I believe I shall be taken very sick," he said, faintly. "My head
aches dreadfully, and all my limbs are trembling. I was too long in
the Alpine hut, and the numerous previous fatigues. The excitement,
grief, cold, and hunger, and last, the long journey on foot, have
been too much for me. Ah, Lizzie, Lizzie, I shall be taken sick.
Great God! it would be dreadful if I should die now and leave you
all alone in this foreign country! No, no, I do not want to be taken
sick, I have no time for it. Oh, listen to me; my God! I do not want
to be taken sick, for Lizzie must not be left an orphan here. No,
no, no!"

And he lifted his clinched fist to heaven, screamed, and wept, and
uttered senseless and incoherent words.

"I am afraid he has got the nervous fever," said Baron Engenberg,
who was conveying Wallner and Eliza in his carriage from the last
station to Vienna. "It will be necessary for us to take him at once
to a hospital."

"Can I stay with him there and nurse him?" asked Eliza, repressing
her tears.

"Of course you can."

"Then let us take him to a hospital," she said, calmly. "He will
die, but I shall be there to close his eyes."

And it was Eliza that closed her father's eyes. The violent nervous
fever which had seized Anthony Wallner was too much for his
exhausted body. He died five days after his arrival at Vienna, on
the 15th of February, 1810, at the city hospital.

Many persons attended his funeral; many persons came to see Eliza
Wallner, the young heroine of the Tyrol. But Eliza would not see
anybody. She remained in the room which had been assigned to her at
the hospital, and she spoke and prayed only with the priest who had
administered the last unction to her father.

On the day after the funeral the Emperor Francis sent one of his
chamberlains to Eliza, to induce her to remain in Vienna. He would
provide for her bountifully, and reward her for what her father had
done. The chamberlain was also instructed to conduct Eliza to the
emperor, that he might thank and console her personally.

Eliza shook her head, gravely. "The emperor need not thank me," she
said, "for I did no more for him than he did for the Tyrol. He is
unable to console me; God alone can do that, and He will also
provide for me. I cannot see the emperor, for my heart is too deeply
afflicted. But if you will give me money enough, sir, to return
quickly to my dear Tyrol and my beloved mother, I shall accept it
and be grateful to you. I must return to my mother and weep with
her; and my dear home, my dear mountains will console me."

"You can set out as soon as you please," said the chamberlain. "The
emperor has interceded in your behalf and obtained this safeguard
for you in case you wished to return to your native country. No one
will molest you, and you and your family can live quietly at your

"If the emperor had done as much for my father as he does for me, my
father would not have died," said Eliza, gravely, accepting the
paper. "Now he has no longer need of an emperor. He is with God, and
I would I were with him above! But I must not leave my mother. I
must console her and stay with her as long as it pleases God."
[Footnote: Eliza Wallner returned to Windisch-Matrey, and lived
there in quiet retirement. She never married. After the death of her
mother she yielded to Joachim Haspinger's entreaties and went to
live at his house. The Capuchin was ordained and appointed pastor of
Jotelsee, and afterward of Traunfeld. Eliza lived with him as his
adopted daughter, and was still with him at the time of his death,
which took place in 1856, at Salzburg. - See Sehallhammer's "Joachim
Haspinger," p. 184.]



The court-martial at Mantua had passed sentence of death upon
Andreas Hofer for fighting against the French after the last
proclamation of Eugene Beauharnais offering a general amnesty. But
the court-martial had not adopted this decision unanimously; several
members had voted for long confinement, and two had had the courage
to vote for his entire deliverance. By a singular revolution of
fortune, the same General Bisson, who had been taken prisoner at
Innspruck at the outbreak of the insurrection, and with whom Major
Teimer had made his triumphal entry into Innspruck, was now governor
of Mantua, and president of the court-martial which tried the
commander-in-chief of the Tyrolese. The general, in consideration of
his captivity among the Tyrolese, wished to act mildly and
impartially, and sent a telegraphic dispatch to the viceroy at Milan
to inquire what was to be done with Andreas Hofer, inasmuch as the
sentence of the court-martial had not been passed unanimously. An
answer was returned very soon. It contained the categorical order
that Andreas Hofer should be shot within twenty-four hours.

Commissioners of the military authorities, therefore, entered
Andreas Hofer's cell on the 21st of February, and informed him that
he would suffer death within two hours.

He listened to them standing, and with unshaken firmness. "I shall
die, then, at least as a soldier, and not as a criminal," he said,
nodding his head gently. "I am not afraid of bullets, nor of the
good God either; He was always kind to me, and it is even now kind
in Him to relieve me from my sufferings here. I am ready to appear
before the judgment-seat of God."

"If you have any special wishes to prefer, communicate them to us
now; and if it is possible, they shall be granted," said one of the
officers, profoundly moved.

"There are some wishes which I should like to prefer," replied

Online LibraryL. MühlbachAndreas Hofer → online text (page 42 of 43)