I shudder when I think of the monster; but I verily believe that I should not have regained my senses if he had not called me a hypocrite, and said that he was certain I had already granted you my favours. These infamous words opened my eyes, and made me see my shame. I believe I would have helped you to pierce him to the heart if the coward had not run away. But I am glad he did run away, not for his sake but for ours, for we should have been in an unpleasant position if he had been killed."
"You are right; he escaped my sword because he is destined for the rope."
"Let him look to that himself, but I am sure he will never dare to shew his face before you or me again."
We reached Radicofani at ten o'clock, and proceeded to write postscripts to our letters to Sir B---- M---- We were sitting at the same table, Betty opposite to the door and I close to it, so that anyone coming in could not have seen me without turning round.
Betty was dressed with all decency and neatness, but I had taken off my coat on account of the suffocating heat. Nevertheless, though I was in shirt sleeves, I should not have been ashamed of my attire before the most respectable woman in Italy.
All at once I heard a rapid step coming along the passage, and the door was dashed open. A furious-looking man came in, and, seeing Betty, cried out,--
"Ah! there you are."
I did not give him time to turn round and see me, but leapt upon him and seized him by the shoulders. If I had not done so he would have shot me dead on the spot.
As I leapt upon him I had involuntarily closed the door, and as he cried, "Let me go, traitor!" Betty fell on her knees before him, exclaiming, "No, no! he is my preserver."
Sir B---- M---- was too mad with rage to pay any attention to her, and kept on,---
"Let me go, traitors"
As may be imagined, I did not pay much attention to this request so long as the loaded pistol was in his hand.
In our struggles he at last fell to the ground and I on top of him. The landlord and his people had heard the uproar, and were trying to get in; but as we had fallen against the door they could not do so.
Betty had the presence of mind to snatch the pistol from his hand, and I then let him go, calmly observing,
"Sir, you are labouring under a delusion."
Again Betty threw herself on her knees, begging him to calm himself, as I was her preserver not her betrayer.
"What do you mean by 'preserver'?" said B---- M----
Betty gave him the letter, saying,--
The Englishman read the letter through without rising from the ground, and as I was certain of its effect I opened the door and told the landlord to send his people away, and to get dinner for three, as everything had been settled.