Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/190

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178
THE LOVER'S AWAKENING.

He rose and sought his clothing. It was clothing no longer.

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"SEND HITHER THE LORD ULRICH."

The colors were gone, the garments gave way in many places while he was putting them on. He fled, shuddering, into the corridor, and along it to the great hall. Here he was met by a middle-aged stranger of a kind countenance, who stopped and gazed at him with surprise. Conrad said: "Good sir, will you send hither the lord Ulrich?"

The stranger looked puzzled a moment, then said,—

"The lord Ulrich?"

"Yes,—if you will be so good."

The stranger called,—"Wilhelm!" A young serving man came, and the stranger said to him,—

"Is there a lord Ulrich among the guests?"

"I know none of the name, so please your honor."

Conrad said, hesitatingly,—

"I did not mean a guest, but the lord of the castle, sir.

The stranger and the servant exchanged wondering glances. Then the former said,—

"I am the lord of the castle."

"Since when, sir?"

"Since the death of my father, the good lord Ulrich, more than forty years ago."

Conrad sank upon a bench and covered his face with his hands while he rocked his body to and fro and moaned. The stranger said in a low voice to the servant,—

"I fear me this poor old creature is mad. Call some one."

In a moment several people came, and grouped themselves about, talking in whispers. Conrad looked up and scanned