Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/141

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The young man had listened with eager curiosity to the girl's affecting story; his heart melted with compassion for one so young and beautiful, who was wasting her youth in loneliness and wretchedness, beside an old decrepit man; and he resolved to leave nothing undone to free her from her dreadful captivity. To his feelings of chivalrous compassion for one so innocent and youthful, were soon added those of admiration and love; and feeling conscious of a response in her warm heart, he proposed marriage to her, and made known to her his intention of rescuing her from her perilous position.

The joy and felicity of the until then unhappy maiden are not easy to express, and are better left to the imagination of the tender hearted.

The young man now advised her to question the old man and try to find out the cause of his trouble, to which he believed there must be some mystery attached.

The girl had always felt afraid of the old man, who excited in her a feeling of horror; but now, encouraged by her lover, she went in search of him, and having found him in the highest chamber of the tower, crouching in a corner groaning and sighing, she said, "Poor old man, tell me why you suffer so much, tell me the cause of your trouble, and if it be in my power to relieve you of it I will do so?"

When the old man heard her sweet voice and kind