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CHAPTER 50: Involves a serious Catastrophe (continued)
The two shots were fired, as nearly as possible, at the same instant. In that instant, the young lord turned his head sharply round, fixed upon his adversary a ghastly stare, and without a groan or stagger, fell down dead.
'He's gone!' cried Westwood, who, with the other second, had run up to the body, and fallen on one knee beside it.
'His blood on his own head,' said Sir Mulberry. 'He brought this upon himself, and forced it upon me.'
'Captain Adams,' cried Westwood, hastily, 'I call you to witness that this was fairly done. Hawk, we have not a moment to lose. We must leave this place immediately, push for Brighton, and cross to France with all speed. This has been a bad business, and may be worse, if we delay a moment. Adams, consult your own safety, and don't remain here; the living before the dead; goodbye!'
With these words, he seized Sir Mulberry by the arm, and hurried him away. Captain Adams--only pausing to convince himself, beyond all question, of the fatal result--sped off in the same direction, to concert measures with his servant for removing the body, and securing his own safety likewise.
So died Lord Frederick Verisopht, by the hand which he had loaded with gifts, and clasped a thousand times; by the act of him, but for whom, and others like him, he might have lived a happy man, and died with children's faces round his bed.
The sun came proudly up in all his majesty, the noble river ran its winding course, the leaves quivered and rustled in the air, the birds poured their cheerful songs from every tree, the short-lived butterfly fluttered its little wings; all the light and life of day came on; and, amidst it all, and pressing down the grass whose every blade bore twenty tiny lives, lay the dead man, with his stark and rigid face turned upwards to the sky.
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