Home / News
68. Cromwell's House. (continued)
"I was so situated as to hear and see everything," he answered.
It was now Cromwell's turn to look fixedly at Mordaunt, and Mordaunt to make himself impenetrable.
"It appears," said Cromwell, "that this improvised executioner did his duty remarkably well. The blow, so they tell me at least, was struck with a master's hand."
Mordaunt remembered that Cromwell had told him he had had no detailed account, and he was now quite convinced that the general had been present at the execution, hidden behind some screen or curtain.
"In fact," said Mordaunt, with a calm voice and immovable countenance, "a single blow sufficed."
"Perhaps it was some one in that occupation," said Cromwell.
"Do you think so, sir? He did not look like an executioner."
"And who else save an executioner would have wished to fill that horrible office?"
"But," said Mordaunt, "it might have been some personal enemy of the king, who had made a vow of vengeance and accomplished it in this way. Perhaps it was some man of rank who had grave reasons for hating the fallen king, and who, learning that the king was about to flee and escape him, threw himself in the way, with a mask on his face and an axe in his hand, not as substitute for the executioner, but as an ambassador of Fate."
"And if that were the case would your honor condemn his action?"
"It is not for me to judge. It rests between his conscience and his God."
"But if your honor knew this man?"
"I neither know nor wish to know him. Provided Charles is dead, it is the axe, not the man, we must thank."
This is page 656 of 841. [Mark this Page]
Mark any page to add this title to Your Bookshelf. (0 / 10 books on shelf)
Buy a copy of Twenty Years After at Amazon.com
Customize text appearance:
(c) 2003-2012 LiteraturePage.com and Michael Moncur.
For information about public domain texts appearing here, read the copyright information and disclaimer.