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Mistaken Honor

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Wbile n student in the city of Beiliu, whither I had gone to finish my education, I became aequainted with a fellow student, by the name of Jules Langheim From the very first we were friends, and wo knew it. There are some uatures that come together as two parts that have been separated. We meet in reality as straugers, but seemingly as if we had known each othfir all our lives. - Each feels as if he had a claim upon the other, and the other upon him. This is true relationship - not of body, but of soul - and ia as inuch superior to blood as spirit is to matter. Our brother in the flosh, born of the same mother, may aot be our friend ; but be whose inner Deing blends with ours, can be relied upon in tbe darkest bour of tribulatioii. Jules Langbeim was wortby of the irioudship I gave him - the love I feit "or bim. He was e. noble fellow - open, caudid, high-spirited, and generous to a 'ault- -in every respect tbe very soul of ruth and honor. How I loved him, even from the first ! and how that love Ejrew by what it íed upoi, till at length t seemed as if bis existenee was neeessary to mine ! as if tbe world would be a Dlank without him ! Often wben pur5uirig our studies together, did I find myself', with book neglected, fitting and gaeing upou bis handsome and nianly iiee - with its broad, high brow, finely chieled nose, firm set mouth, and well rounded chin - and only made eonseious of noy contcmplation, perhaps, by tbe suddeu lifting of bis large, deep-blue eyes to mine, as if bis soul bad bfeu touched by tbe magnetie ourrent passing to and fro between us. As a natural consequcnee of ibis affinity, our intim:icy soon beoiime sioh that eaoh maüo a conidant of tho other, and revealed bis most secret tbougbts as freely as ever did devout peliéver to a fatlier confessoi'. At that time we were both young and jmbitioiis, the grcat world was before us, we had influential friends and high expectatiouH, and many a brigtit drcam of our supposed golden future did we aursue toge'her, till in faney we etood on the very summit of fume ind happi aess. Alas and alas ! that it was ouly ï dream ! One eveniug, on retuvning from tbe 9pera, whither I hud gouo alone - an unusual tliing, my friend being pre-enjaged for a party at whist - I found him slowly waiking up and down thu room, ooking very pale, and evidently more disturbed in mind than he wished to [jave appear. "My dear friend, what is the matter?" was my first eager question. "I íear I have sonie unpleasant news for you," he said, turnir.g, aiid throwipg jimself into a large arm chair. " Upou my honor, Fredurick Delorme," he con;inued, as I stood half agliast with evil expectations - my soul, as it were, by a kind of presentiment grasping the future with a shudder - "deeply as I rejret what bas occurred and is about to :iappen I feel it more on your acount than my own !" "Speak, Jules !" I cried ; "what is it?" "Over the card-tablc to-night I had an altercation with Adolpb liergner ; and one word led to another, tiü at last, in a moment of unguarded pasBÍOD, 1 gavo bim tho lie direct." "Well ?" "His friend bas called upon me since, and I have referred him to you. I did not know what hour you would return, but requested bim to drop in at half-past eleven. It now wants five minutes of the time." "Gracious Heaven, Jules, you must not fight I" I exclaimeü. "ilow as a man of honor can I avoid it?" "Can the matter not be settled by mutual friends ?'' "I fear not. Ho accused me of cheatDg, and I called him a liar. Until his charge is withdrawu, mine must hold good ; and I am much mistaken, if ho is tbe man to permit a rcconciliatiou by any sucb meuns," "But uotwithstandiug thls, my dear friend, you must not fight I" 1 persiated. Think how much more you stake than he. He is a mere adventurer, iii one sense, with uothiug to lose but his life; while you have eharacter imd high hopes which wül be blastecl by this one act, even should you escape with life. You kuow our late college regulations will expel you, and tho criminal law will bave you at its mercy !" "Still what I am I to do, my best of friends ?" haid Langheim, with a troubled look. "If I declino to fight, I sh;ll be brauded as a coward, and never inore be able to h.ild up my head among my comrades and fellow students." "It is a hard case I groaned ; " either hom of the dilemma is bad '.-nough, Heaveu knows ; but still, lat tbe result be what it will, I must insist that } ou do not give your adversary a meeting. If inerely your life was at stake, Jules, mueh as [ love you, I would no( counsel as I do; Lut to 6ee your rcputation blasted, at the very outset of your bright career ; would break my beart. No: 6, my friend, there must be no meeting Í -you must sunmiou up all your moral courage and refuse to go out 1" Julos Langheini started up, and witb palo checks, knitted brows, aud cleuched hands, rapid'y paced up and down the romn, some eight or ten times. Then liastily seating himself ut his writiug desk, he seized a pen, dashed off a few liues, and folded sealed aud supergcrlbed the oote. 'There, Frcd, you have your wish granted to yuu only, oi all mun on e;irth Í shal! not be disgiacetl by a duel - there will be no hostile meeting between Bergner and myself. When his friend calis! give him that note as your answer, and with that your part iu the affjir will cease." I grasped Lia hand, and, with tears in my eyes, said : ''Courage, my noble friend ' courage ! lt is a great saerifiee for you to yit-ld this point to me. I know ; but I trust you will berewarded as you desirve !" He turned awaj iu great agitation, and at the same moment there carne a tap at the door. ' It is Sweitzen- Bergner's frieud !" he said. "I will go out." He seized his hat, wrung my hand with a nervous gripe, and passed the second in the doorway, with a slight t-alutation With Sweitzen my business soon ended. I handed him the note for Bergner, and told him the decisión would be fonud in that. He replied that such a proceeding was irregular - that, bemg tlierc as representative of the principal the note, no matter what proposition it contained, should have been addresscd to hiin. I rejoined that I bclieved I liad nothing further to say or do in the matter; and the interview abruptly closed. Aftcr Svveitzen had gone, I anxiously looked for the return of my friend One, two, three hours passed, and still he did not come. I rénaained up all night, in anxioushope; but ha did not return. - Perhaps I should meet him at the morning prayers ! But, no - to my great distress, he was not cmong the assembled students. I made many eager inquirios, but no one had seen him. I took a long walk through the city to eool n,y fevered braiu, and was returuing to my room, an hour or so later, wheu some oue hurried up behind and tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and confrouted a strauger, in the garb of a peasaut. "Beg your honor's pardon !" he said ; "but might your honor be a student in the college you ?" "Yes"" "Perhaps your honor might teil me, (hen, how quickest I can fiud a gentleman named Frederick Delorme ?" 'It is my name I" I exclaiired, feeling my blood take a fresh leap at the hope of hearing from Jules. "It's curious returned the countryman, beginina to uubutton Kis eoit, "tlrtl should have run after the very gentleman I wanted, to ask him where he might be, ha ! ha ! ha ! Well, your honor must know that, at dijlight this morniug, just as 1 was coming out of my house, a gentleman rid up on a p n'ing horse, and, lianding me a letter and ten thalers, mude me swear to deliver t beforenight; and thinking it must be soiuething coosequential, I ran in, snatched a piece 'f br ad, and here I be." 'Willl well ! tho letter ! the letter ?" criad 1. '■Yes, your honor, here it be," returned the man, thrusting his hand into bis bcBom and bringing itforth. I seized it, reuognizied the writing, tore it open, and read the following, with feelings botter imagined than dcseribed : Oetnber 11, 4 o'clock A.M." "My Dkar Fkikxi) :- Forgive me for puining your noble heart! for havinfi once concealed from you my real design ? Id declitiiüg to fight my advorary, I feit thut honor ilematided from me a proposition requiriug at least as great a risk of life, if uot of reputation. You remember you said you would permit the risk of lile pioviding cba-acter were not involved. I acted on this, and wrote Bergner I would not fight him, but would decide by lot which nf the two should put au end to his own existence. I followed his friend to his lodgings, and we speedily agreed upon the feims. - We drew lots, and it was my misfortune to be dooiued. According to the com, I am to die to day, befare BUMÜt in thelittle village of Neuff, thirty mitas from the capital. You will probably fiud rov body at the only inn the place coutaiñs. l)o not raourn tno niueh for me my best of fi ienda ! and may God help you and furgive me ! It is my fate, you see ! 1 have made tfafl best dispoaition I could, iu the short timo allowed me of the property I possess, and you will fiud my testament at the notary's - Time presses me. I writü iu liaste, with a buniing bruin. You know my fisedings toward you, and why attempt the weak expression of words ! I'will only add, God blcss you! (Jod bless you ever ! Fareweil ! Your dying friend. 'JJuLES LNO1I1S[JI." Oü reading this I was so shocked. so overpowered, so stupeüed th it for some minutes I could not act. My brain swam, and the letters beforc me seemed to take the color of blood. I rouged myself at length, with the hope of beiug yet in time to save my friend, and d;irted off like a madinan, leuving the country man staring after me. I hurried to the pioper authorities, and got permission to use the governtnent post hoies. Ia a few miuutea more I was on the road to Neuff, the postillion urging the gallant boastn forward at tho extreme speed allowed by law. Had the rate even been a mile ft minute, I should have fancied it the snaü's pace, eo eager was I to reach forward und snatch my friend from the JawS of death. gut ojr spcèt! mé r.cit a 111 i lo a minute - scarcely ono iu fivo - and hours drarged on, that soomed so niatiy ages, beforu rny straining eyes beheld a small cluster of liouses, that tho potillion duclared was Nt'uff. " On for the love ol God !" I cried ; straight to the inn !" Fatal niiscalculution I le my terríbo ímsu'ty to reaoli Neuff before my friend sliouli] put an end lo himsclí', I overloobed the fact that, if living my arrival, in such manner, would attract his atteution, and hasten him fo th commission of the deed, linee t was riot bis design or desire to have it prevented. liad this oecurred to me on the route, I should have eñtered the village in a different mann-r, and p'erhaps my Iriend miílit have been living now. On reaching the inn with a thundering olatter, thut drew tíie wíiole village out to look at us, I leaped to the ground, hcized tht; nstnnislied hmdlord, and demanded to know if thure was a stranger froin Beíliu under his roof. "Yes ! ' lie auswered quickly, eatching some of ín y exeitenient ; 'í.a handsome young man - a thief, or robber, may be - or- " "Quick ! quiek !" I iuteirupted; "show me t' i his rooni !" We rushed iway together. I espied an axe, and seized it as I passed. On arriving at the room door, aud finding it fast, I shouted : "Jules, lor the love of God, do nothDg rash ! It is I - your friend - Delorme : come to my arms and be saved !" "Frede'rick, farewell I" criud a trem ulous voioe in reply ; aud at the same moment I heard the shurp report of a pistol. With nee blow of the axe I split down the door, and rushed in. There lay my frietid in the last quiver of life - a íhiistly spectacle- shot through the temples ! With a shriek of anguish, I tliruw myself down beside him ; acd from that time for several hours, I have dow uo distinct reoollection of what took place. Alas and alas ! poor Jules Langheim . He was the victiru of mistaken honor! He went early to his eternal 'aoeouut, aud left niany Iriends to inourn his loss; and otJö, at least, to weep for him thro' the long years of a since unhappy lifo.


Old News
Michigan Argus