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under correction I say it, as near as can be, opposite to the great marish, which also is well known to your ladyship.

"The keeper's lad was with their lordships in the boat (which is a likely lad and an honest, as your laydyship knows), and they let the dog run after them along the bank (which is a black retriever bitch).

"May it please your ladyship, the young Lord Felix, my honored master, was uncommon gay upon the morning of this melancholy occasion, being high in his spirits and exceeding cheerful, as was remarked by said keeper's lad. The same deposes that while his honor Count Edmond was at the rudder, his honor Count Felix, being at the bows, and having got his feet astride upon each side of the boat, continued, there standing upright, with great mirth and joy, to rock the boat upon the water. But his honor's brother, my esteemed master, Count Edmond, seeing this, with great seriousness besought his honor to sit still in the boat, and not to do this thing, for that the water is uncommon deep in that part, and that, if his honor should fall over, he might not be able to swim by reason of his heavy shooting-boots. Nevertheless, the young lord, for the great cheerfulness that was in him that morning, made light of all that his honored brother was saying to him; for he only laughed very pleasantly all the while, declaring that these heavy water-boots seemed to him as light as a pair of dancing-pumps.

"Now at this moment it happened, honored madam, as I am duly informed, that a hind rose in the brakes by the river-side, and the dog (which is a young dog,

and a bit wild, but will do better when broke, as shall be duly done) ran out after the hind, and would not come back to call. So then the young lords, having landed the lad that was with them in the boat (as aforementioned), bade him fetch in the dog, and meet their lordships about a hundred yards lower down the water, just opposite the marish (as above). The lad tells me that while he was running after the dog he could hear for some time the laughter of my honored. and lamented master the young count. It was a quarter of an hour before the boy could bring in the bitch, which, when done, was well punished, as duly deserved. The same then repaired to the place as above indicated; who, when there arrived, with great surprise beheld the boat already far down the stream, beyond said point, drifting, and quite empty. But of the two young lords was no trace apparent, near nor far. At first the lad thought that their lordships must have landed and gone up the marish, and that the boat, being ill fastened, had got adrift. So he waited some time, and fired off his gun; but neither to this signal, nor to all his shouts and cries, was there any answer. Then, looking all about him in great perplexity, he at last noticed that there was something hanging on the branch of a willow-tree this side of the great fen. And when the lad went up to the willow to see what this might be, then he recognized the hat of his honor Count Felix. At that sight the bitch began to howl. Honored madam, among all the foll in our parts, specially sportsmen, this is much thought of for a grievous bad sign, which it was no better, honored madam, on the present melancholy occasion.

Then the lad felt uncommon low in his mind; and, crying and weeping bitterly, he ran back to the castle, where he caused great alarm. May it please your ladyship, the writer of these humble lines, your ladyship's dutiful servant, happened to be upon the spot, and, taking with him a few followers, hastened to the fatal scene. There, having got a punt afloat, we tried with long poles to search the bottom; but the stream was running stiff, and I lament to say our search proved fruitless. By this time the banks on each side were filled with folk. Also, honored madam, many went up to their necks into the water; for no man thought of his own life for the great love that is borne to the noble family of my lord the count. At last, then, some of the folk which was about in the water began to shout and call to us that were in the boat, who, coming to the fatal spot, nigh about ten paces from the bank, all black and befouled with mud and slime, as was grievous to look at, being also dripping wet, my honored master Count Edmond. The same was quite insensible. His face was buried in the black ooze, and his honor's hands convulsively clasped behind his head, as if he had there flung himself in great despair, which was a sight full piteous to behold. But of his honor the evermore-to-be-deeply-lamented and now happily-at-rest Count Felix, up to this day, honored madam, no trace whatever has been found.

"His honor's bereaved brother, my deeply afflicted and highly esteemed master, Count Edmond, is uncommon distressed and troubled in his mind, so that the exact details of the above-mentioned melancholy occurrence can not yet be ascertained. For his honor,

as is well known to your ladyship's kind heart, was most uncommon fond of the young lord his brother, so that, for the great sorrow and heaviness of his heart, his honor is still, under your ladyship's pardon, as I may say, almost beside himself. It appears, however, only too certain that the young lord must have fallen into the water while he was rocking the boat; and his lordship's brother must have tried desperate hard to save him, for his honor's clothes were wringing wet, and his boots were so shrunk with the water that we were obliged to cut them off his honor's legs. Furthermore, honored madam, the count's clothes were full covered with weeds and gravel, through which his lordship must have dragged himself while searching for the defunct at the bottom of the river.

"In terminating these sad lines (and may it please your ladyship, without his honor's express orders I should not have made so bold to put pen to paper), I have also the honor to inform your ladyship that I have ordered relays of horses all along the post-road, in order that your honor may reach the castle as speedily as possible. With the most profound respect, as in duty bound, so far as the melancholy circumstances will permit, I am, honored madam, your ladyship's humble and dutiful servant,

"Gräflich R-scher güter Inspector."

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