The Dynamiter
Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny van de Grift Stevenson

Part 5 out of 5

'I have been entrapped into this house,' said the old lady, getting
to her feet. 'But it shall not avail. Not all the tobacconists in
Europe . . .'

'Ah, madam,' interrupted Florizel, 'before what is referred to as
my fall, you had not used such language! And since you so much
object to the simple industry by which I live, let me give you a
friendly hint. If you will not consent to support your daughter, I
shall be constrained to place that lady behind my counter, where I
doubt not she would prove a great attraction; and your son-in-law
shall have a livery and run the errands. With such young blood my
business might be doubled, and I might be bound in common gratitude
to place the name of Luxmore beside that of Godall.'

'Your Highness,' said the old lady, 'I have been very rude, and you
are very cunning. I suppose the minx is on the premises. Produce

'Let us rather observe them unperceived,' said the Prince; and so
saying he rose and quietly drew back the curtain.

Mrs. Desborough sat with her back to them on a chair; Somerset and
Harry were hanging on her words with extraordinary interest;
Challoner, alleging some affair, had long ago withdrawn from the
detested neighbourhood of the enchantress.

'At that moment,' Mrs. Desborough was saying, 'Mr Gladstone
detected the features of his cowardly assailant. A cry rose to his
lips: a cry of mingled triumph . . .'

'That is Mr. Somerset!' interrupted the spirited old lady, in the
highest note of her register. 'Mr. Somerset, what have you done
with my house-property?'

'Madam,' said the Prince, 'let it be mine to give the explanation;
and in the meanwhile, welcome your daughter.'

'Well, Clara, how do you do?' said Mrs. Luxmore. 'It appears I am
to give you an allowance. So much the better for you. As for Mr.
Somerset, I am very ready to have an explanation; for the whole
affair, though costly, was eminently humorous. And at any rate,'
she added, nodding to Paul, 'he is a young gentleman for whom I
have a great affection, and his pictures were the funniest I ever

'I have ordered a collation,' said the Prince. 'Mr. Somerset, as
these are all your friends, I propose, if you please, that you
should join them at table. I will take the shop.'


{1} Hereupon the Arabian author enters on one of his digressions.
Fearing, apparently, that the somewhat eccentric views of Mr.
Somerset should throw discredit on a part of truth, he calls upon
the English people to remember with more gratitude the services of
the police; to what unobserved and solitary acts of heroism they
are called; against what odds of numbers and of arms, and for how
small a reward, either in fame or money: matter, it has appeared
to the translators, too serious for this place.

{2} In this name the accent falls upon the E; the S is sibilant.

{3} The Arabian author of the original has here a long passage
conceived in a style too oriental for the English reader. We
subjoin a specimen, and it seems doubtful whether it should be
printed as prose or verse: 'Any writard who writes dynamitard
shall find in me a never-resting fightard;' and he goes on (if we
correctly gather his meaning) to object to such elegant and
obviously correct spellings as lamp-lightard, corn-dealard, apple-
filchard (clearly justified by the parallel--pilchard) and opera
dancard. 'Dynamitist,' he adds, 'I could understand.'

{4} The Arabian author, with that quaint particularity of touch
which our translation usually praetermits, here registers a
somewhat interesting detail. Zero pronounced the word 'boom;' and
the reader, if but for the nonce, will possibly consent to follow


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