Tales Of A Traveller, By Washington Irving

 -  His companions
were at a distance. By a sudden exertion I might wrest myself from him
and spring up the - Page 280
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His Companions Were At A Distance.

By a sudden exertion I might wrest myself from him and spring up the staircase, whither he would not dare to follow me singly.

The idea was put in execution as soon as conceived. The ruffian's throat was bare: with my right hand I seized him by it, just between the mastoides; with my left hand I grasped the arm which held the carbine. The suddenness of my attack took him completely unawares; and the strangling nature of my grasp paralyzed him. He choked and faltered. I felt his hand relaxing its hold, and was on the point of jerking myself away and darting up the staircase before he could recover himself, when I was suddenly seized by some one from behind.

I had to let go my grasp. The bandit, once more released, fell upon me with fury, and gave me several blows with the butt end of his carbine, one of which wounded me severely in the forehead, and covered me with blood. He took advantage of my being stunned to rifle me of my watch and whatever valuables I had about my person.

When I recovered from the effects of the blow, I heard the voice of the chief of the banditti, who exclaimed "Quello e il principe, siamo contente, audiamo!" (It is the prince, enough, let us be off.) The band immediately closed round me and dragged me out of the palace, bearing off the three laborers likewise.

I had no hat on, and the blood was flowing from my wound; I managed to staunch it, however, with my pocket-handkerchief, which I bound round my forehead.

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