ng,' said Zaleski; 'but this unearthed letter of Randolph's--what was in it?'
I read as follows:
'"Dear Mdlle. Cibras,--I am exerting my utmost influence for you with my father. But he shows no signs of coming round as yet. If I could only induce him to see you! But he is, as you know, a person of unrelenting will, and meanwhile you must confide in my loyal efforts on your behalf. At the same time, I admit that the situation is a precarious one: you are, I am sure, well provided for in the present will of Lord Pharanx, but he is on the point--within, say, three or four days--of making another; and exasperated as he is at your appearance in England, I know there is no chance of your receiving a centime under the new will. Before then, however, we must hope that something favourable to you may happen; and in the meantime, let me implore you not to let your only too just resentment pass beyond the bounds of reason.
'I like the letter!' cried Zaleski. 'You no
Three tales about the hermit-like Prince Zaleski, "lurid and inscrutable as a falling star," whom we're told without further explanation was a "victim of a too importunate, too unfortunate Love, which the fulgor of the throne itself could not abash; exile perforce from his native land, and voluntary exile from the rest of men.” Zaleski is a kind of armchair detective. His friend brings him news of puzzling crimes, which he solves without leaving his gloomy abode, a mostly ruined "vast palace of the older world standing lonely in the midst of woodland, and approached by a sombre avenue of poplars and cypresses, through which the sunlight hardly pierced," where the prince lives alone with his Ethiopian servant, smoking cannabis, immersed in arcane studies and surrounded by exotic curios. The trio of tales are all written in flowery, archaic language, and since there's no action, rather dull.