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Excerpt :

It was seven o’clock; the great animated festival drew near its end. At a given signal from the master of ceremonies, the music on the esplanade stopped; a hush fell on the distinguished gathering.

Archduke Victor, in his own exalted person, was to award the stipulated prizes to the boats of most artistic and original designs.

The fanfares sounded gayly over land and sea, and all the boats small and large ranged themselves in a semi-circle about the illustrious judge. The first prize, a silver statuette of the Goddess Hebe, was awarded to the fascinating princess of Egypt.

With a flourish of trumpets, and amid shouts of applause from the enthusiastic throng, all looked around for the boat of the prize winner. But there was no sign of it anywhere, nor was the single boat of the slender Englishman to be seen any more.

At a given signal from Mr. Ogden, the artistically constructed little boat had quietly turned about, and the two, availing themselves of the general excitement over the awarding of prizes, had quietly slipped away behind the neighboring piers, where the palatial home of the unfortunate Archduke Johann Salvatore is to be seen. He is better known to the outer world under the pseudonym “Johann Orth.”

His sorrowing mother is still seen by passers-by sitting near the window with expectant eyes waiting for the lost son to return.

The brilliant floral festival enacted on the lake was at an end. On the esplanade were still seen groups of excited spectators discussing with great animation once more, the singular disappearance of the wonderful little boat that was fortunate enough to win the first prize and whose occupants disappeared without claiming that distinction. Others lost no time in entering the brightly illuminated cafes in the vicinity of the esplanade to refresh themselves after the excitement of the grand event.

On the eastern horizon a thin, fleecy scarf of clouds was visible and the silvery moon with all her sparkling companions had just come out to beam upon the scene. The West was a single shrine of beryl, whereon ruby flakes of vapor seemed to float through the universe.


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