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By Leo Perutz

While a thief fleeing the gallows and a nobleman, either down on their good fortune, go paths at some point, the thief kills the nobleman and assumes his identification, eternally suffering to stick one step sooner than publicity.

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The door of the miller’s apartment used to be locked. No smoke rose from the chimney, and the shutters have been closed. The erstwhile miller, whom he had as soon as, at an evil hour, flawed for a ghost arisen from the grave, a bad soul from Purgatory, needs to be whipping his crew alongside a few highroad with a view to fetch item from far-off lands for his grasp the bishop. no matter if his waggon got here damn up the hill at this second, who may worry him now? The Swedish cavalier sat down within the tall meadow grass and stretched his legs. Resting his again opposed to the brickwork of the miller’s good, he daydreamed with half-closed eyes. He recalled how, terrible and wretched and numb with chilly, he had made his method to the mill via waist-deep snow, and the way he had there obtained the arcanum, the main to his luck. good, now he used to be a grand gentleman with plumes in his hat and funds and letters of credits in his wallet now he might proudly cross for one of many the Aristocracy. permit the miller come, him and his crooked mouth! Purgatory used to be a fiction, no longer a true place–it existed basically in clergymen’ heads, so he have been guaranteed by means of the Brabanter, who had travelled in every single place and been at any place people broiled bacon over coals. He gave a begin. What was once that unexpected hubbub? to listen to it, one may need fancied that Venice had fallen into the palms of the Grand Turk. What did the unseen humans wish, and what have been they shouting? a large number of voices either deep and shrill, they got here from either side, from a ways and close to, and their cry used to be constantly an identical: “Make haste! Make haste! Make haste! ” What demeanour of individuals have been those, and what did they wish? The Swedish cavalier appeared approximately him, yet there has been no dwelling soul to be obvious other than his horse, which was once status beside him munching heather, toothwort and tufts of grass, and not anything to be heard–no cries, no shouts–save the hum of the bees. He leaned again opposed to the brickwork and allow his head loll ahead on his chest. There it used to be back! occasionally close to, occasionally a long way, occasionally gentle, occasionally swelling to a effective roar, the multitude of voices cried “Make haste! Make haste! Make haste! ” He attempted to upward thrust, yet he might now not achieve this. anything took carry of him, lifted him, bore him better and better, and nonetheless the thunderous, tumultuous voices round him cried “Make haste! Make haste! Make haste! ” Then silence fell. He came across himself excessive within the sky, surrounded by means of turrets and battlements of cloud so shiny and awesome that his eyes may perhaps scarcely undergo it. protecting his face along with his fingers, he peered among his palms and observed 3 males seated on thrones with steps prime as much as them. They wore lengthy, fur-trimmed gowns and pink sneakers, and one among them, a stern-eyed formative years, he recognized as St Michael, the heavenly chancellor, whom he had frequently noticeable in effigy. prior to the 3 stood an angel of great stature with a drawn sword in his fingers, and surrounding them in serried ranks used to be the heavenly host whose previous cries of “Make haste, make haste! ” had, it appeared, been a summons to determine justice performed.

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