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IV.

  • The war was over. Secured by the most explicit guarantees from the government
  • of Charles III, the victorious commander allowed himself to be pulled down
  • from the skies. Still holding the dreaded fin can in one hand, with the other
  • he gallantly assisted his lady captive from the car of the balloon, and led
  • her to the balcony of the palace.
  • "Serene Highness," he said, as he respectfully consigned the Princess
  • Florestine to the care of her august brother, "I regret that the necessities
  • of war compelled me to make a prisoner of Madame the Princess, who was abroad
  • early this morning on a mission of charity."
  • The prince bowed in silence. The princess's eyes were fixed upon the floor.
  • "And, Serene Highness," continued Titus, "I implore you to believe that I
  • would not risk the precious life of so exalted a lady by putting her in
  • proximity with a dangerously large amount of dynamite."
  • So saying, he tossed the can over the balustrade. It fell upon the pavement
  • with an empty rattle.