Página:Imbert de Saint-Amand Marie Antoinette.djvu/47

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THE DEATH OF GUSTA VUS III. 41

Count de Horn, lays a ha11d 011 his shoulder: “ Good day, fine masker!” he says. This Judas‘ salute, this ironical Welcome given by the murderers to their victim, is the signal for the attack. On the instant, Ankarstrclam fires on the King with a pistol loaded with old iron.

Gustavus, struck in the left hip, cries, “I am wounded!" The pistol, which had been Wrapped i11 wool, made only a muffled report, and the smoke spreading throughout the room, the crowd does not think of a murder, but a fire. Cries of “ Fire! fire I ” augment the confusion. Baron d’Essen, all covered With his master’s blood, helps him to gain a little box called the (Eil-de-Bceuf, and from there a salon, Where he is laid upon a sofa. Baron d’Armfelt orders the doors of the theatre to be closed, and every one to unmask. A man, brazening it out, lifts his mask before the officer of police, and says to him with assurance, “As for me, sir, I hope that you will not suspect me.” It is Ankarstraem, the assas- sin. He goes out quietly. But, after the crime was committed, his weapons, a pistol and a knife like that of Ravaillac, had fallen on the floor. A gun- smith of Stockholm will recognize the pistol and declare that he had sold it a few days before to a former officer of the guards, Captain Ankarstrcem. It is the token which will cause the arrest of the assassin, and his punishment by the penalty of par- ricides,—decapitation and the cutting off of his right hand.