The Devil's Crypt

The Devil's Crypt

by E. Hoffmann Price
Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe)
Publication Date: 08/03/2015

SATAN’S FOOTPRINTS GUIDEBOOK tourists to Southern France concentrate on Biarritz; but those who love unspoiled antiquity prefer Bayonne, that gray-walled city that basks in the warmth of the Pyrenees and guards the road to Spain. The moat that girdles the citadel is dry, and the drawbridges are no longer serviceable; but at sunrise, when the Lachepaillet Wall and the cathedral spires seem floating on banks of low-lying river mists from the Nive and the Adour, Bayonne is a hasheesh dream rather than a city. France and Spain, England and Navarre, have contended for possession of that fortress, and before them, the Moors occupied that old city which was once the encampment of Roman legions; but it is only at night that one remembers the crypts and passages that undermine the citadel, and senses that soil which for centuries has drunk the blood of defender and invader alike is still thirsty. Bayonne is an old gray sphinx, somnolently smiling through the veils of her mystery. Two men emerged from the Lachepaillet Gate as the cathedral clock struck eleven. They were bareheaded, and in full evening dress. Davis Barrett, the younger, was tall, bronzed, and rugged as the massive masonry of the walls. The elder was grizzled, with fine, stern features and bristling, close cropped hair that gleamed white in the moonlight. It was no promenade to continue a private discussion that would have been disturbed by the laughter and music and tingling glasses in José Guevara Millamediana’s luxurious apartment; they walked with expectant, searching alertness; and the elder was perturbed, as though he feared to find what they sought

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