The two assistants had borne Andrea to the scaffold
, and there, in spite of his struggles, his bites, and his cries, had forced him to his knees.
"Yes, sire; and every one of the words which he spoke to me, through the planks of the scaffold
covered with a black cloth, still sounds in my ears.
"It was just a minute before the execution," began the prince, readily, carried away by the recollection and evidently forgetting everything else in a moment; "just at the instant when he stepped off the ladder on to the scaffold. He happened to look in my direction: I saw his eyes and understood all, at once--but how am I to describe it?
Then he is dressed, and then begins the procession through the town to the scaffold. I think he, too, must feel that he has an age to live still while they cart him along.
"At the scaffold there is a ladder, and just there he burst into tears--and this was a strong man, and a terribly wicked one, they say!
At the foot of the ladder he had been pale enough; but when he set foot on the scaffold at the top, his face suddenly became the colour of paper, positively like white notepaper.
"Draw the scaffold so that only the top step of the ladder comes in clearly.