A shrill cry came from the garden. She leaned carelessly out, as Pauline, not yet departed on her errand, called out for help, holding the Marquise in her arms.
"Do not frighten my daughter!" those were the last words the mother uttered.
Moina saw them carry in a pale and lifeless form that struggled for breath, and arms moving restlessly as in protest or effort to speak; and overcome by the sight, Moina followed in silence, and helped to undress her mother and lay her on her bed. The burden of her fault was greater than she could bear. In that supreme hour she learned to know her mother--too late, she could make no reparation now. She would have them leave her alone with her mother; and when there was no one else in the room, when she felt that the hand which had always been so tender for her was now grown cold to her touch, she broke out into weeping. Her tears aroused the Marquise; she could still look at her darling Moina; and at the sound of sobbing, that seemed as if it must rend the delicate, disheveled breast, could smile back at her daughter. That smile taught the unnatural child that forgiveness is always to be found in the great deep of a mother's heart.
Servants on horseback had been dispatched at once for the physician and surgeon and for Mme. d'Aiglemont's grandchildren. Mme. d'Aiglemont the younger and her little sons arrived with the medical men, a sufficiently impressive, silent, and anxious little group, which the servants of the house came to join. The young Marquise, hearing no sound, tapped gently at the door. That signal, doubtless, roused Moina from her grief, for she flung open the doors and stood before them. No words could have spoken more plainly than that disheveled figure looking out with haggard eyes upon the assembled family. Before that living picture of Remorse the rest were dumb. It was easy to see that the Marquise's feet were stretched out stark and stiff with the agony of death; and Moina, leaning against the door-frame, looking into their faces, spoke in a hollow voice:
"THE Golden Star," Homburg, was a humble hotel, not used by gay gamblers, but by modest travelers.
At two o'clock, one fine day in June, there were two strangers in the _salle a' manger,_ seated at small tables a long way apart, and wholly absorbed in their own business.
One was a lady about twenty-four years old, who, in the present repose of her features, looked comely, sedate, and womanly, but not the remarkable person she really was. Her forehead high and white, but a little broader than sculptors affect; her long hair, coiled tight, in a great many smooth snakes, upon her snowy nape, was almost flaxen, yet her eyebrows and long lashes not pale but a reddish brown; her gray eyes large and profound; her mouth rather large, beautifully shaped, amiable, and expressive, but full of resolution; her chin a little broad; her neck and hands admirably white and polished. She was an Anglo-Dane--her father English.
If you ask me what she was doing, why--hunting; and had been, for some days, in all the inns of Homburg. She had the visitors' book, and was going through the names of the whole year, and studying each to see whether it looked real or assumed. Interspersed were flippant comments, and verses adapted to draw a smile of amusement or contempt; but this hunter passed them all over as nullities: the steady pose of her head, the glint of her deep eye, and the set of her fine lips showed a soul not to be diverted from its object.
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- 1she had come to believe, since otherwise he would have
- 2she was panic-stricken. She knew that he was a stranger
- 3She was almost across the gorge now and moving with an
- 4doubtless prisoners taken in one of the raids upon the
- 5then directed the ray of the little lamp toward the further
- 6its share to the quick and accurate translation of the
- 7him through the trees, having no such well-developed sense
- 8thirty feet above the ground, and possibly from those up
- 9her arms, and laughed shrilly, insanely. Then she turned
- 10in any one of which the ape-man could have found sanctuary,
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- before. For what was he waiting, or for whom? He heard
- The ape-man turned to her. Pan-at-lee, he said, these
- overarched the way and trailing creepers depended in graceful
- as a denser shadow among the dense shadows of the night;
- The people here live chiefly on shell-fish and potatoes.
- in diameter at its base. This he cut from the tree with
- bellowing creature below them—his nostrils quivered as
- came slowly toward him. A whack on the median horn brought
- rising, was gradually flooding the cave of the dragon.
- and rushed out, looking down into Kor-ul-GRYF guessing