Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IX / The Bride of Fate >> Page 151

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Page 151

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE MAGIC MIRROR,. 151
" Make me no excuses. I only ask thee to forbear and sub-
mit. I said not that Francesca Ziaiii should be thine ! I said
only that I beheld her in thy arms."
And what more do I ask !" was the exulting speech of the
stranger, his voice rising into a sort of outburst, which fully
declared the ruffian, and the cruel passions by which he was
"If that contents thee, well !" said the woman, coldly, her
eye perusing with a seeming calmness the brazen plate upon
which the strange characters were inscribed.
That, then, thou promisest still ?" demanded the stranger.
" Thou shalt see for thyself," was the reply. Thus speaking
the woman slowly arose and brought forth a small chafing-dish,
also of brass or copper, not much larger than a common plate.
This she placed over the brazier, the flame of which she quickened by a few smart puffs from a little bellows which lay beside
her. As the flame kindled, and the sharp, red jets rose like
tongues on either side of the plate, she poured into it some-
thing like a gill of a thick, tenacious liquid, that looked like, and
might have been, honey. Above this she brooded for a while
with her eyes immediately over the vessel ; and the keen ear
of the stranger, quickened by excited curiosity, could detect the
muttering of her lips ; though the foreign syllables which she
employed were entirely beyond his comprehension. Suddenly,
a thick vapor went up from the dish. She withdrew it from the
brazier and laid it before her on the table. A few moments
sufficed to clear the surface of the vessel, the vapor arising and
hanging languidly above her head.
"Look now for thyself and see !" was her command to the
visiter ; she herself not deigning a glance upon the vessel, seem-
ing thus to be quite sure of what it would present, or quite indif-
ferent to the result. The stranger needed no second summons.
Ile bent instantly over the vessel, and started back with undis-
guised delight.
It is she !" Ile exclaimed. She droops ! whose arm is it
that supports her�upon whose breast is it that she lies � whc
bears her away in triumph ?"" Is it not thyself?" asked the woman, coldly.
"By Hercules, it is ! .She is mine ! She is in my arms !