Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI / The Bride of Hate: Or, The Passage of a Night >> Page 196

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Page 196

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 196 SOUTHWARD HO !
an air of coldness and damp about the apartment that impressed
me with unpleasant sensations. But a single window, and that
a small one, yielded the daylight from the eastern sky, while
two small narrow doors, that appeared to have been shut up for
a century and more, occupied opposite sections of the northern
and southern wails. The little aperture at the head of the
stairs was closed by a falling trap, and fastened or not at the
pleasure of the incumbent, by a bolt in the floor above. A
massive bedstead, of carved columns and antique pattern, stood
almost beside the trap, making flight easy by that means in the
event of such a proceeding seeming desirable. A venerable
table, of the same style and century as the bedstead, stood in
the middle of the apartment, sumptuously covered with a rich
damask cloth, the massive fringes of which swept the floor around
it. The solitary window of the apartment was shaded by a cur-
tain of similar hue, but of softer and finer material. But the uphol-
stery and decorations of my chamber, or my prison for such it
seemed with all its decaying splendor´┐Ż called for little of my
notice then, and deserves not that of my reader. A casual glance
sufficed to show me the things of which I have spoken, and I
do not think I bestowed upon them more. There were matters
far more serious in my mind and important to my interest. Two
stools which the apartment contained, afforded seats to Bruno
and myself; and I scarcely allowed myself to be seated before
I demanded an explanation of the strange scene through which
we had gone with my benefactress.
A little longer, dear Herman´┐Żbe patient a little longer
and then you shall have no cause to complain of me. I shall strive
soon to convince you of my wishes for your happiness and welfare,
and, perhaps, of the continued labors which I have undergone,
having your fortunes in view only. Yet, I do not promise you to
unfold the mystery entirely, or even partially, which enwraps this
castle and its unhappy mistress. Perhaps I can not. I confess
freely there is something beyond my knowledge, though not, I
trust, beyond my power. Should I succeed in what I purpose,
and this very night may show, then may you expect such a
revelation as will satisfy your curiosity and make you better
content with your position. Of one thing I may assure you ;
your fortunes are better than you think them, the prospect is