Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI / The Bride of Hate: Or, The Passage of a Night >> Page 199

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE MIDNIGHT VISITED. 199
son. It was not easy now to distrust him ; and, racked by con-
flicting conjectures, I passed two weary hours before anything
happened to divert my thoughts from speculations which brought
me no nigher to the truth. In the meanwhile, I had made sun-
dry attempts, by looking around me, to lessen the influence of
lily thoughts upon my feelings. I examined my chamber with
the appearance, if not the feeling, of curiosity. I mounted to
the window, and for a little while was soothed by the soft, sil-
very light of the moon, as it seemed to trickle down the brown,
discolored sides of the rocks that rose in the distance, hill upon
bill, until the last was swallowed up in the gloomy immensity
beyond. The moon herself, in the zenith, was beyond my
glance. But this prospect did not relieve the anxiety which
it failed to divert. I turned from the pleasing picture, and,
resuming my seat beside the table in my gloomy apartment,
again surrendered myself up to those meditations which, how-
ever, were soon to be disturbed. My attention was called to
the door through which Bruno had taken his departure, and
which�though I did not then know the fact�led through a
long, dismal corridor, to a suite of rooms beyond. A distinct
tap, twice or thrice repeated, was made upon the door. I was
on the eve of forgetting the solemn injunctions of my companion,
and had nearly risen from my seat for the purpose of opening it.
I recollected myself, however, before doing so, and maintained
an inflexible silence. But I could not stifle the beatings of my
heart, which, on a sudden, seemed to have acquired fourfold
powers of pulsation. I almost tottered under my emotion ; and
nothing but a resolution of the most stern character, and the
feeling of shame that came to my relief and reproached me with
my weakness, enabled me to preserve a tolerable degree of com-
posure. I kept silence and my seat ; suppressed my breathings
as well as I could ; and, with ears scarcely less keen than those
of the watch-dog when the wolf-drove trots about the enclosure,
did I listen to the mysterious summons from without. Again
and again, though still in moderate force, as if some caution was
necessary to prevent the sounds from reaching other senses than
my own, were the taps repeated upon the door ; and, after a
full quarter of an Lour, passed in a condition of suspense the
most trying and oppressive, I was at length relieved by hearing