Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI / The Bride of Hate: Or, The Passage of a Night >> Page 202

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription O1) SOUTHWARD HO
other law. I lifted the bar from the door, which I opened, and
emerged into the long and gloomy gallery, of which I have al-
ready briefly spoken. I was resolved to pursue the parties,
and satisfy that intense curiosity�a curiosity which was strict-
ly justified by my own entire dependence upon the circumstances
in progress�possibly, for life and death, weal and wo, bondage
and freedom which was preying upon me like a fever. With
many misgivings, some momentary scruples, and a few fears,
all of which I contrived to keep in subjection, I pursued this
gallery with the most cautious footstep, resolved to hear the
dreadful truth, for such I now esteemed it to be, upon which
turned the mysterious history of my birth and fortunes. I
groped my way, almost in entire darkness, along a ruinous part
of the castle. The gallery seemed to be winding, and there
were openings in the wall, which I felt on either hand at inter-
vals, and which seemed to indicate other chambers and apart-
ments. Through these a chill wind passed, confirming me in
the belief that they were ruinous and deserted, and satisfying
me that the parties I pursued were not to be found in either of
them. At the end of the gallery I was stopped by a door, and
beyond it the voices were again heard, sometimes low, at other
times in angry emphasis, but seemingly with little or no cessa-
tion either of one or of the other. rl'lie words were seldom suf-
ficiently audible to be syllabled clearly, and my curiosity would
not suffer me to remain satisfied. I tried the door, which, to my
great joy, was unfastened, and advanced with increased caution
into a second and small apartment which seemed a dressing-
room. A faint light gliding through a chink in the opposite
wall, together with the distinct voices of the persons I sought,
guided me to a spot where I could see them with tolerable ease,
and hear all their words distinctly. The chamber into which I
looked was similarly furnished with my own. It seemed to
have been equally unoccupied. An ancient ottoman received
the form of the baroness, who, as she spoke, alternately rose
from, or sunk back upon its cushions. She scarcely uttered a
sentence without accompanying it with great and corresponding
action ; now rising from her scat and advancing passionately
upon her companion with hand uplifted as if to strike, her eye
flashing fury and resolution while her lips poured forth a tor-