Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI / The Bride of Hate: Or, The Passage of a Night >> Page 208

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 208 SOUTHWARD HO
strange and terrible scene which I had witnessed. The curious
relation in which the parties stood to each other�the calm as-
surance and stubborn resolution which was shown by Bruno, in
defiance of one whom I had regarded only in the light of a mis-
tress equally without reproach or fear�her fury, which, as it
awakened no respect in him, was the sufficient proof of the weak-
ness and his power�his mysterious accusations, which I was
too young to comprehend and too inexperienced to trace ; �and,
not least, the fearful threats to which every sentence which he
uttered tended�subdued all my strength, and made me weaker
in limb and in heart than the infant for the first time tottering
on uncertain footsteps. There was something, also, in the brief
space which he allowed the baroness�but the single night on
which she had already entered for repentance before doom,
which fearfully increased the terrors with which my imagination
invested the whole fearful subject. And what could be the
judgment�what the penalty�for those crimes, of which, as
nothing was known to me, all seemed vast, dark, and over-
whelming ? The more I strove to think, the more involved I
became in the meshes of my own wild-weaving fancies ; and,
failing to fix upon any certain clue which might lead me to a
reasonable conclusion, I strove, at length, in headache and vexa-
tion, to dismiss all thought from my mind, patiently awaiting the
approach of Bruno and the morning for the solution of my doubts
and conjectures. But Bruno and the morning promised to be
equally slow in their approaches. The stillness of death now
overspread the castle, and the buzzing of a solitary insect within
my chamber, acquired, in the tomb-like silence of the hour, a
strange and emphatic signification in my ear. Hopeless of Bru-
no's immediate return�as nothing could be more natural than
the conclusion that his labors must be great that night in prepa-
ration for those mornhig results of which he had spoken so con-
fidently� I determined to yield myself to slumber ; and, without
undressing, I threw myself upon the massive and richly decora-
ted couch of my chamber. But I might as well have striven
for flight to the upper clouds, as to win the coy and mocking
sleep which I desired. My imagination was wrought up to an
almost feverish intensity. The breathing of the wind through
a crevice startled and distressed me, and in the very silence of