Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XI / The Bride of Hate: Or, The Passage of a Night >> Page 213

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE BITTER AGONY. 213
down into the lake at the foot of the castle, then recoiled with a
scream to which every previous cry from her lips was feeble
and inexpressive. The climax of her frenzy had been reached.
I was just in time to save her. She fell backward and I re-
ceived her in my arms. The shock seemed to bring her back
to a more human consciousness. Her eyes were turned upon
my own ; a new intelligence seemed to rekindle them with
their former expression of hate�leer band vainly strove to use
the dagger against my person. In the effort, it fell nerveless at
her side, while a sudden discharge from the mouth and nostrils
drenched my garments with her blood,
Bruno at that instant appeared and received her from my
arms. The relief was necessary to me � I could not have
sustained her much longer. I was sick almost to exhaustion.
I felt unable to endure a sight to me so strange and
terrible, yet I strove in vain to turn my eyes away. 'I'liey
were fixed as if by some fearful fascination. Hers, too,
were now riveted upon me. At first, when I transferred
her to the arms of Bruno, they were turned upon him ; but,
in the next moment, as suddenly averted, with an expression
of loathsomeness and hate, which suffering had not softened, nor
the seeming approach of death diminished of any portion of in-
tensity. On me they bestowed a more protracted, but scarcely a
more kindly expression. Broken syllables, stifled and overcome
by the discharge of blood, struggled feebly from her lips ; and.,
fainting at last, she was borne to the chamber from which she
had emerged at the beginning of that scene, the purposes of
winds seemed to me so inscrutable, and the progress of which
was in truth so terrible. Medical assistance was sent for, and
every succor bestowed in the power of skill and humanity. Need
I say that a deep interest in her fate affected my bosom. A
vague conjecture, dark and strange, which coupled the fate and
history of this noble but wretched lady with my own, had natur-
ally arisen in my mind, from the dialogue to which I had been
a listener. What was she to me ? I shuddered with an appre-
hension and painful terror whenever this question suggested it-