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One overwhelming thought obscured everything else there was a real Lady Allegra, after all. That was it to find her, and I had the clew. I must go at once. But Indiman restrained me. "Yes, that is precisely what I want you to do, only let us first understand the situation thoroughly. I intend remaining here during the progress of the investigation, and if anything should happen "

One of her letters is full of anxiety as to Allegra, who has been placed in the convent of Bagnacavallo by Byron. She feels that the child ought, as soon as possible, to be taken out of the hands of so "remorseless and unprincipled a man"; but advises caution and waiting for a favourable opportunity. She hopes that he may be returning to England. "He may be reconciled with his wife."

This very night the walls of the fortress should fall, unveiling the secret of this insolent loveliness, the desire of all the world. Ah, my lady Allegra, was it chance alone that led you to choose Isolde's "Liebestod" for this the supreme enchantment? The music fell away into nothingness and I stepped forward, my hand on the knob of the folding-doors that led to the front room.

"You don't understand the Lady Allegra " Well, I suppose I must have fainted from sheer inanition, and so Indiman explained it himself that next morning. "You had been half starved for over a week, and no wonder you keeled over. No; you can't have another mouthful of that beef-steak. You'll have to wait for luncheon." I sank back among the cushions of the couch rather resentfully.

"The Lady Allegra," he went on, "is unfortunately indisposed. She begs me to tender her apologies and regrets. I am her ladyship's resident physician, and my name is Gonzales." His eyes, hidden behind smoked glasses, examined me attentively. I murmured some words of conventional regrets, and, truth to tell, I was bitterly disappointed. I turned as though to go.

Shortly after his arrival in Switzerland he contracted an intimacy with Miss Clairmont, a daughter of Godwin's second wife, and consequently a connexion by marriage of the Shelleys, with whom she was living, which resulted in the birth of a daughter, Allegra, at Great Marlow, in February, 1817.

When the Count went to Bologna, in August, with his wife, Lord Byron was allowed to follow; and after consoling himself during an excursion which the married pair made to their estate, by hovering about her empty rooms and writing in her books he established himself, on the Count's return to his headquarters, with her and Allegra at Bologna.

But when I reached the lower hall I walked plump into Dr. Gonzales, who fixed me with a penetrating look. "Go back!" he said, authoritatively. "The Lady Allegra sings and for you." I listened; it was, "Ah, fors e lui." I divide my time between the library on the third floor and the red drawing-room, where the strange beauty of the opal-tinted mirror holds me possessed for hours together.

His somnambulism returned, and he saw visions. On one occasion he thought that the dead Allegra rose from the sea, and clapped her hands, and laughed, and beckoned to him. On another he roused the whole house at night by his screams, and remained terror-frozen in the trance produced by an appalling vision. This mood he communicated, in some measure, to his friends.

I hear in the chamber above me The patter of little feet, The sound of a door that is opened, And voices soft and sweet. From my study I see in the lamplight, Descending the broad hall stair, Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra, And Edith with golden hair. A whisper, and then a silence: Yet I know by their merry eyes, They are plotting and planning together To take me by surprise.