"I have sworn it; I swore to Isora that the bridal couch should be stained with blood, and I will keep the oath!" I approached the pair; they were discussing the means for obtaining the packet. Montreuil urged Desmarais to purloin it from the place where you had deposited it, and then to abscond; but to this plan Desmarais was vehemently opposed.
"You ought not to have exerted yourself," he said, reproachfully, as soon as he looked at me; and then he took hold of me and placed me in the armchair, and Flurry brought me a footstool and sat down on it, Dot climbed up on the arm of the chair and propped himself against me, and Miss Ruth rose softly from her couch and came across the room and kissed me.
Away from bustle and excitement, he had time for reflection, and when he arose from his couch, he felt that he was no longer the firm, strong man he had been. The impressions of early life, too, returned: he longed for his child, and for England; but when he remembered her mother, he could not support the idea that Barbara should know him as he really was.
'I love you with all my soul, Monica! Sit down again, dearest; let us talk about it, and see what we can do. He half led, half carried, her to a couch, and there, holding her embraced, gave way to such amorous frenzy that again Monica broke from him. 'If you love me, she said in tones of bitter distress, 'you will respect me as much as before I came to you. Help me I am suffering so dreadfully.
But rich as it was, the city was deserted. He entered house after house, but did not find the maiden anywhere. Then he climbed a high balcony built of gems, opened a door, and entered. And there he saw her all alone, lying on a jewelled couch, and clad in splendid garments. He eagerly raised her face to see if it was really she, and saw that it was indeed the maiden he sought.
And a slim young nurse stood beside him, cool and composed in her immaculate uniform, watching the play of light and shadow on a woman who lay asleep on the couch, fresh, young face flushed and upturned, a child's doll cradled between arm and breast. "How long has she been asleep?" asked Selwyn under his breath. "An hour. She fretted a good deal because you had not come.
Over the back of a chair at one side of the fire, was hanging an old suit of Owen's, and some underclothing, which his wife had placed there to air, knowing that he would be wet through by the time he arrived home... The woman was half-sitting, half lying, on a couch by the other side of the fire. She was very thin, and her pale face bore the traces of much physical and mental suffering.
Don't you want to come with me to the fire?" It was Hamilton Dyce to whom the voice belonged. And in five minutes Hamilton Dyce set forth, with Mrs. Sterling's complete approval; a string of boys in his wake, including little Porter, who was parted from Gibson only on her hearing her mistress say, "Yes, indeed, he can go; but do look out for him." Mr. Dyce nodded over to her couch.
Romulus became after a while somewhat arrogant. He dressed in scarlet, received his people lying on a couch of state, and surrounded himself with a body of young soldiers called Celeres, from the swiftness with which they executed his orders.
Having passed the watches of the night in uneasy and inexhaustible reflections, he sprung from his couch as soon as the first dawn of day proclaimed the approaching sun, and took a hasty leave of the hospitable hermit.