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It was a coffin; and on the lid was a plate, with the inscription in French: PIERRE DE LA ROCHE ST. AMAND. AGE DE XXIII ANS. I drew back with a double shock. So, then, the funeral after all had not yet left! Here lay the body. I had been deceived. This, no doubt, accounted for the embarrassment so manifest in the Countess's manner.

The countess's subtle arguments and shameful sophistry neither moved nor convinced her; but she had not the courage to resist the tearful entreaties of her mother, who ended by falling on her knees, and with clasped hands imploring her child to save her from worse than death.

"Peace thou!" said Toxartis, "or I will do a deed that misbecomes a soldier, and rid the world of a prating old man." So saying, he put forth his hand to take hold of the Countess's veil.

The Countess turned her eyes to the King as she spoke, with a look which was probably intended as a reproach, but the breast of Louis was armed against all such artillery. On the contrary, waving slowly his expanded hands, and looking around the circle, he seemed to make a triumphant appeal to all present, upon the testimony borne to his innocence in the Countess's reply.

He carried his terrible secret with him to the grave. There was one other event in the memorable past on which he preserved the same compassionate silence. Little Mrs. Ferrari never knew that her husband had been not, as she supposed, the Countess's victim but the Countess's accomplice.

Certainly, Tony Foster would scarcely have recognized his demure little Puritan under the little lace hood, the purple bodice, and white skirt, at which Clara looked with such exultation; and Janet was further to be supposed to have taken possession of the Countess's orient neck-pearls, and was to wear them as the only ornament that could with any propriety be bestowed on her.

The main portion of Heinz Schorlin's task was completed when the countess's ambassador reached him, so he set out on his homeward way at once, and this time his silent friend had been eloquent and told him everything which had occurred during his absence.

Andrew, feeling herself responsible as the young lady's hostess, did not acquiesce in the Countess's views till she had consulted Juliana; and then apologies for giving trouble were breathed on the one hand; sympathy, condolences, and professions of esteem, on the other. Juliana said, she was but slightly ill, would soon recover.

The large room was separated from the next chamber only by a wooden wall, since, in times of greater splendour, both rooms had formed a single, large festive hall. The shimmering light came from a silver chandelier, which stood below on the table in front of the countess's couch, and cast the portraits on the wall only in a flickering light.

Harry made his way to join his friend Ferdinand, and furnished him with the latest London news not likely to appear in the papers. Laxley was distant and unamused. From the fact, too, that Harry was known to be the Countess's slave, his presence produced the same effect in the different circles about the grounds, as did that of John Raikes.

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