The Eighth region is almost symmetrical in shape, extending nearly north and south with a tolerably even breadth from the haunted palace of the Santacroce, where the marble statue of the dead Cardinal comes down from its pedestal to pace the shadowy halls all night, to Santa Maria in Campo Marzo, and cutting off, as it were, the three Regions so long held by the Orsini from the rest of the city.
Truth to tell, in this battle he had fought for victory for his ship and a fall for himself: for the fruit he had plucked was turning to dust and ashes. He was haunted by the memory of a wronged woman, as she herself had foretold. Death, with the burial of private dishonour under the roses of public victory that had come to be his desire.
But to Jimbo it was a new and horrible idea that the Empty House, haunted hitherto only by rather jolly and wonderful Red Indians, contained a Monster who might take him prisoner, and the thought made him feel afraid. The mischief had, of course, been done, and the terror in his eyes was unmistakable, when the foolish governess saw her mistake.
They reached her just as she closed the door of the basement after her, and May hung back at first, half frightened as she looked into the dismal place; but Biddy encouraged her, so that she just ventured within the door, and handed the small parcel; then she would go home, for a vague feeling of evil haunted her timid mind in that dark and lone spot.
"Well, it is better that the truth has come out, because everything can be put right. I was going to make you pay back the thousand dollars to Mortimer I was going to drive you from the bank I was going to let it be known that you had stolen the money, but now, I must think. You must have another chance. It's a dangerous thing to wreck lives " "My God! it is; that's what haunted me night and day.
Thus for hour after hour we crept up and on, occasionally butting into the trunk of a tree or stumbling over a fallen bough, but meeting with no other adventures or obstacles of a physical kind. Of moral, or rather mental, obstacles there were many, since to all of us the atmosphere of this forest was as that of a haunted house.
Then for some while we waited while I struggled with the situation; conversation flowed slowly. And again the draught came trailing up the room, while the flaring candles filled it with hurrying shadows. "Ah, late again, Cicely," said my host in his soft, mournful way. "Always late, Cicely." Then I went down to dinner with that man and his mind and the twelve phantoms that haunted it.
Here beginneth again another branch of the Graal in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Messire Gawain goeth his way and evening draweth on; and on his right hand was there a narrow pathway that seemed him to be haunted of folk.
As he puffed at his second pipe he congratulated himself on his long acquaintance with Frenchmen, who had no scruples in giving him whole packages of this excellent tobacco; and no conditions attached except the fun of helping to hide it in the caves below the Haunted House, till it could be conveyed to Brittany! Then he laughed aloud at the idea of the countryside about this very Haunted House.
This, the highest and mightiest of all ambitions, one, too, that is perfectly logical, was attained by Augustus, emperor and pontiff, master of all the known world; and it is the glorious figure of Augustus, ever rising anew from among the ruins of ancient Rome, which has always haunted the popes; it is his blood which has pulsated in their veins.