網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

white moss-rosebud, utterly ignorant of the world and its evil ways, with all her life before her, and her childhood barely left behind. So Jo observed and studied the motley company before her, the pretty and the ugly, the good and the bad, some of them seemed really happy, but some she felt sure were only making believe.

All of a sudden there was a general confusion near the entrance of the room, the music clanged discordantly and then was still, while sounds of weeping and wailing fellon

the ear. Then Jo saw Dorothy, with a look of anguish on her lovely face, clasping in her arms her baby -dead!—and she knew that Philip in his anger had done this thing.

She next saw that Philip and Geoffrey were preparing to fight, and shrinking back into a corner she watched the duel. Geoffrey, who was evidently much excited, lunged wildly at his opponent, who parried each blow with consummate skill and coolness watching his opportunity to strike home between the lunges. His coolness was however of no avail, for in trying to disengage and disarm his enemy, one of Geoffrey's random lunges pierced his left side and Philip fell mortally wounded. Dorothy was quickly on her knees trying to staunch the flow of blood, as Philip lay apparently unconscious, with his life slowly ebbing away.

Suddenly he rallied, and flinging one arm round the kneeling Dorothy he drew her down close to him. Their lips met in one passionate, lingering, farewell kiss, and as they parted he passed his hand quickly across her neck. As she staggered to her feet it seemed as if the rubies were falling from her necklace. But no! It was her warm red blood that was dropping slowly down and staining the spotless purity of her white robe.

A blood-curdling shriek rang through the room, followed by a general hubbub and confusion. Then all seemed to become indistinct before Jo's eyes, but she heard the wailing of wild, unearthly music mingling with a very medley of sound, all becoming louder and yet at the same time

confused. Angry voices, weary sighs and groans, and miserable sobs. Jo's head was throbbing and all her pulses were tingling, and the air seemed to be growing unbearably heavy. All she saw and heard seemed to be fading away into the distance. She made one effort to pull herself together but it was gasping for breath, she sank down in a

more

no

use, and CHAPTER XI.

swoon and knew no

more,

What Jo Discovered.

When Jo recovered consciousness the room was again in darkness save for the moonlight which shone through the unshuttered windows. She lay quite still feeling too weak and exhausted to exert herself.

A slight noise made her open her eyes, and she saw Dorothy, dressed once more in the brown taffeta, gliding towards her, lit up by a vague mysterious light. When quite near she paused and beckoned anxiously. Jo however felt that she could stand no more that night, so shutting her

« 上一頁繼續 »