Across the Zodiac eBook

Percy Greg
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 490 pages of information about Across the Zodiac.
with a tool adjusted to the machinery, one of the attendants engraved a few characters upon the chest.  Whatever the risk, I could not part with every relic of her we had lost; and, after passing them through such chemical purification as Martial science suggested, I took the three long chestnut locks I had preserved.  Velna’s quick fingers wove them into plaits, one of which I left with her, one bound around my own neck, and one reserved for Eveena.  As soon as the sun had risen, I had despatched a message to the Prince, explaining the danger of infection to which I had been subjected, and asking permission notwithstanding to wait upon him.  The emergency was so pressing that neither sorrow nor peril would allow me to neglect an embassy on which the lives of hundreds, and perhaps the safety of his kingdom, might depend.  Passing Eive as I turned towards Eveena’s room, and fevered with intense thirst, I bade her bring me thither a cup of the carcara.  I need not dwell on the terribly painful moments in which I bound round Eveena’s arm a bracelet prized above all the choicest ornaments she possessed.  To calm her agitation and my own by means of the charny, I sought the keys.  They were not at my belt, and I asked, “Have I returned them to you?”

“Certainly not,” said Eveena, startled.  “Can you not find them?”

At this moment Eive entered the room and presented me with the cup for which I had asked.  It struck me with surprise, even at that moment, that Eveena took it from my hand and carried it first to her own lips.  Eive had turned to leave the room; but before she had reached the threshold Eveena had sprung up, placed her foot upon the spring that closed the door, and snatching the test-stone from my watch chain dipped it into the cup.  Her face turned white as death, while she held up to my eyes the discoloured disc which proved the presence of the deadliest Martial poison.

“Be calm,” she said, as a cry of horror burst from my lips.  “The keys!”

You have them,” Eive said with a gasp, her face still averted.

“I took them from Eveena myself,” I answered sternly.  “Stand back into that corner, Eive,” as I opened the door and called sharply the other members of the household.  When they entered, unable to stand, I had fallen back upon a chair, and called Eive to my side.  As I laid my hand on her arm she threw herself on the floor, screaming and writhing like a terrified child rather than a woman detected in a crime, the conception and execution of which must have required an evil courage and determination happily seldom possessed by women.

“Stand up!” I said.  “Lift her, then, Enva and Eirale.  Unfasten the shoulder-clasps and zone.”

As her outer robe dropped, Eive snatched at an object in its folds, but too late; and the electric keys, which gave access to all my cases, papers, and to the medicine-chest above all, lay glittering on the ground.

“That cup Eive brought to me.  Which of you saw her?”

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Across the Zodiac from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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