Captain Fracasse eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 473 pages of information about Captain Fracasse.
aged years in the last few hours.  Could it be possible that only that very morning she and de Sigognac had been walking together, with hearts full of happiness and peace—­and she had rapturously hailed the appearance of the first spring violet as an omen of good, and gathered the sweet little blossom to bestow upon the devoted lover who adored her?  And now, alas! alas! they were as inexorably and hopelessly separated as if half the globe lay between them.  No wonder that her breast heaved tumultuously with choking sobs, and hot tears rained down over her pallid cheeks, as she wept convulsively at the thought of all she had lost.  But she did not long indulge her grief—­she remembered that at any moment she might have need of all her coolness and fortitude—­and making a mighty effort, like the brave heroine that she was, she regained control over herself, and drove back the gushing tears to await a more fitting season.  She was relieved to find that there were no bars at the window, as she had feared; but upon opening the casement and leaning out she saw immediately beneath her a broad moat, full of stagnant water, which surrounded the chateau, and forbade any hope of succour or escape on that side.  Beyond the moat was a thick grove of large trees, which entirely shut out the view; and she returned to her seat by the fire, more disheartened and cast down than ever.  She was very nervous, and trembled at the slightest sound—­casting hasty, terrified glances round the vast apartment, and dreading lest an unseen door in some shadowy corner should be softly opened, or a hidden panel in the wall be slipped aside, to admit her relentless enemy to her presence.  She remembered all the horrible tales she had ever heard of secret passages and winding staircases in the walls, that are supposed to abound in ancient castles; and the mysterious visitants, both human and supernatural, that are said to be in the habit of issuing from them, in the gloaming, and at midnight.  As the twilight deepened into darkness, her terror increased, and she nearly fainted from fright when a servant suddenly entered with lights.

While poor Isabelle was suffering such agony in one part of the chateau, her abductors were having a grand carouse in another.  They were to remain there for a while as a sort of garrison, in case of an attack by de Sigognac and his friends; and were gathered round the table in a large room down on the ground floor—­as remote as possible from Isabelle’s sumptuous quarters.  They were all drinking like sponges, and making merry over their wine and good cheer, but one of them especially showed the most remarkable and astounding powers of ingurgitation—­it was the man who had carried off the fair prize before him on his horse; and, now that the mask was thrown aside, he disclosed to view the deathly pale face and fiery red nose of Malartic, bosom friend and “alter ego” of Maitre Jacquemin Lampourde.

CHAPTER XVI.  VALLOMBREUSE

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Captain Fracasse from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook