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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 81 pages of information about Pllas and Mlisande.

They do not answer....

ASTOLAINE.

I heard the water stirred!...  This way, this way!

[They run to the rock that overlooks the underground.]

ONE OF THE SISTERS.

They are there!...

ANOTHER SISTER.

Yes, yes; at the very bottom of the black water....  They embrace.

THIRD SISTER.

They are dead.

FOURTH SISTER.

No, no; they are alive! they are alive!...  See....

THE OTHER SISTERS.

Help! help!...  Call!...

ASTOLAINE.

They make no effort to save themselves!...

ACT FIFTH.

[A corridor, so long that its furthest arches seem to lose themselves in a kind of indoor horizon.  The sisters of Palomides wait before one of the innumerable closed doors that open into this corridor.  They seem to be guarding it.  A little further down, on the opposite side, Astolaine and the Physician converse before another door, also closed.]

ASTOLAINE.

[To the Physician.] Nothing has ever happened until now in this palace, where all things have seemed to be asleep since my sisters died; and my poor old father, pursued by a strange restlessness, has fretted without reason at this calm, which seems, for all that, the least dangerous form of happiness.  Some time ago,—­his reason beginning to totter even then,—­he went up to the top of a high tower; and as he stretched his arms out timidly toward the forests and toward the sea, he said to me—­smiling a little fearfully at his words, as if to disarm my incredulous smile—­that he called about us events which had long been hidden beneath the horizon.  They have come, alas! sooner and more in number than he expected, and a few days have sufficed for them to reign in his stead.  He has been their first victim.  He fled to the meadows, singing, all in tears, the evening when he had little Alladine and luckless Palomides taken down into the crypts.  He has not since been seen.  I have had search made everywhere throughout the country and even on the sea.  He has not been found.  At least, I had hoped to save those he made suffer unwittingly, for he has always been the tenderest of men and the best of fathers; but there, too, I think I came too late.  I do not know what happened.  They have not spoken yet.  They doubtless must have thought, hearing the sound of the iron and seeing all at once the light again, that my father had regretted the kind of surcease he had granted them, and that some one came to bring them death.  Or else they slipped as they drew back, upon the rock that overhangs the lake; and so must have fallen through heedlessness.  But the water is not deep in that spot, and we succeeded in saving them without difficulty.  To-day it is you alone who can do the rest.
                             [THE SISTERS OF PALOMIDES have drawn nearer.

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