“Would you have me go to you penniless? I will come to you with a fortune. Believe me, trust me, and wait. You will be on the stone terrace at twelve to-night?”
“She will,” said the American. “I’ll wait in the boat. ’Tain’t likely they want me to be present at their interview. Just remind my lady to fetch along the three hundred pounds, and don’t let her fail to come. I want to sail in the ‘Angelina Dobbs’ to-night.”
“She will not fail. She will come.”
Her eyes blazed up with a lurid fire as she said it.
“She will be there,” she said, “and she shall fetch the three hundred pounds. Do you not fail!”
“I will not. Will you be there, too, Sybilla?”
“I? Of course not. There is no need of me.”
“Then we say good-bye here?”
“Yes. Good-bye until we meet in New York.”
“I will write to you from there,” he said, wringing her hand. “Good-bye, Sybilla! I will be at the trysting-place to-night. Be sure the other party is, too.”
“Without fail. Adieu, and—forever!”
She waved her hand and flitted away, uttering the last word under her breath.
Mr. Parmalee watched her out of sight, heaved a heavy sigh, and went back to the house.
Swiftly Sybilla Silver fluttered along in the chill evening wind, her face to the sunset sky. But not the pale luster of that February sunset lighted her dark face with that lurid light—the flame burned within. Two fierce red spots blazed on either cheek: her eyes glowed like living coals; her hands were clinched under her shawl.
“She will be there,” she whispered, under her breath—“she will be there, but she never will return. By the wrongs of the dead, by the vengeance I have sworn, this night shall be her last on earth. And he shall pay the penalty—my oath will be kept, the astrologer’s prediction fulfilled, and Zenith the gypsy avenged!”
“HAVE YOU PRAYED TO-NIGHT, DESDEMONA?”
The sun went down—a fierce and wrathful sunset. Black and brazen yellow flamed in the western sky; the sea lay glassy and breathless; the wind came in fitful gusts until the sun went down, and then died out in dead and ominous calm; night fell an hour before its time.
My lady sat by her chamber window, looking out at black sea and blacker sky. Exquisite pictures, wonderful bric-a-brac treasures, inlaid tables and cabinets, richest carpets and curtains, and chairs that were like ivory touched up with gold, made the room a miracle of beauty.
But my lady herself, sitting alone amid the rose-colored curtains, looking blankly out at the menacing sky, wore a face as dark as that sky itself. She had wasted to a shadow; dark circles under her hollow eyes told of sleepless nights and wretched days; her cheeks were haggard, her lips bloodless.