“You see something,” she breathed sorrowfully in my ear.
“Not yet, not yet,” I whispered. “But it is coming. Yes, I see myself, and—and—a woman—a very pretty woman. I am clasping her hand.”
“Don’t you recognize the woman?” Again Emmeline’s voice vibrated like a lamentation in my ear. I did recognize the woman, and the sweat stood on my brow.
“It is Rosetta Rosa!”
“And what else do you see?” my questioner pursued remorselessly.
“I see a figure behind us,” I stammered, “but what figure I cannot make out. It is threatening me. It is threatening me! It is a horrible thing. It will kill me! Ah—!”
I jumped up with a nervous movement. The crystal, left to itself, rolled off the table to the floor, and fell with a thud unbroken on the soft carpet. And I could hear the intake of Emmeline’s breath.
At that moment the double portiere was pulled apart, and some one stood there in the red light from the Japanese lantern.
“Is Mr. Foster here? I want him to come with me,” said a voice. And it was the voice of Rosa.
Just behind her was Sullivan.
“I expected you’d be here,” laughed Sullivan.
THE DAGGER AND THE MAN
Rosetta Rosa and I threaded through the crowd towards the Embankment entrance of the Gold Rooms. She had spoken for a few moments with Emmeline, who went pale with satisfaction at the candid friendliness of her tone, and she had chatted quite gaily with Sullivan himself; and we had all been tremendously impressed by her beauty and fine grace—I certainly not the least. And then she had asked me, with a quality of mysteriousness in her voice, to see her to her carriage.
And, with her arm in mine, it was impossible for me to believe that she could influence, in any evil way, my future career. That she might be the cause of danger to my life seemed ridiculous. She was the incarnation of kindliness and simplicity. She had nothing about her of the sinister, and further, with all her transcendent beauty and charm, she was also the incarnation of the matter-of-fact. I am obliged to say this, though I fear that it may impair for some people the vision of her loveliness and her unique personality. She was the incarnation of the matter-of-fact, because she appeared to be invariably quite unconscious of the supremacy of her talents. She was not weighed down by them, as many artists of distinction are weighed down. She carried them lightly, seemingly unaware that they existed. Thus no one could have guessed that that very night she had left the stage of the Opera after an extraordinary triumph in her greatest role—that of Isolde in “Tristan.”