There were no more words spoken between them. A long kiss, and they separated. But for the first time Mrs. Costello did not visit her daughter’s room—she guessed that a battle had to be fought there in solitude, and that hers was not the only vigil kept that night. So the two watched apart; and the dawn, which was not far distant when they bade each other good-night, came in and found them both looking out with sleepless eyes at the grey sky and the familiar landscape, from which they were each planning to escape for ever.
But as the sky reddened, Lucia remembered that her sleepless night would leave traces which she wished to avoid, in her pale cheeks and heavy eyes. She lay down therefore, and at last fell asleep. Her over-excited brain, however, could not rest; the most troubled and fantastic dreams came to her,—her mother, Mary Wanita, Percy, Maurice, and many other persons seemed to surround her—but in every change of scene there appeared the shadowy figure of her father, constantly working or threatening harm. Sometimes she saw him as he looked in his portrait, and shrank from him as a kind of evil genius, beautiful and yet terrible—sometimes like the Indian who had met her by the river, a hideous, scarcely human object. Then, last of all, she saw him distinctly, as the scene her mother had described, the last time when she had really seen him, came before her, not by the power of imagination but of memory. For, waking up, she knew that, impressed upon her childish recollection by terror, that scene had never been entirely forgotten. Having no clue to its reality, she had always supposed it to be a dream; but now as it came back with some degree of vividness, she saw plainly the face which was neither that of the likeness nor that of her assailant, but might well be a link between the two—the same face in transition.
The idea was too horrible. She rose, and tried by hurried dressing to drive it from her mind; but it returned persistently. She went, at last, to her looking-glass and looked into it with a terror of herself. Never was ugliness so hateful as the beauty she saw there. For there could be no doubt about this, at least; except for the softening into womanly traits, and for a slightly fairer complexion, the picture her glass showed her was a faithful copy of that other, which she had seen for the first time last night. What beauty her mother had ever possessed had been thoroughly English in its character—hers was wholly Indian. She turned away with a feeling of loathing for herself, and a fearful glance into her heart as if to seek there also for some proof of this hateful birthright.