Lady Emily’s room likewise looked out upon the Ghost’s Walk. Margaret heard the cry as she sat by the sleeping Emily; and, not knowing whence it came, went, naturally enough, in her perplexity, to the window. From it she could see distinctly, for it was clear moonlight: a white figure went gliding away along the deserted avenue. She immediately guessed what the cry had meant; but as she had heard a door bang directly after (as Harry shut his behind him with a terrified instinct, to keep the awful window in), she was not very uneasy about him. She felt besides that she must remain where she was, according to her promise to Lady Emily. But she resolved to be prepared for the possible recurrence of the same event, and accordingly revolved it in her mind. She was sure that any report of it coming to Lady Emily’s ears, would greatly impede her recovery; for she instinctively felt that her illness had something to do with the questionable occupations in the library. She watched by her bedside all the night, slumbering at times, but roused in a moment by any restlessness of the patient; when she found that, simply by laying her hand on hers, or kissing her forehead, she could restore her at once to quiet sleep.
The ghost’s walk.
Thierry. — ’Tis full of fearful shadows.
Ordella. — So is sleep, sir;
Or anything that’s merely ours, and mortal;
We were begotten gods else. But those fears
Feeling but once the fires of nobler thoughts,
Fly, like the shapes of clouds we form, to nothing.
Beaumont and Fletcher. — Thierry and Theodoret.
Margaret sat watching the waking of Lady Emily. Knowing how much the first thought colours the feeling of the whole day, she wished that Lady Emily should at once be aware that she was by her side.
She opened her eyes, and a smile broke over her face when she perceived her nurse. But Margaret did not yet speak to her.
Every nurse should remember that waking ought always to be a gradual operation; and, except in the most triumphant health, is never complete on the opening of the eyes.
“Margaret, I am better,” said Lady Emily, at last.
“I am very glad, my lady.”
“I have been lying awake for some time, and I am sure I am better. I don’t see strange-coloured figures floating about the room as I did yesterday. Were you not out of the room a few minutes ago?”
“Just for one moment, my lady.”
“I knew it. But I did not mind it. Yesterday, when you left me, those figures grew ten times as many, the moment you were gone. But you will stay with me to-day, too, Margaret?” she added, with some anxiety.
“I will, if you find you need me. But I may be forced to leave you a little while this evening — you must try to allow me this, dear Lady Emily.”