Falconer joined Hugh at the Golden Staff, at night; but they had no better success than before. Falconer went out alone, for Hugh wanted to keep himself fresh. Though very strong, he was younger and less hardened than Falconer, who could stand an incredible amount of labour and lack of sleep. Hugh would have given way under the half.
O my admired mistress, quench not out
The holy fires within you, though temptations
Shower down upon you: clasp thine armour on;
Fight well, and thou shalt see, after these wars,
Thy head wear sunbeams, and thy feet touch stars.
Massinger. — The Virgin Martyr.
But Hugh could sleep no more than if he had been out with Falconer. He was as restless as a wild beast in a cage. Something would not let him be at peace. So he rose, dressed, and went out. As soon as he turned the corner, he could see Mrs. Elton’s house. It was visible both by intermittent moonlight above, and by flickering gaslight below, for the wind blew rather strong. There was snow in the air, he knew. The light they had observed last night, was burning now. A moment served to make these observations; and then Hugh’s eyes were arrested by the sight of something else — a man walking up and down the pavement in front of Mrs. Elton’s house. He instantly stepped into the shadow of a porch to watch him. The figure might be the count’s; it might not; he could not be sure. Every now and then the man looked up to the windows. At length he stopped right under the lighted one, and looked up. Hugh was on the point of gliding out, that he might get as near him as possible before rushing on him, when, at the moment, to his great mortification, a policeman emerged from some mysterious corner, and the figure instantly vanished in another. Hugh did not pursue him; because it would be to set all on a single chance, and that a poor one; for if the count, should it be he, succeeded in escaping, he would not return to a spot which he knew to be watched. Hugh, therefore, withdrew once more under a porch, and waited. But, whatever might be the cause, the man made his appearance no more. Hugh contrived to keep watch for two hours, in spite of suspicious policemen. He slept late into the following morning.
Calling at Mrs. Elton’s, he learned that the count had not been there; that Miss Cameron had been very ill all night; but that she was rather better since the morning.
That night, as the preceding, Margaret had awaked suddenly. Euphra was not in the bed beside her. She started up in an agony of terror; but it was soon allayed, though not removed. She saw Euphra on her knees at the foot of the bed, an old-fashioned four-post one. She had her arms twined round one of the bed-posts, and her head thrown back, as if some one were pulling her backwards by her hair,