When Lady Isabel lay down to rest, she sank into a somewhat calmer sleep than she had known of late; also into a dream. She thought she was back at East Lynne—not back, in one sense, but that she seemed never to have gone away from it—walking in the flower garden with Mr. Carlyle, while the three children played on the lawn. Her arm was within her husband’s, and he was relating something to her. What the news was, she could not remember afterward, excepting that it was connected with the office and old Mr. Dill, and that Mr. Carlyle laughed when he told it. They appeared to be interrupted by the crying of Archibald; and, in turning to the lawn to ask what was the matter, she awoke. Alas! It was the actual crying of her own child which awoke her—this last child—the ill-fated little being in the cradle beside her. But, for a single instant, she forgot recent events and doings, she believed she was indeed in her happy home at East Lynne, a proud woman, an honored wife. As recollection flashed across her, with its piercing stings, she gave vent to a sharp cry of agony, of unavailing despair.
ALONE FOR EVERMORE.
A surprise awaited Lady Isabel Vane. It was on a windy day in the following March that a traveller arrived at Grenoble, and inquired his way of a porter, to the best hotel in the place, his French being such as only an Englishman can produce.
“Hotel? Let’s see,” returned the man, politely, but with native indifference. “There are two hotels, nearly contiguous to each other, and monsieur would find himself comfortable at either. There is the Tross Dauphins, and there is the Ambassadeurs.”
“Monsieur” chose haphazard, the Hotel des Ambassadeurs, and was conducted to it. Shortly after his arrival there, he inquired his road to the Place Grenette, and was offered to be shown: but he preferred that it should be described to him, and to go alone. The Place was found, and he thence turned to the apartments of Lady Isabel Vane.
Lady Isabel was sitting where you saw her the previous December—in the precise spot—courting the warmth of the fire, and it seemed, courting the sparks also, for they appeared as fond of her as formerly. The marvel was, how she had escaped spontaneous combustion; but there she was yet, and her clothes likewise. You might think that but a night had passed, when you looked at the room, for it wore precisely the same aspect now, as then; everything was the same, even to the child’s cradle in the remote corner, partially hidden by the bed-curtains, and the sleeping child in it. Lady Isabel’s progress toward recovery was remarkably lingering, as is frequently the case when mind and body are both diseased. She was so sitting when Susanne entered the room, and said that a “Monsieur Anglais” had arrived in the town to see her, and was waiting below, in the saloon.