The noise approached, and a voice was heard exclaiming, not far from the doer: “Good heavens! what a smell of fire!”
And, at the same instant, the door was violently shaken, and another voice exclaimed: “Open! open!”
“They will come in—they will save me—and my sister is dead—Oh, no! I will not have the baseness to survive her!”
Such was the last thought of Cephyse. Using what little strength she had left, she ran to the window and opened it—and, at the same instant that the half-broken door yielded to a vigorous effort from without, the unfortunate creature precipitated herself from that third story into the court below. Just then, Adrienne and Agricola appeared on the threshold of the chamber. In spite of the stifling odor of the charcoal, Mdlle. de Cardoville rushed into the garret, and, seeing the stove, she exclaimed, “The unhappy girl has killed herself!”
“No, she has thrown herself from the window,” cried Agricola: for, at the moment of breaking open the door, he had seen a human form disappear in that direction, and he now ran to the window.
“Oh! this is frightful!” he exclaimed, with a cry of horror, as he put his hand before his eyes, and returned pale and terrified to Mdlle. de Cardoville.
But, misunderstanding the cause of his terror, Adrienne, who had just perceived Mother Bunch through the darkness, hastened to answer: “No! she is here.”
And she pointed to the pale form stretched on the mattress, beside which Adrienne now threw herself on her knees. Grasping the hands of the poor sempstress, she found them as cold as ice. Laying her hand on her heart, she could not feel it beat. Yet, in a few seconds, as the fresh air rushed into the room from the door and window, Adrienne thought she remarked an almost imperceptible pulsation, and she exclaimed: “Her heart beats! Run quickly for help! Luckily, I have my smelling bottle.”
“Yes, yes! help for her—and for the other too, if it is yet time!” cried the smith in despair, as he rushed down the stairs, leaving Mdlle. de Cardoville still kneeling by the side of the mattress.
By Eugene Sue
XXXIV. More Confessions
XXXV. The Rivals
XXXVI. The Interview
XXXVII. Soothing Words
XXXVIII. The Two Carriages
XXXIX. The Appointment
XLI. Adrienne and Djalma
XLII. “The Imitation”
XLV. The Blockhead
XLVI. The Anonymous Letters
XLVII. The Golden City
XLVIII. The Stung Lion
XLIX. The Test