Vendetta: a story of one forgotten eBook

Marie Corelli
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 542 pages of information about Vendetta.
I approached my destination.  I was full of sweet anticipation and passionate longing—­I yearned to clasp my beloved Nina in my arms—­ to see her lovely lustrous eyes looking fondly into mine—­I was eager to shake Guido by the hand—­and as for Stella, I knew the child would be in bed at that hour, but still, I thought, I must have her wakened to see me.  I felt that my happiness would not be complete till I had kissed her little cherub face, and caressed those clustering curls of hers that were like spun gold.  Hush—­hush!  What was that?  I stopped in my rapid progress as though suddenly checked by an invisible hand.  I listened with strained ears.  That sound—­was it not a rippling peal of gay sweet laughter?  A shiver shook me from head to foot.  It was my wife’s laugh—­I knew the silvery chime of it well!  My heart sunk coldly—­I paused irresolute.  She could laugh then like that, while she thought me lying dead—­ dead and out of her reach forever!  All at once I perceived the glimmer of a white robe through the trees; obeying my own impulse, I stepped softly aside—­I hid behind a dense screen of foliage through which I could see without being seen.  The clear laugh rang out once again on the stillness—­its brightness pierced my brain like a sharp sword!  She was happy—­she was even merry—­she wandered here in the moonlight joyous-hearted, while I—­I had expected to find her close shut within her room, or else kneeling before the Mater Dolorosa in the little chapel, praying for my soul’s rest, and mingling her prayers with her tears!  Yes—­I had expected this—­we men are such fools when we love women!  Suddenly a terrible thought struck me.  Had she gone mad?  Had the shock and grief of my so unexpected death turned her delicate brain?  Was she roaming about, poor child, like Ophelia, knowing not whither she went, and was her apparent gayety the fantastic mirth of a disordered brain?  I shuddered at the idea—­ and bending slightly apart the boughs behind which I was secreted, I looked out anxiously.  Two figures were slowly approaching—­my wife and my friend, Guido Ferrari.  Well—­there was nothing in that—­it was as it should be—­was not Guido as my brother?  It was almost his duty to console and cheer Nina as much as lay in his power.  But stay! stay! did I see aright—­was she simply leaning on his arm for support—­or—­a fierce oath, that was almost a cry of torture, broke from my lips!  Oh, would to God I had died!  Would to God I had never broken open the coffin in which I lay at peace!  What was death—­what were the horrors of the vault—­what was anything I had suffered to the anguish that racked me now?  The memory of it to this day burns in my brain like inextinguishable fire, and my hand involuntarily clinches itself in an effort to beat back the furious bitterness of that moment!  I know not how I restrained the murderous ferocity that awoke within me—­how I forced myself to remain motionless and silent in my hiding-place.  But I did.  I watched the
Project Gutenberg
Vendetta: a story of one forgotten from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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