Carmilla (Chapter 8, page 1 of 5)


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Chapter 8

At sight of the room, perfectly undisturbed except for our violent
entrance, we began to cool a little, and soon recovered our senses
sufficiently to dismiss the men. It had struck Mademoiselle that
possibly Carmilla had been wakened by the uproar at her door, and in her
first panic had jumped from her bed, and hid herself in a press, or
behind a curtain, from which she could not, of course, emerge until the
majordomo and his myrmidons had withdrawn. We now recommenced our
search, and began to call her name again.

It was all to no purpose. Our perplexity and agitation increased. We
examined the windows, but they were secured. I implored of Carmilla, if
she had concealed herself, to play this cruel trick no longer--to come
out and to end our anxieties. It was all useless. I was by this time
convinced that she was not in the room, nor in the dressing room, the
door of which was still locked on this side. She could not have passed
it. I was utterly puzzled. Had Carmilla discovered one of those secret
passages which the old housekeeper said were known to exist in the
schloss, although the tradition of their exact situation had been lost?
A little time would, no doubt, explain all--utterly perplexed as, for
the present, we were.

It was past four o'clock, and I preferred passing the remaining hours of
darkness in Madame's room. Daylight brought no solution of the
difficulty.

The whole household, with my father at its head, was in a state of
agitation next morning. Every part of the chateau was searched. The
grounds were explored. No trace of the missing lady could be discovered.
The stream was about to be dragged; my father was in distraction; what a
tale to have to tell the poor girl's mother on her return. I, too, was
almost beside myself, though my grief was quite of a different kind.

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