Carmilla (Chapter 9, page 1 of 4)


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Chapter 9

As Carmilla would not hear of an attendant sleeping in her room, my
father arranged that a servant should sleep outside her door, so that
she would not attempt to make another such excursion without being
arrested at her own door.

That night passed quietly; and next morning early, the doctor, whom my
father had sent for without telling me a word about it, arrived to
see me.

Madame accompanied me to the library; and there the grave little doctor,
with white hair and spectacles, whom I mentioned before, was waiting to
receive me.

I told him my story, and as I proceeded he grew graver and graver.

We were standing, he and I, in the recess of one of the windows, facing
one another. When my statement was over, he leaned with his shoulders
against the wall, and with his eyes fixed on me earnestly, with an
interest in which was a dash of horror.

After a minute's reflection, he asked Madame if he could see my father.

He was sent for accordingly, and as he entered, smiling, he said: "I dare say, doctor, you are going to tell me that I am an old fool for
having brought you here; I hope I am."

But his smile faded into shadow as the doctor, with a very grave face,
beckoned him to him.

He and the doctor talked for some time in the same recess where I had
just conferred with the physician. It seemed an earnest and
argumentative conversation. The room is very large, and I and Madame
stood together, burning with curiosity, at the farther end. Not a word
could we hear, however, for they spoke in a very low tone, and the deep
recess of the window quite concealed the doctor from view, and very
nearly my father, whose foot, arm, and shoulder only could we see; and
the voices were, I suppose, all the less audible for the sort of closet
which the thick wall and window formed.

After a time my father's face looked into the room; it was pale,
thoughtful, and, I fancied, agitated.

"Laura, dear, come here for a moment. Madame, we shan't trouble you, the
doctor says, at present."

Accordingly I approached, for the first time a little alarmed; for,
although I felt very weak, I did not feel ill; and strength, one always
fancies, is a thing that may be picked up when we please.

My father held out his hand to me, as I drew near, but he was looking at
the doctor, and he said: "It certainly is very odd; I don't understand it quite. Laura, come
here, dear; now attend to Doctor Spielsberg, and recollect yourself."

"You mentioned a sensation like that of two needles piercing the skin,
somewhere about your neck, on the night when you experienced your first
horrible dream. Is there still any soreness?"

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