Carmilla (Chapter 6, page 1 of 3)


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Chapter 6

When we got into the drawing room, and had sat down to our coffee and
chocolate, although Carmilla did not take any, she seemed quite herself
again, and Madame, and Mademoiselle De Lafontaine, joined us, and made a
little card party, in the course of which papa came in for what he
called his "dish of tea."

When the game was over he sat down beside Carmilla on the sofa, and
asked her, a little anxiously, whether she had heard from her mother
since her arrival.

She answered "No."

He then asked whether she knew where a letter would reach her at
present.

"I cannot tell," she answered ambiguously, "but I have been thinking of
leaving you; you have been already too hospitable and too kind to me. I
have given you an infinity of trouble, and I should wish to take a
carriage tomorrow, and post in pursuit of her; I know where I shall
ultimately find her, although I dare not yet tell you."

"But you must not dream of any such thing," exclaimed my father, to my
great relief. "We can't afford to lose you so, and I won't consent to
your leaving us, except under the care of your mother, who was so good
as to consent to your remaining with us till she should herself return.
I should be quite happy if I knew that you heard from her: but this
evening the accounts of the progress of the mysterious disease that has
invaded our neighborhood, grow even more alarming; and my beautiful
guest, I do feel the responsibility, unaided by advice from your mother,
very much. But I shall do my best; and one thing is certain, that you
must not think of leaving us without her distinct direction to that
effect. We should suffer too much in parting from you to consent to
it easily."

"Thank you, sir, a thousand times for your hospitality," she answered,
smiling bashfully. "You have all been too kind to me; I have seldom been
so happy in all my life before, as in your beautiful chateau, under your
care, and in the society of your dear daughter."

So he gallantly, in his old-fashioned way, kissed her hand, smiling and
pleased at her little speech.

I accompanied Carmilla as usual to her room, and sat and chatted with
her while she was preparing for bed.

"Do you think," I said at length, "that you will ever confide fully in
me?"

She turned round smiling, but made no answer, only continued to smile on
me.

"You won't answer that?" I said. "You can't answer pleasantly; I ought
not to have asked you."

"You were quite right to ask me that, or anything. You do not know how
dear you are to me, or you could not think any confidence too great to
look for. But I am under vows, no nun half so awfully, and I dare not
tell my story yet, even to you. The time is very near when you shall
know everything. You will think me cruel, very selfish, but love is
always selfish; the more ardent the more selfish. How jealous I am you
cannot know. You must come with me, loving me, to death; or else hate me
and still come with me, and hating me through death and after. There
is no such word as indifference in my apathetic nature."

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