Carmilla (Chapter 3, page 1 of 5)


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Chapter 3

We followed the cortege with our eyes until it was swiftly lost to
sight in the misty wood; and the very sound of the hoofs and the wheels
died away in the silent night air.

Nothing remained to assure us that the adventure had not been an
illusion of a moment but the young lady, who just at that moment opened
her eyes. I could not see, for her face was turned from me, but she
raised her head, evidently looking about her, and I heard a very sweet
voice ask complainingly, "Where is mamma?"

Our good Madame Perrodon answered tenderly, and added some comfortable
assurances.

I then heard her ask: "Where am I? What is this place?" and after that she said, "I don't see
the carriage; and Matska, where is she?"

Madame answered all her questions in so far as she understood them; and
gradually the young lady remembered how the misadventure came about, and
was glad to hear that no one in, or in attendance on, the carriage was
hurt; and on learning that her mamma had left her here, till her return
in about three months, she wept.

I was going to add my consolations to those of Madame Perrodon when
Mademoiselle De Lafontaine placed her hand upon my arm, saying: "Don't approach, one at a time is as much as she can at present converse
with; a very little excitement would possibly overpower her now."

As soon as she is comfortably in bed, I thought, I will run up to her
room and see her.

My father in the meantime had sent a servant on horseback for the
physician, who lived about two leagues away; and a bedroom was being
prepared for the young lady's reception.

The stranger now rose, and leaning on Madame's arm, walked slowly over
the drawbridge and into the castle gate.

In the hall, servants waited to receive her, and she was conducted
forthwith to her room. The room we usually sat in as our drawing room is
long, having four windows, that looked over the moat and drawbridge,
upon the forest scene I have just described.

It is furnished in old carved oak, with large carved cabinets, and the
chairs are cushioned with crimson Utrecht velvet. The walls are covered
with tapestry, and surrounded with great gold frames, the figures being
as large as life, in ancient and very curious costume, and the subjects
represented are hunting, hawking, and generally festive. It is not too
stately to be extremely comfortable; and here we had our tea, for with
his usual patriotic leanings he insisted that the national beverage
should make its appearance regularly with our coffee and chocolate.

We sat here this night, and with candles lighted, were talking over the
adventure of the evening.

Madame Perrodon and Mademoiselle De Lafontaine were both of our party.
The young stranger had hardly lain down in her bed when she sank into a
deep sleep; and those ladies had left her in the care of a servant.

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