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About The McCook tribune. (McCook, Neb.) 1886-1936 | View Entire Issue (June 9, 1893)
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CHAPTER XVIII—Coktini Ki>.
“You can put people to sleep?
Anvbody?” Sister Paul opened her
faded eyes very wide. “But that is
not natural,” she add d in a per
plexed tone. “And what is not nat
ural cannot be right.”
“And is all right that is natural?”
asked Unorna thoughtfully.
“It is not natural,” repeated the
other. “How do you do it? Do you
use strange words and herbs and in
Unorna laughed again, but the nun
seemed shocked by her levity', and
she forced herself to bo grave.
“Mo, indeed!” she answered. “I
look into their eyes, and tell them to
sleep—and they do. Poor Sister Paul!
You are behind the age in the dear
old convent here! The thing is done
in half the great hospitals of Europe
every day, and men and women are
cured in that way of diseases that
paralyze them in body as well as in
mind. Men study to learn how it is
done—it is n- common to-day as a
means of healing as the medicines yv r
know by name and taste. It is calle i
And again the sister •atti her
“I have heard the vr ”
she said, as though 4 ere
was something diabo.t*- ‘ And
do you heal the sick la b
means of this—thing •'
“Sometimes,” tbi.r* . --a.
"There is an old man, •« •■ h:c,
whom I have kept »ii, - r many
years by making him sU e gi en
deal.” Unorna smiled t l)„ka.
“But have you no words *ik’
“Nothing. It is my will. That is
“But if it is of good, and not of the
evil one, there should be a prayer
with it. Could you not say a prayer
with it, Unorna?”
“I dare say 1 could,” replied the
other, trying not to laugh. “But
that would be doing two things at
once—my will would be weakened.”
“It cannot be of good,” said the
nun, “It is not. natural, and it is
not true that the prayer can detract
the will from the performance of a
good deed.” She shook her head
more energetically than usual. “And
it is not good, either, that you should
be called a witch, you who have lived
here among us.”
“It is not my fault,” exclaimed
Unorna, somewhat annoyed by her
persistence. “And, besides, Sister
Baul, even if the. devil is in it, it
would be right all the same.”
The nun held up her hands in holy
horror, and her jaw dropped.
“My child! my child! How can you
say such things to me?”
•‘It is very true, “Unorna answered,
quietly smiling at her amazement.
••If people who are ill are made well,
i9 it not a real good, even if the evil
one does it? Is it not good to make
him do good, if one can, even against
“No, no!” cried Sister Paul, in
great distress. “Do not talk like
that—let us not talk of it at all!
Whatever it is, it is bad, and I do not
understand it, and I am sure that none
of us here could, no matter how well
you explained it. Unorna, my dear
child, then say a prayer each time,
against temptation and the devil’s
With that the good nun crossed her
self a third time, and, unconsciously,
from force of habit, began to tell ,heij>
beads with one hand, mechanically
smoothing her broad starched collar
with the other. Unorna was silent
for a few minutes, plucking at the
sable lining of the cloak which lay be
side her upon the sofa where she had
“Let us talk of other things,” she
said at last. “Talk of the other lady
who is here. Who is she? What
briDgs her into retreat at this time of
“Poor thing—yes, she is very un
happy,” answered Sister Paul. “It
is a sad story, so far as I have heard
it. Her father is just dead, and she
is alone in the world. The abbess
received a letter yesterday frcm the
cardinal archbishop, requesting that
she would receive her, and this morn
ing she came. His eminence knew
her father, it appears. She is only to
be here for a short time, I believe,
until her relations come to take’
her home to her own country.
Her father was taken ill
in a country place near the city,
which he had hired for the shooting
season, and the poor girl was left all
alone out there. The cardinal thought
she would be safer and perhaps less
unhappy with us while she is wait
“Of course.” said Unorna, with a
faint interest. “How old is she, poor
‘‘She is not a child—she must be
five and twenty years old, though
perhaps, her sorrow makes her look
older than she is.”
“And what is her name?”
“Beatrice—I cannot remember the
name of her family." Unorna started.
Author eP-- -Jar. raaaca' art
“We were talking together, this
woman and I. She looked at me—she
was angry—and then I fainted, or
fell asleep, I cannot tell which. I
awoke in the dark to find myself lying
on the altar here. Then she took hold
of me and tried to make me sleep
again. But I would not. Let her ex
plain. herself, what she has done,
and why she brought me here!”
Sister Paul turned to Unorna and
met the full glare of her catlike eyes
with her own calm, half-heavenly
look of innocence.
“What have you done UnornaP
What have you done?” she asked very
But Unorna did not answer. She
only looked at the nun more lixedly
“Sleep!" said Unorna. putting up
her hand. “Sleep, I command you!”
But Sister Paul’s eyes did not
waver. A sad smile played for a mo
ment upon her waxen features.
"You have no power over me—for
your power is not of good," she said,
slowly and softly.
Then she quietly turned to Beatrice
and took her hand.
“Come with me, my daughter.” I
have a light and will take you to a
place where you will be safe. She
will not trouble you any more to
night. Say a prayer, my child, and
do not be afraid.”
“I am not afraid,” said Beatrice.
“But where is she?” she asked sud
Unorna had glided away while they
were speaking. Sister Paul held the
lamp high and looked in all directions.
Then she heard the heavy door of the
sacristy swing upon its hinges and
strike with a soft thud against the
small leathern cushion. Both women
followed her, but as they opened the
door again a blast of cold air almost
extinguished the lamp. The night
wind was blowing in from the street.
“She is gone out,” said Sister Paul.
• Alone and at this hour—Heaven help
her!” It was as she said. Unorna
After leaving Unorna at the con
vent, the Wanderer had not hesitated
as to the course he should pursue.
Meanwhile, she was in danger. She
had aroused the violent and deadly
resentment of Israel Kafka, a man
who, if not positively insane, as Ke
york Arabian had hinted, was by no
means in a normal state of mind or
body; a man beside himself with love
and anger, and absolutely reckless of
life for the time being; a man who,
for the security of all concerned, must
be at least temporarily confined in a
place of safety, until a proper treat
ment and the lapse of a certain length
of time should bring him to his senses.
There were two reasons which de
termined the Wanderer to turn to Ke
york Arabian for assistance, besides his
wish to see the bad business end
quickly and without publicity. Ke
york, so far as the Wanderer was
aware, was himself treating Israel
Kafka’s case, and would, therefore,
know what to do, if any one knew at
all. Secondly, it was clear from
the message which Unorna had
left with the porter of her
own house that she expected
Keyork to come at any moment. He
was, then, in immediate danger of be
ing brought face to face with Israel
Kafka without having received the
least warning of his present condition,
and it was impossible to say what the
infuriated youth might do at such a
moment. He had been shut up, caught
in his own trap, as it were, for some
time, and his anger and madness
might reasonably be supposed to have
been aggravated rather than cooled
by his unexpected confinement.
The Wanderer drove to Keyork
Arabian's house, and, leaving his car
riage to wait in case of need, ascended
the stairs and knocked at the door.
‘ ‘My dear friend!” Keyork exclaimed
in lus richest and deepest voice, as he
recognized the Wanderer. • ‘Come in.
I am delighted to see you. You will
join me at supper. This is good in
He took his visitor by the arm and
led him in. Upon one of the tables
stood a round brass platter covered,
so far as it was visible, with arabic In
scriptions, and highly polished—one
of those commonly used all over the
East at the present day for the same
purpose. Upon this were placed at
landom several silver bowls, mere
hemispheres, without feet, remaining
in a convenient position by their
own weight. One of these contained
snowy rice, in that perfectly dry but
tender state dear to the taste of Ori
entals; in another there was a savory,
steaming mess of tender capon,
chopped in pieces with spices and<
aromatic herbs; a third contained a
pure white curd of milk, and a fourth
was heaped up with rare fruits.
A flagon of Bohemian glass, clear and
bright as rock crystal and covered
with very beautiful traceries of black
and gold, with a drinking vessel of
the same design, stood upon the table
beside the platter.
“My simple meal,” said Keyork,
spreading out hla hands and smiling j
faces of the two women, as they ki
there almost side by side.
The sweet singing of the nun.
came softly up irom below, echoing i>
the groined roof, rising and falling
high and low, and the full radiano
of the many waxen tapers shorn
stqodily from tho great altar, glidin'
and warming statue and cornice ant
ancient moulding, and casting deej
shadows into all the places that i
could not reach. And still the twt
women knelt in their high balcony,
the one rapt in fervent prayer, tin
other wondering that the presence o
such hatred as hers should have ni
power to kill, and all the time male
ing a supreme effort to compose hoi
own features into the expression o
friendly psthy and interest whiel.
she knev- « would need, so soon as
the singing «-*sed and it was time tc
leave the church again.
The psalms were finished. There
was a pause, and then 1...0 words ot
the ancient hymn floated up to Unor
na's ears, familiar in years gone by.
“ * * * pro tua dementia,
Sts pracsul et custodi.i,
Proeul reeedi-nt soma a,
Kt noccilim funtnsmnt ■:
Vestem que nostrum c uprime.
“Let dreams be far, an.l phantasms
of the night—bind thou our foe,” sang
Beatrice in long, sweet notes.
Unorna heard no more. The light
dazzled her and the blood boat in her
heart. It seemed as though no prayer
that was ever prayed could be offered
up more directly against herself, and
the voice that sung it, though not
loud, had the rare power of carrying
every syllable distinctly in its magic
tones, even to a great distance.
Afraid to look around lest her face
should betray her emotion, Unorna
glanced down at the kneeling nuns.
She started. Sister Paul, alone of
them all, was looking up. her faded
eyes fixed on Unorna’s with a look
that implored and yet despaired, her
clasped hands a little raised from the
low desk before her, most evidently
offering up the words with the whole
fervent intention of her pure soul, as
an intercession for Unorna’s sins.
For one moment the strong, cruel
heart almost wavered, not through
fear, but under the nameless impres
sion that sometimes takes hold of men
Then followed the canticle—Nunc
dimittis, Domine—the voice of the
prioress in the versicles after that
and the voices of the nuns, no longer
singing as they made the responses—
the I 'reed—a few more versicles and
• res? o ises, the short, final prayers,
and all was over. From the church
below came up tho soft sound that
many women make when they move
silently together. The nuns were
pa s.tig out iu their appointed order.
Beatrice remained kneeling a
few moments longer, crossed herself
an 1 then rose. At the same moment
Unorn'a was on her feet.
••’.Ye seein to be the only ladies in
retreat,” she said.
•■ies,” Beatrice answered. Even
in that one syllable something of the
quality ol he.- thrilling voice vibrated
for an instant. They walked a few
slots farther in silence.
•T am not exactly in retreat,” she
said presently, either because she felt
that it would be almost rude to say
nothing, or because she wished her
position to be clearly understood. “I
am waiting here for some one who is
to come for me.”
••It is a very quiet place to rest in,”
said Unorna. “I am fond of it.”
‘•You often -vu. ' here, perhaps. ”
‘•Not now.' norna. “Bull
was here for a yzapn} no when I was
By a comnu. •• :uct, as they fell
into conversation, they began to walk
more slowly, side by side.
“Indeed,” said Beatrice, with a
slight increase of interest. “Then
you were (nought up here by the
“Not exactly. It was a sort of
refuge for me when 1 was almost a
child. I was left hero alone, until I
was thought old enough to take care
There was a little bitterness in her
tone, intentional, but masterly in its
truth to nature.
“Left by your parents?” Beatrice
asked. The question seemed almost
“I had none. 1 never knew a father
nor a mother.” Unorna’s voice grew
sad with each syllable.
They had entered the great corri
dor in which their apartments were
situated, and were approaching Beat
“My father died last week,” Beat
rice said, in a very low tone that was
not quite steady. “I am quite alone
—here and in the world.”
“I am very lonely, too,” said
Unorna. “May I sit with you fora
“Will you, indeed?” Beatrice ex
claimed. “I am poor company, but
I shall be very glad if you will come
She opened the door and Unorna
“I only came this morning.” Beat
rice said, as though to apologize for
“And do you expect to be here
long?” Unorna asked, as Beatrice
established herself at the other end of
“I cannot tell,” was the answer. “I
may be here but a few days, or I may
have to stay a month.”
“I lived here for years,” said
Unorna: thoughtfully. 'I suppose it
would be impossible now—I should
die of apathy and inanition. I was
“Young then!” she exclaimed. You
are young now.”
••Less young than I was then,”
Unorna answered, with a little sigh,
followed instantly by a smile.
“I am five and twenty,” said
Beatrice, woman enough to try and
force a confession from her new
“Are you? I would not have
thought—we are nearly of an age—
quite, perhaps, for I um not yet
twenty-six. But, then, it is not the
years-” She stopped suddenly.
Beatrice wondered whether Unorna
were married or not. Considering
the age she admitted anti her extreme
beauty, it seemed probable that she
must be. It occurred to her that the
acquaintance had been made without
any presentation, and lhat neither
knew the other's name.
‘•Since I am a little the younger,”
she said, “I should tell you who I
Unorna made a light movement.
She was on the point of saying that
she knew already—and too well.
••1 um Beatrice Varauger.”
“I am Unorna.” ' She could not
help a sort of cold defiance that
sounded in her tone as she pronounced
the only name she could call hors.
“Unorna?” Beatrice repeated cour
teously enough, but with an air of
“Yes—that’s all. It e us strange
to you? They cub me so because I
was born in February. .11 ihe month
we call Unor. Indeed, it is strange,
and so is my story—though it could
have little interest fo:- you.”
■Forgive me—you are wrong. It
would interest me immensely—if
you would tell me a little of it—but I
am such a stranger to you—”
“I do not feel as though you were
that,” Unorna answered, with a very
“You are very kind to say so,” said
She related her history, so far as it
was known to herself, simply and
graphically, substantially as it has
been already set forth, but with an
abundance of ancedote and comment,
which enhanced the interest, and at
the same time extended its limits, in
terspersing her monologues with re
marks which called for an answer,
and which served as tests of her com
••j.nen you are noi marnea.'
Beatrice’s tone expressed an interro
gation, and a certain surprise.
“No,” said Unorna,” “I am not
married. And you, if I may ask?”
“No,” said Beatrice in an altered
voice, “I am not married. I shall
A short silence followed, during
which she turned her face away.
“I have pained you.” said Unorna,
with profound sympathy and regret.
‘‘Forgive me! How could I be so
“How could you know?” Beatrice
asked simply, not attempting to deny
the suggestion. But Unorna was suf
fering, too. She had allowed her
self to imagine that in the long years
which had passed Beatrice might have
forgotten. It had even crossed her
niud that she might, indeed, be mar
ried. But in the few words, and in
the tremor that accompanied them, as
well as in the increased pallor in
Beatrice’s face, she detected a love
not less deep and constant and unfor
gotten than the Wanderer’s own.
“Forgive me,” Unorna repeated.
* ‘I might have guessed. I have loved,
For a longtime neither spoke again,
and neither looked at the other.
Beatrice seemed scarcely conscious
of what she was saying, or of Unorna’s
presence. The words, long kept back
and sternly restrained, fell with a
strange strength from her lips, and
there was not one of them from first
to last that did not sheathe itself like
a sharp knife in Unorna’s heart.
“I cannot tell you why I have told
you—but I have. You shall see him,
too. What does it matter? We have
both loved, we are both unhappy—-we
shall nev6r meet again.”
“What is it?” Unorna tried to ask,
holding the closed case in her hands.
“It was like him,” she said, watching
her companion as though to see what
effect the portrait would produce.
Then she sank back.
“You knew him!” she cried, half
guessing at the truth.
•T know him—and I love him,” said
Unorna slowly and fiercely, her eyes
fixed on her enemy and gradually
leaning toward her so as to bring her
face nearer and nearer to Beatrice.
The dark woman tried to rise, and
could not. There was worse than an
ger, or hatred, or the intent to kill,
in those dreadful eyes. There was a
fascination from whicn no living thing
could escape. She tried to scream, to
shut out the vision, to raise her hand
as a screen before it. Nearer and
nearer it came, until she could feel the
warm breath of it upon her cheek.
Then her brain reeled, her limbs re
laxed, and her head fell back against
•‘I know him, and I love him,” were
the last words Beatrice heard.
Unorna gradually regained her self
possession. After all, Beatrice had
told her nothing which she did not
either wholly know or partly guess,
and her anger was not the result of
the revelation but of the way in which
the story had been told. Word after
word, phrase after phrase had cut her
and stabbed her to the quick, and
when Beatrice had thrust the min
iature into her hands her wrath had
risen in spite of herself.
She leaned back and looked at
Beatrice during several minutes,
smiling to herself from time to time,
soornfully and cruelly. Then she
rose and locked the outer door, and
closed the inner one carefully. She
knew from long ago that no sound
could then find its way to the corridor
without. She came back and sat down
again, and again looked at the sleep
ing face, and she admitted for the
hundredth time that evening that
Beatrice was very beautiful.
She began to walk up and down the
room as was her habit when in deep
thought, turning over in her mind the
deed to be done and the surest and
best way of doing it. It occurred to
her that Beatrice could not be allowed
to lire beyond that night.
There was nothing to prevent the
possibility of a meeting between
Beatrice and the Wanderer, if Beatrice
There was no escape from the deed.
Beatrice must die. Unorna could pro
duce death in a form which could
leave no trace, and it would be attri
buted to a weakness of the heart.
Unorna was sure of herself, und of
her strength, to perform what she con
templated. There lay the dark beauty
In the corner of the sofa, where sho
had sat and talked so long, and told
tier last story, the story of her life
which was-now to end. A few deter
mined words spoken in her ear, a
pressure of the hand upon the brow
and the heart, and she would never
wake again. She would lie there still
until they found her, hour after"hour
the pulse growing weaker and
weaker, the delicate hands colder, the
face more set. At the last there would
be a convulsive shiver of the queenly
form, and that would be the end. The
physicians and the authorities would
come and would speak of a weakness
of the heart, and there would be
masses sung for her soul, and sho
would rest in peace.
Her soul? In peace? Unorna stood
still. Was that to be all her ven
geance upon the woman who stood be
tween her and happiness? Was there
to be nothing bul that, nothing but
the painless passing of the pure
young spirit from earth to heaven?
Was no one to suffer for all Unorna’s
pain? It was not enough. There
must be more than that. And yet,
what "more? That was the question.
What imaginable wealth of agony
would be just retribution for her ex
istence? Unorna could lead her, as
she had led Israel Kafka, through the
life and death of a martyr, through
a life of wretchedness and a death of
shame, but then, the moment must
come at last, since this was to be
death indeed, and her spotless soul
would be beyond Unorna’s reach for
ever. No, that was not enough.
Since sho could not be allowed
to live to be tormented, vengeance
must followed her beyond the end of
Unorna stood still, and an awful'
light of evil came into her face. A
thought of which the enormity would
have terrified a common being had it
entered her mind and taken possession
of it. Beatrice was in her power,
Beatrice should die in mortal sin, and
her soul would be lost forever.
For a long time she did not move,
but stood looking down at the calm
and lovely face of her sleeping
enemy, devising a crime to be im
posed upon her for her eternal de
struction. Unorna was very supersti
tious, or the hideous scheme could
never have presented itself to her. To
her mind the deed was everything,
whatever it was to be, and the inten
tion or the unconsciousness in doing it
could have nothing to do with the con
sequences to the soul of the doer. She
made no theological distinction. Be
atrice should commit some terrible
crime, and should die in committing
Then she would be lost, and devils
would do in hell the worst torment
which Unorna could not do on earth.
A crime—a robbery, a murder—it
must be done in the convent. Unorna
hesitated, bending her brows and por
ing, in imagination over her task.
Keyork Arabian! He, indeed, pos
sessed the key to all evil. What
would he have done with Beatrice?
Would he make her rob the church—
murder the abbess in her sleep. Bad,
but not bad enough.
Unorna started. A deed suggested
itself so hellish, so horrible in its
enormity, so far beyond all conceiv
able human sin. that for one moment
her brain reeled. She shuddered
again and again, and groped for sup
port and leaned against the wall in a
bodily weakness of terror. For one j
moment she, who feared nothing, was
shaken by fear from head to foot, her
'ace turned white, her knees shook,
her sight failed her, her teeth chat
iKieu, ner ups moveu Hysterically.
But she was still strong. The thing
she had sought had come to her sud
lenly. She set her teeth and thought
M it again and again, till she could
face the horror of it without quaking.
Is there any limit to the hardening of
the human heart?
The distant clocks chimed the half
iiour, three-quarters past midnight.
Still she waited. At the stroke of
l she rose from her seat, and stand
ng beside Beatrice, laid her hand up
111 the dark brow.
A few questions, a few answers fol
owed. She must be assured herself
hat her victim was in the right state
o execute minutely all her com
She took Beatrice’s hand. The dark
woman rose with half-closed eyes and
>et features. Unorna led her out in
0 the dark passage.
■•It is light here,” Unorna said.
•You can see your way. But I am
hind. Take my hand—so—and now
cad me to the church by the nuns’
taircase. Make no noise.”
• I do not know the staircase,” said
he sleeper in drowsy terms.
Unorna knew the way well enough,
mt not wishing to take a light with
1 T, she was obliged to trust herself
o her victim, for whose vision there
cis no such thing as darkness, unless
. norna willed it.
“Go as you went to-day, to the
oom where the balcony is; but do
nit enter it. The staircase is on the
•ight o the door and leads into the
Without hesitation Beatrice led her
mt into the impenetrable gloom, with
wift, noiseless footsteps in the direc
ion commanded, never watering,
tor hesitating whether to turn to the
ight or the left, but walking as con
idently as though in broad daylight.
The stairs ended abruptly against
» door. Beatrice stood still. She hak
eeeived no further commands an*
he impulse ceased.
"Draw back the bolt, and take me
Into the chuvoh, ” said Unorua, who
could see nothing, but know the nuns
fastened the doors behind thorn uh#a
they returned Into the convent.
Bo. t rice obeyed without hesitation
.’Alai her forward, they rnme out
WhlOil the high curve i seats of the
IiMr behind the high altar.
ill took tier hand end led her
tor^r.ire She could u >w. and tlie
in.onen' had come. si.o brought
Settric' before the high altar and
made 1 Mir stand in front of t. Then
she herself went hack and gr iped for
something in the dark. It was the
paii of sin all wooden stops upon
which the priest mounts in order to
open the golden door of the high tab
ernacle above the altar, when it is
necessary to take therefrom the Sacred
host- for the benediction, or ot her con
secrated wafers for the administration
of the communion. To all ('hristinns
of all denominations whnt-oever the
bread water when once - onsecrated
is a holy thing. To Ca'holies and
Lutherans there is th-ue. ubsinntia -
ly, the presence of (Jod. No imagin
able act of sacrilege can be more
unpardonable than the desecration of
the tabernacle and the wilful dotlle
ment and destruction of the sacred
This was Unorna’s determination:
Beatrice should commit this crime
against heaven, and then die with the
whole weight of it upon h n-soul, and
thus should her soul itself bo tor
mented forever and ever from ages to
Beatrice, obedient to her smallest
command, and powerless to move or
act without her suggestion, stood still
as she hod been placed, with her back
to the church and her face to the altar.
Above her head the richly wrought
door of the tabernacle caught what
little light there was, and reflected it
from its own uneven surface.
Unorna paused a moment, looked at
the shadowy figure, and then glanced
behind her into the body of the
church, not out of any ghostly fear,
but to assure herself that she was
alone with her victim. She saw that
all was quite ready, and then she
calmly knelt down, just upon one side
of the gate, and rested her folded
hands upon the marble railing. A
moment of intense stillness followed.
The clock in the church tower
chimed the first quarter past one.
She was able to count the strokes, and
was glad to find that she had lost no
time. As soon as the long, swinging
echo of the bells had died away, she
spoke, not loudly, but clearly and dis
“Beatrice Varanger, go forward and
mount the steps I have placed for
The dark figure moved obediently,
and Unorna hoard the slight sound of
Beatrice’s foot upon the wood. The
shadowy form rose higher and higher
in the gloom, and stood upon the altar
“Now', do as I command you. Open
wide the door of the tabernacle?”
Unorna watched the black form in
tently. It seemed to stretch out its
hand, as though searching for some
thing, and then again the arm fell to
“Do as I command you,” Unorna
repeated, with the agony and domi
nant intonation that always came to
her voice when she was not obeyed.
Again the hand was raised, for a
moment groped in the darkness, and
sank down into the shadow.
“Beatrice Varanger, you must do
my will. I order you to open the
door of the tabernacle, to take out
what is within and throw' it to the
grouudf” Her voice rang clearly
through the church. “And may the
crime be on your soul forever and
ever.” she added in a Igw voice.
A third time the figure moved. A
strange flash of light played for a
moment upon the tabernacle, the
effect, Unorna thought, of the golden
door being suddenly opened.
But she was wrrong. The figure
moved, indeed, and stretched out a
hand and moved again. Then the
suaden crash of something very heavy,
falling upon stone, broke the great
stillness—the dark form tottered,
reeled, and fell to its length upon the
great altar. Unorna saw that the
golden door was still closed, and
that Beatrice had fallen. Unable to
move or act by her own free judg
ment, and compelled by Unorna’s
determined command, she had made a
desperate effort to obey.
Unorna spang to her feet and hastily
opened the gate of tho railing, In a
moment she was standing by the altar
at Beatrice’s head. She could see that
the dark eyes were open now. The
great shock had recalled her con
“Where am I?” she asked, in great
distress, seeing nothing in the dark
ness now. and groping with her hands.
“Sleep—be silent and sleep!” said
Unorna in low, firm tones, pressing her
palm upon the forehead.
But, to her amazement, Beatrice
thrust her aside with such violence
that she almost fell herself upon the
“No—no!” et ftd the startled wo
man, in a voice ~f*JJ9yror. “No—I
will not sleep—do ndt touch me! Oh,
where am I—help! help!”
“No—no—-no!” she cried, struggling
desperately. “You shall not make
me sleep. I will not—I will not.”
There was a flash of light again in
the church, this time from behind the
high altar, and the noise of quick
footsteps. Neither Unorna nor Bea
trice noticed the light or the sound.
Then the full glow of a strong lamp
feli i pon the faces of both and daz
zled them, and Unorna felt a cold,
thin hand upon her owe. Sister Paul
was beside them, her fa®e very white
and her faded eyes turned from on® to
“What is this? What are you do
ing in this holy place and at this
unholy hour9” asked Sister Paul,
solemnly and sternly.
[TO BE CONTI
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