She never abated the piercing quality of her shrieks, never stumbled in the distinctness or the order of her words
She never abated the piercing quality of her shrieks, never stumbled in the distinctness or the order of her words. They were always ‘My husband, my father, and my brother! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve. Hush!’ “This lasted twenty-six hours from the time when I first saw her. I had come and gone twice, and was again sitting by her, when she began to falter. I did what little could be done to assist that opportunity, and by-and-bye she sank into a lethargy, and lay like the dead. “It was as if the wind and rain had lulled at last, after a long and fearful storm. I released her arms, and called the woman to assist me to compose her figure and the dress she had torn. I released her arms, and called the woman to assist me to compose her figure and the dress she had torn.
“‘Is she dead?’ asked the Marquis, whom I will still describe as the elder brother, coming booted into the room from his horse. “‘Not dead,’ said I; ‘but like to die.’ “‘What strength there is in these common bodies!’ he said, looking down at her with some curiosity. “‘There is prodigious strength,’ I answered him, ‘in sorrow and despair.’ “He first laughed at my words, and then frowned at them. He moved a chair with his foot near to mine, ordered the woman away, and said in a subdued voice, “‘Doctor, finding my brother in this difficulty with these hinds, I recommended that your aid should be invited. Your reputation is high, and, as a young man with your fortune to make, you are probably mindful of your interest. The things that you see here, are things to be seen, and not spoken of.
’ “I listened to the patient’s breathing, and avoided answering. “‘Do you honour me with your attention, Doctor?’ “‘Monsieur,’ said I, ‘in my profession, the communications of patients are always received in confidence.’ I was guarded in my answer, for I was troubled in my mind with what I had heard and seen. “Her breathing was so difficult to trace, that I carefully tried the pulse and the heart. There was life, and no more. Looking round as I resumed my seat, I found both the brothers intent upon me. ***** “I write with so much difficulty, the cold is so severe, I am so fearful of being detected and consigned to an underground cell and total darkness, that I must abridge this narrative. There is no confusion or failure in my memory; it can recall, and could detail, every word that was ever spoken between me and those brothers. “She lingered for a week. Towards the last, I could understand some few syllables that she said to me, by placing my ear close to her lips.