walls and hung with claret-coloured cloth of Rennes looped with tasselled cords; and two through the scantily-lit corridors which swept round the castle in a horse-shoe from the stairs' foot corridors dank and close in winter time as with the heavy atmosphere of a vault; a ninth there was in the centre of the floor, where, at a touch of a hidden spring, a great flag swung upon a pivot, but it was rather an exit than an entrance, and its gaping mouth had served the wild justice of the wilder vengeance of more than one lord of Lhoeac.
When the shadow of the eternal sleep darkens a household there is commonly little room for this world's slumber within its doors. So was it that still September night at Lhoeac. The watchfulness and waiting which had their centre in young Madame's dim and silent chamber spread their influence from Seigneur to scullion, and no soul lay down to sleep. Then, as always, the awesomeness of the great change made for wakefulness.
Four hours had passed since the bitter blow
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