then stood still a short time, listening, with her trembling body pressed close against the door, and her hands clenched on the latch. He walked slowly up a few steps, and then paused again, as if he had suddenly become absorbed in some dreamy thought. She shuddered, sighed heavily, and tottered back into the sitting-room. Her dress seemed too tight for her, for she slipped out of it like a butterfly from its chrysalis, and then in the airiest night costume, sat down at the open piano. It was an old, much-worn instrument, of very poor tone, and as she ran her slender fingers lightly over the keys, it sounded in the entry outside like the distant music of a harp.
The young man had just reached the topmost stair when he heard it.
"There! she is playing the sonata, after all," he said to himself. "A strange, obstinate person. What can she have suffered from fate? To-morrow I will take more notice of her. It's a pity she is so ugly, and yet--what does it matter? There is a charm in her finger-tips.