Cruel as the grave

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ProjectGutenberg'sCruelAsTheGrave,byMrs EmmaD E N Southworth ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.org Title:CruelAsTheGrave Author:Mrs EmmaD E N Southworth ReleaseDate:December9,2007[EBook#23789] Language:English ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKCRUELASTHEGRAVE*** ProducedbyRogerFrankandtheOnlineDistributed ProofreadingTeamathttp://www.pgdp.net CRUELASTHEGRAVE ANOVEL BYMRS EMMAD E N SOUTHWORTH AUTHOROF“SELF-MADE,”“ISHMAEL,”“SELF-RAISED,”“FAIRPLAY,”“VIVIA,” “MISSINGBRIDE,”“ABEAUTIFULFIEND,”“CHANGEDBRIDES,”“RETRIBUTION,” “HOWHEWONHER,”“ANOBLELORD,”“BRIDE’SFATE,”“FALLENPRIDE,” “LADYOFTHEISLE,”“THEMAIDENWIDOW,”“ALLWORTHABBEY,” “GYPSY’SPROPHECY,”“LOSTHEIRESS,”“WIDOW’SSON,”“INDIA,” “THREEBEAUTIES,”“BRIDEOFLLEWELLYN,”“BRIDALEVE,” “DISCARDEDDAUGHTER,”“FATALSECRET,”“TWOSISTERS,” “CURSEOFCLIFTON,”“TRIEDFORHERLIFE,” “PHANTOMWEDDING,”“LOVE’SLABORWON,” “FORTUNESEEKER,”“FATALMARRIAGE,” “MOTHER-IN-LAW,”“CHRISTMASGUEST,” “FAMILYDOOM,”“WIFE’SVICTORY.” “Hetowhom Igavemyheart,withallitswealthoflove, Forsakesmeforanother.”—MEDEA “AndwesawMedeaburning Athernature’s-plantedstake.”—BROWNING NEWYORK: THEF M LUPTONPUBLISHINGCOMPANY, NOS 72-76WALKERSTREET COPYRIGHT,1888, ByT B PETERSON&BROTHERS CruelastheGrave CONTENTS I — II — III — IV — V — VI — VII — VIII — IX — X — XI — XII — XIII — XIV — XV — XVI — XVII — XVIII — XIX — XX — XXI — XXII — XXIII — XXIV — XXV — XXVI — XXVII — XXVIII — XXIX — XXX — TheBernersoftheBurningHearts JohnLyonHowe SybilBerners TheBeautifulStranger TheLandlord’sStory RosaBlondelle DownintheDarkVale BlackHall TheGuest-Chambers TheJealousBride LoveandJealousy “CruelAstheGrave.” MoreThantheBitternessofDeath TheFirstFatalHallowEve TheMasqueradeBall OntheWatch DriventoDesperation LyinginWait SwoopingDown TheSearch Sybil’sFlight TheHauntedChapel TheSolitudeisInvaded TheVerdictandtheVisitor TheFalloftheDubarrys TheSpectre FearfulWaiting AGhastlyProcession GhostlyandMysterious FlightandPursuit 21 26 32 45 48 59 71 76 83 91 103 112 126 133 142 147 154 175 183 191 198 207 218 225 238 250 264 273 292 306 XXXI — TheArrest XXXII — ADesperateVenture XXXIII — AFatalCrisis XXXIV — ThePursuit XXXV — TheFugitives 323 334 344 344 363 CRUELASTHEGRAVE CHAPTERI THEBERNERSOFTHEBURNINGHEARTS “Theirlovewaslikethelavaflood ThatburnsinEtna’sbreastofflame.” Near the end of a dark autumn-day, not many years ago, a young couple, returning from their bridal tour arrived by steamer at the old city of Norfolk; and,takingahack,drovedirectlytothebestinn They were attended by the gentleman’s valet and the lady’s maid, and encumbered besides with a great amount of baggage, so that altogether their appearancewassopromisingthatthelandlordofthe“Anchor”cameforwardin persontoreceivethemandbowthemintothebestparlor ThegentlemanregisteredhimselfandhispartyasMr andMrs LyonBerners,of BlackHall,Virginia,andtwoservants “We shall need a private parlor and chamber communicating for our own use, andacoupleofbedroomsforourservants,”saidMr Berners,ashehandedhis hatandcanetothebowingwaiter “Theyshallbepreparedimmediately,”answeredthepolitelandlord “Weshallremainhereonlyforthenight,andgooninthemorning,andshould like to have two inside and two outside places secured in the Staunton stagecoachforto-morrow.” “Iwillsendandtakethematonce,sir.” “Thanks We should also like tea got ready as soon as possible in our private parlor.” “Certainly,sir Whatwouldyoulikefortea?” “Oh,anythingyouplease,sothatitisniceandneatlyserved,”saidMr Berners, with a slightly impatient wave of his hand as if he would have been rid of his obsequioushost “Ah-ha!anythingIplease!Itiseasytoseewhatailshim Helivesuponlovejust now;buthe’llcaremoreabouthisbilloffareafewweekshence,”chuckledthe landlord,asheleftthepublicparlortoexecutehisguest’sorders Thebridegroomwasnosoonerleftalonewithhisbridethanheseatedherinthe easiest arm-chair, and began with affectionate zeal to untie her bonnet-strings andunclasphermantle “You make my maid a useless appendage, dear Lyon,” said the little lady, smilingupinhiseyes “Because I like to everything for you myself, sweet Sybil; because I am jealous of every hand that touches your dear person, except my own,” he murmuredtenderlyasheremovedherbonnet,andwithallhisworshippingsoul glowingthroughhiseyes,gazeduponherbeautifulandbeamingface “You love me so much, dear Lyon! You love me so much! Yet not too much either!foroh!ifyoushouldeverceasetoloveme,orevenifyouwereeverto love me less,—I—I dare not think what I should do!” she muttered in a long, deep,shudderingtone “SweetSybil,”hebreathed,drawinghertohisbosomandpressingwarmkisses on her crimson lips—“sweetestSybil, it is not possible for the human heart to lovemorethanIdo,butIcanneverloveyouless!” “Idobelieveyou,dearestLyon!WithallmyheartIdo!—Yet—yet—” “Yetwhat,sweetlove?” Sheliftedherfacefromhisbosomandgazingintentlyinhiseyes,said: “Yet, Lyon, if you knew the prayer that I never fail to put up, day and night! Whatdoyouthinkitisfor,dearLyon?” “Iknow;itisforHeaven’sblessingtorestuponourweddedlives.” “Yes,myprayerisforthatalways,ofcourse!butthatisnotwhatImeannow! Thatisnotthestronger,strongerprayerwhichIofferupfromthedeepsofmy spiritinalmostanagonyofsupplication!” “Andwhatisthatprayer,soawfulinitsearnestness,dearlove?” “Oh,Lyon!itisthatyoumayneverlovemelessthannow,orifyoushould,that I may never live to know it,” she breathed with an intensity of suppressed emotion that drew all the glowing color from her crimson cheeks and lips and leftthempaleasmarble “Why, you beautiful mad creature! You are a true daughter of your house! A Bernersoftheburningheart!ABernersoftheboilingblood!ABernersofwhom ithasbeensaid,thatitisalmostasfataltobeloved,astobehated,byoneof them!DearSybil!neverdoubtmylove;neverbejealousofme,ifyouwouldnot destroyusboth,”heearnestlyimplored “Idonotdoubtyou,dearestLyon;Iamnotjealousofyou!Whatcause,indeed, haveItobeso?But—but——” “Butwhat,mydarling?” “—EversinceIhavebeeninthishouse,adarknessandcoldnessandweighthas fallenuponmyspirits,thatIcannotshakeoff—aburden,asofsomeimpending calamity!Andasthereisnocalamitythatcanpossiblyaffectmesomuchasthe lessening of your love, I naturally think most of that,” she answered, with a heavysigh “Dear love! this depression is only reaction! fatigue! the effect of this damp, dull,drearyroom!Wewillchangeallthis!”saidLyonBerners,cheerfully,ashe pulled the bell-cord and rang a peal that presently brought the waiter to his presence “Areourroomsready?”shortlydemandedMr Berners “Justthismomentready,sir,”answeredtheman,withabow “Gather up these articles, then, and show us to our rooms,” said Mr Berners, pointing to a collection of outer garments and travelling bags that occupied a centre-table Withanotherbowthemanloadedhimselfwiththepersonaleffectsoftheguests andledthewayup-stairs Mr Berners,drawinghiswife’sarmthroughhisown,followedthewaitertoa cheerfullittleprivateparlor,wherethebrightredcarpetonthefloor,thebright red curtains at the windows, the bright red covers of the chairs and sofas, the glowingcoalfireinthegrate,andabovealltheneatlyspreadteatable,withits snowy damask table-cloth, and its service of pure French china, invited the hungryandwearytravellerstorefreshmentandrepose Throughapairofpartlydrawnslidingdoorsavistawasopenedtoacleanand quiet chamber, furnished to match the parlor, with the same bright-red carpet, windowcurtains,andchaircovers,butalsowithawhite-draperiedtent-bedstead, withbed-pillowsandcoveringswhiteand softasswan’s down In theglowof the coal fire in the inner room sat and waited a pretty mulatto girl, Delia, or Dilly,thedressingmaidofMrs Berners On seeing her mistress enter the parlor, Dilly quickly arose and met her, and handed a chair and relieved the waiter of his burden of portable personal property,whichshehastenedtocarryintothechambertoputaway “Bring in the tea immediately and send my own man Hannibal here to attend us,” said the guest to the waiter, who promptly left the room to execute the orders “Come, my darling! Take this easy-chair in the corner and make yourself comfortable!Hereisascenetoinspirethesaddestheartwithcheerfulness,”said the bridegroom cordially, as he drew forward the easy arm-chair and led his bridetoit Shesankintothesoftseatandsmiledhersatisfaction Inafewmomentsthewaitersoftheinnenteredandarrangedadeliciouslittle repastuponthetableandthenwithdrew,leavingHannibal,thefaithfulservantof thebridegroom,toattendhismasterandmistressattheirtea The young pair sat down to the table And in that quiet and cheerful scene of enjoyment,theyoungbriderecoveredherspirits Thetransientshadowthathad foramomentdarkenedthesplendorofherjoy,evenasapassingcloudforan instant obscures the glory of the sun, had vanished, leaving her all smiles and gayety To say that these wedded lovers were very happy, would scarcely express the deliriumofpurejoyinwhichtheyhaddreamedawaytheirdaysandnightsfor thelastfewweeks—joythatbothweretooyounganduntriedtoknowcouldnot lastforever,couldnotindeedevenlastlong—joysoelevatedinitsinsanityas almost to tempt some thunderbolt of malignant fate to fall upon it with destroying force, even as the highly rarefied air sometimes draws on the whirlwindandthestorm But then the story of their loves was rare and strange, and almost justified the intensityoftheirmutualdevotion,andthatstoryisbrieflythis: plain, until, late in the afternoon, they reached another mountain range, and heardtheroaringofagreattorrent Theyenteredtheblackgap,andslowlyand cautiously made their way through it By the time they had emerged from the pass,thenightwaspitchdark “How shall we ever find our way?” inquired Purley who, fatigued and half famished,wasreadytosinkwithexhaustion “Doyouseethatthengabbleindstickin’upthroughthetrees?”inquiredtheboy “Yes,Iseeit!” “Well,himandherisinthere?” “Areyousure?”inquiredPurley,anxiously “HereIis,Marster!Ifhimandherar’n’tinthere,hereIisinyourpower,and youmayskinmealive!” “All right!” exclaimed Purley, and dismounting from his horse, he advanced towardsthethicket,followedbyMunsonandthenegroboy CHAPTERXXXV THEFUGITIVES Theymaynotsetafootwithintheirfields, Theymaynotpullasaplingfromtheirhills, Theymaynotentertheirfairmansionhouse.—HOWITT LyonandSybilhadriddenonthroughthedarkness,overthatwildcountryroad Theirhorseshadhadaveryhardday’sworkinthewagonharness,andhadnot recoveredfromtheirfatigue Theywerestillverytired,andallunaccustomedto thesaddle Theroadwasalsoveryrough,andthenightverydark Theirprogress wasthereforedifficultandslow Unconsciousofbeingfollowedandoverheard,theytalkedfreelyoftheirplans Theirprospectsoffinalescapewerenotnownearlysohopefulastheyhadbeen ontheir two former attempts They were now undisguised, and unprovided for the journey, except with money and a change of clothing For necessary food theywouldhavetostopathouses,andthusincursomedegreeofdanger Allthis they discussed as their horses slowly toiled along the rugged road up hill and down, through woods and fields, until they came near that mountain pass that theyhadbeendimlyseeingbeforethemallnightlongandthatlookedlikeagrey cleftinablackwall “Itmustbenearmorningnow ButIhavenotaveryclearideawhereweare I shallbegladwhenitislightifitisonlytoconsultmymapandcompass,”said Lyon,uneasily “Ineverwasonthissideofthemountainbefore,butitdoesseemtomethatthat mustbeaspuroftheBlackRidgewhichweseebeforeus,”suggestedSybil “I was thinking the very same thing,” added Lyon “But if that is so, we must havewanderedfaroutofourway.” “Andhush!Don’tyouhearsomething?”inquiredSybil,whentheyhadriddena littlefartheron “No;whatisit?” “Listen!Iwanttoknowifyourecognizeit,”shesaid “I hear a faint, distant roaring, as of a water-fall,” he answered, stopping his horsetohearthebetter “ItisourBlackTorrent!”exclaimedSybil “Good Heaven! Then we have wandered out of our way with a vengeance However,thereisnohelpforitnow!Wemustgoon,orstophereuntilitislight enoughtoconsultthecompass.” “Andatanyrate,Lyon,noonewillthinkoflookingforussonearhome,”she added “Thatistrue,”headmitted And they rode on slowly, looking about as well as they could through the darkness,foraconvenientplaceonwhichtodismountfromthejadedsteeds Theirpathnowlaythroughthatdeepmountainpass Steepprecipicesaroseon either side They picked their way slowly and carefully through it, until they enteredacrookedpathleadingdownthesideofathicklywoodedhill Herethey rodeon,alittlemoreattheirease,untiltheyreachedthebottomofthehilland theedgeofthewood,andcameoutuponanoldforsakenroad,runningalongthe shoresofadeepandrapidriver,withanothermountainrangebehind “Well, Heaven bless us! here we are!” exclaimed Lyon Berners, reining up his horse and looking around himself in a ludicrous state of mind, made up of surprise,dismay,andresignation “Yes; on the shores of the Black River, at the head of our own Black Valley,” chimedinSybil,inatoneofvoiceinwhichtherewasmoreofsatisfactionthan ofdisappointment PoorSybilwassentimentalandillogical,likeallhersex “But ata pointat which, I mayventuretosay, thateven you, its owner,never reachedbefore,”addedLyon,ashetoucheduphishorseandledthewayupthe road,stilllookingaboutaswellashecouldthroughthedarkness,foraplacein whichtostopandresttheirhorses Suddenly, as they rode slowly onward, they heard approaching them from the opposite direction the sound of a wagon and horse, accompanied by a human voice,singing: “Brothersandsisterstherewillmeet, Brothersandsisterstherewillmeet, Brothersandsisterstherewillmeet— Willmeet,topartnomore!” “Yes,bressdeLord!sodeywill Andalldepartedfriendswillmeet,andmeetto part no more! GLORY!” rang out the voice of the singer, who seemed to be workinghimselfupintoenthusiasm “Itisonlysomenegrowithhisteam,”saidLyonBerners,tosoothethespiritsof Sybil,whichalwaystookthealarmattheapproachofanystranger “Yes; but what an hour for a negro, or for any one else but fugitives like ourselves,tobeout,”saidSybil,doubtingly “Oh,heismakinganearlystartformarketperhaps Itmustbenearmorning.” “Oh,therewillbeglory— Glory!glory!glory!— Oh,therewillbeglory AroundthethroneofGod!” sang the unseen singer, making the mountain caves and glens ring with his melody “Yes;bressMarster!thereWILLbeGloriesandHallelujahsallthroughheaven,” headded;“for— “Saintsandangelstherewillmeet, Saintsandangelstherewillmeet, Saintsandangelstherewillmeet— Willmeet,topartnomore.” “And me and my young missis there will meet! And meet to part no more! GLORY!”addedthesinger,withasuddenshout “Lyon,that’sourJoe!”exclaimedSybil,injoyfulsurprise Thecartandhorsesnowloomeddimlythroughthedarkness,beingalmostupon them “Joe!”calledoutSybil,inagleefulvoice—“Joe!” “Whodar?”answeredtheman,inaffright “ItisI!Sybil,Joe!” “Oh,mygoodgraciousLordinheaven!it’sherspiritasiscallingme,andshe mustbedead!”gaspedtheman,inaquaveringvoice By this time the two horses were beside the cart, upon the seat of which the driversatinanextremityofterror “Joe,don’tbealarmed!ItisMrs Bernersherselfwhospeakstoyou,andIam withher,”saidMr Berners,soothingly “Oh,MarseLyon!Isitralelyandtrulyherherselfandyouyourself?”inquired theman,verydoubtingly “ReallyandtrulySybilandmyself,Joe.” “Oh!Lord!howyoudidscareme!” “Composeyourself,Joe,andtellmewhatyouaredoinghereatthistimeofthe morning.” “Oh, Marse Lyon, sir, I came arter the housekeeping truck as you left here, which I couldn’t get a chance to fetch it before, ’cause I was afraid o’ ’citin’ ’spicion.” “Andhaveyouthethingsinthatcart?” “Yes,Marse.” “Thenholdonforamoment,andspreadthemattressonthebottomofthecart foryouryoungmistresstoliedownuponandrest,whileyouandIhavealittle talk.” Joe promptly obeyed this order; and when the rude bed was ready, Lyon lifted Sybilfromherseatandlaidheruponit Thetiredhorseswerethenrelievedfrom their saddles and turned loose for a while And then Mr Berners and Joe sat downbytheroadsidetoconsult “AndfirstIwantyoutotellme,Joe,whetheroursojournattheHauntedChapel everwasfoundout,”saidMr Berners “Lor,no,sir!itneverwereevensuspicioned!quitecontrarywise,indeed.” “Howso?” “Why,itwas’ported’roundasyouwasbofeatMarsterCappingPendulum’sall thetime,whichwhenhimselfwastaxedwithit,heneverletonasyouwasn’t there;quitecontrarywise,asIsaidafore.” “Buthownow?” “Well,heupand’fied’emall,andsaidhishousewashiscassil,whichhewould shelteranyonehepleased,andspeciallyanobleandinjuredlady.” “Highheart!Ithankhim!”exclaimedMr Berners “Which’fianceyousee,sir,confarmedeverybodyinthefaiththatyouwasbofe hidinhishouse,soartfullyaseventhesarch-warrantersaswenttherecouldn’t findyou Andso,sir,nobody,fromfirsttolast,hasoncesaid‘HauntedChapel.’” “Joe,howfararewefromtheHauntedChapel?” “Notmore’namile,sir,fromthelittlepaththatleadsuptoit.” “Well, I think we had better go there again and rest to-day, and resume our journeyto-night Therecanbenosaferplace.” “Nowharinalltheworld,sir.” “Thenwewillgoatonce Throwthesaddlesintothecart,atyourmistress’feet, soasnottocrowdher Iwillthendrivethecart,andyoumayleadthetworiding horsesafterus,”saidMr Berners,goingatoncetothesideoftherudevehicle whereSybillayinsodeepasleepthatshedidnotwake,evenwhenhemounted theseatandstartedthespringlesscartjoltingalongtheroughroad Joeledthesaddlehorsesclosebehind,andsotheywenton “Joe,”saidMr Berners,“Ihopethatallthingsgoonwellathome.” “Aswellascanbe,sir,marserandmissusbeingaway Capping Pendulum,he showshispowerful’torney,andtendstothe’state AndMissusWinteroseand herdartersmindsthehouse Onlythey’sinconstantterrorsallalongo’thatband o’bugglers.” “Bandofburglars,Joe?” “Yes,sir,andhighwayrobbersaswell.” “Indeed! Joe, I have twice lately heard this band spoken of Does such a one reallyexist?” “Well,sir,itdo Theneighborhoodneverwassomislestedwithrobberssincea neighborhoodithasbeen Why,sir,Mr Morgan’snewstore,atBlackvillewas brokeopenandrobbedofabouttwelvehundreddollars’worthofgoodsinone night.” “Andnoneofitrecovered!” “No, sir And, sir, Capping Pendulum’s own house was entered and robbed of jewelryandplatetothetuneofabouttwothousanddollars.” “Iamverysorryforthat!Andnocluetotherobbers?” “Nottheleastestintheworld,sir!Andnolater’nlastnight,JudgeBeresfordwas riding home from the village, where he had been at the tavern, playing cards withalotofgentlemen,andhadwonadealofmoney,whichhehadabouthim, when,inthemiddleofthelongwoodsbelowhisownhouse,hewasstoppedby twomen;onewhoseizedhisbridle,andonewhopintedapistolathishead,and gavehimhischoiceofhismoneyorhislife TheJudgehechoosehislife,and handedoverhiswinnins.” “I’mnotsorryforhim!Amanwhogainsmoneyinthatwaydeservestoloseit ButIamastoundedatallthatyouhavetoldme.” “Yes,sir!andtheoldladiesinchargeofBlackHallismore’stoundedthanyou are,sir;being’stoundedtothatdegreethattheysleepwiththedogsintheroom; longof’em.” “Thisshouldbeseento Thereshouldbeavigilancecommittee Buthereweare atthepath,Joe,andmywifeisstillinadeepsleep;andIdonotwishtowake her;norcanwedrivethecartthroughthethicket Hold!I’lltellyouwhatwecan Wecantakethemattressbyitsfourcorners,andcarryheronittothechapel Ifwearecareful,weneednotevenwakeher,”saidMr Berners,ashestopped thecartandgotdownfromhisseat Joetiedthetwosaddlehorsestooneofthetrees,andcamearoundtothecartto helphismaster Betweenthemtheycautiouslyliftedthemattress,andboreitalongtowardsthe openingofthepath Onfirstbeingmoved,Sybilsighedonceandturnedoverandthenshefellintoa stilldeepersleep,fromwhichshedidnotagainawakeevenwhentheyboreher intothedreadfulHauntedChapel,andlaidherdown,stillonthemattress,inthe oldplace,totherightofthealtar “Poor child! She was so tired, so worn out in body and mind, that she could scarcely sit her horse Yet she never once complained, nor should I have even surmisedtheextentofherprostration,wereitnotforthiscoma-likesleep She willnotwakenow Wemaysafelyleaveheralonewhilewegobackandbring oursaddlehorseshere,forwemustbringtheminordertohidethemto-dayand usethemto-night Andyou,Joe,afteryouhave helpedmeto bringthehorses through the thicket, must go to Blackville and buy food and bring it to us to- nightbeforeweresumeourjourney.” “Yes,sir;andmeantimes,thereissomecrackersandcheeseandsweetmeats,and likewise a bottle of port wine, in the cart, as you left in the chapel when you wentaway.” “Oh,indeed!thatwillbeagodsend,Joe!Wemustbringthatbacktothechapel withuswhenwecome,”saidMr Berners,aswithhisservanthebenthissteps backtothethicketpath Sybil,leftaloneintheinteriorofthehauntedchapel,sleptonsoundlyforsome littletime Shehadnotreallybeenquiteunconsciousofherremovalthither She hadhalfwakedonbeingtakenfromthecart,buthadimmediatelyfallenasleep again; though she was still vaguely conscious of being borne along to some placeofsafetyandrepose,andthatherdevotedhusbandandherfaithfulservant wereherbearers—vaguelyconsciousalsoof beinglaiddown uponsomelevel place of perfect rest, with a roof above her head; but beyond this she knew nothing, cared nothing, being too utterly prostrated in mind and body to rouse herselftoanyutterances,oreventosaveherselffromsinkingtosleep Howlongshehadsleptshenevercouldtell,whenatlengthshewassuddenly andfearfullyaroused—arousedtoadegreeofwakefulnessthatneitherthenoisy joltingovertherockyroad,northepainfuldraggingthroughthethornythicket hadbeenabletoeffect And yet it was but by a touch—the touch of an ice-cold little hand passing lightlyoverherface She startedupinapanicandglaredaround Allseemedblackaspitch,andat firstshecouldseenothing;butasshestrainedhereyes,shedimlydiscernedthe shapes of the gothic windows, with the dark night sky and the ghostly trees beyond;andsherecognizedtheHauntedChapel! Theyhadbroughtherherewhileshewassleeping;andnow,“inthedeadwaste andmiddleofthenight,”shehadwakedup,aloneinthisdemon-peopledplace She tried to cry out in her fear; but her voice died in her throat, and she sank back upon her mattress and closed her eyes, lest some shape of horror should blastthem Thenagainshefelthandsatworkaboutherperson Theywerecreepingunder hershouldersandunderherlimbs;theywereliftingherfromhermattress Her eyesflaredopeninwildaffright,andshesawtwoblackshroudedforms,theone atherheadtheotheratherfeet Shetriedtocryoutinheragonyofterror;butagainhervoicediedawayinher bosom,andallherpowersseemedpalsied Theyraisedherupandboreheron— greatheaven!whither? To the open door of the vault, from whose haunted depths a spectral light gleamed! Theyboreherdownthedreadfulsteps,andlaidheronthedeadlyfloor! Theirondoorclangedloudlyto,resoundingthroughthedismalarches “Wehavehernow!”mutteredahoarsevoice Ahollowlaughresponded AndSybilswoonedwithhorror! Sybil’s further adventures will be related in the sequel to this work, to be immediatelypublished,underthetitleof“TRIEDFORHERLIFE.” THEEND EndoftheProjectGutenbergEBookofCruelAsTheGrave,by Mrs EmmaD E N Southworth ***ENDOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKCRUELASTHEGRAVE*** *****Thisfileshouldbenamed23789-h.htmor23789-h.zip***** Thisandallassociatedfilesofvariousformatswillbefoundin: http://www.gutenberg.org/2/3/7/8/23789/ ProducedbyRogerFrankandtheOnlineDistributed ProofreadingTeamathttp://www.pgdp.net Updatededitionswillreplacethepreviousone theoldeditions willberenamed Creatingtheworksfrompublicdomainprinteditionsmeansthatno oneownsaUnitedStatescopyrightintheseworks,sotheFoundation (andyou!)cancopyanddistributeitintheUnitedStateswithout permissionandwithoutpayingcopyrightroyalties Specialrules, setforthintheGeneralTermsofUsepartofthislicense,applyto copyinganddistributingProjectGutenberg-tmelectronicworksto protectthePROJECTGUTENBERG-tmconceptandtrademark Project 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