Page:Pierre.djvu/519

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505
THE END

'Blister me not ! take off thy bloody touch ! Ho, ho, the light !—Lucy ! Lucy !—she 's fainted ! '

Then both stumbled again, and fell from each other in the cell : and for a moment all seemed still, as though all breaths were held.

As the light was now thrust in, Fred was seen on the floor holding his sister in his arms ; and Millthorpe kneeling by the side of Pierre, the unresponsive hand in his ; while Isabel, feebly moving, reclined between, against the wall.

'Yes! Yes!—Dead! Dead!. Dead!—without one visible wound—her sweet plumage hides it.—Thou hellish carrion, this is thy hellish work ! Thy juggler's rifle brought down this heavenly bird ! Oh, my God, my God ! Thou scalpest me with this sight ! '

'The dark vein's burst, and here 's the deluge-wreck—all stranded here ! Ah, Pierre ! my old companion, Pierre ;—school-mate—play-mate—friend !—Our sweet boys' walks within the woods !—Oh, I would have rallied thee, and banteringly warned thee from thy too moody ways, but thou wouldst never heed ! What scornful innocence rests on thy lips, my friend !—Hand scorched with murderer's powder, yet how woman-soft !—By heaven, these fingers move !—one speechless clasp !—all 's o'er ! '

'All's o'er, and ye know him not ! ' came gasping from the wall ; and from the fingers of Isabel dropped an empty vial—as it had been a run-out sand-glass—and shivered upon the floor ; and her whole form sloped sideways, and she fell upon Pierre's heart, and her long hair ran over him, and arboured him in ebon vines.


THE END