and gasped. The trampling came nearer and nearer; it entered the hall itself; moving figures that were not shadows approached her through the darkness !
For us, we saw a splendour, a glorious woman centring the dark. Lona sprang from her horse, and bounded to her. I sprang from mine, and followed Lona.
' Mother! mother!' she cried, and her clear, lovely voice echoed in the dome.
The princess shivered; her face grew almost black with hate; her eyebrows met on her forehead. She rose to her feet, and stood.
' Mother! mother! ' cried Lona again, as she leaped on the dais, and flung her arms around the princess.
An instant more and I should have reached them! —in that instant I saw Lona lifted high, and dashed on the marble floor. Oh, the horrible sound of her fall! At my feet she fell, and lay still. The princess sat down with the smile of a demoness.
I dropped on my knees beside Lona, raised her from the stones, and pressed her to my bosom. With indignant hate I glanced at the princess ; she answered me with her sweetest smile. I would have sprung upon her, taken her by the throat, and strangled her, but love of the child was stronger than hate of the mother, and I clasped closer my precious burden. Her arms hung helpless ; her blood trickled over my hands, and fell on the floor with soft, slow little plashes.
The horses scented it—mine first, then the small ones. Mine reared, shivering and wild-eyed, went about, and thundered blindly down the dark hall, with the little horses after him. Lona's stood gazing down at