THE HOUSE OF DEATH 299
whom he kills never knows she is dead, but lives to do his will, and thinks she is doing her own.'
' Show me then to my grave ; I am so weary I can live no longer. I must go to the Shadow—yet I would not!'
She did not, could not understand !
She struggled to rise, but fell at the feet of Eve. The Mother lifted, and carried her inward.
I followed Adam and Mara and the children into the chamber of death. We passed Eve with Lilith in her arms, and went farther in.
'You shall not go to the Shadow,' I heard Eve say, as we passed them. ' Even now is his head under my heel! '
The dim light in Adam's hand glimmered on the sleeping faces, and as he went on, the darkness closed over them. The very air seemed dead : was it because none of the sleepers breathed it? Profoundest sleep filled the wide place. It was as if not one had waked since last I was there, for the forms I had then noted lay there still. My father was just as I had left him, save that he seemed yet nearer to a perfect peace. The woman beside him looked younger.
The darkness, the cold, the silence, the still air, the faces of the lovely dead, made the hearts of the children beat softly, but their little tongues would talk—with low, hushed voices.
' What a curious place to sleep in ! ' said one, ' I would rather be in my nest! '
' It is so cold !' said another.
' Yes, it is cold,' answered our host; but you will not be cold in your sleep.'
' Where are our nests ? ' asked more than one, looking round and seeing no couch unoccupied.