chamber beyond : a childish terror seized me ; I sat and stared at the coffin-door.óBut father Adam, mother Eve, sister Mara would soon come to me, and then ówelcome the cold world and the white neighbours! I forgot my fears, lived a little, and loved my dead.
Something did move in the chamber of the dead ! There came from it what was like a dim, far-off sound, yet was not what I knew as sound. My soul sprang into my ears. Was it a mere thrill of the dead air, too slight to be heard, but quivering in every spiritual sense ? I knew without hearing, without feeling it!
The something was coming! it drew nearer ! In the bosom of my desertion awoke an infant hope. The noiseless thrill reached the coffin-dooróbecame sound, and smote on my ear.
The door began to moveówith a low, soft creaking of its hinges. It was opening! I ceased to listen, and stared expectant.
It opened a little way, and a face came into the opening. It was Lona's. Its eyes were closed, but the face itself was upon me, and seemed to see me. It was white as Eve's, white as Mara's, but did not shine like their faces. She spoke, and her voice was like a sleepy night-wind in the grass.
' Are you coming, king ?' it said. ' I cannot rest until you are with me, gliding down the river to the great sea, and the beautiful dream-land. The sleepiness is full of lovely things : come and see them.'
' Ah, my darling!' I cried. ' Had I but known !óI thought you were dead !'
She lay on my bosomócold as ice frozen to marble. She threw her arms, so white, feebly about me, and sighedó