IN A WINTER CITY. 359
" If he die it is I who wiU have kUled him,"
she said in her own heart night and day.
Once she found herself in her long lonely rides
near Palestrina, and met the old steward, and
recognised him, and went into the sad, sUent,
deserted house; and Ustened to the old man's
stories of his beloved lord's boyhood and man¬
hood, and of the people's clinging feudal attach¬
ment to him, and of his devotion to them in the
time of the cholera pestUence.
" There is not an old charcoal burner or a
Uttle goatherd on the estates that would not give
his life for -Prince Pa«lo,"- the steward said to
her, crying like a child because there was no
news from SicUy.
The same evening she went to a great Pasqua
ball at the Trasimene vUla. As they fastened
the diamonds over her hafr and in her bosom she
felt-to hate the shining, senseless,-souUess stones;
—they were the emblem of the things for which
she had lost him; and at that very hour, for
ought they knew, he might be lying dead on
some soUtary shore by the fafr blue sea of