374 IN A WINTER CITY.
She stopped her horses there, and called a
woman to her, but her lips would not frame the
question. The woman guessed it:—
"Yes, my beautiful lady," she said, with many
tears. " We have been praying for Prince Paolo.
He is very ill, up yonder. The marsh sickness
has got him. May the dear Mother of God save
him to us. But he is dying, they saj'------"
" We would die in his stead, if the good God
would let us,*' said one of the men, drawing near:
the others sobbed aloud.
She put out her hand to the man—the slender
proud hand that she had refused to princes.
Wondering, he fell on his knee and would have
kissed her hand. She drew back in horror,
" Do not kneel to me ! I have kiUed him ! "
she muttered; and she urged her panting horses
forward to the house.
She bade them teU the Due de St, Louis to
come to her upon the terrace. She leaned there
tearless, white as death, stUl as marble; the
beautiful, tranquU spring time aU around, and the
valley shining like gold in the light of the des¬
cending sun. It seemed to her that ages passed