THE AMBITIOUS ROSE-TREE. 95
through and through her like lances of steel. The
night seemed very long. She was tired.
She Avas erect there on her Sevres throne, AvIth
the light thrilling and throbbing upon her in every
point. But she thought of the SAveet, dark, fresh
nights in the old home where the blackbird had
slept, and she longed for them.
The dancers came and went, the music thrummed
and screamed, the laughter was both near and far ;
the rose-tree was amidst it all. Yet she felt alone—
all alone ! as travellers may feel in a desert. Hour
succeeded hour; the night Avore on apace; the
dancers ceased to come; the music ceased, too ; the
light still burned down upon her, and the scoi'chlng
fever of it consumed her like fire.
Then there came silence—entire silence. Servants
came round and put out all the lights—hundreds and
hundreds of lights—quickly one by one. Other ser¬
vants Avent to the Avindows and thrcAv them wide open
to let out the fumes of Avine. Without, the night Avas
changing into the grey that tells of earliest daAvn,
But it Avas a bitter frost; the grass Avas Avhite AvIth
it; the air Avas ice. In the great darkness that had
noAV fallen on all the scene this deadly cold cam.e
around the rose-tree and Avrapped her In it as in a
She shivered from head to foot.
The cruel glacial coldness cr-ept into the hot
banquetcing chamber, and moved round it in Avhi'.c,