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“I fell asleep before the storm came on.”

“Fell asleep—out-of-doors—and at sunset! What dreadful imprudence.”

“I went out too late, I’m afraid; but I was so tired of waiting for you. A kind of horror of the house and the silence came upon me—and I felt I must go out into the[Pg 245] woods. I walked too far—and fell asleep from sheer fatigue; and when I woke I saw a yacht fighting with the wind. I’m afraid she’ll go down.”

“What, you noticed her too?” exclaimed Hulbert. “I didn’t think you cared enough about yachts to take notice of her. I was watching her as we came down the hill; rather too much canvas; but she’s right enough. She’s past Arma di Taggia by this time, I dare say. I’ll go and look for Disney, and tell him you’re safe and sound. Perhaps I shall miss him in the wood. It’s like a Midsummer Night’s Dream, isn’t it, Allegra?” he said, laughing, as he went out of the gate.

“If it were only mid-summer, I shouldn’t care,” answered his sweetheart, with her arm round Isola, who stood beside her, pale and shivering. “Come in, dear, and let me make you warm, if I can.”

“If they should all go down in the darkness!” said Isola, in a low, dreamy voice. “The boat looked as if it might be wrecked at any moment.”

Allegra employed all her arts as a sick-nurse in the endeavour to ward off any evil consequence from that imprudent slumber in the chill hour of sunset; but her cares were unavailing. Isola was restless and feverish all night, yet she insisted on getting up at her usual hour next morning, and declared herself quite capable of the journey to Genoa. Allegra and her brother, however, insisted on her resting for a day or two. So the departure was postponed, and the doctor 长沙桑拿按摩贴吧 sent for. He advised at least three days’ rest, with careful nursing; and he reproved his patient severely for her imprudence in exposing herself to the evening air.

Captain Hulbert appeared at teatime, just returned from a railway journey to Allassio.

“I’ve a surprise for you, Mrs. Disney,” he said, seating himself by the sofa where Isola was lying, surrounded by invalid luxuries, books, lemonade, fan, and eau de Cologne flask, her feet covered with a silken rug.

[Pg 246]

“A surprise