"Tell what you will and when you will, Elizabeth. Perhaps, some day -- when --" he pointed to the little crib.
"As you say." And so it dropped.
There came a day when Hartington, sit- ting upon the portico, where perfumes of the budding clover came to him, hated the humming of the happy bees, hated the rust- ling of the trees, hated the sight of earth.
"The child is dead," the nurse had said, "as for your wife, perhaps --" but that was all. Finally he heard the nurse's step upon the floor.
"Come, "she said, motioning him. And he had gone, laid cheek against that dying cheek, whispered his love once more, saw it returned even then, in those deep eyes, and laid her back upon her pillow, dead.
He buried her among the mignonette, levelled the earth, sowed thick the seed again.
With his strong hands he wrenched the little crib, laid it piece by piece upon their hearth, and scattered then the sacred ashes on the wind. Then, with hard-coming breath, broke open the locked door of that room which he had never entered, thinking to find there, perhaps, some sign of that unguessable life of hers, but found there only an altar, with votive lamps before the Blessed Virgin, and lilies faded and fallen from their stems.
Then down into the cellar went he, to those boxes, with the foreign marks. And then, indeed, he found a hint of that dead life. Gowns of velvet and of silk, such as princesses might wear, wonders of lace, yellowed with time, great cloaks of snowy fur, lustrous robes, jewels of worth, -- a vast array of brilliant trumpery. Then there were books in many tongues, with rich old bindings and illuminated page, and in them written the dead woman's name, -- a name of many parts, with titles of impress, and in the midst of all the name, "Eliza- beth Astrado," as she said.