"Rudolph! have you no single feeling for me left? Why didn't you stab that man?"
But the Baron merely retorted with a lifelike affectation of snoring.
For a long time the Baron lay wide awake, every sense alert, listening for the creak of a footstep on the wooden stair that led up from the harness-room to his prison. What else could the strange words of Dugald have meant, save that some friend proposed to climb those stairs and gently open that stubborn door? And in this opinion he had been confirmed when he observed that on Dugald's departure the key turned with a silence suggesting a recently oiled lock. His bed lay along the wall, with the head so close to the door that any one opening it and stretching forth a hand could tweak him by the nose without an effort (supposing that were the object of their visit). Clearly, he thought, it was not thus arranged without some very special purpose. Yet when hour after hour passed and nothing happened, he began to sleep fitfully, and at last, worn out with fruitless waiting, dropped into a profound slumber.
He was in the midst of a harassing dream or drama, wherein Bunker and Eva played an incoherent part and he himself passed wearily from peril to peril, when the stage suddenly was cleared, his eyes started open, and he became wakefully conscious of a little ray of light that fell upon his face. Before he could raise his head a soft voice whispered urgently,
With admirable self-control he obeyed implicitly.
"Who is zere?" he whispered back.
The voice seemed for a moment to hesitate, and then answered--
He started so audibly that again she breathed peremptorily--