Our Friend Manso

By Benito Pérez Galdós; Robert Russell | Go to book overview

XXXVIII
NIGHT WAS FALLING

DOÑA CÁNDIDA HERSELF brought in a shaded lamp, borne in her own venerable hands. Placing it on the table, she said to me in a hollow, frightened voice:

"He's gone now . . . Lord! I thought we were going to have a real show here . . . But you're both very sensible, and between good brothers . . . The poor girl . . ."

"What about her?"

"She's got a fever, a dreadful fever. We've put her to bed. Do you want to go in and see her? . . . She's a bit calmer now; a little earlier she was delirious, and was saying all sorts of wild things."

"Have Miquis come up."

"We've given her some mallow-flower tea. I think it will do her good to perspire. She must have taken an awful chill last night when we had that burglar scare."

"Have Miquis come up."

"I don't think that'll be necessary. Sit down. You seem to be rather perplexed. While Irene was delirious a bit earlier, she kept saying your name."

"But do have Miquis come up . . ."

"We'll call him if we have to . . . Would you like to go in and see her? Oh, I believe she's asleep now. Tomorrow I'll tell her you came by to see her, and she'll be so happy. What would become of the two of us without you?"

All that honeyed talk was driving me to my wit's end. I went into the sitting room, which led to the bedroom through a large opening between iron columns painted gold and white, an architectural design which is very stylish in newer houses. I stopped at that entrance. The bedroom was almost totally dark, but I could see the shape of Irene's body outlined by the white bed- clothes. She was like a sculpture whose head had been completed and whose

-191-

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