the passage which had startled him--considered with himself for a moment--and, snatching up the unfinished play, suddenly and softly left the room.
ENTERING his own room on the upper floor, Henry placed the manuscript on his table, open at the first leaf. His nerves were unquestionably shaken; his hand trembled as he turned the pages, he started at chance noises on the staircase of the hotel.
The scenario, or outline, of the Countess's play began with no formal prefatory phrases. She presented herself and her work with the easy familiarity of an old friend.
"Allow me, dear Mr. Francis Westwick, to introduce to you the persons in my proposed Play. Behold them, arranged symmetrically in a line.
"My Lord. The Baron. The Courier. The Doctor. The Countess.
"I don't trouble myself, you see, to invent fictitious family names. My characters are sufficiently distinguished by their social titles and by the striking contrast which they present one with another.
"The First Act opens--
"No! Before I open the First Act, I must announce, in justice to myself, that this Play is en