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haps she was really touched by the feeble writing and humble supplications of Eitel Gustav's letter. Perhaps she was suitably impressed by the magnificence of the yellow diamond. Or perhaps she was so unhappy, still mourning for Guy Chevis, that she did not care what she did or where she went.

In any case she arrived in Brandenstein, where the Grand Duke, supposing her to be Russian, and wishing her to feel at home, caused hundreds of tons of salt, simulating snow, to be piled along the road leading to his palace, and himself went forth to meet her, driving a sleigh that was drawn by two white Arab ponies. She was forthwith installed in a pavilion adjacent to the royal park, in the salon of which Eitel Gustav, his mind still confusedly revolving the connection between Russians, snow and wintry revels, had caused to be placed an enormous, brilliant Christmas tree. She dined that night at the castle in the company of her host and of his two eccentric spinster aunts, who apparently supposed her to be a Russian princess dallying with the idea of marrying their nephew, and Eitel Gustav, cutting suddenly into an enormous pie, triumphantly released a flock of white pigeons with silver bells around their necks, which so much astonished the aunts that one of them choked, wedged a fish-bone in her throat, and was led from the table by her lady-in-waiting. Nor was this lady seen again for three days.

And so began an episode in Lina's life which lasted for nearly six months. Once she left Eitel Gustav to fulfil an engagement in Paris; during her absence he tried to drown himself, and when she returned she was made to promise that never, never again would she leave him even for an hour. It was then that she realized for the first time with a chili of misgiving that she was virtually a prisoner in this cold, drafty, primitive castle, where rats scuffled, and ghosts glided, and two crazy old women