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Terrible Tales

‘And where, think you, is Marino?’ said her father.

‘How can I tell? I expected to find him here.’

The Count snatched up a light and beckoned me to follow him. He led the way to the apartment that had been assigned to the married couple. We found the Duke alone—dead. He was lying on the floor, and on his face was a look of horror such as I had only once before seen on the countenance of man.

You may imagine into what distress this occurrence threw the whole family. My presence could be of no service. It was impossible to console them, and I was not sorry when letters came informing me that my presence was immediately required at my own residence.

The only explanation I could ever arrive at of those remarkable occurrences, was of a strange character; and, depending on mere oral tradition, is not very full nor satisfactory.

It is said that there was once, in the fifteenth century, a young lady of rank, a native of the district in which stands the castle of my friend Count Globoda. It is alleged that she was guilty of such cruel infidelity to a young man with whom she was once in love that he died of grief. Afterwards, on her marriage night, his spirit appeared, claimed the lady, and her immediate death ensued. The story runs, not very consistently, that she has since never rested in her grave, but has wandered through the world, assuming many different forms and aspects in order to seduce lovers into a breach of their vows. As it is impossible for her to wear the features of any living being, she invests herself in the form of the dead. She can never be released from her task,