stranger—also an Englishman—came in. This person introduced himself as another friend of Count Fosco's; and he, in his turn, looked at her very oddly, and asked some curious questions—never, as well as she could remember, addressing her by name; and going out again, after a little while, like the first man. By this time, she was so frightened about herself, and so uneasy about her sister, that she had thoughts of venturing down-stairs again, and claiming the protection and assistance of the only woman she had seen in the house—the servant who answered the door.
Just as she had risen from her chair, the Count came back into the room.
The moment he appeared, she asked anxiously how long the meeting between her sister and herself was to be still delayed. At first, he returned an evasive answer; but, on being pressed, he acknowledged, with great apparent reluctance, that Miss Halcombe was by no means so well as he had hitherto represented her to be. His tone and manner, in making this reply, so alarmed Lady Glyde, or rather so painfully increased the uneasiness which she had felt in the company of the two strangers, that a sudden faintness overcame her, and she was obliged to ask for a glass of water. The Count called from the door for water, and for a bottle of smelling-salts. Both were brought in by the foreign-looking man with the beard. The water, when Lady Glyde attempted to drink it, had so strange a taste that it increased her faintness; and she hastily took the bottle of salts from Count Fosco, and smelt at it. Her head became giddy on the instant. The Count caught the bottle as it dropped out of her hand; and the last impression of which she was conscious was that he held it to her nostrils again.
From this point, her recollections were found to be confused, fragmentary, and difficult to reconcile with any reasonable probability.
Her own impression was that she recovered her senses later in the evening; that she then left the house; that she went (as she had previously arranged to go, at Blackwater Park) to Mrs. Vesey's; that she drank tea there; and that she passed the night under Mrs. Vesey's roof. She was totally unable to say how, or when, or in what company, she left the house to which Count Fosco had brought her. But she persisted in asserting that she had been to Mrs. Vesey's; and, still more extraordinary, that she had been helped to undress and get to bed by Mrs. Rubelle! She could not remember what the conversation was at Mrs. Vesey's, or whom