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Madame Chrysantheme — Volume 4 by Pierre Loti
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MADAME CHRYSANTHEME

By PIERRE LOTI


BOOK 4.


CHAPTER XLVII

A MIDNIGHT ALARM

It is the middle of the night, perhaps about two o'clock in the morning.
Our lamps are burning somewhat dimly before our placid idols.
Chrysantheme wakes me suddenly, and I turn to look at her: she has raised
herself on one arm, and her face expresses the most intense terror; she
makes a sign, without daring to speak, that some one or something is
near, creeping up to us. What ill-timed visit is this? A feeling of
fear gains possession of me also. I have a rapid impression of some
great unknown danger, in this isolated spot, in this strange country of
which I do not even yet comprehend the inhabitants and the mysteries.
It must be something very frightful to hold her there, rooted to the
spot, half dead with fright, she who does comprehend all these things.

It seems to be outside; it is coming from the garden; with trembling hand
she indicates to me that it will come through the veranda, over Madame
Prune's roof. Certainly, I hear faint noises, and they do approach us.

I suggest to her