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the next moment, appearing with a suddenness which was like a blow on the cheek to me, mademoiselle de cocheforet glided forward towards me. she had a hood on her head, drawn low; and for a moment i could not see her face, i forgot her brother's presence at my elbow, i forgot other things, and, from habit and impulse rather than calculation, i took a step forward to meet her; though my tongue cleaved to the roof of my mouth, and i was dumb and trembling.

but she recoiled with such a look of white hate, of staring, frozen-eyed abhorrence, that i stepped back as if she had indeed struck me. it did not need the words which accompanied the look—the 'DO NOT TOUCH ME!' which she hissed at me as she drew her skirts together—to drive me to the farther edge of the hollow; where i stood with clenched teeth, and nails driven into the flesh, while she hung, sobbing tearless sobs, on her brother's neck.

and so we remained till the red of the dawn began to fall through the snow gloom. i was desolate and afraid, and full of woe and terror. but when that beautiful sun began to climb the horizon life was to me again. at the first coming of the dawn the horrid figures melted in the whirling mist and snow. the wreaths of transparent gloom moved away towards the castle, and were lost.

instinctively, with the dawn coming, i turned to madam mina, intending to hypnotize her. but she lay in a deep and sudden sleep, from which i could not wake her. i tried to hypnotize through her sleep, but she made no response, none at all, and the day broke. i fear yet to stir. i have made my fire and have seen the horses, they are all dead. today i have much to do here, and i keep waiting till the sun is up high. for there may be places where i must go, where that sunlight, though snow and mist obscure it, will be to me a safety.

i will strengthen me with breakfast, and then i will do my terrible work.

friday clxvi bis

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