The Mysteries of Udolpho
Who rears the bloody hand?
Emily remained in her chamber, on the following morning, without receiving any notice
from Montoni, or seeing a human being, except the armed men, who sometimes passed
on the terrace below. Having tasted no food since the dinner of the preceding day,
extreme faintness made her feel the necessity of quitting the asylum of her apartment to
obtain refreshment, and she was also very anxious to procure liberty for Annette. Willing,
however, to defer venturing forth, as long as possible, and considering, whether she
should apply to Montoni, or to the compassion of some other person, her excessive
anxiety concerning her aunt, at length, overcame her abhorrence of his presence, and she
determined to go to him, and to entreat, that he would suffer her to see Madame Montoni.
Meanwhile, it was too certain, from the absence of Annette, that some accident had
befallen Ludovico, and that she was still in confinement; Emily, therefore, resolved also
to visit the chamber, where she had spoken to her, on the preceding night, and, if the poor
girl was yet there, to inform Montoni of her situation.
It was near noon, before she ventured from her apartment, and went first to the south
gallery, whither she passed without meeting a single person, or hearing a sound, except,
now and then, the echo of a distant footstep.
It was unnecessary to call Annette, whose lamentations were audible upon the first
approach to the gallery, and who, bewailing her own and Ludovico's fate, told Emily, that
she should certainly be starved to death, if she was not let out immediately. Emily
replied, that she was going to beg her release of Montoni; but the terrors of hunger now
yielded to those of the Signor, and, when Emily left her, she was loudly entreating, that
her place of refuge might be concealed from him.
As Emily drew near the great hall, the sounds she heard and the people she met in the
passages renewed her alarm. The latter, however, were peaceable, and did not interrupt
her, though they looked earnestly at her, as she passed, and sometimes spoke. On
crossing the hall towards the cedar room, where Montoni usually sat, she perceived, on
the pavement, fragments of swords, some tattered garments stained with blood, and
almost expected to have seen among them a dead body; but from such a spectacle she
was, at present, spared. As she approached the room, the sound of several voices issued
from within, and a dread of appearing before many strangers, as well as of irritating
Montoni by such an intrusion, made her pause and falter from her purpose. She looked up
through the long arcades of the hall, in search of a servant, who might bear a message,
but no one appeared, and the urgency of what she had to request made her still linger near
the door. The voices within were not in contention, though she distinguished those of