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The Two Destinies

10. Saint Anthony's Well
I STOOD on the rocky eminence in front of the ruins of Saint Anthony's Chapel, and
looked on the magnificent view of Edinburgh and of the old Palace of Holyrood, bathed
in the light of the full moon.
The Well, as the doctor's instructions had informed me, was behind the chapel. I waited
for some minutes in front of the ruin, partly to recover my breath after ascending the hill;
partly, I own, to master the nervous agitation which the sense of my position at that
moment had aroused in me. The woman, or the apparition of the woman--it might be
either--was perhaps within a few yards of the place that I occupied. Not a living creature
appeared in front of the chapel. Not a sound caught my ear from any part of the solitary
hill. I tried to fix my whole attention on the beauties of the moonlit view. It was not to be
done. My mind was far away from the objects on which my eyes rested. My mind was
with the woman whom I had seen in the summer-house writing in my book.
I turned to skirt the side of the chapel. A few steps more over the broken ground brought
me within view of the Well, and of the high boulder or rock from the foot of which the
waters gushed brightly in the light of the moon.
She was there.
I recognized her figure as she stood leaning against the rock, with her hands crossed in
front of her, lost in thought. I recognized her face as she looked up quickly, startled by
the sound of my footsteps in the deep stillness of the night.
Was it the woman, or the apparition of the woman? I waited, looking at her in silence.
She spoke. The sound of her voice was not the mysterious sound that I had heard in the
summer-house. It was the sound I had heard on the bridge when we first met in the dim
evening light.
"Who are you? What do you want?"
As those words passed her lips, she recognized me. "You here!" she went on, advancing a
step, in uncontrollable surprise . "What does this mean?"
"I am here," I answered, "to meet you, by your own appointment."
She stepped back again, leaning against the rock. The moonlight shone full upon her face.
There was terror as well as astonishment in her eyes while they now looked at me.
"I don't understand you," she said. "I have not seen you since you spoke to me on the
bridge."
 
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