As a result of this certainty, the carriage door was opened, the two women alighted, and after having once more raised their eyes to a strip of wood, some six or eight feet long by two broad, which was nailed above the windows of the second storey, and bore the inscription, “Madame Voison, midwife,” stole quickly into a passage, the door of which was unfastened, and in which there was just so much light as enabled persons passing in or


out to find their way 杭州丝袜按摩 along the narrow winding stair that led from the ground floor to the fifth story.

The two strangers, one of whom appeared to be of far higher rank than the other, did not stop, as might have been expected, at the door corresponding with the inscription that had guided them, but, on the contrary, went on to the next floor.

Here, upon the landing, was a kind of dwarf, oddly dressed after the fashion of sixteenth-century Venetian buffoons, who, when he saw the two women coming, stretched out a wand, as though to prevent them from going farther, and asked what they wanted.

“To consult the spirit,” replied the woman of the sweet and tremulous voice.

“Come in and wait,” returned the dwarf, lifting a panel of tapestry and ushering the two women into a waiting-room.

The women obeyed, and remained for about half an hour, seeing 杭州不正规按摩价位 and hearing nothing. At last a door, concealed by the tapestry, was suddenly opened; a voice uttered the word “Enter,” and the two women were introduced into a second room, hung with black, and lighted solely by a three-branched lamp that hung from the ceiling. The door closed behind them, and the clients found themselves face to face with the sibyl.

She was a woman of about twenty-five or twenty-six, who, unlike other women, evidently desired to appear older than she was. She was dressed in black; her hair hung in plaits; her neck, arms, and feet were bare; the belt at her waist was clasped by a large garnet which threw out sombre fires. In her hand she held a wand, and she was raised on a sort of platform which stood for the tripod of the ancients, and from which came acrid and penetrating fumes; she was, moreover, fairly handsome, 杭州桑拿水疗会所爽记 although her features were common, the eyes only excepted, and these, by some trick of the toilet, no doubt, looked inordinately large, and, like the garnet in her belt, emitted strange lights.

When the two visitors came in, they found the soothsayer leaning her forehead on her hand, as though absorbed in thought. Fearing to rouse her from her ecstasy, they waited in silence until it should please her to change her position. At the end of ten minutes she raised her head, and seemed only now to become aware that two persons were standing before her.

“What is wanted of me again?” she asked, “and shall I have rest only in the grave?”

“Forgive me, madame,” said the sweet-voiced unknown, “but I am wishing to know——”

“Silence!” said the sibyl, in a solemn voice. “I will not know your affairs. It is to the spirit that you 杭州丝袜足浴上门 must address yourself; he is a jealous spirit, who forbids his secrets to be shared; I can but pray to him for you, and obey his will.”

At these words, she left her tripod, passed into an adjoining room, and soon returned, looking even paler and more anxious than before, and carrying in one hand a burning chafing dish, in the other a red paper. The three flames of the lamp 杭州油压按摩kjml grew fainter at the same moment, and the room was left lighted up only by the chafing dish; every object now assumed a fantastic air that did not fail to disquiet the two visitors, but it was too late to draw back.

The soothsayer placed the chafing dish in the middle of the room, presented the paper to the young woman who had spoken, and said to her—

“Write down what you wish to know.”

The woman took the paper with a steadier hand than might have been expected, seated herself at a table, and wrote:—

“Am I young? Am I beautiful? Am I maid, wife, or widow? This is for the past.

“Shall I marry, or marry again? Shall I live long, or shall I die young? This is for the future.”

Then, stretching out her hand to the soothsayer, she asked—

“What am I to do now with this?”

“Roll that letter around this ball,”


answered the 杭州足浴休闲 other, handing to the unknown a little ball of virgin wax. “Both ball and letter will be consumed in the flame before your eyes; the spirit knows your secrets already. In three days you will have the answer.”

The unknown did as the sibyl bade her; then the latter took from her hands the ball and the paper in which it was wrapped, and went and threw both into the chafing pan.