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talking with all the gaiety and familiarity of French people. There was a female attendant and a valet in the group. Griffith and Patrick were not there, so I hastened to find my little companion, whom I had left wrapped up in a cloak by the fire.
Not seeing him, I with some difficulty made my way through the shivering and laughing party, but no Carlos was to be found, and I was looking round to make inquiry, when I felt my shawl gently pulled, and turning about, perceived, crouching by my side, with a face as white as ashes, the object of my search.
“My dear Carlos,” I was beginning to speak aloud, when he stopped me, saying in a stifled voice, “ Hide me, dear Theresa, hide me.”“My dear child,” I said, “what is the matter, what has so terrified you ?” For he trembled from head to foot. “Oh, hide me, hide me,” he repeated, “don't you see that dreadful woman?” As his eyes were closed, while he kept pressing in an apparent agony of fear to my side, I led him unperceived from the kitchen into the passage leading into the room
occupied by Lord and Lady Henry, and then telling him we were alone, begged him to say what ailed him. Finding there was really no one but myself near, he in a low, agitated tone told me that the maid servant who had accompanied the new comers was no other than his tyrant, Sophie, Lady Henry's discarded attendant. She had not discovered him, he said, as the moment he saw her, he crouched down and covered himself with his cloak.
“If she finds me, Theresa,” he said, “she will certainly murder me, she said she would if she died for it, when she went away.”
I strove to quiet him for some time in vain, and when I had in some measure succeeded, I determined to take him into the parlour, and tell Lord and Lady Henry what had occurred, and beg to leave him under their protection till I should be at liberty to take charge of him inyself. As soon as they were informed of the fears of the little page, they commended me for my anxiety about him, and both of them kindly soothed his fears, and seated him on a stool at their feet, assuring him that Mam’selle Sophie would not dare to molest him while under their care.
In the mean time I gave up the small sitting room intended for Carlos and myself to the strangers, and gave directions for supper to be taken up to my bed-room so soon as Lord and Lady Henry had been served.
I had a good opportunity now of seeing Mademoiselle Sophie as I passed through the kitchen, and did not wonder, as I contemplated, unobserved, her peculiarly unpleasant face, and its fierce and vicious expression, at the fears of the poor little page. She was attempting to enter into conversation with Griffith and his companion, but they were both too honesthearted to conceal their dislike to holding any communication with her.
As soon as every thing was ready and comfortable in my room, I went for my pretty little friend. He had been re-assured by his kind lord and lady, and accompanied me, though trembling, through the dreaded kitchen.
He hid his face, however, and kept tight hold of my hand, not daring to open his eyes
till I told him we were safe in my room. Here a blazing fire, and a good supper of eggs, pigeons, and coffee awaited us, and by the time it was finished his courage returned; but hearing the dreaded voice of Sophie on the stairs, he begged me with such earnestness not to let him sleep alone that night, that I determined he should occupy my bed, while I would wrap myself up and sleep in an arm-chair by the fire. How shamefully the poor child must have been treated by the abandoned Sophie, to be in such terror of her when she had ceased to have any power over him.
When summoned to attend Lady Henry, I locked the little page in the room, desiring him to undress and get to bed while I was away. I told my lady what I had done, as she really seemed very uneasy about her poor little frightened countryman, and she expressed herself much pleased that I was so careful of him. Indeed, I wonder any one could have been otherwise, for he was a most grateful, affectionate little creature, and I can truly say that I very soon felt for him the affection of a mother, picturing to myself that he might in some measure resemble my dear dead Frederick, and the idea was very soothing to my imagination.
I found that the French party, of which Sophie was one, intended to start early the next morning on their route to Switzerland, and when I returned to my room I intended to impart this piece of good news to Carlos. When I unlocked the door, however, I found the poor little fellow had fallen fast asleep on the floor. I lifted him up without waking him, and placing him on the bed, and covering him up, he did not wake till morning.
We left the village, (which Carlos never forgot,) and stopping only one day at Lyons, lost no time in pushing on to a small town on the coast of Roussillon, where Lord and Lady Henry had been recommended to take up their quarters. Here we remained only one week, as we could not obtain proper lodgings, or a house to ourselves, and Lord Henry was about