"Madame," Emilie was saying, "madame, we cannot find him, and the carriage is gone."
Auguste bowed her head, in acknowledgment and despair. "Is the doctor still here?"
"No, madame. He set off for the city some time ago. He will have reached his lodgings by now..."
And then someone else was with them, standing silently in the doorway: William Carline, the Englishman, dressed, ready to go out in a long riding coat of olive green, with his hat clasped between his hands. His dark blue eyes burned with unspoken questions.
"Guy has gone to the city," whispered Auguste. "Please find him."
Carline's beautiful face expressed no emotion. For a moment he stood so still that the candlelight burnished his long fair hair as if it were spun gold. Then he bowed his head and turned to go.
Auguste waited with her hands clasped to her breast for the sound of his footsteps on the stairs. She gazed out the window into the night, until the muffled beat of his horse's hooves on the driveway had faded at last.
After that there was silence again.
ONE BY ONE THE candles in the big house were extinguished. Outside the trees whispered anew, their branches stirred by a soft breeze that bore with it a promise of more rain.
Once more Guy de Montpellier had gone to London to look for Selene, his lady of songs, and flowers, and stars. And each night he went, a woman died.
From The Music of the Spheres by Elizabeth Redfern. (c) July 2001, Putnam Pub. Group, a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc. Used by permission.
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