Chapitre 24. The Fall of Voûte du vautour; or, Revenge is a dish that can be appallingly overdone at times

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As the steuard du roi had indicated to Mme. de Sacqueville-Danglars, Valartine had not yet recovered. By order of Dr. Tolliers, she was kept under constant guard.

A nervous exaltation pursued her even in her sleep: in the silence of the night and the half-darkness allowed to reign by the night-light placed upon the mantelpiece, she saw passing those shadows that people the sick-room and which the fever shakes with its shuddering wings. Then, she seemed to see now her stepmother who threatened her, now Morrie who extended an arm to her, now beings almost foreign to her habitual life, such as Hostettier-Wynné the Elvish-language expert, Lord Frosty the notorious Snowbleman and risqué poet, and the Count of Monte Fato.

The evening after Valartine had learnt of the flight of Éowénie and the arrest of Trascoletto, ten minutes after her guard had retired for the night, the demoiselle, in prey to that fever which returned each night, let her head, independently of her will, continue that active, monotonous, and implacable labor of the brain, which exhausts itself in repeating incessantly the same thoughts or in giving birth to the same images, resembling nothing so much as a debate of the Guerriers de flamme.†

† A revolutionary society of irritating journalists who quarrelled endlessly in the press over trivia such as whether grande dames had real hair and whether the prima donna Editta Blasta was an elf.

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