Valeria: Perhaps not best time to mention. Eithne close to sniffles. Is what some will say, though those who loved him knew he was a man beyond reproach. Still, it's a mystery. Valeria: Bell struck thirteen. Balsamo: And there is talk of a dark figure.
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Eithne: Indeed, though i am recovered and his services as leaning post are now surplus to requirements. Nicholas: I have not met this gentleman before. John: I'm John Straight, sir. I have forthright Hall, the adjoining estate. Sadly far less magnificent than Mildew Manor, for my means are limited. The bulk of the my capital was squandered in an unwise speculation. John: Oddly, the late sir Eustace suggested the investment. I must have misunderstood his advice, for he prospered greatly from an affair which came close to ruining. No father of Eithne's could be a deceiver, a villain, a usurer or a profiteer of swindles and schemes. Linoline: Nonsense, he was so crooked his grave will have to be dug with a corkscrew.
A terror to mousies, perhaps, but no harm to anyone else. Valeria: footman drowned cat in the tarn. Linoline: What, dear old Smudge, drowned?! This is a black day. John: Miss Orfe stirs in her swoon. Eithne: Oh, it's too much to bear. I find myself a limp body supported only by the arms of a kind stranger. John: I meant no liberty, miss Orfe. Valeria: you thesis were fortunate such a gallant was at hand in your moment of weakness.
I am quite overcome, and close to swooning. John: fear not, i am positioned perfectly to catch Miss Orfe. In a respectful manner. She has fainted dead away. She's light as a feather. Linoline: How did he get those holes in his throat? Nicholas: Father Balsamo thinks the cat. Linoline: What, dear old Smudge?
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You say you saw a dark figure? Eithne: Mr goodman, i am bereft! My business father has been torn from me and the beauty of existence is shredded. Where yesterday i saw songbirds and blossoming flowers, today are only carrion ravens and pestilential weeds. Linoline: Eithne and I came at once we heard. Your honest neighbour, Mr John Straight, was kind enough to put his carriage at our disposal.
John: least I could do, sir. Anything for Miss Orfe. Why, that such distress should befall so tender a heart is beyond all imagining. Nicholas: Eithne is young, and the grief will pass. Eithne: Let enterprise me look upon his dear, dead face. It can't be, such an expression of horror and torment, i can barely recognise my father.
Why, twelve as ever. A very loud bong. Valeria: The French windows fly open! Nicholas: The dark figure is upon. An unnatural storm has risen. Dark figure: Sir Eustace Orfe.
Your debt is due. Eustace: Into the storm I go, tugged by the skeletal hand of the dark figure of Mildew Manor, resigned to the fate i have earned many times over. nicholas: i've never seen such a thing, father Balsamo. The look of sheer agony on my boyhood friend's face, the contortion of his limbs, the fearful wounds. Balsamo: The wounds are shallow. Mere scratches, perhaps from a household cat. Sir Eustace died of some specie of severe shock. His heart has burst with terror.
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Tonight, the mildew Manor bell will strike twelve times. And then once more to signal my appointment. Nicholas: A toll of thirteen. Why, that's not possible. The bell sounds midnight. Eustace: look, candles are snuffed out as if a spectral breath blows through the halls of Mildew Manor. See, looming beyond the French windows, a dark figure of terrible appearance, bony finger beckoning. It is time for my appointment. The toll is louder.
Eustace: my only fear is that analysis my daughter, eithne, an innocent of some sixteen summers, should be left alone in a world that often mistreats such as she. Linoline, her companion and protector, is a woman of fine character but, it must be said, susceptible intellect. Goodman, i wish you to hold my estate in trust for my daughter until she comes of age and is married. Of course, it will be down to you to weed out rogues and fortune-hunters and ensure she makes a suitable match. Are you prepared to take on such a sacred duty? Nicholas: On my soul,. Eustace: On your soul, you have. Midnight draws close, my friend.
That troubles me not. My path through life has led to great wealth and influence. But before my last appointment, i must charge you with a vital task, goodman.
Why, from his humble beginnings, sir Eustace has risen to wealth and influence, while i, nicholas goodman, have devoted my life to charitable works and remained impecunious summary and obscure. Still, for all his worldly finery, i believe sir Eustace deems me richer than. For I possess that which cannot be bought or bargained for, a spotless reputation. Valeria: Spotless,. Still, little worldly finery would be, as you say in England, just the wicket. Hark, sir Eustace is almost come upon. The bell strikes the quarter hour. Nicholas: The good old bell at Mildew Manor.
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Gallery, print-friendly version, pda version, those of delicate sensibilities should reviews be appraised that this masque touches upon matters that may prove terrifying, offensive and unnaturally stimulating. Be assured the intent is not to shock but delight, not to appal but inform, not to dwell on bloody horrors and licentiousness in the French manner but impart a moral lesson such as any concerned parent or guardian would wish his or her own. Our tale is laid in a former century, in the wild and untamed middle parts of England, where nestles Mildew Manor, country seat of Sir Eustace Orfe. Responding to an urgent and mysterious summons comes Sir Eustace's boyhood friend, the worthy Mr Nicholas goodman, accompanied by his confidante and helpmeet Signorina valeria nefaria, an Italian widow. Nicholas: An urgent and mysterious summons should be answered promptly, valeria. Especially when it comes from my boyhood friend, sir Eustace Orfe. Nicholas: Comparing Mildew Manor with my own lowly dwelling, it strikes me as ironic that the paths of two childhood friends should so diverge in life.