He knelt also and took the moveless hand, feeling the pulse; he, too, thrust his hand within the breast and held it there, looking at the sunken face.
"My dear lord," her ladyship was saying, as if to the prostrate man's ear alone, knowing that her tender voice must reach him if aught would--as indeed was truth. "Edward! My dear--dear lord!"
Osmonde held his hand steadily over the heart. The guests shrunk back, stricken with terror.
There was that in this corner of the splendid room which turned faces pale.
Osmonde slowly withdrew his hand, and turning to the kneeling woman- -with a pallor like that of marble, but with a noble tenderness and pity in his eyes -
"My lady," he said, "you are a brave woman. Your great courage must sustain you. The heart beats no more. A noble life is finished."
The guests heard, and drew still farther back, a woman or two faintly whimpering; a hurrying lacquey parted the crowd, and so, way being made for him, the physician came quickly forward.
Anne put her shaking hands up to cover her gaze. Osmonde stood still, looking down. My Lady Dunstanwolde knelt by the couch and hid her beautiful face upon the dead man's breast.