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 Saveria was a long time away, and when she at last reappeared, carrying a letter, and followed by little Chilina, rubbing her eyes, and evidently just waked out of her beauty sleep, Orso was wound up to the highest possible pitch of impatience1.  
“Chili,” said Orso, “what are you doing here at this hour?”
“The signorina sent for me,” replied Chilina.
“What the devil does she want with her?” thought Orso to himself. But he was in a hurry to open Miss Lydia’s letter, and while he was reading it Chilina went upstairs to his sister’s room.
“My father, dear sir, has not been well,” Miss Nevil wrote, “and he is so indolent, besides, that I am obliged to act as his secretary. You remember that, instead of admiring the landscape with you and me the other day, he got his feet wet on the sea-shore—and in your delightful2 island, that is quite enough to give one a fever! I can see the face you are making! No doubt you are feeling for your dagger3. But I will hope you have none now. Well, my father had a little fever, and I had a great fright. The prefect, whom I persist in thinking very pleasant, sent us a doctor, also a very pleasant man, who got us over our trouble in two days. There has been no return of the attack, and my father would like to begin to shoot again. But I have forbidden that. How did you find matters in your mountain home? Is your North Tower still in its old place? Are there any ghosts about it? I ask all these questions because my father remembers you have promised him buck4 and boar and moufflon—is that the right name for those strange creatures? We intend to crave5 your hospitality on our way to Bastia, where we are to embark6, and I trust the della Rebbia Castle, which you declare is so old and tumble-down, will not fall in upon our heads! Though the prefect is so pleasant that subjects of conversation are never lacking to us—I flatter myself, by the way, that I have turned his head—we have been talking about your worshipful self. The legal people at Bastia have sent him certain confessions7, made by a rascal8 they have under lock and key, which are calculated to destroy your last remaining suspicions. The enmity which sometimes alarmed me for you must therefore end at once. You have no idea what a pleasure this has been to me! When you started hence with the fair voceratrice, with your gun in hand, and your brow lowering, you struck me as being more Corsican than ever—too Corsican indeed! Basta! I write you this long letter because I am dull. The prefect, alas9! is going away. We will send you a message when we start for your mountains, and I shall take the liberty of writing to Signorina Colomba to ask her ............
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