How often, in her waking hours and in her dreams, had she started in wild horror, and covered her face with her hands as she thought of her lover opening the door on the other side of which waited the cruel fangs of the tiger! But how much oftener had she seen him at the other door! How in her grievous reveries had she gnashed her teeth, and torn her hair, when she saw his start of rapturous delight as he opened the door of the lady! How her soul had burned in agony when she had seen him rush to meet that woman, with her flushing cheek and sparkling eye of triumph; when she had seen him lead her forth, his whole frame kindled with the joy of recovered life; when she had heard the glad shouts from the multitude, and the wild ringing of the happy bells; when she had seen the priest, with his joyous followers, advance to the couple, and make them man and wife before her very eyes; and when she had seen them walk away together upon their path of flowers, followed by the tremendous shouts of the hilarious multitude, in which her one despairing shriek was lost and drowned! Would it not be better for him to die at once, and go to wait for her in the blessed regions of semi-barbaric futurity? And yet, that awful tiger, those shrieks, that blood! Her decision had been indicated in an instant, but it had been made after days and nights of anguished deliberation.
She had known she would be asked, she had decided what she would answer, and, without the slightest hesitation, she had moved her hand to the right. The question of her decision is one not to be lightly considered, and it is not for me to presume to set myself up as the one person able to answer it.