Now, the chair in which Grandfather sat was made of oak, which had grown dark with age, but had been rubbed and polished till it shone as bright as mahogany.
Perhaps the younger of them supposed that he and the chair had come into the world together, and that both had always been as old as they were now.
Into the right hand, which was lying palm downwards, a wax taper had been thrust between forefinger and thumb, and an old servant, bending over from behind the chair, held it in position.
During this interval Pierre noticed that Prince Vasili left the chair on which he had been leaning, and- with air which intimated that he knew what he was about and if others did not understand him it was so much the worse for them- did not go up to the dying man, but passed by him, joined the eldest princess, and moved with her to the side of the room where stood the high bedstead with its silken hangings.
There--in the chair at the bedside--there, suddenly revealed under the flow of light from the candle, was the figure of a woman, reclining.
The person in the chair was no other than the widow of the dead Montbarry-- the woman who had warned her that they were to meet again, and that the place might be Venice!
She still lay back in the chair, possessed by a torpor like the torpor of death--insensible to sound, insensible to touch.
The dumbly-tortured figure in the chair; the broad window opposite the foot of the bed, with the black night beyond it; the candle burning on the table-- these, and all other objects in the room, remained unaltered.
He had a great notion of taking the chair at convivial dinners, and he had often thought how well he could preside in a room of his own in the talking way, and what a capital example he could set to his customers in the drinking department.
Very odd," said Tom, who had got rather sage with the hot punch--'very odd." Tom shook his head with an air of profound wisdom, and looked at the chair again.
'Tom gazed at the chair; and, suddenly as he looked at it, a most extraordinary change seemed to come over it.
'"Because I like it, Tom Smart," said the chair; or the old gentleman, whichever you like to call him.
Ben Bolt, jungle-born and jungle-reared, was to be compelled to sit in the chair in ludicrous and tragic imitation of man-creatures.
Mulcachy tapped the chair sharply with the butt of the whip to draw the animal's attention to it, then flicked the whip-lash sharply on his nose.
Since he could not compel the tiger directly to sit in the chair, he must employ other means.