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The three ladies

I pulled a large couch out of its place near the corner, so that I could lie and look at the lovely view to east and south. Without thinking or caring about the dust, I prepared myself for sleep. I suppose I must have fallen asleep. I hope so, but I am afraid I did not, because what happened next was startlingly real. In fact it was so real that now, whilst I am sitting here in the broad, full sunlight of the morning, I really cannot believe that it was all sleep.

I was not alone. The room was the same. It had not changed in any way since I came into it. In the brilliant moonlight I could see my own footsteps on the floor, marked in the long accumulation of dust. In the moonlight opposite me were three young women. They seemed to be ladies by their dress and manner. I thought at the time when I saw them that I must be dreaming, because their bodies made no shadow on the floor. They came close to me, and looked at me for a while, and then whispered together. Two were dark, and had high, thin, straight noses, like the Count, and big dark eyes that seemed to see straight through me. Their eyes looked almost red when contrasted with the pale yellow moon.