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THE OVAL PORTRAIT
I waited until I was calm again; then I opened my eyes andlooked a second time. No, there was no mistake. My eyes wereseeing what they saw the first time, only seconds before.
It was a sad and strangely beautiful house, many hundreds ofyears old. Pedro, my servant, broke in through a small door at the back and carried me carefully inside.
He carried me through several tall, richly decorated rooms toa smaller room in a corner of the great house. I've helped me to lie down on the bed.
I sawmore pictures, and among them there was a portrait of a youngwoman. As soon as I saw it, I closed my eyes.
The picture, as I said, was a portrait. It was oval in shape, andshowed the head and shoulders of a young woman.