Read CHAPTER XIV. of HE , free online book, by Andrew Lang., on


There, on the plateau, or platform, we had seen, stood, in naked mystery, the Enchanted Chair.

’’Tis the weird chair of the Viewless Maiden, the place of Her who is no more seen,’ said Jambres.  ‘Who shall sit therein?’

‘The writing said,’ remarked the dauntless Leonora, ’that a descendant of Theodolite must achieve this adventure.  I am ready.’

‘Nay, not so, maiden,’ murmured Jambres, ’try it not till I have made experience thereof.  Me it cannot harm; in me you see the original inventor; beware of spurious imitations.  But it is a dread experience; let me work it first!’

Leonora could not resist his winning manner and concern for her safety.

‘I move,’ she said, ’that Mr. Jambres do take the chair at this meeting.’

‘I second that proposal,’ said I, and there was not a dissentient voice.

‘Mr. Jambres will now take the chair,’ said Leonora, and the wizard, his swathing robes bulging with Leonora’s securities, glided forward.

Then an awful thing occurred.  No sooner had Jambres sat down than Leonora and I found ourselves ­how can we expect it to be believed? ­gazing on a blank, bare space!

The chair was still there, but the wizard was gone.  Leonora turned to me, horror in her eyes, her golden curls changed to a pale German silver.

‘It is the chair of the Vanishing Lady,’ she said.

‘It is the Confidence Trick,’ I cried; and we both lost consciousness as the true state of the case flashed on our minds.  The wizard was off with 300,000_l._ in high-class American securities.