With glad relief, Zamorna saw his hand penetrate the shining surface of the mirror. He couldn’t resist grabbing for his counterpart’s collar, to give him a good shake for his impertinent presumption. Zamorna clenched the lace and velvet in his fist, but it seemed to melt from his grasp. Once again he stumbled into a dark, sulfurous passageway, with the sound of tumultuous waters in his ears, but this time he rushed forward, exultantly.
Branwell picked up the signet ring that was the occasion of his return to the room where he first entered Glass Town. It was strange, he mused, how abruptly he had remembered it, how strongly he had been impelled to retrieve it, after never having concerned himself with it before that he could recall. He inspected the dazzling emerald, mounted in gold, and carved with the crest of Zamorna, and he noticed the motto spelled out in reverse, so that the seal would impress properly into wax the words, “Nosce te ipsum.”
Branwell’s gaze wandered from the motto to his own reflection in the mysterious mirror that seemed to have conspired in his arrival in Glass Town. He saw his newly handsome and commanding visage, but lo! Wreathed in cloudy wisps, he also saw the faces of his three dear sisters. He called out to them, but they looked wistful, motionless and heedless.
With sudden shock, he felt a hand seize his collar with an iron grip. He struggled; his breath came short; he was falling; the wind was knocked from his body, and he heard a girl’s voice call: “He’s having another fit!”
Horror and disbelief overwhelmed his mind. He was home. Waves of livid red and deathly pallor coursed across his face. His sisters surrounded him, but he pushed them away. They were loathing leaving him, but there was an outcry in the yard: Luke’s chest had been caved in by the sharp kick of a stallion, and they hastened to the servant’s aid.
Branwell’s disappointment and dismay were boundless. Who dared deprive him of all his power and glory? He was a king!
He spied a little booklet, lying on the floor. In handwriting that resembled his own, he read words, the writing of which he had no memory: “he had left his signet ring sitting on the bureau in her inner sanctum.”
He tore wildly at the manuscript and dashed it to the ground. He paced madly to and fro about the room, then stopped and aimed a fixed eye at the grim old medicine chest in the corner, with its quaint rusty lock. In a frenzy, he shook the cupboard door, rattling its hinges.
From his desk he snatched a heavy cast iron inkstand of ancient origin. The ink bottle flew, darkly baptizing the room in an abysmal stream as black as heart’s-blood. The heavy base Branwell wielded in a frenzy, banging it against the cupboard door and smashing it against the lock.
Seated on softly piled carpet, Zamorna looked about himself with complacent delight.
Una had heard footsteps in the house, and entered the room.
“I see you are once again prostrate before your own image,” she said sourly.
Zamorna riveted her with stern eyes: “You may live here as long as you please, but keep out of my sight forever.”
She flounced from the room.
He picked up the signet ring that was lying on the carpet, and put it on his finger. Then, removing his cloak, he draped it over the necromantic mirror. He rang for a servant, and ordered carters to transport the costly ornament of wood and glass to his own mansion.
Then he strode, with regal and commanding step, to the bureau, and poured himself a drink.