|Padua: a Basilica|
After leaving Venice and all its unhappy associations with Strange the Greysteel family goes next to Padua. There they rent a house near the fruit market. Doctor Greysteel and his sister endeavour by various cheerful means to make Flora forget her pain at parting from the man for whom she had clearly formed a strong attachment, but they cannot be said to be wholly successful, since it is at Padua that Strange re-appears, shrouded within the Eternal Darkness (which he has prudently disguised with Storm and Tempest) and begging Flora's help. He needs her to act as guardian of the portal through which he hopes one day to allow his wife to escape Lost-hope. The portal he provides is a large Venetian mirror, and Flora accepts both it and the task he lays upon her. In return she is able to persuade him to abandon the magic associated with the pernicious tincture of madness, taking the bottle from him and later casting it overboard from a boat to be lost in the waves.