Asmodeus left Aksinya's mother's jewelry box on Aksinya's bed. We get a description now of the box.
Aksinya lit the gas lamp. Her mother’s jewelry box was a piece of art itself. It was handmade by a craftsman from the late fifteenth century. The box was decorated on the sides with the four seasons of their estate in Russia. The top showed the house of the Counts of Golitsyna. The façade was almost unchanged from that time to this. The box had been a wedding present from her father to her mother. It was locked, and the heart-shaped key was in the lock where her mother always left it. She remembered the first time she saw the jewelry box when she was a child. She had stared at it for a long time—until her mother finally opened it.
With shaking fingers, Aksinya unlocked and opened the jewelry box. Inside were all her mother’s beautiful things. They were literally a princess’ dowry of gold, silver, and jewels. On top lay a fabulous jewel encrusted crucifix and rosary. It was her mother’s favorite piece. Aksinya always remembered her mother wore it on Sunday, every Sunday. It was too large and fine a piece to wear everyday.
Beside it lay a smaller crucifix and rosary made of intertwined white and yellow gold. On it, the body of Christ was yellow gold and the cross white gold. The tiny adornments, the loincloth, the crown of thorns were white gold. The prayers and decades were white and yellow gold. It was the most beautiful rosary Aksinya had ever seen. Her mother let her wear it on Sunday, but had put it away during the week. She told Aksinya it was her wedding present when the proper time came. Aksinya lifted it in her hands. It was warm to her touch. She bit her lip and quickly put it over her head. It fell around her neck and immediately the crucifix became hot. She felt the heat against her breasts. The heat rose through the prayers and decades and irritated her neck. She felt slightly nauseous. Still, she promised herself she would not take it off. If she lost to this, she felt she would lose to everything. The demon might make her do the most horrible things in the world, but in this very little part she could fight back. She knew at least one of his weaknesses now. He could not move an evident cross. Unless the demon was playing a game with her, he had not taken her sister’s jewelry box, it was decorated with crosses. He had not taken her cross decorated bookstand. He had been able to move her mother’s jewelry box even though it was filled with crosses and crucifixes.
Aksinya didn’t let herself feel encouraged by this little piece of knowledge. It was much too early for that. She simply filed the information in the back of her mind—it was a little more information about the demon and his weaknesses. She would use it, if she could, against him.
Aksinya was asleep and the lights were off when the demon brought the jewelry box to her. Therefore, Aksinya had to light a gas lamp again. Perhaps I should have given you a little more description of the little light from the gas lamp.
We see that the jewelry box is truly a piece of art. It is ancient and beautiful. We learn it was a wedding present and had a heart shaped key--a symbol of love. The house depicted on the box is Aksinya's family home. In this, it represents her home. Remember, all her family were murdered outside the house. The box is locked. This scene is set up to be almost like the first time Aksinya saw the box opened--that is the image I give you. In this case, Aksinya represents her mother.
The box, like the home is filled with wealth. Notice, it is a "princess'" dowry. The first thing on top is her mother's rosary. It was the rosary Aksinya's mother wore every Sunday. Beside this rosary is another. It was the one, Aksinya's mother promised her as a gift for Aksinya's wedding. You might ask who would get the larger and more beautiful rosary. Aksinya instinctively goes for the rosary she always admired as a child. When she touches and wears the rosary, Aksinya feels nausea and pain. The cross, a symbol of God and Christianity, causes her nausea and pain.
By this, we are to understand a cross will also affect the demon. Aksinya puts this together--she had before. If you remember, the jewelry boxes were a test for the demon. Aksinya noticed Asmodeus couldn't move her cross decorated bookstand. He couldn't move Aksinya's sister's jewelry box because it was also decorated with crosses. This is the answer to one question about the weaknesses of the demon.
Aksinya is already preparing to oppose the demon. The crosses she had Natalya sew into their clothing is meant to affect the demon--we shall see how effective it is. And we shall see what Aksinya does with this knowledge. Don't you admire how methodical Aksinya is--this is perhaps the best part of her personality. You can see how she could become a powerful sorceress.