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and I of ten devils. As he weakened, I changed my right hand on his neck to the left, and, taking a handful of the powdered sand on which we lay, sifted it gently down his purple throat. I meant there should be silence there for some time; it would be yet a little while before he could call her that name. Then I looked up at her, who was watching God's duty taken from His hands, and smiled. There she stood, with her hands interlaced in front of her and a look of apathetic indifference on her face. With a low questioning voice, she asked:
“ It is enough, is it not?”
The lust of murder flew from me at the sound of her steady voice, and I answered, “Yes," and, gazing at the death-mask he had for a face, I felt perhaps too much.
That's all. We took him home between us. It wasn't a pleasant drive. It is wearisome waiting for God to take vengeance, but when we attempt to do His work, it creeps over us He might have done it better. We met no one on the way back, and I carried him to his room and placed him on his bed almost tenderly. Nothing to me seemed to matter much. Perhaps I had killed, and perhaps not.
“ Perhaps ” seemed almost as big a word as “if," but both seemed unimportant.
A servant telephoned for the doctor, and I left. She and I shook hands like two bored people at a ball, saying, “Good night."
I can't write you much more, for my thumb pains me.
Sunday afternoon. I have not the slightest doubt of the existence of hell, as I have it within me. I have been waiting in suspense, which is my idea of hell, for four days — would
he live? would he die? Iteration and reiteration produce insanity. I have not been to the house where he lies to inquire. I walk past there hourly, and look at the door-bell. The Scotch whiskey here is very good, but not strong enough. I could drink a gallon and not feel it. It is curious how one vice entails another. I never knew how necessary sleep is. I have never been without it before; not sleeping, I find, makes one quite nervous.
I heard a man telling another in the club to-day of an accident that had happened to B. — he had tripped and fallen and wrenched his neck. Suddenly the man turned to me and said:
“For God's sake, Dayton, stop staring idiotically at your hands. They're quite clean.”
I must break myself of this foolish habit. Monday. I had hardly finished dressing this morning when a note was brought to me. I saw it was from his cottage, then I knew he was dead. I did not think anything about it. I knew he was dead. I threw the letter to one side — why open it? I peered in the glass: I wanted to get a good look at a murderer. It so happens I have never seen one. A murderer develops a strong likeness to the man he has killed. I seemed the image of B. At last I opened the note, and this is what I read:
“ DEAR DAYTON:
“I cannot as yet talk, as you of all men can best imagine (sand in the throat is out of place), but I can write. Do not wait in Aiken longer than you wish, for any duel or other such nonsense. There will be none. If I thought my wife actually guilty, I should make of her a present to you. I could never see the sense of a man's risking his life for an unworthy cause. As for what you did to me, I feel no resentment. A man has a right to do anything to a woman but strike her. I was a bit hasty. . Don't be dull, and take me for a coward - I assure you fear was left out in my make-up. As I believe my wife to be guilty only in intention, I propose to retain her services, as we say in the law, and punish her in my own sweet way.