in them. On the west the parallelogram was framed, from
update time:2023-12-05

in them. On the west the parallelogram was framed, from

作者:Full garden spring color networkupdate time:2023-12-05 分类:thanks

in them. On the west the parallelogram was framed, from,

Good ev'nin', Mis' Priest. I jest stepped in to tell you Good-bye. Yes, it's all over. All my things is packed An' every last one o' them boxes Is on Bradley's team Bein' hauled over to th' depot. No, I ain't goin' back agin. I'm stoppin' over to French's fer to-night, And goin' down first train in th' mornin'. Yes, it do seem kinder queer Not to be goin' to see Cherry's Orchard no more, But Land Sakes! When a change's comin', Why, I al'ays say it can't come too quick. Now, that's real kind o' you, Your doughnuts is always so tasty. Yes, I'm goin' to Chicago, To my niece, She's married to a fine man, hardware business, An' doin' real well, she tells me. Lizzie's be'n at me to go out ther for the longest while. She ain't got no kith nor kin to Chicago, you know She's rented me a real nice little flat, Same house as hers, An' I'm goin' to try that city livin' folks say's so pleasant. Oh, yes, he was real generous, Paid me a sight o' money fer the Orchard; I told him 'twouldn't yield nothin' but stones, But he ain't farmin' it. Lor', no, Mis' Priest, He's jest took it to set and look at the view. Mebbe he wouldn't be so stuck on the view Ef he'd seed it every mornin' and night for forty year Same's as I have. I dessay it's pretty enough, But it's so pressed into me I c'n see't with my eyes shut. No. I ain't cold, Mis' Priest, Don't shut th' door. I'll be all right in a minit. But I ain't a mite sorry to leave that view. Well, mebbe 'tis queer to feel so, An' mebbe 'taint. My! But that tea's revivin'. Old things ain't always pleasant things, Mis' Priest. No, no, I don't cal'late on comin' back, That's why I'd ruther be to Chicago, Boston's too near. It ain't cold, Mis' Priest, It's jest my thoughts. I ain't sick, only -- Mis' Priest, ef you've nothin' ter take yer time, An' have a mind to listen, Ther's somethin' I'd like ter speak about I ain't never mentioned it, But I'd like to tell yer 'fore I go. Would you mind lowerin' them shades, Fall twilight's awful grey, An' that fire's real cosy with the shades drawed. Well, I guess folks about here think I've be'n dret'ful onsociable. You needn't say 'taint so, 'cause I know diff'rent. An' what's more, it's true. Well, the reason is I've be'n scared out o' my life. Scared ev'ry minit o' th' time, fer eight year. Eight mortal year 'tis, come next June. 'Twas on the eighteenth o' June, Six months after I'd buried my husband, That somethin' happened ter me. Mebbe you'll mind that afore that I was a cheery body. Hiram was too, Al'ays liked to ask a neighbor in, An' ev'n when he died, Barrin' low sperrits, I warn't averse to seein' nobody. But that eighteenth o' June changed ev'rythin'. I was doin' most o' th' farmwork myself, With jest a hired boy, Clarence King, 'twas, Comin' in fer an hour or two. Well, that eighteenth o' June I was goin' round, Lockin' up and seein' to things 'fore I went to bed. I was jest steppin' out t' th' barn, Goin' round outside 'stead o' through the shed, 'Cause there was such a sight o' moonlight Somehow or another I thought 'twould be pretty outdoors. I got settled for pretty things that night, I guess. I ain't stuck on 'em no more. Well, them laylock bushes side o' th' house Was real lovely. Glitt'rin' and shakin' in the moonlight, An' the smell o' them rose right up An' most took my breath away. The colour o' the spikes was all faded out, They never keep their colour when the moon's on 'em, But the smell fair 'toxicated me. I was al'ays partial to a sweet scent, An' I went close up t' th' bushes So's to put my face right into a flower. Mis' Priest, jest's I got breathin' in that laylock bloom I saw, layin' right at my feet, A man's hand! It was as white's the side o' th' house, And sparklin' like that lum'nous paint they put on gate-posts. I screamed right out, I couldn't help it, An' I could hear my scream Goin' over an' over In that echo be'ind th' barn. Hearin' it agin an' agin like that Scared me so, I dar'sn't scream any more. I jest stood ther, And looked at that hand. I thought the echo'd begin to hammer like my heart, But it didn't. There was only th' wind, Sighin' through the laylock leaves, An' slappin' 'em up agin the house. Well, I guess I looked at that hand Most ten minits, An' it never moved, Jest lay there white as white. After a while I got to thinkin' that o' course 'Twas some drunken tramp over from Redfield. That calmed me some, An' I commenced to think I'd better git him out From under them laylocks. I planned to drag him in t' th' barn An' lock him in ther till Clarence come in th' mornin'. I got so mad thinkin' o' that all-fired brazen tramp Asleep in my laylocks, I jest stooped down and grabbed th' hand and give it an awful pull. Then I bumped right down settin' on the ground. Mis' Priest, ther warn't no body come with the hand. No, it ain't cold, it's jest that I can't abear thinkin' of it, Ev'n now. I'll take a sip o' tea. Thank you, Mis' Priest, that's better. I'd ruther finish now I've begun. Thank you, jest the same. I dropped the hand's ef it'd be'n red hot 'Stead o' ice cold. Fer a minit or two I jest laid on that grass Pantin'. Then I up and run to them laylocks An' pulled 'em every which way. True es I'm settin' here, Mis' Priest, Ther warn't nothin' ther. I peeked an' pryed all about 'em, But ther warn't no man ther Neither livin' nor dead. But the hand was ther all right, Upside down, the way I'd dropped it, And glist'nin' fit to dazzle yer. I don't know how I done it, An' I don't know why I done it, But I wanted to git that dret'ful hand out o' sight I got in t' th' barn, somehow, An' felt roun' till I got a spade. I couldn't stop fer a lantern, Besides, the moonlight was bright enough in all conscience. Then I scooped that awful thing up in th' spade. I had a sight o' trouble doin' it. It slid off, and tipped over, and I couldn't bear Ev'n to touch it with my foot to prop it, But I done it somehow. Then I carried it off be'ind the barn, Clost to an old apple-tree Where you couldn't see from the house, An' I buried it, Good an' deep.

in them. On the west the parallelogram was framed, from

I don't rec'lect nothin' more o' that night. Clarence woke me up in th' mornin', Hollerin' fer me to come down and set th' milk. When he'd gone, I stole roun' to the apple-tree And seed the earth all new turned Where I left it in my hurry. I did a heap o' gardenin' That mornin'. I couldn't cut no big sods Fear Clarence would notice and ask me what I wanted 'em fer, So I got teeny bits o' turf here and ther, And no one couldn't tell ther'd be'n any diggin' When I got through. They was awful days after that, Mis' Priest, I used ter go every mornin' and poke about them bushes, An' up and down the fence, Ter find the body that hand come off of. But I couldn't never find nothin'. I'd lay awake nights Hearin' them laylocks blowin' and whiskin'. At last I had Clarence cut 'em down An' make a big bonfire of 'em. I told him the smell made me sick, An' that warn't no lie, I can't abear the smell on 'em now; An' no wonder, es you say. I fretted somethin' awful 'bout that hand I wondered, could it be Hiram's, But folks don't rob graveyards hereabouts. Besides, Hiram's hands warn't that awful, starin' white. I give up seein' people, I was afeared I'd say somethin'. You know what folks thought o' me Better'n I do, I dessay, But mebbe now you'll see I couldn't do nothin' diff'rent. But I stuck it out, I warn't goin' to be downed By no loose hand, no matter how it come ther But that ain't the worst, Mis' Priest, Not by a long ways. Two year ago, Mr. Densmore made me an offer for Cherry's Orchard. Well, I'd got used to th' thought o' bein' sort o' blighted, An' I warn't scared no more. Lived down my fear, I guess. I'd kinder got used to th' thought o' that awful night, And I didn't mope much about it. Only I never went out o' doors by moonlight; That stuck. Well, when Mr. Densmore's offer come, I started thinkin' 'bout the place An' all the things that had gone on ther. Thinks I, I guess I'll go and see where I put the hand. I was foolhardy with the long time that had gone by. I know'd the place real well, Fer I'd put it right in between two o' the apple roots. I don't know what possessed me, Mis' Priest, But I kinder wanted to know That the hand had been flesh and bone, anyway. It had sorter bothered me, thinkin' I might ha' imagined it. I took a mornin' when the sun was real pleasant and warm; I guessed I wouldn't jump for a few old bones. But I did jump, somethin' wicked. Ther warn't no bones! Ther warn't nothin'! Not ev'n the gold ring I'd minded bein' on the little finger. I don't know ef ther ever was anythin'. I've worried myself sick over it. I be'n diggin' and diggin' day in and day out Till Clarence ketched me at it. Oh, I know'd real well what you all thought, An' I ain't sayin' you're not right, But I ain't goin' to end in no county 'sylum If I c'n help it. The shiv'rin' fits come on me sudden like. I know 'em, don't you trouble. I've fretted considerable about the 'sylum, I guess I be'n frettin' all the time I ain't be'n diggin'. But anyhow I can't dig to Chicago, can I? Thank you, Mis' Priest, I'm better now. I only dropped in in passin'. I'll jest be steppin' along down to French's. No, I won't be seein' nobody in the mornin', It's a pretty early start. Don't you stand ther, Mis' Priest, The wind'll blow yer lamp out, An' I c'n see easy, I got aholt o' the gate now. I ain't a mite tired, thank you. Good-night.

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"Hullo, Alice!" "Hullo, Leon!" "Say, Alice, gi' me a couple O' them two for five cigars, Will yer?" "Where's your nickel?" "My! Ain't you close! Can't trust a feller, can yer." "Trust you! Why What you owe this store Would set you up in business. I can't think why Father 'lows it." "Yer Father's a sight more neighbourly Than you be. That's a fact. Besides, he knows I got a vote." "A vote! Oh, yes, you got a vote! A lot o' good the Senate'll be to Father When all his bank account Has run away in credits. There's your cigars, If you can relish smokin' With all you owe us standin'." "I dunno as that makes 'em taste any diff'rent. You ain't fair to me, Alice, 'deed you ain't. I work when anythin's doin'. I'll get a carpenterin' job next Summer sure. Cleve was tellin' me to-day he'd take me on come Spring." "Come Spring, and this December! I've no patience with you, Leon, Shilly-shallyin' the way you do. Here, lift over them crates o' oranges I wanter fix 'em in the winder." "It riles yer, don't it, me not havin' work. You pepper up about it somethin' good. You pick an' pick, and that don't help a mite. Say, Alice, do come in out o' that winder. Th' oranges c'n wait, An' I don't like talkin' to yer back." "Don't you! Well, you'd better make the best o' what you can git. Maybe you won't have my back to talk to soon. They look good in pyramids with the 'lectric light on 'em, Don't they? Now hand me them bananas An' I'll string 'em right acrost." "What do yer mean 'Bout me not havin' you to talk to? Are yer springin' somethin' on me?" "I don't know 'bout springin' When I'm tellin' you right out. I'm goin' away, that's all." "Where? Why? What yer mean -- goin' away?" "I've took a place Down to Boston, in a candy store For the holidays." "Good Land, Alice, What in the Heavens fer!" "To earn some money, And to git away from here, I guess." "Ain't yer Father got enough? Don't he give yer proper pocket-money?" "He'd have a plenty, if you folks paid him." "He's rich I tell yer. I never figured he'd be close with you." "Oh, he ain't. Not close. That ain't why. But I must git away from here. I must! I must!" "You got a lot o' reason in yer To-night. How long d' you cal'late You'll be gone?" "Maybe for always." "What ails yer, Alice? Talkin' wild like that. Ain't you an' me goin' to be married Some day." "Some day! Some day! I guess the sun'll never rise on some day." "So that's the trouble. Same old story. 'Cause I ain't got the cash to settle right now. You know I love yer, An' I'll marry yer as soon As I c'n raise the money." "You've said that any time these five year, But you don't do nothin'." "Wot could I do? Ther ain't no work here Winters. Not fer a carpenter, ther ain't." "I guess you warn't born a carpenter. Ther's ice-cuttin' a plenty." "I got a dret'ful tender throat; Dr. Smiles he told me I mustn't resk ice-cuttin'." "Why haven't you gone to Boston, And hunted up a job?" "Have yer forgot the time I went expressin' In the American office, down ther?" "And come back two weeks later! No, I ain't." "You didn't want I should git hurted, Did yer? I'm a sight too light fer all that liftin' work. My back was commencin' to strain, as 'twas. Ef I was like yer brother now, I'd ha' be'n down to the city long ago. But I'm too clumsy fer a dancer. I ain't got Arthur's luck." "Do you call it luck to be a disgrace to your folks, And git locked up in jail!" "Oh, come now, Alice, `Disgrace' is a mite strong. Why, the jail was a joke. Art's all right." "All right! All right to dance, and smirk, and lie For a livin', And then in the end Lead a silly girl to give you What warn't hers to give By pretendin' you'd marry her -- And she a pupil." "He'd ha' married her right enough, Her folks was millionaires." "Yes, he'd ha' married her! Thank God, they saved her that." "Art's a fine feller. I wish I had his luck. Swellin' round in Hart, Schaffner & Marx fancy suits, And eatin' in rest'rants. But somebody's got to stick to the old place, Else Foxfield'd have to shut up shop, Hey, Alice?" "You admire him! You admire Arthur! You'd be like him only you can't dance. Oh, Shame! Shame! And I've been like that silly girl. Fooled with your promises, And I give you all I had. I knew it, oh, I knew it, But I wanted to git away 'fore I proved it. You've shamed me through and through. Why couldn't you hold your tongue, And spared me seein' you As you really are." "What the Devil's the row? I only said Art was lucky. What you spitfirin' at me fer? Ferget it, Alice. We've had good times, ain't we? I'll see Cleve 'bout that job agin to-morrer, And we'll be married 'fore hayin' time." "It's like you to remind me o' hayin' time. I've good cause to love it, ain't I? Many's the night I've hid my face in the dark To shut out thinkin'!" "Why, that ain't nothin'. You ain't be'n half so kind to me As lots o' fellers' girls. Gi' me a kiss, Dear, And let's make up." "Make up! You poor fool. Do you suppose I care a ten cent piece For you now. You've killed yourself for me. Done it out o' your own mouth. You've took away my home, I hate the sight o' the place. You're all over it, Every stick an' stone means you, An' I hate 'em all." "Alice, I say, Don't go on like that. I can't marry yer Boardin' in one room, But I'll see Cleve to-morrer, I'll make him ----" "Oh, you fool! You terrible fool!" "Alice, don't go yit, Wait a minit, I'll see Cleve ----" "You terrible fool!" "Alice, don't go. Alice ----" (Door slams)

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The lawyer, are you? Well! I ain't got nothin' to say. Nothin'! I told the perlice I hadn't nothin'. They know'd real well 'twas me. Ther warn't no supposin', Ketchin' me in the woods as they did, An' me in my house dress. Folks don't walk miles an' miles In the drifted snow, With no hat nor wrap on 'em Ef everythin's all right, I guess. All right? Ha! Ha! Ha! Nothin' warn't right with me. Never was. Oh, Lord! Why did I do it? Why ain't it yesterday, and Ed here agin? Many's the time I've set up with him nights When he had cramps, or rheumatizm, or somethin'. I used ter nurse him same's ef he was a baby. I wouldn't hurt him, I love him! Don't you dare to say I killed him. 'Twarn't me! Somethin' got aholt o' me. I couldn't help it. Oh, what shall I do! What shall I do! Yes, Sir. No, Sir. I beg your pardon, I -- I -- Oh, I'm a wicked woman! An' I'm desolate, desolate! Why warn't I struck dead or paralyzed Afore my hands done it. Oh, my God, what shall I do! No, Sir, ther ain't no extenuatin' circumstances, An' I don't want none. I want a bolt o' lightnin' To strike me dead right now! Oh, I'll tell yer. But it won't make no diff'rence. Nothin' will. Yes, I killed him. Why do yer make me say it? It's cruel! Cruel! I killed him because o' th' silence. The long, long silence, That watched all around me, And he wouldn't break it. I tried to make him, Time an' agin, But he was terrible taciturn, Ed was. He never spoke 'cept when he had to, An' then he'd only say "yes" and "no". You can't even guess what that silence was. I'd hear it whisperin' in my ears, An' I got frightened, 'twas so thick, An' al'ays comin' back. Ef Ed would ha' talked sometimes It would ha' driven it away; But he never would. He didn't hear it same as I did. You see, Sir, Our farm was off'n the main road, And set away back under the mountain; And the village was seven mile off, Measurin' after you'd got out o' our lane. We didn't have no hired man, 'Cept in hayin' time; An' Dane's place, That was the nearest, Was clear way 'tother side the mountain. They used Marley post-office An' ours was Benton. Ther was a cart-track took yer to Dane's in Summer, An' it warn't above two mile that way, But it warn't never broke out Winters. I used to dread the Winters. Seem's ef I couldn't abear to see the golden-rod bloomin'; Winter'd come so quick after that. You don't know what snow's like when yer with it Day in an' day out. Ed would be out all day loggin', An' I set at home and look at the snow Layin' over everythin'; It 'ud dazzle me blind, Till it warn't white any more, but black as ink. Then the quiet 'ud commence rushin' past my ears Till I most went mad listenin' to it. Many's the time I've dropped a pan on the floor Jest to hear it clatter. I was most frantic when dinner-time come An' Ed was back from the woods. I'd ha' give my soul to hear him speak. But he'd never say a word till I asked him Did he like the raised biscuits or whatever, An' then sometimes he'd jest nod his answer. Then he'd go out agin, An' I'd watch him from the kitchin winder. It seemed the woods come marchin' out to meet him An' the trees 'ud press round him an' hustle him. I got so I was scared o' th' trees. I thought they come nearer, Every day a little nearer, Closin' up round the house. I never went in t' th' woods Winters, Though in Summer I liked 'em well enough. It warn't so bad when my little boy was with us. He used to go sleddin' and skatin', An' every day his father fetched him to school in the pung An' brought him back agin. We scraped an' scraped fer Neddy, We wanted him to have a education. We sent him to High School, An' then he went up to Boston to Technology. He was a minin' engineer, An' doin' real well, A credit to his bringin' up. But his very first position ther was an explosion in the mine. And I'm glad! I'm glad! He ain't here to see me now. Neddy! Neddy! I'm your mother still, Neddy. Don't turn from me like that. I can't abear it. I can't! I can't! What did you say? Oh, yes, Sir. I'm here. I'm very sorry, I don't know what I'm sayin'. No, Sir, Not till after Neddy died. 'Twas the next Winter the silence come, I don't remember noticin' it afore. That was five year ago, An' it's been gittin' worse an' worse. I asked Ed to put in a telephone. I thought ef I felt the whisperin' comin' on I could ring up some o' th' folks. But Ed wouldn't hear of it. He said we'd paid so much for Neddy We couldn't hardly git along as 'twas. An' he never understood me wantin' to talk. Well, this year was worse'n all the others; We had a terrible spell o' stormy weather, An' the snow lay so thick You couldn't see the fences even. Out o' doors was as flat as the palm o' my hand, Ther warn't a hump or a holler Fer as you could see. It was so quiet The snappin' o' the branches back in the wood-lot Sounded like pistol shots. Ed was out all day Same as usual. An' it seemed he talked less'n ever. He didn't even say `Good-mornin'', once or twice, An' jest nodded or shook his head when I asked him things. On Monday he said he'd got to go over to Benton Fer some oats. I'd oughter ha' gone with him, But 'twas washin' day An' I was afeared the fine weather'd break, An' I couldn't do my dryin'. All my life I'd done my work punctual, An' I couldn't fix my conscience To go junketin' on a washin'-day. I can't tell you what that day was to me. It dragged an' dragged, Fer ther warn't no Ed ter break it in the middle Fer dinner. Every time I stopped stirrin' the water I heerd the whisperin' all about me. I stopped oftener'n I should To see ef 'twas still ther, An' it al'ays was. An' gittin' louder It seemed ter me. Once I threw up the winder to feel the wind. That seemed most alive somehow. But the woods looked so kind of menacin' I closed it quick An' started to mangle's hard's I could, The squeakin' was comfortin'. Well, Ed come home 'bout four. I seen him down the road, An' I run out through the shed inter th' barn To meet him quicker. I hollered out, `Hullo!' But he didn't say nothin', He jest drove right in An' climbed out o' th' sleigh An' commenced unharnessin'. I asked him a heap o' questions; Who he'd seed An' what he'd done. Once in a while he'd nod or shake, But most o' th' time he didn't do nothin'. 'Twas gittin' dark then, An' I was in a state, With the loneliness An' Ed payin' no attention Like somethin' warn't livin'. All of a sudden it come, I don't know what, But I jest couldn't stand no more. It didn't seem 's though that was Ed, An' it didn't seem as though I was me. I had to break a way out somehow, Somethin' was closin' in An' I was stiflin'. Ed's loggin' axe was ther, An' I took it. Oh, my God! I can't see nothin' else afore me all the time. I run out inter th' woods, Seemed as ef they was pullin' me; An' all the time I was wadin' through the snow I seed Ed in front of me Where I'd laid him. An' I see him now. There! There! What you holdin' me fer? I want ter go to Ed, He's bleedin'. Stop holdin' me. I got to go. I'm comin', Ed. I'll be ther in a minit. Oh, I'm so tired! (Faints)

Nightmare: A Tale for an Autumn Evening

After a Print by George Cruikshank

It was a gusty night, With the wind booming, and swooping, Looping round corners, Sliding over the cobble-stones, Whipping and veering, And careering over the roofs Like a thousand clattering horses. Mr. Spruggins had been dining in the city, Mr. Spruggins was none too steady in his gait, And the wind played ball with Mr. Spruggins And laughed as it whistled past him. It rolled him along the street, With his little feet pit-a-patting on the flags of the sidewalk, And his muffler and his coat-tails blown straight out behind him. It bumped him against area railings, And chuckled in his ear when he said "Ouch!" Sometimes it lifted him clear off his little patting feet And bore him in triumph over three grey flagstones and a quarter. The moon dodged in and out of clouds, winking. It was all very unpleasant for Mr. Spruggins, And when the wind flung him hard against his own front door It was a relief, Although the breath was quite knocked out of him. The gas-lamp in front of the house flared up, And the keyhole was as big as a barn door; The gas-lamp flickered away to a sputtering blue star, And the keyhole went out with it. Such a stabbing, and jabbing, And sticking, and picking, And poking, and pushing, and prying With that key; And there is no denying that Mr. Spruggins rapped out an oath or two, Rub-a-dub-dubbing them out to a real snare-drum roll. But the door opened at last, And Mr. Spruggins blew through it into his own hall And slammed the door to so hard That the knocker banged five times before it stopped. Mr. Spruggins struck a light and lit a candle, And all the time the moon winked at him through the window. "Why couldn't you find the keyhole, Spruggins?" Taunted the wind. "I can find the keyhole." And the wind, thin as a wire, Darted in and seized the candle flame And knocked it over to one side And pummelled it down -- down -- down --! But Mr. Spruggins held the candle so close that it singed his chin, And ran and stumbled up the stairs in a surprisingly agile manner, For the wind through the keyhole kept saying, "Spruggins! Spruggins!" behind him. The fire in his bedroom burned brightly. The room with its crimson bed and window curtains Was as red and glowing as a carbuncle. It was still and warm. There was no wind here, for the windows were fastened; And no moon, For the curtains were drawn. The candle flame stood up like a pointed pear In a wide brass dish. Mr. Spruggins sighed with content; He was safe at home. The fire glowed -- red and yellow roses In the black basket of the grate -- And the bed with its crimson hangings Seemed a great peony, Wide open and placid. Mr. Spruggins slipped off his top-coat and his muffler. He slipped off his bottle-green coat And his flowered waistcoat. He put on a flannel dressing-gown, And tied a peaked night-cap under his chin. He wound his large gold watch And placed it under his pillow. Then he tiptoed over to the window and pulled back the curtain. There was the moon dodging in and out of the clouds; But behind him was his quiet candle. There was the wind whisking along the street. The window rattled, but it was fastened. Did the wind say, "Spruggins"? All Mr. Spruggins heard was "S-s-s-s-s --" Dying away down the street. He dropped the curtain and got into bed. Martha had been in the last thing with the warming-pan; The bed was warm, And Mr. Spruggins sank into feathers, With the familiar ticking of his watch just under his head. Mr. Spruggins dozed. He had forgotten to put out the candle, But it did not make much difference as the fire was so bright . . . Too bright! The red and yellow roses pricked his eyelids, They scorched him back to consciousness. He tried to shift his position; He could not move. Something weighed him down, He could not breathe. He was gasping, Pinned down and suffocating. He opened his eyes. The curtains of the window were flung back, The fire and the candle were out, And the room was filled with green moonlight. And pressed against the window-pane Was a wide, round face, Winking -- winking -- Solemnly dropping one eyelid after the other. Tick -- tock -- went the watch under his pillow, Wink -- wink -- went the face at the window. It was not the fire roses which had pricked him, It was the winking eyes. Mr. Spruggins tried to bounce up; He could not, because -- His heart flapped up into his mouth And fell back dead. On his chest was a fat pink pig, On the pig a blackamoor With a ten pound weight for a cap. His mustachios kept curling up and down like angry snakes, And his eyes rolled round and round, With the pupils coming into sight, and disappearing, And appearing again on the other side. The holsters at his saddle-bow were two port bottles, And a curved table-knife hung at his belt for a scimitar, While a fork and a keg of spirits were strapped to the saddle behind. He dug his spurs into the pig, Which trampled and snorted, And stamped its cloven feet deeper into Mr. Spruggins. Then the green light on the floor began to undulate. It heaved and hollowed, It rose like a tide, Sea-green, Full of claws and scales And wriggles. The air above his bed began to move; It weighed over him In a mass of draggled feathers. Not one lifted to stir the air. They drooped and dripped With a smell of port wine and brandy, Closing down, slowly, Trickling drops on the bed-quilt. Suddenly the window fell in with a great scatter of glass, And the moon burst into the room, Sizzling -- "S-s-s-s-s -- Spruggins! Spruggins!" It rolled toward him, A green ball of flame, With two eyes in the center, A red eye and a yellow eye, Dropping their lids slowly, One after the other. Mr. Spruggins tried to scream, But the blackamoor Leapt off his pig With a cry, Drew his scimitar, And plunged it into Mr. Spruggins's mouth.

Mr. Spruggins got up in the cold dawn And remade the fire. Then he crept back to bed By the light which seeped in under the window curtains, And lay there, shivering, While the bells of St. George the Martyr chimed the quarter after seven.

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