nearer and nearer to the end that I had been dreading for so many days past. Having been as well educated as most girls, my lessons in history had made me acquainted with assassination and murder. Horrors which I had recoiled from reading in past happy days now returned to my memory, and this time they interested instead of revolting me. I counted the three first ways of killing as I happened to remember them, in my books of instruction--a way by stabbing, a way by poison, a way in a bed by suffocation with a pillow. On that dreadful night I never once called to mind what I find myself remembering now--the harmless past time when our friends used to say: " Eunice is a good girl; we are all fond of Eunice." Shall I ever be the same lovable creature again?

While I lay thinking a strange thing happened. Philip, who had haunted me for days and nights together, vanished out of my thoughts. My memory of the love which had begun so brightly and had ended so miserably became a blank. Nothing was left but my own horrid visions of vengeance and death.

For a while the strokes of the clock still reached my ears. But it was an effort to count them; I ended in letting them pass unheeded. Soon afterward the round of my thoughts began to circle slowly and more slowly. The strokes of the clock died out. The round of my thoughts stopped.

All this time my eyes were still covered by the handkerchief which I had laid over them.

The darkness began to weigh on my spirits and to fill me with distrust. I found myself suspecting that there was some change--perhaps an unearthly change--passing over the room. To remain blindfolded any longer was more than I could endure. I lifted my hand--without being conscious of the heavy sensation which some time before had laid my limbs helpless on the bed--I lifted my hand and drew the handkerchief away from my eyes.

The faint glow of the night light was extinguished.

But the room was not quite dark. There was a ghastly light trembling over it, like nothing that I have ever seen by day; like nothing that I have ever seen by night. I dimly discerned Selina's bed, and the frame of the window and the curtains on either side of it--but not the starlight and not the shadowy tops of the trees in the garden.

The light grew fainter and fainter; the objects in the room faded slowly away. Darkness came.

It may be a saying hard to believe--but when I declare

-135-

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The Legacy of Cain
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • First Period: 1858-1859. - Events in the Prison, Related by the Governor. 3
  • Chapter II 4
  • Chapter IV 7
  • Chapter VI 14
  • Chapter VIII 22
  • Chapter IX 26
  • Chapter X 30
  • Second Period: 1875. - The Girls and the Journals--Helena's Diary. 40
  • Chapter XIII - Eunice's Diary 46
  • Chapter XIV - Helena's Diary 59
  • Chapter XV - Helena's Diary 66
  • Chapter XVII 72
  • Chapter XVII - Eunice's Diary. 76
  • Chapter XIX 80
  • Chapter XX 84
  • Chapter XXI - Helena's Diary 89
  • Chapter XXII - Eunice's Diary. 93
  • Chapter XXIII 97
  • Chapter XXIV 100
  • Chapter XXV - Helena's Diary 104
  • Chapter XXVI 108
  • Chapter XXVIII - Helena's Diary 115
  • Chapter XXIX 121
  • Chapter XXX - Eunice's Diary. 127
  • Chapter XXXII - Events in the Family, Related by the Governor. 135
  • Chapter XXXIII - Related by the Governor 140
  • Chapter XXXIV 145
  • Chapter XXXV 151
  • Chapter XXXVI - Related by the Governor. 155
  • Chapter XXXVII 160
  • Chapter XXXVIII - Related by the Governor. 165
  • Chapter XXXIX 174
  • Chapter XLI - Related by the Governor. 182
  • Chapter XLII 188
  • Chapter XLIII 197
  • Chapter XLV 206
  • Chapter XLVI 213
  • Chapter XLVIII 217
  • Chapter XLIX 227
  • Chapter LI 233
  • Chapter LIII 240
  • Chapter LIV 248
  • Chapter LV 252
  • Chapter LVII 258
  • Chapter LVIII 262
  • Chapter LX 272
  • Chapter LXI 276
  • Last Period. 282
  • Chapter LXIII 289
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