Her husband was dying, and she was alone, all the servants except the cook had been dismissed. The landlady was also out of town on holiday. She gazed slowly at the unconscious breathing from the man. She leaned suddenly over him. The dying man took no notice of her, and she opened his gown and put her cheek to his heart, calling him again Fearfully, she approached her ear to his lips, he still breathed. His breathing was so faint that she could not hear it, could not be aware of the moments of his death Where was death/Why was he waiting/Who was detaining him/Women had been known to reach the hearts of giants with the dagger’s point, But he would creep upon her. She was frightened, but she would not leave him for one moment. To return and find him dead -Gone alone. Her knees smote each other. She was in a state of unreasoning terror. She had heard of the power of the corpse to drive brave men to frenzy and had wondered, having no morbid horror of the dead. She bent to him who had been her protector with a spasm of anger. Her head fell back and moved against the cushion, moaning with the agony of loss.
Suddenly, far down in the house, on the first floor, her strained hearing took note of a sound -a wary, muffled sound as if someone were creeping up the stair, fearful of being heard. She gave a hysterical gasp — her face. Her body was wet, there was a hard feeling at the roots of her hair, standing erect but could not ascertain, She knew that it was death which was coming to her through the quiet deserted house. He toiled up the stair painfully. He reached the first landing and crept like a cat down the hall to the next stair, then crawled slowly up as before. She pressed her jerking hand closure against the heart; its beats were almost done. She was no longer a human being; She had counted the steps -one -two -three irritated beyond endurance at the long, deliberate pauses between. How many levels had the stairs /The colossal trampling announced the lessening distance in an increasing volume of sound It t,.It turned the curve, and it reached the landing, it advanced -down the hall, it paused before her door. Then knuckles of iron shook the frail panels. The knocking became more imperious, the very walls vibrated. It was horrible. The handle turned, with a wild movement she flung herself into the arms of her husband. And when Mary opened the door, she found a dead woman lying across a dead man
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