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About The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891 | View Entire Issue (June 1, 1886)
THE WEST SHORE.
tale; and with what alnrm I viewed its effect upon him I
Alas ! how little I knew the nature of the subjoct whioh
engrossed his every thought, or the wild idea which had
possession of him. The more I endeavored to turn hi
mind from it, the more tenaciously it clung to the dis
" At last he suggested Unit we pay a visit to the
haunted room. If, instead, he had asked me to sharo
with him the commission of some awful crime I could
not have been more Btartled.
" ' Visit the haunted room ! Imis I You must le
jesting, surely I' I exclaimed.
"He said no more that day; but on the next and the
next he repeated the suggestion.
" But, my frioudB, I need not weary you with the de
tails of how ho hold to his purpose; and how, failing to
coax me, at last he overcame my opomtion. I loved
him passionately I loved him with all the fervor and
strength of my young heart; therefore, when ho threat
ened to leavo mo, I yielded. Ho planned the details,
and I passively obeyed his instructions. Ho wished mo
to procure by stealth the rusty iron key during tho day,
preparatory to a visit to the haunted room nt night,
when all the house should bo alod and still. This I
dared not do, lost meanwhilo my father should miss it
from its accustomed place. We might get ioaossiou of
it then, he said, after my father had retired for tho night.
To this proposition, in common with tho rest, I tacitly
" As tho time selected by my lovor for tho ghiwtly
mission arrivod my foldings may lie imagined, but not
doBorilied. As if in keeping with tho deed wo modi,
tated. and the forbidding character of the chamber
whose inner mysteries wo were about to fathom, tho
niifht was one of the wildest of tho year. Tho heavy
rain poundod tho earth outsido, and !oat against tho
windows, and tho shutters woro loudly rattled by tho
wind that rumblod dismally in the chimneys.
" As the old clock on the landing tolled tho hour of
twelve, trembliiifl with fear, I crept down tho stairs lead
Inn from my chamW; through the darkness I groped
my way to tho portrait gallery, where Louis was to await
my coming. So overcome was I with the terrors of tho
situation, that when Louis clasped my hand I threw my
arms about bis neck, and pitoously begged bun to aisin
A..n p nn.innnn. nt least, his dreadful Dunxm Caress-
I1UU ve j - "
where I knew I should find tho object of my search. A
my hand came in contact with tho oold metal a shudder
passed over mo. I graHod tho key desperately ami
tuiuod to IVuuli Hit) door.
" At that instant a flash of lightning lit up the room.
It was but momentary, yet sufficient to ditoloso a seono
whioh I can uever forget Tho hod curtains were partly
drawn, and there on his pillow, with his noble face up
turned and one arm thrown over his head - there lay my
lear father, sleeping jieacofully.
" With precipitous haste I reached the door, and was
clasped in my lover's arms, while ho whispered in my
ears words of praise and encouragement After what I
had already endured, to reach tho door of tho haunted
room was comparatively an easy task. Again I en
doavorod to turn Ijouia from his purpose, but In vain.
Stealthily, noiselessly he inserted tho rusty key in tho
rusty lock; ojirefully ho turned it, and grating dismally,
tho bolt retreated from its socket tho door w,i free.
Inch by inch he pushed it back; the hinges creaked dole,
fully; tho foul air rushed out ami the damp, disagree,
able odors offended tho sense of smell. After allowing
the foul air to escape, Iouis pushed his way in ami
bade mo follow., When wo were fairly inside ho
"'Hold tho candle.'
" With trembling fingers 1 did so, while ho struck a
" As tho feeble, flickering rays lit up tho interior of
tho room, I clung to my lover a arm. hvorytliiug waa
veiled with cobwebs and gray with dust On the wain,
oottod walls, dimly outlined, hung cupids ami dragons,
pictures of a by gone age. A coat of mail and helmets,
with sNar he tds and battle-axe, testified to tho chival
rous and warlike traits of my ancestors. These objects
I but glanced at, while Ioiiis shaded with Ins hand tho
sputtering light. Ilemoving his hand ho took a step
forward; instinctively I did likewise.
"Horrors! What a sight greeted mo I oar tho
center of tho room, with a sword thrust lstwoon its flesh-
less rilm, and with its skinny arms thrown out as if in
supplication - there lay a grinning, ghastly human
"There More us waa the evidence of the tragedy
said to have Wn enacted on that very aMt ao many
in me tenderly, he used .11 hi. power, of argument and year, before, and roe,,oot ng which there had l,. ao
Sfr.ua.ion to calm my fears. much gossip and adulation. You may-if you wlll-
Now, darling, get the key,' he .aid. picture to youraelvea my terror, a. shh. I .tared
"Oh Lonia. von cannot mean it-you do not mean at the ghastly object Lven ray lover, to whom-aa I
it f I pleaded.
afterward learned -the legend respecting It had been of
But in thi., a. in .11 thing.el.e, h. wa. Inexorable, no Import whatever, even h. u tin.bl. to do aught but
Hnldins mi hand, be aocompaniod me to the door of
my father', chamber. Softly he raised the latch-cau-
tiously he pushed open the door to let me through.
Hardly conscious of where I waa, or what I was doing,
I .vl im somehow or other I gained my father', bed.
i.U Patisiua to collect my scattered thoughU and to
calm my heart', fierce beating, I groped to the .pot
tar. blankly at the hideous skeleton, of whose existence
nntil now he had entertained not the faintest Idea.
"When able to .peak, I said,
"'Louis, dar Iouis, take mo out of this room -do
take mo out of this dreadful place, or I shall go mail I '
" He waa alsmt to reply whou the dor Uliiud us
ertsktd on iU binp. Bo itsrtUd wu I by thi. that I