Thinking, reaching out for the path to that bastile which I must attack, I went on with my school duties until my husband walked in and asked why I had not been at home. I was worn with intense strain, and at the word home, burst into a passion of tears. I told the pupils to take their books, and leave, there would be no more school, and I could hear them go around on tip-toe and whisper. Twice a pair of little arms were thrown around me, and the sound of the retreating footsteps died away when my husband laid his hand all trembling on my head. I threw it off and begged him to go away, his presence would kill me. He would not go, and I went out into the woods. He followed, and said he had never charged me with an evil thought, much less an action, was the most loving of husbands and the most injured in that I had thought he had found fault with me. He might have spoken a hasty word, but was it right to lay it up against him? I still begged him to leave—that I should die if he did not. He went, and I crossed the fields to the house of Thomas Dickson, thinking that from it I could get to the city by the river road and fly any where.
Mrs. Dickson made me go to bed, as I was able to go no where else, and here my husband’s brother-in-law found me. He had come as peace-maker, and could not think what it all meant; some angry words of James about his mother, who would now go back to live with him. The Dicksons joined him with entreaties. If my husband had injured me, he was very, very sorry, was quite overwhelmed with grief for the pain he had cost me. Then they brought down the lever of scripture and conscience: “If thy brother offend thee seventy times seven,” and I yielded.
My husband came and I went home with him that evening, expecting that my mother-in-law was installed in her new home on the hill; but she met and kissed me at the door, and I did not care. Nothing could add to the shudder of going into the house, and she seemed so grieved and frightened that my heart was touched, and I was sorry for her that we had ever met.
MY NAME APPEARS IN PRINT.—AGE, 29.
It was the third morning after my return, that my head would not leave the pillow. Dr. Carothers came and blistered me from head to feet, and for three weeks I saw no one but my attendants and my phantom panther. He never left me. There was one corner of the room in which he stayed most, and sometimes there was not room for his tail to wag, and then he moved forward where I could not see his head. This troubled me, for then I could not hold him with my eyes. At night they were two balls of green fire; but they had always been, only when I was well I could turn my head away, now I could not move it. I knew most of the time it was a shadow from my brain, but was glad to hear Tom’s chain rattle and feel sure it was not his very self.