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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 169 pages of information about Against the Grain.

Something that stirred on the ground became a deathly pale, nude woman whose feet were covered with green silk stockings.

He contemplated her with curiosity.  As though frizzed by overheated irons, her hair curled, becoming straight again at the end; her distended nostrils were the color of roast veal.  Her eyes were desirous, and she called to him in low tones.

He had no time to answer, for already the woman was changing.  Flamboyant colors passed and repassed in her eyes.  Her lips were stained with a furious Anthurium red.  The nipples of her breasts flashed, painted like two pods of red pepper.

A sudden intuition came to him.  “It is the Flower,” he said.  And his reasoning mania persisted in his nightmare.

Then he observed the frightful irritation of the breasts and mouth, discovered spots of bister and copper on the skin of her body, and recoiled bewildered.  But the woman’s eyes fascinated him and he advanced slowly, attempting to thrust his heels into the earth so as not to move, letting himself fall, and yet lifting himself to reach her.  Just as he touched her, the dark Amorphophalli leaped up from all sides and thrust their leaves into his abdomen which rose and fell like a sea.  He had broken all the plants, experiencing a limitless disgust in seeing these warm, firm stems stirring in his hands.  Suddenly the detested plants had disappeared and two arms sought to enlace him.  A terrible anguish made his heart beat furiously, for the eyes, the horrible eyes of the woman, had become a clear, cold and terrible blue.  He made a superhuman effort to free himself from her embrace, but she held him with an irresistible movement.  He beheld the wild Nidularium which yawned, bleeding, in steel plates.

With his body he touched the hideous wound of this plant.  He felt himself dying, awoke with a start, suffocating, frozen, mad with fear and sighing:  “Ah! thank God, it was but a dream!”

Chapter 9

These nightmares attacked him repeatedly.  He was afraid to fall asleep.  For hours he remained stretched on his bed, now a prey to feverish and agitated wakefulness, now in the grip of oppressive dreams in which he tumbled down flights of stairs and felt himself sinking, powerless, into abysmal depths.

His nervous attacks, which had abated for several days, became acute, more violent and obstinate than ever, unearthing new tortures.

The bed covers tormented him.  He stifled under the sheets, his body smarted and tingled as though stung by swarms of insects.  These symptoms were augmented by a dull pain in his jaws and a throbbing in his temples which seemed to be gripped in a vise.

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