Left alone on the wild heath, I gave free current to my countless tears, relieving my heart from an ineffably weary weight. But I saw no bound, no outlet, no end to my intolerable misery, and I drank besides with savage thirst of the fresh poison which the unknown had poured into my wounds. When I called the image of Mina before my soul, and the dear, sweet form appeared pale and in tears, as I saw her last in my shame, then stepped, impudent and mocking, Rascal’s shadow between her and me; I covered my face and fled through the wild. Yet the hideous apparition left me not, but pursued me in my flight, till I sank breathless on the ground, and moistened it with a fresh torrent of tears.
And all for a shadow! And this shadow a pen-stroke could have obtained for me! I thought over the strange proposition and my refusal. All was chaos in me. I had no longer either discernment or faculty of comprehension.
The day went along. I stilled my hunger with wild fruits, my thirst in the nearest mountain stream. The night fell; I lay down beneath a tree. The damp morning awoke me out of a heavy sleep in which I heard myself rattle in the throat as in death. Bendel must have lost all trace of me, and it rejoiced me to think so. I would not return again amongst men before whom I fled in terror, like the timid game of the mountains. Thus I lived through three weary days.
On the fourth morning I found myself on a sandy plain bright with the sun, and sat on a rock in its beams, for I loved now to enjoy its long-withheld countenance. I silently fed my heart with its despair. A light rustle startled me. Ready for flight I threw round me a hurried glance; I saw no one, but in the sunny sand there glided past me a human shadow, not unlike my own, which, wandering there alone, seemed to have escaped from its possessor. There awoke in me a mighty yearning. “Shadow,” said I, “dost thou seek thy master? I will be he,” and I sprang forward to seize it. I thought that if I succeeded in treading on it so that its feet touched mine, it probably would remain hanging there, and in time accommodate itself to me.