Notwithstanding the distance of the solitary street where the Archivarius Lindhorst’s very ancient residence lay, the student Anselmus was at the front door before the stroke of twelve. He stood here, and was looking at the large fine bronze knocker; but now when, as the last stroke tingled through the air with loud clang from the steeple-clock of the Kreuzkirche, he lifted his hand to grasp this same knocker, the metal visage twisted itself, with horrid rolling of its blue-gleaming eyes, into a grinning smile. Alas, it was the Apple-woman of the Black Gate! The pointed teeth gnashed together in the loose jaws, and in their chattering through the skinny lips there was a growl of: “Thou fool, fool, fool!—Wait, wait!—Why didst run!—Fool!” Horror-struck, the student Anselmus flew back; he clutched at the door-post, but his hand caught the bell-rope and pulled it, and in piercing discords it rung stronger and stronger, and through the whole empty house the echo repeated, as in mockery: “To the crystal fall!” An unearthly terror seized the student Anselmus, and quivered through all his limbs. The bell-rope lengthened downward, and became a white, transparent, gigantic serpent, which encircled and crushed him, and girded him straiter and straiter in its coils, till his brittle, paralyzed limbs went crashing in pieces, and the blood spouted from his veins, penetrating into the transparent body of the serpent, and dyeing it red. “Kill me! Kill me!” he would have cried, in his horrible agony; but the cry was only a stifled gurgle in his throat. The serpent lifted its head, and laid its long peaked tongue of glowing brass on the breast of Anselmus; then a fierce pang suddenly cut asunder the artery of life, and thought fled away from him. On returning to his senses, he was lying on his own poor truckle-bed; Conrector Paulmann was standing before him, and saying: “For Heaven’s sake, what mad stuff is this, dear Herr Anselmus?”
Garden, with some Mocking birds. The Golden
Pot. English current-hand. Pot-hooks. The Prince of the Spirits.