The Damnation of Theron Ware eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 351 pages of information about The Damnation of Theron Ware.

The Rev. Theron Ware had not caught even the faintest hint of these overtures to suspicion.

When he had entered the huge, dark, cool vault of the church, he could see nothing at first but a faint light up over the gallery, far at the other end.  Then, little by little, his surroundings shaped themselves out of the gloom.  To his right was a rail and some broad steps rising toward a softly confused mass of little gray vertical bars and the pale twinkle of tiny spots of gilded reflection, which he made out in the dusk to be the candles and trappings of the altar.  Overhead the great arches faded away from foundations of dimly discernible capitals into utter blackness.  There was a strange medicinal odor—­as of cubeb cigarettes—­in the air.

After a little pause, he tiptoed noiselessly up the side aisle toward the end of the church—­toward the light above the gallery.  This radiance from a single gas-jet expanded as he advanced, and spread itself upward over a burnished row of monster metal pipes, which went towering into the darkness like giants.  They were roaring at him now—­a sonorous, deafening, angry bellow, which made everything about him vibrate.  The gallery balustrade hid the keyboard and the organist from view.  There were only these jostling brazen tubes, as big round as trees and as tall, trembling with their own furious thunder.  It was for all the world as if he had wandered into some vast tragical, enchanted cave, and was being drawn against his will—­like fascinated bird and python—­toward fate at the savage hands of these swollen and enraged genii.

He stumbled in the obscure light over a kneeling-bench, making a considerable racket.  On the instant the noise from the organ ceased, and he saw the black figure of a woman rise above the gallery-rail and look down.

“Who is it?” the indubitable voice of Miss Madden demanded sharply.

Theron had a sudden sheepish notion of turning and running.  With the best grace he could summon, he called out an explanation instead.

“Wait a minute.  I’m through now.  I’m coming down,” she returned.  He thought there was a note of amusement in her tone.

She came to him a moment later, accompanied by a thin, tall man, whom Theron could barely see in the dark, now that the organ-light too was gone.  This man lighted a match or two to enable them to make their way out.

When they were on the sidewalk, Celia spoke:  “Walk on ahead, Michael!” she said.  “I have some matters to speak of with Mr. Ware.”

CHAPTER X

“Well, what did you think of Dr. Ledsmar?”

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The Damnation of Theron Ware from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.