I saw what he had seen.
For just as the body swung round to the current the face and the exposed chest turned full towards us, and showed plainly how the skin and flesh were indented with small hollows, beautifully formed, and exactly similar in shape and kind to the sand-funnels that we had found all over the island.
“Their mark!” I heard my companion mutter under his breath. “Their awful mark!”
And when I turned my eyes again from his ghastly face to the river, the current had done its work, and the body had been swept away into midstream and was already beyond our reach and almost out of sight, turning over and over on the waves like an otter.
BY MARY E. WILKINS FREEMAN
From The Wind in
the Rose-bush, by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman.
Copyright by Harper and Brothers. By permission of the publishers
and Mary E. Wilkins Freeman.
“Henry had words with Edward in the study the night before Edward died,” said Caroline Glynn.
She spoke not with acrimony, but with grave severity. Rebecca Ann Glynn gasped by way of assent. She sat in a wide flounce of black silk in the corner of the sofa, and rolled terrified eyes from her sister Caroline to her sister Mrs. Stephen Brigham, who had been Emma Glynn, the one beauty of the family. The latter was beautiful still, with a large, splendid, full-blown beauty, she filled a great rocking-chair with her superb bulk of femininity, and swayed gently back and forth, her black silks whispering and her black frills fluttering. Even the shock of death—for her brother Edward lay dead in the house—could not disturb her outward serenity of demeanor.
But even her expression of masterly placidity changed before her sister Caroline’s announcement and her sister Rebecca Ann’s gasp of terror and distress in response.
“I think Henry might have controlled his temper, when poor Edward was so near his end,” she said with an asperity which disturbed slightly the roseate curves of her beautiful mouth.
“Of course he did not know,” murmured Rebecca Ann in a faint tone.
“Of course he did not know it,” said Caroline quickly. She turned on her sister with a strange, sharp look of suspicion. Then she shrank as if from the other’s possible answer.
Rebecca gasped again. The married sister, Mrs. Emma Brigham, was now sitting up straight in her chair; she had ceased rocking, and was eyeing them both intently with a sudden accentuation of family likeness in her face.
“What do you mean?” said she impartially to them both. Then she, too, seemed to shrink before a possible answer. She even laughed an evasive sort of laugh.
“Nobody means anything,” said Caroline firmly. She rose and crossed the room toward the door with grim decisiveness.