With a sort of desperate horror Armstrong gazed upon the appalling spectacle. The expression of anguish on the face of the drowning fisherman, as his distended eyes met his own, froze his blood, and left a memory behind to last to his dying day. Fascinated, his eyes dwelt on the spot where the fisherman sunk, and for a moment a terrible temptation was whispered into his ear quietly, to drop into the river, and accompany the spirit of the drowned man. But it lasted only a moment, and the instinct of life resumed its power.
It was not long ere his condition was discovered from the shore, when chilled and shivering he was taken off by a boat that put out to his rescue. On arriving at his home, Faith, excessively alarmed, immediately dispatched the faithful Felix for the doctor.
How sweetly could I lay my head
Within the cold grave’s silent breast,
Where sorrow’s tears no more are shed,
No more the ills of life molest.
Mr. Armstrong escaped, to all appearance, with a cold, from the accident. But although this seemed the only effect produced upon his bodily health, his mind had suffered a severe shock which was not equally obvious. Fancies, each gloomier than the preceding, took, henceforth, more and more possession of his imagination. He seemed the harbinger of misfortune to all connected with him. Frequently rose up the image of his dead brother, mingling with his dreams and obtruding itself even into his waking thoughts, at one time dripping with water as when taken from the pond—ghastly pale—livid—with scarcely distinguishable lineaments; at another wrapped in the dress of the tomb, and pointing with bony finger to a new-made grave. Then his wife would appear, holding their little son by the hand, and standing on the opposite side of a river that rolled between,