The Lost Hunter eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 516 pages of information about The Lost Hunter.
None arriving, Sill, at last, became impatient, and as he was an excellent swimmer, proposed to throw off the heavier part of his clothing, and swim to land to hasten succor.  As Mr. Armstrong made no objection, and the danger appeared less than what was likely to proceed from a long continuance on the boat, exposed in their wet clothes to the wind, the shore being but a few rods distant, Sill, after divesting himself of a part of his clothes, plunged into the water, and with vigorous strokes swam towards the land.  He had proceeded but a short way when, either in consequence of becoming benumbed by the coldness of the water after being chilled by exposure to the wind, or from being seized by cramp, or from what other cause, the unfortunate man suddenly turning his face towards Armstrong, and uttering a cry of alarm, sank and disappeared from sight.  Once more only was anything seen of him, when brought near the surface, perhaps, by an eddy in the stream, a hand emerged, and for an instant the fingers quivered in the air.

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,

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The Lost Hunter from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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