Imperium in Imperio: A Study of the Negro Race Problem eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 161 pages of information about Imperium in Imperio.

When she was gone, the parents looked at each other and shook their heads.  They knew that Viola was feeling keenly on account of something but felt that her cheerful nature would soon throw it off.  But the blade was in her heart deeper than they knew.  Viola entered her room, fastening the door behind her.  She went to her desk, secured the three letters that she had written and placed them on the floor a few inches apart in a position where they would attract immediate attention upon entering the room.  She then lay down upon her bed and put one arm across her bosom.  With her other hand she turned on the gas jet by the head of her bed.  She then placed this other hand across her bosom and ere long fell asleep to wake no more.

The moon arose and shed its sad, quiet light through the half turned shutters, through the window pane.  It seemed to force its way in in order to linger and weep over such queenly beauty, such worth, meeting with such an accursed end.

Thus in this forbidden path Viola Martin had gone to him who said:  “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

CHAPTER XIV

Married and yet not married. (Continued.)

At ten o’clock on the next day, Bernard called at Viola’s residence.  Viola’s mother invited him in and informed him that Viola had not arisen.  Thinking that her daughter had spent much of the night in meditating on whatever was troubling her, She had thought not to awaken her so early.  Bernard informed her that Viola had made an engagement with him for that morning at ten o’clock.  Mrs. Martin looked alarmed.  She knew that Viola was invariably punctual to an appointment and something unusual must be the matter.  She left the room hurriedly and her knees smote together as she fancied she discovered the scent of escaping gas.  She clung to the banisters for support and dragged her way to Viola’s door.  As she drew near, the smell of gas became unmistakable, and she fell forward, uttering a loud scream.  Bernard had noticed the anxious look on Viola’s mother’s face and was listening eagerly.  He beard her scream and dashed out of the parlor and up the stairs.  He rushed past Mrs. Martin and burst open the door to Viola’s door.  He drew back aghast at the sight that met his gaze.  The next instant he had seized her lifeless form, beautiful in death, and smothered those silent lips with kisses.

Mrs. Martin regained sufficient strength to rush into the room, and when she saw her child was dead uttered a succession of piercing shrieks and fell to the floor in a swoon.

This somewhat called Bernard’s mind from his own grief.  He lay Viola down upon her own bed most tenderly and set about to restore Mrs. Martin to consciousness.  By this time the room was full of anxious neighbors.

While they are making inquiry let us peruse the letters which the poor girl left behind.

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Imperium in Imperio: A Study of the Negro Race Problem from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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