He wrote an address on a couple of pieces of paper which he found in the drawer of the table, and fastened them to the box and trunk with some mucilage. Then he took his fur cap, and having banged on the fat Irish servant-girl’s door, and told her that her mistress was lying insensible in his study, he left the house without delay. It wanted still an hour to the time for the earliest morning train to New York, and, as the young man did not care to subject himself to questions and remarks from the officials at the village depot, he determined to walk down the track, a distance of between four and five miles, to the station below. Off he started accordingly, and, arriving there in ample time, was able to eat a good breakfast of cold meat, hard-boiled eggs, and crackers—all the solid contents of the refreshment-room—before his train got in. He bought his ticket, stepped on board, flung himself into a seat, and left all behind him.
WHERE TWO ROADS MEET.
The velvet-cushioned seat on which he sat felt very comfortable, and the great speed at which he was being carried along was agreeable to him. He had been busily occupied, with little rest of any kind, and scarcely any sleep, for nearly three days; and his mind had been all the time engrossed by the most harrowing thoughts and experiences. It was all over now; nothing could ever again give him apprehension or anxiety; the past was dead and never could live again; the future was arranged, and it was simple enough: he, and the woman who had given him birth, would sail together for Europe on Monday morning, at twelve o’clock. He would have abundant wealth—all the property had been converted into ready money, and would be taken with them—and he might live as luxuriously, as sensually, as much like a pampered animal as he pleased, or as he could. He would forget that he had a mind, or a heart, or a soul; they had none of them served him in good stead; but he had some reliance on his body. There were few that could compare with it in the world, and he felt convinced that he should be able to derive a great deal of enjoyment out of it before the time for its death and decay came round. At all events, he was resolved that no form of indulgence to his bodily appetites should go unproved; and when one grew stale he would try another. With such enormous vitality and capacity to be and to appreciate being voluptuous, he could hardly fail to avenge himself for the hardships he had undergone thus far.
So he leaned back on the crimson velvet-cushion of his seat, and felt very comfortable and composed, thinking of nothing in particular. He became pleasantly interested, as the daylight began to make things visible without, in trying to count the number of wires on the telegraph-poles. It would have been easy enough if they had only kept along at an invariable level; but they were always rising—rising—then