“Now, vile, degraded, polluted thing! you go from my presence never to return. Hold! not just yet, I have a parting word to say before you leave. I confess, with self-abasement, that I once loved you, and with deep humiliation, amounting to agony, that that love was the cause of my ruin. The vail is now torn from my eyes, and I behold you as you are, a corrupted, debased, unfeeling demon, in the human form; and I would not even touch you with my finger’s end, so deep is my detestation and abhorrence of your depravity! Aye, sir, even for me your very touch is defiling! But if ever you whisper a word concerning the relation you once sustained toward me, be it but so loud as your breath, I will as surely destroy you as I now stand before you! Remember and beware! for I call God, and angels, and earth to witness this my vow! One so lost as you, shall not couple my name with his!”
She paused a moment, as if to collect her energies for a last effort, and then continued:
“Into the darkness of this moonless, starless, sky-beclouded night, you shall soon be driven. May it faintly prefigure the unending blackness of that eternal night you have chosen as your future portion. As you have willfully, voluntarily, and most wickedly called it down upon your own head, may the ’curse of God rest upon you in this world and the world to come!’ May evils betide you in this life, every cherished hope be blasted; every plot of villainy thwarted, and you become a reproach among men, an outcast and a vagabond on the face of the earth! And when, at last, your sinful race is run, and your guilty soul has been ushered into that dreaded eternity you have plucked upon it, may your polluted carcass become the prey of the carrion-crow and the buzzard, and the wild beasts of the desert wilderness howl a requiem over your bones! Go now, and meet your doom! Go with the curse of wretched innocence ever abiding upon you! Go with the canker-worm of festering corruption ever hanging, like an incubus, upon your prostituted heart, and may its fangs, charged with burning poison, pierce the very vitals of existence, till life itself shall become a burden and a curse! Go!”
And he went, with the awful curse ever burning as a flaming fire on the tablet of his memory.
* * * * *
The reader must bear with us for being compelled to introduce in our pages some exceptional characters. Had we consulted our own taste, or painted the characters ourself, it would not have been so. In this particular, we had no choice, as the actors were furnished to our hand in the light we have represented them, as we shall presently show by authenticated history. For the present, however, we pass to other scenes.—AUTHOR.
From the presence of Miss Fleming, Durant went to an obscure old cabin near the river, where he met an accomplice in villainy, a tool of his, by the name of Ramsey, whom he often employed to do hazardous and dirty work, he himself was too cowardly or too aristocratic to perform. The object of the present interview was to learn on what boat the Waltons had taken passage. He was scheming again.