The Picture of Dorian Gray eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about The Picture of Dorian Gray.

A sudden thought struck him.  He put on his fur coat and hat and went out into the hall.  There he paused, hearing the slow heavy tread of the policeman on the pavement outside and seeing the flash of the bull’s-eye reflected in the window.  He waited and held his breath.

After a few moments he drew back the latch and slipped out, shutting the door very gently behind him.  Then he began ringing the bell.  In about five minutes his valet appeared, half-dressed and looking very drowsy.

“I am sorry to have had to wake you up, Francis,” he said, stepping in; “but I had forgotten my latch-key.  What time is it?”

“Ten minutes past two, sir,” answered the man, looking at the clock and blinking.

“Ten minutes past two?  How horribly late!  You must wake me at nine to-morrow.  I have some work to do.”

“All right, sir.”

“Did any one call this evening?”

“Mr. Hallward, sir.  He stayed here till eleven, and then he went away to catch his train.”

“Oh!  I am sorry I didn’t see him.  Did he leave any message?”

“No, sir, except that he would write to you from Paris, if he did not find you at the club.”

“That will do, Francis.  Don’t forget to call me at nine to-morrow.”

“No, sir.”

The man shambled down the passage in his slippers.

Dorian Gray threw his hat and coat upon the table and passed into the library.  For a quarter of an hour he walked up and down the room, biting his lip and thinking.  Then he took down the Blue Book from one of the shelves and began to turn over the leaves.  “Alan Campbell, 152, Hertford Street, Mayfair.”  Yes; that was the man he wanted.

CHAPTER 14

At nine o’clock the next morning his servant came in with a cup of chocolate on a tray and opened the shutters.  Dorian was sleeping quite peacefully, lying on his right side, with one hand underneath his cheek.  He looked like a boy who had been tired out with play, or study.

The man had to touch him twice on the shoulder before he woke, and as he opened his eyes a faint smile passed across his lips, as though he had been lost in some delightful dream.  Yet he had not dreamed at all.  His night had been untroubled by any images of pleasure or of pain.  But youth smiles without any reason.  It is one of its chiefest charms.

He turned round, and leaning upon his elbow, began to sip his chocolate.  The mellow November sun came streaming into the room.  The sky was bright, and there was a genial warmth in the air.  It was almost like a morning in May.

Gradually the events of the preceding night crept with silent, blood-stained feet into his brain and reconstructed themselves there with terrible distinctness.  He winced at the memory of all that he had suffered, and for a moment the same curious feeling of loathing for Basil Hallward that had made him kill him as he sat in the chair came back to him, and he grew cold with passion.  The dead man was still sitting there, too, and in the sunlight now.  How horrible that was!  Such hideous things were for the darkness, not for the day.

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The Picture of Dorian Gray from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.