The Haunters & The Haunted eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 343 pages of information about The Haunters & The Haunted.
mad.  However, I went backwards to the doorway, and then rapidly stepped out of sight of the apparition and sat down upon the bed.  Useless!  I must return.  The mere idea of the empty sitting-room—­empty with the ghost in it—­filled me with a new and considerable fear.  Horrible happenings might occur in that room, and I must be there to see them!  Moreover, the ghost’s gaze must now fall on nothing; that would be too appalling (without doubt I was mad).  Its gaze must meet something, otherwise it would travel out into space further and further till it had left all the stars and waggled aimless in the ether.  The notion of such a calamity was unbearable.  Besides, I was hungry for that gaze.  My eyes desired those eyes:  if that glance did not press against them, they would burst from my head and roll on the floor, and I should be compelled to go down on my hands and knees and grope in search for them.  No, no.  I must return to the sitting-room.  And I returned.  The gaze met mine in the doorway, and now there was something novel in it—­an added terror, a more intolerable menace, the silent imprecation so frightful that no human being could suffer it.  I sank to the ground, and as I did so I shrieked; but it was a weird shriek, sounding only within the brain, and in reply to that unheard shriek I heard an unheard voice of the ghost crying, “Yield!”

I would not yield.  Crushed, maddened, tortured, I would not yield.  I wanted to die.  I felt that death would be sweet and truly desirable.  And, so thinking, I faded into a kind of coma, or rather a state which was just short of coma.  I had not lost consciousness, but I was conscious of nothing but the gaze.  “Good-bye, Rosa,” I whispered; “I am beaten, but my love has not been conquered.”  The next thing I remember was the paleness of the dawn at the window.  The apparition had vanished for the night, and I was alive.  But I knew that I had touched the skirts of death.  I knew that after such another night I should die.

FOOTNOTES: 

[Footnote 2:  The Ghost:  a Novel (1911).]

IX

DR DUTHOIT’S VISION

By ARTHUR MACHEN[3]

I knew a fine specimen of an English abbe when I was at school at Hereford.  This was Dr Duthoit, Prebendary of Consumpta per Sabulum in Hereford Cathedral, Rector of St Owen’s, bookworm and, chiefly, rose-grower.  He was a middle-aged man when I was a little boy, but he suffered me to walk with him in his garden sloping down to the Wye, near a pleasaunce of the Vicars Choral, reciting sometimes the poems of Traherne, which he had in manuscript, but, for the most part, demonstrating his progress in the art of growing a coal-black rose.  This was the true work of his life, and nearly forty years ago he could show blooms whose copper and crimson tints were very near to utter darkness.  I believe that his ideal was never attained in absolute perfection; and perhaps the perfect end and attainment of desire do not prove happiness down here below.

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The Haunters & The Haunted from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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