The Parasite eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about The Parasite.

Weak as I have proved myself to be, I am still strong enough to bring this sort of thing to an end.  It shall not happen again.  I have sense enough to fly when I cannot fight.  From this Sunday night onward I shall never sit with Miss Penclosa again.  Never!  Let the experiments go, let the research come to an end; any thing is better than facing this monstrous temptation which drags me so low.  I have said nothing to Miss Penclosa, but I shall simply stay away.  She can tell the reason without any words of mine.

April 7.  Have stayed away as I said.  It is a pity to ruin such an interesting investigation, but it would be a greater pity still to ruin my life, and I know that I cannot trust myself with that woman.

11 P. M. God help me!  What is the matter with me?  Am I going mad?  Let me try and be calm and reason with myself.  First of all I shall set down exactly what occurred.

It was nearly eight when I wrote the lines with which this day begins.  Feeling strangely restless and uneasy, I left my rooms and walked round to spend the evening with Agatha and her mother.  They both remarked that I was pale and haggard.  About nine Professor Pratt-Haldane came in, and we played a game of whist.  I tried hard to concentrate my attention upon the cards, but the feeling of restlessness grew and grew until I found it impossible to struggle against it.  I simply could not sit still at the table.  At last, in the very middle of a hand, I threw my cards down and, with some sort of an incoherent apology about having an appointment, I rushed from the room.  As if in a dream I have a vague recollection of tearing through the hall, snatching my hat from the stand, and slamming the door behind me.  As in a dream, too, I have the impression of the double line of gas-lamps, and my bespattered boots tell me that I must have run down the middle of the road.  It was all misty and strange and unnatural.  I came to Wilson’s house; I saw Mrs. Wilson and I saw Miss Penclosa.  I hardly recall what we talked about, but I do remember that Miss P. shook the head of her crutch at me in a playful way, and accused me of being late and of losing interest in our experiments.  There was no mesmerism, but I stayed some time and have only just returned.

My brain is quite clear again now, and I can think over what has occurred.  It is absurd to suppose that it is merely weakness and force of habit.  I tried to explain it in that way the other night, but it will no longer suffice.  It is something much deeper and more terrible than that.  Why, when I was at the Mardens’ whist-table, I was dragged away as if the noose of a rope had been cast round me.  I can no longer disguise it from myself.  The woman has her grip upon me.  I am in her clutch.  But I must keep my head and reason it out and see what is best to be done.

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The Parasite from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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