Vendetta: a story of one forgotten eBook

Marie Corelli
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 542 pages of information about Vendetta.

I am dreamily astonished at this.  Dead—­so soon!  I cannot understand it; and I drift off again into a state of confused imaginings.  As I look back now to that time, I find I have no specially distinct recollection of what afterward happened to me.  I know I suffered intense, intolerable pain—­that I was literally tortured on a rack of excruciating anguish—­and that through all the delirium of my senses I heard a muffled, melancholy sound like a chant or prayer.  I have an idea that I also heard the tinkle of the bell that accompanies the Host, but my brain reeled more wildly with each moment, and I cannot be certain of this.  I remember shrieking out after what seemed an eternity of pain, “Not to the villa! no, no, not there!  You shall not take me—­my curse on him who disobeys me!”

I remember then a fearful sensation, as of being dragged into a deep whirlpool, from whence I stretched up appealing hands and eyes to the monk who stood above me—­I caught a drowning glimpse of a silver crucifix glittering before my gaze, and at last, with one loud cry for help, I sunk—­down—­down! into an abyss of black night and nothingness!


There followed a long drowsy time of stillness and shadow.  I seemed to have fallen in some deep well of delicious oblivion and obscurity.  Dream-like images still flitted before my fancy—­these were at first undefinable, but after awhile they took more certain shapes.  Strange fluttering creatures hovered about me—­lonely eyes stared at me from a visible deep gloom; long white bony fingers grasping at nothing made signs to me of warning or menace.  Then—­ very gradually, there dawned upon my sense of vision a cloudy red mist like a stormy sunset, and from the middle of the blood-like haze a huge black hand descended toward me.  It pounced upon my chest—­it grasped my throat in its monstrous clutch, and held me down with a weight of iron.  I struggled violently—­I strove to cry out, but that terrific pressure took from me all power of utterance.  I twisted myself to right and left in an endeavor to escape—­but my tyrant of the sable hand had bound me in on all sides.  Yet I continued to wrestle with the cruel opposing force that strove to overwhelm me—­little by little—­inch by inch—­so!  At last!  One more struggle—­victory!  I woke!  Merciful God!  Where was I?  In what horrible atmosphere—­in what dense darkness?  Slowly, as my senses returned to me, I remembered my recent illness.  The monk—­the man Pietro—­where were they?  What had they done to me?  By degrees, I realized that I was lying straight down upon my back—­the couch was surely very hard?  Why had they taken the pillows from under my head?  A pricking sensation darted through my veins—­I felt my own hands curiously—­they were warm, and my pulse beat strongly, though fitfully.  But what was this that hindered my breathing?  Air—­air!  I must have air!  I put up my hands—­horror! 

Project Gutenberg
Vendetta: a story of one forgotten from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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