Vendetta: a story of one forgotten eBook

Marie Corelli
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 420 pages of information about Vendetta.
They struck against a hard opposing substance above me.  Quick as lightning then the truth flashed upon my mind!  I had been buried—­buried alive; this wooden prison that inclosed me was a coffin!  A frenzy surpassing that of an infuriated tiger took swift possession of me—­with hands and nails I tore and scratched at the accursed boards—­with all the force of my shoulders and arms I toiled to wrench open the closed lid!  My efforts were fruitless!  I grew more ferociously mad with rage and terror.  How easy were all deaths compared to one like this!  I was suffocating—­I felt my eyes start from their sockets—­blood sprung from my mouth and nostrils—­and icy drops of sweat trickled from my forehead.  I paused, gasping for breath.  Then, suddenly nerving myself for one more wild effort, I hurled my limbs with all the force of agony and desperation against one side of my narrow prison.  It cracked—­it split asunder!—­and then—­a new and horrid fear beset me, and I crouched back, panting heavily.  If—­if I were buried in the ground—­so ran my ghastly thoughts—­of what use to break open the coffin and let in the mold—­the damp wormy mold, rich with the bones of the dead—­the penetrating mold that would choke up my mouth and eyes, and seal me into silence forever!  My mind quailed at this idea—­my brain tottered on the verge of madness!  I laughed—­think of it!—­and my laugh sounded in my ears like the last rattle in the throat of a dying man.  But I could breathe more easily—­even in the stupefaction of my fears—­I was conscious of air.  Yes!—­the blessed air had rushed in somehow.  Revived and encouraged as I recognized this fact, I felt with both hands till I found the crevice I had made, and then with frantic haste and strength I pulled and dragged at the wood, till suddenly the whole side of the coffin gave way, and I was able to force up the lid.  I stretched out my arms—­no weight of earth impeded their movements—­I felt nothing but air—­ empty air.  Yielding to my first strong impulse, I leaped out of the hateful box, and fell—­fell some little distance, bruising my hands and knees on what seemed to be a stone pavement.  Something weighty fell also, with a dull crashing thud close to me.  The darkness was impenetrable.  But there was breathing room, and the atmosphere was cool and refreshing.  With some pain and difficulty I raised myself to a sitting position where I had fallen.  My limbs were stiff and cramped as well as wounded, and I shivered as with strong ague.  But my senses were clear—­the tangled chain of my disordered thoughts became even and connected—­my previous mad excitement gradually calmed, and I began to consider my condition.  I had certainly been buried alive—­there was no doubt of that.  Intense pain had, I suppose, resolved itself into a long trance of unconsciousness—­the people of the inn where I had been taken ill had at once believed me to be dead of cholera, and with the panic-stricken, indecent haste common in all Italy,
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Project Gutenberg
Vendetta: a story of one forgotten from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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