The more Peter thought about it, the more outraged he became. It was monstrous! He sat up and glared into the black darkness. He talked to himself, he talked to the world outside, to the universe which had forgotten his existence. He stormed, he wept. He got on his feet and flung himself about the cell, which was six feet square, and barely tall enough for him to stand erect. He pounded on the door with his one hand which Guffey had not lamed, he kicked, and he shouted. But there was no answer, and so far as he could tell, there was no one to hear.
When he had exhausted himself, he sank down, and fell into a haunted sleep; and then he wakened again, to a reality worse than any nightmare. That awful man was coming after him again! He was going to torture him, to make him tell what he did not know! All the ogres and all the demons that had ever been invented to frighten the imagination of children were as nothing compared to the image of the man called Guffey, as Peter thought of him.
Several ages after Peter had been locked up, he heard sounds outside, and the door was opened. Peter was cowering in the corner, thinking that Guffey had come. There was a scraping on the floor, and then the door was banged again, and silence fell. Peter investigated and discovered that they had put in a chunk of bread and a pan of water.
Then more ages passed, and Peter’s impotent ragings were repeated; then once more they brought bread and water, and Peter wondered, was it twice a day they brought it, or was this a new day? And how long did they mean to keep him here? Did they mean to drive him mad? He asked these questions of the man who brought the bread and water, but the man made no answer, he never at any time spoke a word. Peter had no company in that “hole” but his God; and Peter was not well acquainted with his God, and did not enjoy a tete-a-tete with Him.
What troubled Peter most was the cold; it got into his bones, and his teeth were chattering all the time. Despite all his moving about, he could not keep warm. When the man opened the door, he cried out to him, begging for a blanket; each time the man came, Peter begged more frantically than ever. He was ill, he had been injured in the explosion, he needed a doctor, he was going to die! But there was never any answer. Peter would lie there and shiver and weep, and writhe, and babble, and lose consciousness for a while, and not know whether he was awake or asleep, whether he was living or dead. He was becoming delirious, and the things that were happening to him, the people who were tormenting him, became monsters and fiends who carried him away upon far journeys, and plunged him thru abysses of terror and torment.