Open main menu

Page:Harris Dickson--The black wolf's breed.djvu/130

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.




GRADUALLY, so gradually the change could hardly be observed, the inner grating of the window became visible; the chinks between the edges of the stones assumed distinctness. A ghostly blotch grew into a fact upon the floor. A leaden hue, less black than the pulsing sea of ink about it, spread and spread, lighter and lighter, until it invaded the dim recesses where I stood. My hand became once more a tangible possession, unreal and grim, yet all my own. The opposite wall loomed up, my utmost frontier of the domain of certainty. Dimmer, darker, more obscure, the door, a vast unexplored cavern gathered to itself the hobgoblins of evil and gave them shelter. As still as the creeping on of day we two men stood, glaring at each other and watched it come.

Exactly when I began to see him I could not say. Every impulse and vital force of nature centered in my eyes, and they fastened themselves upon that one irregular shadow in the opposing corner which slowly—oh! with such agonizing slowness—assumed the outlines of a man. My fascinated gaze wandered not nor wearied. When in the moist light of the morning I clearly saw