Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/202

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relapsed into a state of unconsciousness. The exhilaration of the white man lasted longer, and was followed by a fighting frenzy which filled the night with horror. Men tore their clothes from their backs and, half-naked, danced in a circle, the flickering light of the camp-fire distorting their bodies into demons. It was hell let loose!

“I have got rather a strong head, but one cup of that mixture sent my brain reeling. My fear was that my will would give way and I be tempted to drink a second dipperful and so knocked completely out. With this idea firmly in my mind, I watched my chance and escaped outside the raging circle, where I found a pool into which I plunged my head. This sobered me a little and I kept on in the darkness until I reached the edge of the hill overlooking the missionary’s settlement, the shouts of the frenzied men growing fainter and fainter.

“As I sat there my brain began to clear. I noticed the dull light of the moon shrouded in a deadly fog that rose from the valley below. In its mysterious dimness the wraiths of mist and fog became processions of ghosts stealing slowly up the hill—spirits of the dead on their way to judgment. The swollen moon swim-