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I could see no way of escape—the crisis had come.

Was I to give up every idea of refinement—degenerate into a brute like these half bestial creatures—have children, and die, with monsters calling me father.

Or should I refuse to accede to her demands and without a doubt be killed? For I was certain she would kill me if I disappointed her.

If only she had a more human face, no matter how ugly, I might have overcome my repugnance.

Her body, arms, and legs were beautifully shaped.

She seemed kind and gentle, and was evidently very fond of me. But that ugly head was ever rising before me in all its awful hideousness. Then again, how horrible to die; probably be thrown into the crater, and in boiling lava be roasted, scalded, burned to nothingness.

Suddenly a thought struck me. If this creature were dead, they might not put me to death. Why should I not kill her? But how do so without being found out? A thousand ideas at once presented themselves, but all seemed attended with too much risk.

At last one occurred to me that seemed feasible.

Why not let a snake bite her?

I could manage to catch one the next time I