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I waited until I again saw it, but each time I evaded my grasp.

Suddenly I saw a shudder pass over the female's whole frame, and the next second the snake came from beneath the hair, and swiftly glided into the darkness.

Could it have bitten her?

I placed my hand gently over her left breast, and could feel her heart beating very faintly. I pressed with greater force; it awakened her.

Opening her eyes and seeing me, she stretched out her arms. As she did so a shudder convulsed her.

Her arms dropped, her head fell back, her jaw relaxed.

She was dead.

This poor, gentle, kind, hideous monstrosity was dead, and I was the murderer, I was somehow glad she did not know I had killed her.

Creeping back to my own bed I threw myself on it, and tried to sleep but could not.