Arms and the Woman (Chapter 7, page 1 of 12)


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Chapter 7

I saw some rye bread, cold meat and a pitcher of water on the table,
and I made a sandwich and washed it down with a few swallows of the
cool liquid. I had a fever and the water chilled it. There was a lump
on the back of my head as large as an egg. With what water remained I
dampened my handkerchief and wound it around the injury. Then I made a
systematic search through my clothes. Not a single article of my
belongings was missing. I was rather sorry, for it lent a deeper
significance to my incarceration. After this, I proceeded to take an
inventory of my surroundings. Below and beyond the little window I saw
a wide expanse of beautiful gardens, fine oaks and firs, velvet lawns
and white pebbled roads. Marble fountains made them merry in the
roseate hue of early morning. A gardener was busy among some hedges,
but beyond the sound of my voice. I was a prisoner in no common jail,
then, but in the garret of a private residence. Having satisfied
myself that there was no possible escape, I returned to my pallet and
lay down. Why I was here a prisoner I knew not. I thought over all I
had written the past twelvemonth, but nothing recurred to me which
would make me liable to arrest. But, then, I had not been arrested. I
had been kidnapped, nothing less. Nothing had been asked of me; I had
made no statement. It had been all too sudden. Presently I heard
footsteps in the corridor, and the door opened. It was mine enemy. He
locked the door and thrust the key into his pocket. One of his eyes
was decidedly mouse-colored. The knuckles of my hand were yet sore. I
smiled; he saw the smile, his jaws hardening and his eyes threatening.

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