The Bat (Chapter 4, page 1 of 12)


Previous Page
Next Page

Chapter 4

The long summer afternoon wore away, sunset came, red and angry, a sunset presaging storm. A chill crept into the air with the twilight. When night fell, it was not a night of silver patterns enskied, but a dark and cloudy cloak where a few stars glittered fitfully. Miss Cornelia, at dinner, saw a bat swoop past the window of the dining room in its scurrying flight, and narrowly escaped oversetting her glass of water with a nervous start. The tension of waiting--waiting--for some vague menace which might not materialize after all--had begun to prey on her nerves. She saw Dale off to the country club with relief--the girl looked a little better after her nap but she was still not her normal self. When Dale was gone, she wandered restlessly for some time between living-room and library, now giving an unnecessary dusting to a piece of bric-a-brac with her handkerchief, now taking a book from one of the shelves in the library only to throw it down before she read a page.

This house was queer. She would not have admitted it to Lizzie, for her soul's salvation--but, for the first time in her sensible life, she listened for creakings of woodwork, rustling of leaves, stealthy steps outside, beyond the safe, bright squares of the windows--for anything that was actual, tangible, not merely formless fear.

"There's too much ROOM in the country for things to happen to you!" she confided to herself with a shiver. "Even the night--whenever I look out, it seems to me as if the night were ten times bigger and blacker than it ever is in New York!"

Previous Page
Next Page


Rate This Book

Current Rating: 2.2/5 (201 votes cast)



Review This Book or Post a Comment