The Tower Room
|"My sister is in his power, for any act of wrong, for any deed of outrage! And I cannot strike a blow in her
defence! A solitary wall may separate us—in one room the sister pleads with the villain for mercy—in the other,
trapped and imprisoned, the brother hears her cry of agony, and cannot—cannot raise a finger in her behalf! Ha!
The door is fast—I hear the hushed breathing of negroes on the other side. I have read many legends of a place
of torment in the other world, but what devil could contrive a hell like this?"
He flung himself on the sofa, and covered his face with his hands. The lamp burning dimly on the solitary table,
flung a faint and dusky light around the walls of the Tower Room.
Byrnewood lay in dim shadow, with his limbs thrown carelessly along the sofa, his outspread hands covering his
face, while the long curls of his raven-black hair, fell wild and tangled over his forehead. As he lay there, with his
dress disordered and his form resting on the sofa, in an attitude which, careless as it was, resembled the
crouching position of one who suffers from the cold chill succeeding fever, you might have taken him for an
inanimate effigy, instead of a living and breathing man.
No heaving of the chest, no quick and gasping respiration, no convulsive movements of the fingers, indicated the
agitation which shook his soul to its centre. He lay quiet and motionless, his white hands, concealing his livid
face, while a single glimpse of his forehead was visible between the tangled locks of his raven hair.
The silence of the room was broken by the creaking of the door, as it swung slowly open.
Bess silently entered the room, holding the waiter with the cold chicken and bottle of Madeira in her hands. She
hurriedly closed the door and advanced to the solitary table. Her face was very pale, and her long dark hair,
hung in disordered tresses around her full voluptuous neck. The dark shawl which she had thrown over her
bridesmaid's dress, had fallen from her shoulders and hung loosely from her arms as she walked. Her entire
appearance betrayed agitation and haste.
"He sleeps!" she murmured, arranging the refreshments—provided by Devil-Bug along the surface of the chest-
like table—" 'Fix his plate on the side of the table furthest from the door'—what could the monster mean? Ha!
There may be a secret spring on that side of the table, which the foot of the victim is designed to touch. I'll warn
him of his danger—and then, the bottle—"
She said she would warn Byrnewood of his danger, and yet she lingered about the small table, her confused
and hurried manner betraying her irresolution and changeability of purpose. Byrnewood still lay silent and
motionless on the sofa. As far from slumber as the victim writhing on the rack, he was still unconscious of the
presence of Long-haired Bess. His mind was utterly absorbed in the harrowing details of the mental struggle,
that shook his soul to its foundations.
At first, arranging the knife and plate on one side of the table, and then on the other, now placing the bottle in
one position and again in another, it was evident that Long-haired Bess was absent, confused and deeply
agitated. The side-long glance, which every other instant, she threw over her shoulder at the reclining form of
Byrnewood, was fraught with deep and painful meaning. At last, with a hurried footstep, she approached the
sofa, and glancing cautiously at the door, which hung slightly ajar, she laid her hand lightly on Byrnewood's
"I come to warn you of your danger—" she whispered in his ear.
Byrnewood looked up in wonder and then an expression of intolerable disgust impressed every line of his
"Your touch is pollution—" he said, shaking her hand from his shoulder—"You were one of the minions of the
villain. You plotted my sister's dishonor "
"I come to warn you of your danger!" whispered Bess, with a flashing eye—"You behold refreshments spread
for you on yonder table. You see the bottle o' wine. On peril of your life don't drink anything—"
"But rale good brandy—" grated a harsh voice at her shoulder—"Liqu-ood hell-fire for ever! That's the stuff,
my feller! Ha! ha! ha!"
With the same start of surprise, Byrnewood sprang to his feet, and Bess turned hurriedly around, while their
eyes were fixed upon the face of the new-comer.
Devil-Bug, hideous and grinning, with the furnace of burning coals in his hand, stood before them. His solitary
eye rested upon the face of Long-haired Bess with a meaning look, and his visage passed through the series of
spasmodic contortions peculiar to his expressive features, as he stood swinging the furnace from side to side.
"You can go, Bessie, my duck—" he said, with a pleasant way of speaking, original with himself. "This 'ere
party don't want you no more. You see, my feller citizen—" he continued, turning to Byrnewood—"yer humble
servant thought you might be hungry, so he sent you suffin' to eat. Thought you might be cold; so he brung you
some coals to warm yesself. You can re-tire, Bessie—"
He gently led her to the door, fixing his eye upon her face, with a look, as full of venom as a spider's sting.
"You'd a-spilt it all—would yo'?" he hissed the whisper in her ear as he pushed her from the room—"Good
night my dear—" he continued aloud—"You better go home. Your mammy's a waitin' tea for you. Now I'll
make you a little bit o' fire, Mister, if you please—"
"Fire?" echoed Byrnewood—"I see no fire-place—"
"That's all you know about it—" answered Devil-Bug swinging the furnace from side to side—"You think them
'are's books do you? Look a little closer, next time. The walls are only painted like books and shelves—false
book-cases you see. And then there's glass doors, jist like real book-cases. They did it in the old times—them
queer old chaps as used to keep house here, all alone to themselves. Nice fire-place—ain't it ?"
He opened two folding leaves of the false book-case near the centre of the wall opposite the door, and a small
fire-place neatly white-washed and free from ashes or the remains of any former fire, became visible. Stooping
on his knees, Devil -Bug proceeded to arrange the furnace in the hearth, while the half-closed folding leaves of
the book-case, well-nigh concealed him from view.
"A false bookcase on either side of the room! Ha! Books of all classes, painted on the pannels, within the
sashes, with inimitable skill! They deceived me, in the dim light of yonder lamp. What can this mean? By my life,
I shrewdly suspect, that these bookcases, conceal secret passages, leading from this den—"
Byrnewood flung himself on the sofa, and again covered his face with his hands.
"Blazes up quite comfortable—" muttered Devil-Bug, as half concealed by the folding doors of the central part
of the bookcase, he stooped over the furnace of blazing coal, warming his hands in the flame. "A nice fire, and a
nice fire-place. But I'll have to discharge my bricklayer for one thing. Got him to fix up this harth not long ago.
Scoundrel walled up the chimbley. Did ye ever hear of sich rascality? Konsekence is, this young genelmen will
be rather uncomfortable a'cause, the charcoal smoke wont find no vent. If I should happen to shut the door right
tight he might die. He might so. Things jist as bad have happened afore now. He might die. Ha—ha—ha—" he
chuckled as he retired from the fire-place, screening the blazing furnace, with the half-closed doors of the book-
case—"Wonder how that 'ill work!"
He approached the side of Byrnewood, with that same hideous grin distorting his features, but had not
advanced two steps, when he started backward with a moment of involuntary horror.
"Look here you sir—" he whispered grasping Byrnewood by the arm—"Jist look here a minnit. You see the
floor at my left side—do you? Now tell us the truth, ain't there a dead man layin' there? His jaw broke and his
tongue out? Not that I'm afeered, but I wants to satisfy my mind. Jist take a good look while I hold still—"
"I see nothing but the carpet—" answered Byrnewood with a look of loathing, as he observed this strange
being, standing before him, motionless as a statue, while his left hand pointed to the floor—"I see nothing but the
"Don't see a dead man, with his knees drawed up to his breast, and his tongue stickin' out? Well that's queer.
I'd take my book oath, that the feller was a layin' there, nasty as a snake—Hows'ever re-fresh your self young
man. There's plenty to eat and drink and—" he pointed to the hearth as he spoke—"There's a nice comfortable
fire. Good charcoal—and—I wonder's how that 'ill work—"
Closing the door, he stood in the small recess, at the head of the stairs, leading to the Tower-Room. The huge
forms of the negroes, Musquito and Glow-worm, were flung along the floor, while their hard breathing indicated
that they slumbered on their watch. Listening intently for a single moment, at the door of the Tower-Room, Devil-
Bug slowly turned the key in the lock, and then withdrawing it from the keyhole placed it in his pocket. He
stepped carefully over the forms of the sleeping negroes, and passed his hands slowly along the pannelling of the
recess, opposite the door.
"The spring—ha, ha—I've found it—" he muttered in the darkness—"The bookcases don't conceal no passage
between the walls of this 'ere Tower, and the room itself do they? O' course they do not. Quiet little places
where a feller can say his prayers and eat ground-nuts. Ha! Ha! Ha! I must see how that 'ill work."
The pannelling slid back as he touched the spring and Devil-Bug disappeared into the secret recess or passage,
between the false book-cases and the massive walls of the Tower; as the solitary chamber, rising from the
western wing of Monk-Hall, was termed in the legends of the place.
Meanwhile within the Tower-Room, Byrnewood Arlington paced slowly up and down the floor, his arms
folded, and his face, impressed with a fixed expression, that forced his lips tightly together, darkened his brows
in a settled frown and drove the blood from his entire visage, until it wore the livid hues of death.
"My sister in his power! Last night she was pure and stainless—to morrow morning dawns and she will be a
thing stained with pollution, dishonored by a hideous crime! No lapse of time, no prayers to Heaven, no bitter
tears of repentance can ever wash out the foul stains of her dishonor. And I am a prisoner, while she shrieks for
help and shrieks in vain—"
As Byrnewood spoke, striding rapidly along the floor, a grateful warmth began to steal around the room,
dispelling the chill and damp, which seemed to infect the very air, with an unwholesome taint.
"And we have been children together! I have held her in these arms, when she was but a babe—a smiling babe,
with golden hair and laughing cheeks! And then when she left home for school, how it wrung my soul to part
with her! So young, so lighthearted, so innocent! Three years pass—she returns grown up into a lovely girl—
whose pure soul, a very devil would not dare to tarnish—she returns to bless the sight of her father—her
mother, with her laughing face and she is—dishonored! I never knew the meaning of the word till now—
dishonored by a villian—"
He flung himself on the sofa, and covered his face with his hands.
"And yet I, I, wronged an innocent girl, because she was my father's servant! Great God! Can she, have a
brother to feel for her ruin? My punishment is just, but Mary—Oh! whom did she ever harm, whom could she
He was silent again. And while his brain was tortured by the fierce struggles of thought, while the memories of
earlier days came thronging over his soul—the image of his sister, present in every thought, and shining brightest
in each old-time memory—he could feel, the grateful heat which pervaded the atmosphere of the room, restoring
warmth and comfort to his limbs, while his blood flowed more freely in his veins.
There was a long pause, in which his very soul was absorbed in a delirium of thought. It may have been the
effect of internal agitation, or the result of his half-crazed intellect acting on his physical system, but after the
lapse of some few minutes, he was aroused from his reverie, by a painful throbbing around his temples, which
for a single moment destroyed all consciousness, and just as suddenly restored him to a keen and terrible sense
of his appaling situation. Now his brain seemed to swim in a wild delirium, and in a single instant as the throbbing
around his temples grew more violent, his mental vision, seemed clearer and more vigorous than ever.
"I can scarcely breathe!" he muttered, as he fell back on the sofa, after a vain attempt to rise—"There is a hand
grasping me by the throat—I feel the fingers clutching the veins, with the grasp of a demon. My heart—ah!—it is
turning to ice—to ice—and now it is fire! My heart is a ball of flame—the blood boils in my veins—"
He sprung to his feet, with a wild bound and his hands clutched madly at his throat, as though he would free the
veins from the grasp of the invisible fingers, which were pressing through the very skin.
He staggered to and fro along the floor, with his arms flung overhead, as if to ward off the attacks of some
His face was ghastly pale, one moment; the next it flushed with the hues of a crimson flame. His large black eyes
dilated in their glance, and stood out from the lids as though they were about to fall from their sockets. His
mouth distended with a convulsive grimace, while his teeth were firmly clenched together. One instant his brain
would be perfectly conscious in all its operations, the next his senses would swim in a fearful delirium.
"My God—My God!" he shouted in one of those momentary intervals of consciousness, as he staggered wildly
along the floor—"I am dying—I am dying! My breath comes thick and gaspingly—my veins are chilled—ha,
ha—they are turned to fire again—"
Even in his delirium he was conscious of a singular circumstance. A portion of the pannelling of the false
bookcase along the wall opposite the fire, receded suddenly, within the sash of the central glass-door, leaving a
space of black and vacant darkness. The aperture was in the top of the bookcase, near the ceiling of the room.
Turning toward the hearth, Byrnewood endeavoured to regain the sofa, but the room seemed swimming around
him, and with a wild movement, he again staggered toward the bookcase opposite the fire.
He started backward as a new horror met his gaze.
A hideous face glared upon him, from the aperture of the book-case, like some picture of a fiend's visage,
suddenly thrust against the glass-door of the book-case.
A hideous face, with a single burning eye, with a wide mouth distending in a loathsome grin, with long rows of
fang-like teeth, and a protuberent brow, overhung by thick masses of matted hair. This face alone was visible,
surrounded by the darkness which marked the square outline of the aperture. It was, indeed, like a hideous
picture framed in ebony, although you could see the muscles of the face in motion, while the flat nose was
pressed against the glass of the book-case, and the thick lips were now tightly closed, and again distending in
"Ho! ho! ho!" a laugh like the shout of a devil, came echoing through the glass, faint and subdued, yet wild and
terrible to hear—"The charcoal—the charcoal! Wonder how that 'ill work!"
Byrnewood stood silent and erect, while the throbbing of his temples, the gasping of his breath, and the
deadening sensation around his heart, subsided for a single moment.
The full horror of his situation rushed upon him. He way dying by the gas escaping from charcoal, in a room,
rendered impervious to the air; closed and sealed for the purpose of this horrible death.
A brilliant idea flashed across his brain.
"I will overturn the furnace—" he muttered, rushing toward the hearth—"I will extinguish the flame!"
With a sudden bound he sprang forward, but in the very action, fell to the floor, like a drunken man.
His breath came in thick convulsive gasps, his heart grew like a mass of fire, while his brain was tortured by one
intense and agonizing throb of pain, as though some invisible hand had wound a red hot wire round his forehead.
He lay on the floor, with his outspread hands grasping the air in the effort to rise.
"It works, it works!" shouted the voice of Devil-Bug, as his loathsome countenance was pressed against the
glass-door of the book-case—"Ha! ha! ha! He is on the floor—he cannot rise—he is in the clutch of death.
How the poor feller kicks and scuffles!"
A wild, wild shriek echoing from a distant room came faintly to Byrnewood's ear. That sound of a woman's
voice, shrieking for help, in an emphasis of despair, aroused the dying man from the spell which began to deaden
"It is my sister's voice!" he exclaimed, springing to his feet with a last effort of strength—"She is in the hands of
the villain! I will save her—I will save her—"
"The sister outraged! The brother murdered!" shouted Devil-Bug, through the glass-door—"I wonder how that
Byrnewood rushed towards the door; it was locked and secured. All hope was in vain. He must die. Die, while
his sister's shriek for aid rang on his ears, die, with the loathsome face of his murderer pressed against the glass,
while his blazing eye feasted on his last convulsive agonies, die, with youth on his brow, with health in his heart!
Die, with all purposed vengeance on his sister's wronger unfulfilled; die, by no sudden blow, by no dagger thrust,
by no pistol shot, but by the most loathsome of all deaths, by suffocation.
"Ha! ha!" the thought flashed over his brain—"The hangman's rope were a priceless luxury to me in this dread
Staggering slowly along the floor, with footsteps as heavy as though he had leaden weights attached to his feet,
he approached the chest-like table, and with a faint effort to recover his balance, sunk down on the floor, in a
crouching position, while his out spread hands clutched faintly at the air.
In a moment he rolled slowly from side to side, and lay on his back with his face to the ceiling, and his arms
extended on either side. His eyes were suddenly covered with a glassy film, his lower jaw separated from the
upper, leaving his mouth wide open, while the room grew warmer, the air more dense and suffocating.
"Help—help!" murmured Byrnewood, in a smothered voice, like the sound produced by a man throttled by
" 'By-a-baby, go to sleep'—that's a good feller—" the voice of Devil-Bug came like a faint echo through the
glass—" A drop from the bottle 'ud do you good, and jist reach your right hand a leetle bit further! There ain't no
spring there, I sup-pose! Ain't there? Ho-ho-ho!"
And Byrnewood could feel a delicious languor stealing over his frame, as he lay there on the floor, helpless and
motionless, while the voice of Devil-Bug rang in his ears. The throbbing of his temples had subsided, he no more
experienced the quick gasping struggle for breath, his heart no more passed through the quick transitions from
cold to heat, from ice to fire, his veins no more felt like streams of molten lead. He was sinking quietly in a soft
and pleasing slumber. The film grew more glassy in each eye, his jaws hung further apart, and the heaving of his
chest subsided, until a faint and tremulous motion, was the only indication that life had not yet fled from his
frame. His outspread arms seemed to grow stiffened and dead as he rested on the floor, while the joints of the
fingers moved faintly to and fro, with a fluttering motion, that afforded a strange contrast to the complete repose
of his body and limbs. His feet were pointed upward, like the feet of a corpse, arrayed for burial.
The dim light burning on the chest-like table, afforded a faint light to the ghastly scene. There were the
untouched refreshments, the cold chicken and the bottle of wine, giving the place the air of a quiet supper-room,
there were the false book-cases, indicating a resort for meditation and study, there was the cheerful furnace, its
glowing flame flashing through the half-closed doors, speaking a pleasant tale of fireside joys and comforts, and
there, along the carpet, stiffening and ghastly lay the form of Byrnewood Arlington, slowly and quietly yielding to
the slumber of death, while a hideous face peered through the glass-door, all distorted by a sickening grimace,
and a solitary eye, that gleamed like a live coal, drank in the tremulous agonies of the dying man.
"Reach his hand a leetle bit further—that's a good feller. Won't have no tumble down three stories, nor nothin',
if his fingers touch the spring? Ho-ho! Quiet now, I guess. Jist look how his fingers tremble—He! he! he! Hallo!
He's on his feet agin!"
With the last involutary struggle of a strong man wrestling for his life, Byrnewood Arlington sprang to his feet,
and reaching forth his hand with the same mechanical impulse that had raised him from the floor, he seized the
bottle of wine; he raised it to his lips, and the wine poured gurgling down his throat.
"Hain't got no opium in, I sup-pose! Not the least mossel. Cuss it, how he staggers! Believe my soul he's comin'
to life agin—"
Byrnewood glanced around with a look of momentary consciousness. The drugged wine, for a single moment,
created a violent reaction in his system, and he became fully sensible of the awful death that awaited him. He
could feel the hot air, warming his cheek, he could see the visage of Devil-Bug peering at him thro' the glass-
door, and the danger which menaced his sister, came home like some horrible phantom to his soul. He felt in his
very soul that but a single moment more of consciousness, would be permitted him, for action. That moment
past, and the death by charcoal, would be quietly and surely accomplished.
"Keep me, oh Heaven!" he whispered as his mind ran over various expedients for escape—"Aid me, in this, my
last effort, that I may live to avenge my sister's dishonor!"
It was his design to make one sudden and desperate spring toward the glass-door, through which the hideous
visage of Devil-Bug, glared in his face and as he madly dashed his hands through the glass, the room would be
filled with a current of fresh air.
This was his resolve, but it came too late. As he turned, to make this desperate spring, his heel pressed against
an object, rising from the floor, near a corner of the chest-like table. It was but a small object, resembling a nail
or spike, which has not been driven to the head, in the planking of a floor, but suffered to remain half-exposed
and open to the view.
And yet the very moment Byrnewood's heel, pressed against the trifling object, the floor on which he stood
gave way beneath him, with a low rustling sound, half of the Chamber was changed into one black and yawning
chasm, and the lamp standing on the table suddenly disappeared, leaving the place wrapt in thick darkness.
Another moment passed, and while Byrnewood reeled in the darkness, on the verge of the sunken trap-door, a
hushed and distant sound, echoed far below as from the depths of some deep and dismal well. The lamp had
fallen in the chasm, and the faint sound heard far, far below was the only indication that it had reached the
bottom of the gloomy void, sinking down like a well into the cellars of Monk-hall.
Byrnewood tottered on the verge of the chasm, while a current of cold air came sweeping upward from its
depths. The foul atmosphere of the Tower Room, lost half its deadly qualities, in a single moment, as the cool
air, came rushing from the chasm.
Byrnewood felt the effects of the charcoal rapidly passing from his system, and his mind regained its full
consciousness as his hot brow, received the freshning blast of winter air, pouring over the parched and heated
But the current of pure air, came too late for his salvation. Tottering in the darkness on the very verge of the
sunken trap-door, he made one desperate struggle to preserve his balance, but in vain. For a moment his form
swung to and fro, and then his feet slid from under him; and then with a maddening shriek, he fell.
"God save poor Mary!"
How that last cry of the doomed man shrieked around the panelled walls of the Tower Room!
"Wonder how that 'ill work!" the hoarse voice of Devil-Bug, shrieked through the darkness—"Down—down—
down! Ah-ha! Three stories—down—down—down! I wonders how that 'ill work!"
Separated from the Tower Room by the glass-door, Devil-Bug pressed his ear against the glass, and listened
for the death-groans of the doomed man.
A low moaning sound, like the groan of a man, who trembles under the operations of a surgeon's knife, came
faintly to his ear. In a moment, Devil-Bug, thought he heard a sound like a door suddenly opened, and then, the
murmur of voices, whispering some quick and hurried words, resounded along the Tower Room. Then there
was a subdued noise, like a man struggling on the brink of the chasm, and then a hushed sound, that might have
been taken for the tread of a footstep mingled with the closing of a door, came faintly through the glass of the
Gliding silently from the secret recess, behind the pannelling of the Tower Room, Devil-Bug stepped over the
forms of the slumbering negroes and descended the stairway leading to the Walnut Room. The scene of the
wedding was wrapt in midnight darkness. Passing softly along the floor, Devil-Bug, reached the entrance to the
Rose Chamber, and flung the hangings aside, with a cautious movement of his talon-like fingers.
"I merely wanted a light—" exclaimed Devil-Bug, as he stood gazing into the Rose Chamber—" But here's a
candle, and a purty sight into the bargain!"
He disappeared through the doorway, and after the lapse of a few moments, again emerged into the Walnut
Room, holding a lighted candle in his hand.
"Amazin' circumstance, that—" he chuckled, as he strode across the glittering floor—"The brother fell in that
'are room, and the sister fell in that; about the same time. They fell in different ways though. Strange world, this.
Let's see what become of the brother—Charcoal and opium—ho! ho! ho!"
Before another moment had elapsed, he stood before the door of Tower Room. Musquito and Glow-worm still
slumbered on their watch, their huge forms and hideous faces, dimly developed in the beams of the light, which
the Doorkeeper carried in his hand. Devil-Bug listened intently for a single moment, but not the slightest sound
disturbed the silence of the Tower Room.
He opened the door, he strode along the carpet, he stood on the verge of the chasm, produced by the falling of
"Down—down! Three stories, and the pit below! Ha! Let me hold the light, a leetle nearer! Every trap-door is
open—he is safe enough! Think I see suffin' white a-flutterin' a-way down there! Hollered pretty loud as he fell—
devilish ugly tumble! Guess it 'ill work quite nice for Lorrimer!"
Stooping on his knees with the light extended in his right hand, he again gazed down the hatchway, his solitary
eye flashing with excitement, as he endeavoured to pierce the gloom of the dark void beneath.
"He's gone to see his friends below! Sartin sure! No sound—no groan—not even a holler!"
Arising from his kneeling position, Devil -Bug approached the recess of the fire-place. On either side, a plain
panell of oak, concealed the secret nook behind the false book-case. Placing his hand cautiously along the panell
to the right, Devil-Bug examined the details of the carving in each corner, and along its side, with a careful eye.
"Hasn't been opened to-night—" he murmured—"Leads to the Walnut Room, by a round-a-bout way.
Convenient little passage, if that fool had only knowed on it!"
In an instant he stood outside of the Tower Room door, holding the key in one hand, and the candlestick in the
"Git up you lazy d——ls!" he shouted, bestowing a few pointed kicks upon the carcases of the sleeping
negroes—" Git up and mind your eyes, or else I'll pick 'em out o' your head to play marbles with—"
Glow-worm arose slowly from the floor, and Musquito, opening his eyes with a sleepy yawn, stared vacantly in
the Doorkeeper's face.
"D'ye hear me? Watch this feller and see that he don't escape? He's a sleepin' now, but there's no knowin'—
Watch! I say watch!
He shuffled slowly along the narrow passage, looking over his shoulder at the grinning negroes, as he passed
along, while his face wore its usual pleasant smile, as he again muttered in his hoarse tones—"Watch him ye
dogs—I say watch him!"
Another moment, and he stood before the entrance of the Rose Chamber, holding the curtaining aside, while his
eye blazed up with an expression of malignant joy. He raised the light on high, and stood gazing silently through
the doorway, as though his eyes beheld a spectacle of strange and peculiar interest.
And while he stood there, chuckling pleasantly to himself, with the full light of the candle, flashing over his
loathsome face, two figures, stood crouching in the darkness, along the opposite side of the room, and the
eastern door hung slightly ajar, as though they had entered the place but a moment before.
Once or twice Devil-Bug turned, as though the sound of suppressed breathing struck his ear, but every time, the
shadow of the candle fell along the opposite side of the room, and the crouch ing figures were concealed from
"Quite a pictur'—" chuckled Devil-Bug as he again gazed through the doorway of the Rose Chamber—"A nice
little gal and a handsome feller! Ha! Ha! Ha!"
He disappeared through the curtaining, while his pleasant chuckle came echoing through the doorway, with a
sound of continued glee, as though the gentleman was highly
amused by the spectacle that broke on his gaze.
The silence of the Rose Chamber was broken by the tread of a footstep and the figure of a man, came stealing
through the darkness, with the form of a queenly woman by his side.
"Advance—and save your sister's honor—" the deep-toned whisper broke thrillingly on the air.
The man advanced with a hurried step, flung the curtain hastily aside, and gazed within the Rose Chamber.
The horror of that silent gaze, would be ill-repayed by an Eternity of joy.
The Crime Without a Name