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that his door was open, for a ray of light fell
along the staircase wall, and I could hear his
heavy snoring breath. And I heard another
sound. I heard a man's step in the room; I
heard the boards creak and the bed-clothes
softly rustle; I heard an impatient kind of moan
as of some one disturbed in his sleep, and then
a heavy blow, a stifled groan, a man's deep-
drawn breath, and the quick, sharp drip of
something spilt upon the floor. Dumb from
terror, I stood in the doorway of the boy's room.
Pale, heavy, motionless on the bed lay the
youth, his large limbs carelessly flung abroad in
the unconsciousness of sleep, and his face as
calm and quiet as if still dreaming. The sheets
were wet with bloodredthe light of the
candle glistening upon a small red stream
that flowed over the side of the bed, on the
floor beneath. At a little distance stood Mr.
Brand, wiping a knife on a handkerchief. He
turned, and our eyes met. He came up to me
with an oath, caught me by the throat, and
drew the knife across my hands. I remember
no more until I awoke in the broad daylight,
and found myself in the midst of a crowd
gathered round my bed.

Curious eyes stared at me; harsh voices
mocked me; rough hands were laid upon me;
and I heard myself branded with the burning
name of Murderess. Red tracks made by a
woman's naked feetmade by my feetled from
the boy's room to mine; each track plainly
printed on the bare uncarpeted floor tracks of
a woman's feet, and of none other. There was
no explaining away these marks and signs of
guilt. Who would believe me, a half-mad
lonely stranger with such a family history as
mine, and, according to popular belief, at any
moment liable to make a murderous attack
against any one offending? Had not this
unhappy youth notoriously offended, and had I
not, only that very evening, openly defied and
threatened him? Escape was impossible. To
all the evidence heaped up against me with such
art and cunning, I had but an unsupported
assertion, which would be set down as maniacal
raving, and only deepen the case against me.

All day I lay there; all that weary sobbing
winter's day; and when the night came they
fastened me with cords, and left me once more
alone. I was so well securedbound hand and
foot, and triply boundthat it was not thought
needful to watch me; and they were all too
much excited and overwrought to wish to remain
through the night with a lunatic murderer, as I
was called. So they went, and Mr. Brand locked
the door, saying, as he turned away, "We must
have no more such dangerous fits of madness,
Miss Erfurt!" with a sneer on the word.

I was too hopeless and desolate to think of
any plan of escape, feasible or not. The reaction
had set in, and I was content to lie there in
quiet, and to feel that I had done with life for
ever. It had not offered me so many joys that
I should grieve to leave it, and for the shame
who cares for shame in the grave? No; I was
content to have done with all that had weighed
upon me so long and heavily. I had no one to
mourn for me, no one to love me, with a broken
heart and a sorrowed faith: I was alonealone
and might well die out at once, and sleep
tranquilly in my murdered grave. And I was
not unhappy, thinking all these things. Perhaps
my brain was slightly paralysed, so that I could
not suffer. However it might be, it was a
merciful moment of calm.

It was nearly three o'clock, when I heard a
light hand upon the door. The key was turned
softly in the lock, and, pale and terrible, like an
avenging ghost, the poor bereaved mother glided
into my room. She came up to my bed, and silently
unfastened the cords. She said no comforting
word, she gave me no kind look, no pitying
human touch, but in a strange, weak, wan way,
she unbound me limb by limb, until I was free.

"Go," she then said, below her breath, still
not looking at me. "I do not love you, and he
did not; but I know that you are innocent, and
I do not want your blood on my head. My
turn is to come next, but I do not mind, now
he has gone. Go at once; that sleep will not
last long. I made it come for you."

Without another word she turned from the
room, leaving the door open. I got up as she
bade me. Without energy, without hope, I
quietly dressed myself, and left the house, going
forth into the darkness and desolation, more
because I had been bidden to do so, than to escape
a greater peril. I wandered through the by-
roads aimlessly, nervelessly; not shaping my
course for any goal, but simply going forwards,
to wherever chance might lead me. A poor
woman gave me some milk, and I slept, I
believe, once beneath a haystack. I remember
lying down there, and finding myself again after
many hours. In timeI cannot tell you how
or when, nor how long I had been out in the
fields, but it was evening, and the lamps were
lightedI was in London, reading a description
of myself posted up against the walls. I saw
myself described as a murderess and a maniac,
and a reward offered for my apprehension; my
dress, my manners, appearance, gait, voice, all
were so minutely noted, as to render safety
impossible. Seized with terror I fled: I fled like
a wild being hunted and pursued, and I have
never rested since.

               Now ready, price Fourpence,
              A MESSAGE FROM THE SEA.
                         FORMING THE
               EXTRA  DOUBLE  NUMBER
                       FOR CHRISTMAS.