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people, but none the less alarmingly realthat
I found I had been introduced to by my nurse
before I was six years old, and used to be forced
to go back to at night without at all wanting
to go. If we all knew our own minds (in a
more enlarged sense than the popular acceptation
of that phrase), I suspect we should find our
nurses responsible for most of the dark corners
we are forced to go back to, against our wills.

The first diabolical character that intruded
himself on my peaceful youth (as I called to
mind that day at Dullborough), was a certain
Captain Murderer. This wretch must have been
an offshoot of the Blue Beard family, but I had
no suspicion of the consanguinity in those times.
His warning name would seem to have awakened
no general prejudice against him, for he was
admitted into the best society and possessed
immense wealth. Captain Murderer's mission
was matrimony, and the gratification of a cannibal
appetite with tender brides. On his marriage
morning, he always caused both sides of the way
to church to be planted with curious flowers; and
when his bride said, "Dear Captain Murderer, I
never saw flowers like these before: what are
they called?" he answered, "They are called
Garnish for house-lamb," and laughed at his
ferocious practical joke in a horrid manner,
disquieting the minds of the noble bridal company,
with a very sharp show of teeth, then displayed
for the first time. He made love in a coach and
six, and married in a coach and twelve, and all
his horses were milk-white horses with one red
spot on the back which he caused to be hidden
by the harness. For, the spot would come there,
though every horse was milk white when Captain
Murderer bought him. And the spot was young
bride's blood. (To this terrific point I am
indebted for my first personal experience of a
shudder and cold beads on the forehead.) When
Captain Murderer had made an end of feasting
and revelry, and had dismissed the noble guests,
and was alone with his wife on the day month
after their marriage, it was his whimsical custom
to produce a golden rolling-pin and a silver pie-
board. Now, there was this special feature in
the Captain's courtships, that he always asked if
the young lady could make pie-crust; and if she
couldn't by nature or education, she was taught.
Well. When the bride saw Captain Murderer
produce the golden rolling-pin and silver pie-
board, she remembered this, and turned up her
laced-silk sleeves to make a pie. The Captain
brought out a silver pie-dish of immense capacity,
and the Captain brought out flour and
butter and eggs and all things needful, except
the inside of the pie; of materials for the staple
of the pie itself, the Captain brought out none.
Then said the lovely bride, "Dear Captain
Murderer, what pie is this to be?" He replied,
"A meat pie." Then said the lovely bride,
"Dear Captain Murderer, I see no meat." The
Captain humorously retorted, "Look in the
glass." She looked in the glass, but still she
saw no meat, and then the Captain roared with
laughter, and, suddenly frowning and drawing
his sword, bade her roll out the crust. So she
rolled out the crust, dropping large tears upon
it all the time because he was so cross, and
when she had lined the dish with crust and had
cut the crust all ready to fit the top, the
Captain called out, "I see the meat in the glass!"
And the bride looked up at the glass, just in time
to see the Captain cutting her head off; and he
chopped her in pieces, and peppered her, and
salted her, and put her in the pie, and sent it to
the baker's, and ate it all, and picked the bones.

Captain Murderer went on in this way,
prospering exceedingly, until he came to choose a
bride from two twin sisters, and at first didn't
know which to choose. For, though one was
fair and the other dark, they were both equally
beautiful. But the fair twin loved him, and the
dark twin hated him, so he chose the fair one.
The dark twin would have prevented the
marriage if she could, but she couldn't; however,
on the night before it, much suspecting Captain
Murderer, she stole out and climbed his garden
wall, and looked in at his window through a
chink in the shutter, and saw him having his
teeth filed sharp. Next day she listened all day,
and heard him make his joke about the house-
lamb. And that day month, he had the paste
rolled out, and cut the fair twin's head off, and
chopped her in pieces, and peppered her, and
salted her, and put her in the pie, and sent it to
the baker's, and ate it all, and picked the bones.

Now, the dark twin had had her suspicions
much increased by the filing of the Captain's
teeth, and again by the house-lamb joke. Putting
all things together when he gave out that her
sister was dead, she divined the truth, and
determined to be revenged. So she went up to
Captain Murderer's house, and knocked at the
knocker and pulled at the bell, and when the
Captain came to the door, said: "Dear Captain
Murderer, marry me next, for I always loved
you and was jealous of my sister." The Captain
took it as a compliment, and made a polite
answer, and the marriage was quickly arranged.
On the night before it, the bride again climbed
to his window, and again saw him having his
teeth filed sharp. At this sight, she laughed
such a terrible laugh, at the chink in the shutter,
that the Captain's blood curdled, and he said:
"I hope nothing has disagreed with me!" At
that, she laughed again, a still more terrible
laugh, and the shutter was opened and search
made, but she was nimbly gone and there was
no one. Next day they went to church in the
coach and twelve, and were married. And that
day month, she rolled the pie-crust out, and
Captain Murderer cut her head off, and chopped
her in pieces, and peppered her, and salted her,
and put her in the pie, and sent it to the baker's,
and ate it all, and picked the bones.

But before she began to roll out the paste
she had taken a deadly poison of a most awful
character, distilled from toads' eyes and spiders'
knees; and Captain Murderer had hardly picked
her last bone, when he began to swell, and to
turn blue, and to be all over spots, and to
scream. And he went on swelling and turning
bluer and being more all over spots and screaming,