Monday, November 03, 2003


But tonight the taverns would not have me to swindle! I sat down at my desk and lighted the overhead lamp. From my shelf I selected only the most appropriate title for an eve as fine as this. And do not doubt for one moment that this eve was not a fine one--indeed, one of the finest in recent memory! Every thing about it was ideal; every last detail conspired to make it great. The light from my lamp had never burned so benevolently. And the words illuminated! For your life, you have never seen a text so positively readable. My hands, in sifting the pages, never once fidgeted or took to distraction. My general posture, in fact, had never before been so sensible. My hair laid agreeably and my toenails did not quarrel. My nose contented itself above my mouth as never a nose has been observed to do. My eyes! I daresay my eyes were so excellent that just one of the usual pair of ocular organs would have suited me on this night. The desk could not have been a better height; the chair rose to greet my fundament with the most conciliatory of expressions.

There can rarely a comparison be made to the miraculous fever of industry which
took hold of me that night. All around me the house was still--perfectly still!--as though
its very breath had been suspended for my labors! But, no... that was not entirely true; there was an odd presence here now--I could sense it! There was something else here; something not made of wood, brick, or mortar. Surely I know a stranger in my own home! But I will tell you what was stranger still: something was moving in the very chamber where I now sat!

I cast the lamp about in every dark corner. Nothing. I addressed my intruder in a respectable tone: "Hello, there, my friend. Do not be alarmed. Come out into the light where I can see you better! There's no reason duck about in the shadows--ha ha!"

Just then the foreign presence moved, pressing hard up against my abdomen. I fell upon the bed with surprise. It was then that I realized the folly of my pursuit.

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