THERE was no hope for him this time : it was the
third stroke. Night after night I had passed the
house (it was vacation time) and studied the lighted
square of window : and night after night I had
found it lighted in the same way, faintly and evenly.
If he was dead, I thought, I would see the reflection
of candles on the darkened blind for I knew that two
candles must be set at the head of a corpse. He had
often said to me : " I am not long for this world,' and
I had thought his words idle. Now I knew they were
true. Every night as I gazed up at the window I
said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had
always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word
gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the
Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name
of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me
with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to
look upon its deadly work.
Old Cotter was sitting at the fire, smoking, when
I came downs . . .