Excerpt: ...and when I rose to quaff my final glass alone, every eye before me fell and did not lift again until the glass was drained. I did not notice this then, but I see it all now, just as I hear again the excuses you gave for not filling your glasses as the bottle went round. One had drunk enough; one suffered from qualms brought on by an unaccustomed indulgence in oysters; one felt that wine good enough for me was Pg 76 too good for him, and so on and so on. Not one to show frank eyes and drink with me as I was ready ...
Excerpt: ...and when I rose to quaff my final glass alone, every eye before me fell and did not lift again until the glass was drained. I did not notice this then, but I see it all now, just as I hear again the excuses you gave for not filling your glasses as the bottle went round. One had drunk enough; one suffered from qualms brought on by an unaccustomed indulgence in oysters; one felt that wine good enough for me was Pg 76 too good for him, and so on and so on. Not one to show frank eyes and drink with me as I was ready to drink with him! Why? Because one and all of you knew what was in that cup, and would not risk an inheritance so nearly within your grasp." "Lies! lies!" again shrieked the raucous voice of Luke, smothered by terror; while oaths, shouts, imprecations, rang out in horrid tumult from one end of the table to the other, till the lawyer's face, over which a startling change was rapidly passing, drew the whole crowd forward again in awful fascination, till they clung, speechless, arm in arm, shoulder propping shoulder, while he gasped out in dismay equal to their own, these last fatal words: "That was at your board, my brothers; now you are at mine. You have eaten my viands, drunk of my cup; and now, through the mouth of the one man who has been true to me because therein lies his advantage, I offer you a final glass. Will you drink it? I drank yours. By that old-time oath which Pg 77 binds us to share each other's fortune, I ask you to share this cup with me. You will not?" "No, no, no!" shouted one after another. "Then," the inexorable voice went on, a voice which to these miserable souls was no longer that of the lawyer, but an issue from the grave they had themselves dug for Anthony Westonhaugh, "know that your abstinence comes too late; that you have already drunk the toast destined to end your lives. The bottle which you must have missed from that board of yours has been offered you again. A label is easily changed and
My first Anna Katharine Green book. I would call it a short story. It was only 67 pages. A stranger traveling on cold and misty night comes upon a light and discovers a house with an open door (we are never given his name). He ventures over hoping for an Inn or Tavern to come in out of the night and get a bite to eat. The house seems empty, but as he approaches the door a man comes hurrying out and rushes past him. The stranger calls to him if there is a meal and shelter available and the man calls back "Just go in, the meal is at 9" . He enters the house and soon after people begin coming in. He discovers he is at a gathering for a will to be read. The lawyer says that a stipulation is that they must not have anything untoward in their lives, a sin, or evil deed. If they do they are exempt and will not inherit and can leave now. In this rough, greedy bunch the one kind, soft looking woman in the group stands and says she cannot be included then and opens her coat and shows an infant in her arms. She is unmarried. She leaves. The stranger is finally called upon to identify himself and then asked to remove himself from the room. He goes up a set of dark stairs and discovers he can hear the proceedings clearly thru the door so stays to listen in. I thought oh we know how this ends, the honest girl who left will be the one to get the inheritance because she was honest. This is a pretty predictable tale here. Boy was I wrong! I never would have guessed the ending in a million years! And that's all I'm gonna say :=) The whole tale is told by the stranger as a bystander.
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