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Twelve Stories and a Dream

Part 5 out of 5

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clamorous. I saw through the steamy window huge electric lights
glaring down from tall masts upon a fog, saw rows of stationary
empty carriages passing by, and then a signal-box, hoisting its
constellation of green and red into the murky London twilight marched
after them. I looked again at his drawn features.

"He ran me through the heart. It was with a sort of astonishment--
no fear, no pain--but just amazement, that I felt it pierce me,
felt the sword drive home into my body. It didn't hurt, you know.
It didn't hurt at all."

The yellow platform lights came into the field of view, passing
first rapidly, then slowly, and at last stopping with a jerk.
Dim shapes of men passed to and fro without.

"Euston!" cried a voice.

"Do you mean--?"

"There was no pain, no sting or smart. Amazement and then darkness
sweeping over everything. The hot, brutal face before me, the face
of the man who had killed me, seemed to recede. It swept out of
existence--"

"Euston!" clamoured the voices outside; "Euston!"

The carriage door opened, admitting a flood of sound, and a porter
stood regarding us. The sounds of doors slamming, and the hoof-clatter
of cab-horses, and behind these things the featureless remote roar
of the London cobble-stones, came to my ears. A truckload of lighted
lamps blazed along the platform.

"A darkness, a flood of darkness that opened and spread and blotted
out all things."

"Any luggage, sir?" said the porter.

"And that was the end?" I asked.

He seemed to hesitate. Then, almost inaudibly, he answered, "No."

"You mean?"

"I couldn't get to her. She was there on the other side of the Temple--
And then--"

"Yes," I insisted. "Yes?"

"Nightmares," he cried; "nightmares indeed! My God! Great birds
that fought and tore."

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