PART II. The Country of the Saints.
6. CHAPTER VI. A CONTINUATION OF THE REMINISCENCES OF JOHN WATSON, M.D.
"`What do you think of Lucy Ferrier now?' I cried, locking
the door, and shaking the key in his face. `Punishment has
been slow in coming, but it has overtaken you at last.'
I saw his coward lips tremble as I spoke. He would have begged
for his life, but he knew well that it was useless.
"`Would you murder me?' he stammered.
"`There is no murder,' I answered. `Who talks of murdering
a mad dog? What mercy had you upon my poor darling, when you
dragged her from her slaughtered father, and bore her away to
your accursed and shameless harem.'
"`It was not I who killed her father,' he cried.
"`But it was you who broke her innocent heart,' I shrieked,
thrusting the box before him. `Let the high God judge
between us. Choose and eat. There is death in one and life
in the other. I shall take what you leave. Let us see if
there is justice upon the earth, or if we are ruled by chance.'
"He cowered away with wild cries and prayers for mercy, but I
drew my knife and held it to his throat until he had obeyed
me. Then I swallowed the other, and we stood facing one
another in silence for a minute or more, waiting to see which
was to live and which was to die. Shall I ever forget the
look which came over his face when the first warning pangs
told him that the poison was in his system? I laughed as I
saw it, and held Lucy's marriage ring in front of his eyes.
It was but for a moment, for the action of the alkaloid is
rapid. A spasm of pain contorted his features; he threw his
hands out in front of him, staggered, and then, with a hoarse
cry, fell heavily upon the floor. I turned him over with my
foot, and placed my hand upon his heart. There was no
movement. He was dead!