CHAPTER 1. DELIRIUM.
She came towards him, slowly, with her gaze fixed on the
sky. The supernatural goat followed her. He felt as though
made of stone and too heavy to flee. At every step which
she took in advance, he took one backwards, and that was all.
In this way he retreated once more beneath the gloomy arch
of the stairway. He was chilled by the thought that she
might enter there also; had she done so, he would have died
She did arrive, in fact, in front of the door to the stairway,
and paused there for several minutes, stared intently into the
darkness, but without appearing to see the priest, and passed
on. She seemed taller to him than when she had been alive;
he saw the moon through her white robe; he heard her
When she had passed on, he began to descend the staircase
again, with the slowness which he had observed in the spectre,
believing himself to be a spectre too, haggard, with hair on
end, his extinguished lamp still in his hand; and as he descended
the spiral steps, he distinctly heard in his ear a voice
laughing and repeating,--
"A spirit passed before my face, and I heard a small voice,
and the hair of my flesh stood up."