Tales of Terror
4. The Case of Lady Sannox (continued)
Douglas Stone turned fiercely upon the man. The speech was a
brutal one. But the Turk has his own fashion of talk and of
thought, and there was no time for wrangling. Douglas Stone drew
a bistoury from his case, opened it and felt the keen straight edge
with his forefinger. Then he held the lamp closer to the bed. Two
dark eyes were gazing up at him through the slit in the yashmak.
They were all iris, and the pupil was hardly to be seen.
"You have given her a very heavy dose of opium."
"Yes, she has had a good dose."
He glanced again at the dark eyes which looked straight at his
own. They were dull and lustreless, but, even as he gazed, a
little shifting sparkle came into them, and the lips quivered.
"She is not absolutely unconscious," said he.
"Would it not be well to use the knife while it will be
The same thought had crossed the surgeon's mind. He grasped
the wounded lip with his forceps, and with two swift cuts he took
out a broad V-shaped piece. The woman sprang up on the couch with
a dreadful gurgling scream. Her covering was torn from her face.
It was a face that he knew. In spite of that protruding upper lip
and that slobber of blood, it was a face that he knew, She kept on
putting her hand up to the gap and screaming. Douglas Stone sat
down at the foot of the couch with his knife and his forceps. The
room was whirling round, and he had felt something go like a
ripping seam behind his ear. A bystander would have said that his
face was the more ghastly of the two. As in a dream, or as if he
had been looking at something at the play, he was conscious that
the Turk's hair and beard lay upon the table, and that Lord Sannox
was leaning against the wall with his hand to his side, laughing
silently. The screams had died away now, and the dreadful head had
dropped back again upon the pillow, but Douglas Stone still sat
motionless, and Lord Sannox still chuckled quietly to himself.