Beck Center English Dept. University Libraries Emory University
Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Emory Women Writers Resource Project

My Queen, an electronic edition

by Sandette [Walsh, Marie A.]

date: 1878
source publisher: G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers; S. Low, Son & Co.
collection: Genre Fiction

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CHAPTER XXIV.
THE TIGER AWAKENED.

THE doctrine of blood atonement caused a terrible struggle in Mr. Delville's mind. At first he recoiled in horror. "He to take life?" "Never!" But the idea was too ghastly to be dismissed at will; it pursued him--fascinated him.

He pondered over it, contemplated it, until the | | 118 phantasm became tangible. Its presence flashed lurid light into the lowest depths of his nature: instincts hitherto undreamed of awoke and cried out: "Blood! blood!" The man trembled at himself.

Then came his election to the ranks of the Destroying Angels, his oath to destroy the enemies of God, and the horror changed to mad enthusiasm. In imagination he re-enacted the Israelitish drama of extermination, he reveled in carnage, gory visions haunted his brain. He grew moody, restless, possessed with the desire to see the crimson life-stream flow. Beauty inflamed his secret madness. The sight of Oreana's throat, so round, full, and white, distracted him. He could scarcely restrain his hand from drawing a knife across it, that he might see the ruby drops gush forth. But there were moments when the vivid ghastliness appalled him, when he started back, affrighted, from his thoughts. He tried to throw off this nightmare; he devoted himself to business--to pleasure. He resolved to take other wives. Alas, for the resolve! The sacrifice of his honor, the profanation of his home, deadened still more of his conscience. Daily the man grew weaker, the brute stronger. The savage animal nature, underlying humanity, that society has chained and the harmonies of civilization have lulled to sleep, was fully aroused. It shook itself free of its chains, and turned upon its master.

Julian's manly protest overpowered, for a moment, Delville's coarser nature. The little manhood still remaining bowed in shame before Julian's nobility; but animality quickly recovered strength, and the words, "Over the rim of the basin," reawakened his savage desires. He went into the house and began to | | THE examine his stock of knives and razors. His son Stanly went to him with a request, but the child spoke to deaf ears.

"I can't think," said the boy, "what has come over father; he scarcely notices me, and talks all the time about killing and marrying. Mother, what is the matter with him?"

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