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From: The House On The Borderland

I was seated in my chair, back again in this old study. My glance
wandered 'round the room. For a minute, it had a strange, quivery
appearance--unreal and unsubstantial. This disappeared, and I saw that
nothing was altered in any way. I looked toward the end window--the
blind was up.

I rose to my feet, shakily. As I did so, a slight noise, in the
direction of the door, attracted my attention. I glanced toward it. For
a short instant, it appeared to me that it was being closed, gently. I
stared, and saw that I must have been mistaken--it seemed closely shut.

With a succession of efforts, I trod my way to the window, and looked
out. The sun was just rising, lighting up the tangled wilderness of
gardens. For, perhaps, a minute, I stood, and stared. I passed my hand,
confusedly, across my forehead.

Presently, amid the chaos of my senses, a sudden thought came to me; I
turned, quickly, and called to Pepper. There was no answer, and I
stumbled across the room, in a quick access of fear. As I went, I tried
to frame his name; but my lips were numb. I reached the table, and
stooped down to him, with a catching at my heart. He was lying in the
shadow of the table, and I had not been able to see him, distinctly,
from the window. Now, as I stooped, I took my breath, shortly. There was
no Pepper; instead, I was reaching toward an elongated, little heap of
grey, ashlike dust....

I must have remained, in that half-stooped position, for some minutes.
I was dazed--stunned. Pepper had really passed into the land of shadows.

Next: The Footsteps In The Garden

Previous: The Dark Nebula

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