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S, M GOODWIN'S WEEKLY
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HppH fpli6iL Uesber Fidtnl Rmrii Buk
GHOSTS OF THE MIND
(Continued from Pago 6.)
face and chin, came in my direction.
As ho ran he Blipped on the pavement
and lurched toward me. Unarmed, he
made no attempt to attack me. Rais
ing himself on his knees he begged
me not to shoot, but I placed the re
volver against his head and fired.
As he collapsed his hands clutched
about my legs. When I tried to extri
cate myself his blood covered my
clothes and hands and my eyes met
his dying gaze. It was horrible.'"
HT HE narrator stopped for a mo-J-
ment and shivered.
'"He was not the only negro killed
in that affair," he continued. "The
shooting became general and five
were slain and a dozen wounded. The
city was in a frenzy of passion for a
few days, but we were able to give
the affair an aspect of legality and,
although we were put in the county
jail more for our protection than for
any other reason we were not prose
cuted. But a higher power saw that
the leader of that gang did not go un
punished. I have suffered for the
murder every hour of every day.
" 'When I leave here at night and
go to my lonely room in the great
building across the way I always see
that dying negro. Why do r live in
that lonely building, a business block,
to which no one except myself ever
comes at night? I will tell you. It
is to escape such a scene as you have
witnessed. I cannot live among men
without betraying the curse that is
tT7ACH night I meet that murdered
L- negro whenever I am alone in
the dusk or dark. Always, as I enter
the gloom, my flesh begins to creep
and terror surges through me at the
immanence of that apparition. The
eyes open out of the darkness and his
writhing form takes shape. Some
times he grapples with me in the
hallway. Sometimes I see him crawl
ing along the far end of the corridor
and trying to raise himself to the
ledge of the window, as if to escape.
Usually he awaits me at my door or
just Inside it. I feel his arms tighten,
about my limbs and I cannot release
myself until I shriek or throw myself
forward on the floor. Sometimes we
struggle for a long time for hours, it
seems. His black arms close about
me; he collapses and his arms lock
themselves about my limbs; his eyes,
glazed with death, accuse md. I seize
him about the throat and try to shake
him off and his blood flows along my
hands and spreads upward on my
ctHpHE eyes of the striokeji man
looked far beyond us and his
hands intertwined and clenched, un
locked and intertwined again on the
"'Every night, every night, that is
my fate,' he quavered pitifully.
''As 'if awaking from a trance he sat
upright in his chair, the perspiration
glistening coldly on his brow.
"One of us, with d, painful effort,
threw off the spell and remarked:
"'But those are not real ghosts;
they are merely ghosts of the mind.'
"Norris seemed not to have heard.
He was striving to compose himself.
Presently he said:
" 'Yes, ghosts of the mind. They
are the worst of ghosts, for they keep
coming back, keep coming back
"With a nervous jerk he placed his
hands on the table and rose feebly to
" 'Good night, gentlemen, I must go,'
"He vanished through the curtains
and we turned to look into one an
other's eyes. We knew that he was
going out to that terror which he had
tried to voice but which we knew to
The captain regarded the stars for
"Soldiers do not know that kind of
fear," he said.
Bevis I've got a beastly cold in
Miss Whitty Never mind, Bevis.
Don't grumble. Even if it's only a
cold, it's something.
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