Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Carl Werner: An Imaginative Story >> Page 113

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Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription CARL WERNERI13
agony, which was apparent in every feature of his face, her ap-
prehensions underwent a corresponding increase.
" `What is the matter, Carl? What has troubled you?' she de-
manded of him in agitated accents.
" `Nothing, nothing!' with an effort, he made out to reply.
" `It is something something terrible, dearest husband your
cheeks are haggard, your eyes are wild you tremble all over. Tell
me, tell me, my husband, what is it that troubles you.'
" `Nothing,' he again replied `return to your bed,' (she had
risen when she beheld his face,) `return to your bed and heed me
not. I will be better soon.'
"He quieted, if he did not satisfy her. She returned to the couch
as he bade her; and he prepared to follow her. But there was one
duty which he omitted that night, which, from his childhood, he
had never neglected to perform before. He did not pray. He strove
to do so, but his mind could not be brought to address itself in sup-
plication. He forgot the words; and others, foreign to his object,
took their places. He gave up the effort in despair. He could think
of nothing but the terrible laugh, and the demoniac visage which had
tnet him in the abbey. All the next day he was like one whose
senses wandered. His wife strove to soothe his mood, which was
fitful and to attract his attention, which strayed continually; but
he smiled upon her kindly, with a sickly smile, and gave no farther
acknowledgment. As night approached he grew visibly agitated, and
as he became conscious that his efforts at concealment were unavail-
ing, he sought his chamber, to hide in its dimness what he might not
otherwise conceal. But his agony seemed to increase with his solitude.
Dreadful images were about him in his chamber, and a chuckle,
like that he had heard in the abbey, was uttered, at intervals, even
over his shoulder. He descended to the apartment in which he had left
Matilda, preferring that she should see the agony that he could not
endure alone. But her presence gave him no consolation, and her
solicitude became an annoyance.
" `Trouble me no more!' he exclaimed, in tones which she had
never heard from his lips before, replying to one of her fond ap-
peals to know the cause of his sufferings. `Trouble me no more it
is nothing nothing which I may tell you.'