Sunday, July 4, 2010

From: ESCAPING DARKNESS, by Edgar Allan Poe, Richmond, 1850

1848, Bronte household, Branwell's funeral

Upon the curate a frightening change had come. He held a hunting gun with hands as firm and as implacable as his face, his stance speaking of intimate familiarity with the weapon. It occurred to me that, as targets, we were far larger than grouse, and far less mobile.

"Next one who moves is dead," Mr Bronte said. "I buried my son today. You'll not be taking my daughters."

We stopped. We stood in silence for what seemed an eternity. Then Pushkin raised his hands and stepped forward. "You only have one shot, Patrick," he said gently, "Yet with it you could take four lives. Look, sir, at your daughters. Look: what pale, thin, barely living wraiths they have become upon these pestilent moors; they'll not survive the winter. If slake you must your anger, shoot me, sir; I'll gladly join your son in Yorkshire ground, if such is my destiny, but I pray, sir: let thy daughters go. I see in every one of them such greatness as few dream of.
Shoot me, and let them have...a little bit more life."

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