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News: THE SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS IN CUBA
A Report by Andrew Collins
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Ghosts I have Met and Some Others

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Keeper of the Seven Keys
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« Reply #105 on: November 03, 2009, 02:25:01 am »

"It turned every drop of blood in my veins cold," said Parton. "It
made me feel that if he had had that knife within reach he would
have trampled it to powder, even if every stamp of his foot cut his
flesh through to the bone. Malignant is the word to describe that
glance, and I'd rather encounter a rattle-snake than see it again."

Parton spoke with such evident earnestness that I took refuge in
silence. I could see just where a man of Parton's temperament--which
was cold and eminently judicial even when his affections were
concerned--could find that in Barker at which to cavil, but, for all
that, I could not sympathize with the extreme view he took of his
character. I have known many a man upon whose face nature has set
the stamp of the villain much more deeply than it was impressed upon
Barker's countenance, who has lived a life most irreproachable,
whose every act has been one of unselfishness and for the good of
mankind; and I have also seen outward appearing saints whose every
instinct was base; and it seemed to me that the physiognomy of the
unfortunate victim of the moss-covered rock and vindictive knife was
just enough of a medium between that of the irredeemable sinner and
the sterling saint to indicate that its owner was the average man in
the matter of vices and virtues. In fact, the malignancy of his
expression when the knife was mentioned was to me the sole point
against him, and had I been in his position I do not think I should
have acted very differently, though I must add that if I thought
myself capable of freezing any person's blood with an expression of
my eyes I should be strongly tempted to wear blue glasses when in
company or before a mirror.

"I think I'll send my card up to him, Jack," I said to Parton, when
we had returned to the hotel, "just to ask how he is. Wouldn't you?"

"No!" snapped Parton. "But then I'm not you. You can do as you
please. Don't let me influence you against him--if he's to your
taste."

"He isn't at all to my taste," I retorted. "I don't care for him
particularly, but it seems to me courtesy requires that we show a
little interest in his welfare."

"Be courteous, then, and show your interest," said Parton. "I don't
care as long as I am not dragged into it."

I sent my card up by the boy, who, returning in a moment, said that
the door was locked, adding that when he had knocked upon it there
came no answer, from which he presumed that Mr. Barker had gone to
sleep.

"He seemed all right when you took his supper to his room?" I
queried.

"He said he wouldn't have any supper. Just wanted to be left alone,"
said the boy.

"Sulking over the knife still, I imagine," sneered Parton; and then
he and I retired to our room and prepared for bed.

I do not suppose I had slept for more than an hour when I was
awakened by Parton, who was pacing the floor like a caged tiger, his
eyes all ablaze, and laboring under an intense nervous excitement.

"What's the matter, Jack?" I asked, sitting up in bed.

"That d--ned Barker has upset my nerves," he replied. "I can't get
him out of my mind."
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