It is very
seldom that mere ordinary people like John and myself secure ancestral
halls for the summer.
A colonial mansion, a hereditary
estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity
- but that would be asking too much of fate!
Still I will proudly declare
that there is something queer about it. Else, why should it be let so cheaply?
And why have stood so long untenanted?
John laughs at me, of course,
but one expects that in marriage.
John is practical in the extreme.
He has no patience with faith, an intense horror of superstition, and he
scoffs openly at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down
John is a physician, and perhaps
- (I would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper
and a great relief to my mind) - perhaps that is one reason I do
not get well faster. You see he does not believe I am sick!
And what can one do?
If a physician of high standing,
and one's own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really
nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression - a slight
hysterical tendency - what is one to do?
My brother is also a physician,
and also of high standing, and he says the same thing. So I take phosphates
or phosphites - whichever it is, and tonics, and journeys, and air, and
exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to "work" until I am well again.
Personally, I disagree with their
Personally, I believe that congenial
work, with excitement and change, would do me good. But what is one to
I did write for a while in spite
of them; but it DOES exhaust me a good deal - having to be so sly about
it, or else meet with heavy opposition.
I sometimes fancy that my condition
if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus - but John says
the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition, and I confess
it always makes me feel bad.
So I will let it alone and talk
about the house.
The most beautiful place! It
is quite alone, standing well back from the road, quite three miles from
the village. It makes me think of English places that you read about, for
there are hedges and walls and gates that lock, and lots of separate little
houses for the gardeners and people. There is a DELICIOUS garden! I never
saw such a garden - large and shady, full of box- bordered paths, and lined
with long grape-covered arbors with seats under them.
There were greenhouses, too,
but they are all broken now.
There was some legal trouble,
I believe, something about the heirs and coheirs; anyhow, the place has
been empty for years.
That spoils my ghostliness, I
am afraid, but I don't care - there is something strange about the house
- I can feel it.
I even said so to John one moonlight
evening, but he said what I felt was a draught, and shut the window.
I get unreasonably angry with
John sometimes. I'm sure I never used to be so sensitive. I think it is
due to this nervous condition.
But John says if I feel so, I
shall neglect proper self-control; so I take pains to control myself -
before him, at least, and that makes me very tired.
I don't like our room a bit.
I wanted one downstairs that opened on the piazza and had roses all over
the window, and such pretty old-fashioned chintz hangings! but John would
not hear of it. He said there was only one window and not room for two
beds, and no near room for him if he took another.
He is very careful and loving,
and hardly lets me stir without special direction. I have a schedule prescription
for each hour in the day; he takes all care from me, and so I feel basely
ungrateful not to value it more.
He said we came here solely on
my account, that I was to have perfect rest and all the air I could get.
"Your exercise depends on your strength, my dear," said he, "and your food
somewhat on your appetite; but air you can absorb all the time." So we
took the nursery at the top of the house.
It is a big, airy room, the whole
floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore.
It was nursery first and then playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for
the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things
in the walls. The paint and paper look as if a boys' school had used it.
It is stripped off - the paper - in great patches all around the head of
my bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other
side of the room low down. I never saw a worse paper in my life.
One of those sprawling flamboyant
patterns committing every artistic sin. It is dull enough to confuse the
eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke
study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance
they suddenly commit suicide - plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy
themselves in unheard of contradictions.
The color is repelllent, almost
revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning
It is a dull yet lurid orange
in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others. No wonder the children
hated it! I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long. There
comes John, and I must put this away, - he hates to have me write a word.
* * * * *
We have been here two weeks,
and I haven't felt like writing before, since that first day. I am sitting
by the window now, up in this atrocious nursery, and there is nothing to
hinder my writing as much as I please, save lack of strength.
John is away all day, and even
some nights when his cases are serious. I am glad my case is not serious!
But these nervous troubles are
John does not know how much I
really suffer. He knows there is no REASON to suffer, and that satisfies
Of course it is only nervousness.
It does weigh on me so not to do my duty in any way! I meant to be such
a help to John, such a real rest and comfort, and here I am a comparative
Nobody would believe what an
effort it is to do what little I am able, - to dress and entertain, and
It is fortunate Mary is so good
with the baby. Such a dear baby!
And yet I CANNOT be with him,
it makes me so nervous.
I suppose John never was nervous
in his life. He laughs at me so about this wall-paper! At first he meant
to repaper the room, but afterwards he said that I was letting it get the
better of me, and that nothing was worse for a nervous patient than to
give way to such fancies. He said that after the wall-paper was changed
it would be the heavy bedstead, and then the barred windows, and then that
gate at the head of the stairs, and so on.
"You know the place is doing
you good," he said, "and really, dear, I don't care to renovate the house
just for a three months' rental."
"Then do let us go downstairs,"
I said, "there are such pretty rooms there." Then he took me in his arms
and called me a blessed little goose, and said he would go down to the
cellar, if I wished, and have it whitewashed into the bargain.
But he is right enough about
the beds and windows and things.
It is an airy and comfortable
room as any one need wish, and, of course, I would not be so silly as to
make him uncomfortable just for a whim.
I'm really getting quite fond
of the big room, all but that horrid paper. Out of one window I can see
the garden, those mysterious deepshaded arbors, the riotous old- fashioned
flowers, and bushes and gnarly trees.
Out of another I get a lovely
view of the bay and a little private wharf belonging to the estate. There
is a beautiful shaded lane that runs down there from the house. I always
fancy I see people walking in these numerous paths and arbors, but John
has cautioned me not to give way to fancy in the least. He says that with
my imaginative power and habit of story-making, a nervous weakness like
mine is sure to lead to all manner of excited fancies, and that I ought
to use my will and good sense to check the tendency. So I try.
I think sometimes that if I were
only well enough to write a little it would relieve the press of ideas
and rest me.
But I find I get pretty tired
when I try.
It is so discouraging not to
have any advice and companionship about my work. When I get really well,
John says we will ask Cousin Henry and Julia down for a long visit; but
he says he would as soon put fireworks in my pillow-case as to let me have
those stimulating people about now.
I wish I could get well faster.
But I must not think about that.
This paper looks to me as if it KNEW what a vicious influence it had!
There is a recurrent spot where
the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you
I get positively angry with the
impertinence of it and the everlastingness. Up and down and sideways they
crawl, and those absurd, unblinking eyes are everywhere. There is one place
where two breadths didn't match, and the eyes go all up and down the line,
one a little higher than the other.
I never saw so much expression
in an inanimate thing before, and we all know how much expression they
have! I used to lie awake as a child and get more entertainment and terror
out of blank walls and plain furniture than most children could find in
a toy store.
I remember what a kindly wink
the knobs of our big, old bureau used to have, and there was one chair
that always seemed like a strong friend.
I used to feel that if any of
the other things looked too fierce I could always hop into that chair and
The furniture in this room is
no worse than inharmonious, however, for we had to bring it all from downstairs.
I suppose when this was used as a playroom they had to take the nursery
things out, and no wonder! I never saw such ravages as the children have
The wall-paper, as I said before,
is torn off in spots, and it sticketh closer than a brother - they must
have had perseverance as well as hatred.
Then the floor is scratched and
gouged and splintered, the plaster itself is dug out here and there, and
this great heavy bed which is all we found in the room, looks as if it
had been through the wars.
But I don't mind it a bit - only
There comes John's sister. Such
a dear girl as she is, and so careful of me! I must not let her find me
* * * * *
She is a perfect and enthusiastic
housekeeper, and hopes for no better profession. I verily believe she thinks
it is the writing which made me sick!
But I can write when she is out,
and see her a long way off from these windows. There is one that commands
the road, a lovely shaded winding road, and one that just looks off over
the country. A lovely country, too, full of great elms and velvet meadows.
This wall-paper has a kind of
sub-pattern in a different shade, a particularly irritating one, for you
can only see it in certain lights, and not clearly then.
But in the places where it isn't
faded and where the sun is just so - I can see a strange, provoking, formless
sort of figure, that seems to skulk about behind that silly and conspicuous
There's sister on the stairs!
* * * * *
Well, the Fourth of July is over!
The people are gone and I am tired out. John thought it might do me good
to see a little company, so we just had mother and Nellie and the children
down for a week.
Of course I didn't do a thing.
Jennie sees to everything now.
But it tired me all the same.
John says if I don't pick up
faster he shall send me to Weir Mitchell in the fall. But I don't want
to go there at all. I had a friend who was in his hands once, and she says
he is just like John and my brother, only more so!
Besides, it is such an undertaking
to go so far.
I don't feel as if it was worth
while to turn my hand over for anything, and I'm getting dreadfully fretful
I cry at nothing, and cry most
of the time.
Of course I don't when John is
here, or anybody else, but when I am alone.
And I am alone a good deal just
now. John is kept in town very often by serious cases, and Jennie is good
and lets me alone when I want her to.
So I walk a little in the garden
or down that lovely lane, sit on the porch under the roses, and lie down
up here a good deal.
I'm getting really fond of the
room in spite of the wall-paper. Perhaps BECAUSE of the wall- paper.
It dwells in my mind so!
I lie here on this great immovable
bed - it is nailed down, I believe - and follow that pattern about by the
hour. It is as good as gymnastics, I assure you. I start, we'll say, at
the bottom, down in the corner over there where it has not been touched,
and I determine for the thousandth time that I WILL follow that pointless
pattern to some sort of a conclusion.
I know a little of the principle
of design, and I know this thing was not arranged on any laws of radiation,
or alternation, or repetition, or symmetry, or anything else that I ever
heard of. It is repeated, of course, by the breadths, but not otherwise.
Looked at in one way each breadth
stands alone, the bloated curves and flourishes - a kind of "debased Romanesque"
with delirium tremens - go waddling up and down in isolated columns of
But, on the other hand, they
connect diagonally, and the sprawling outlines run off in great slanting
waves of optic horror, like a lot of wallowing seaweeds in full chase.
The whole thing goes horizontally,
too, at least it seems so, and I exhaust myself in trying to distinguish
the order of its going in that direction.
They have used a horizontal breadth
for a frieze, and that adds wonderfully to the confusion. There is one
end of the room where it is almost intact, and there, when the crosslights
fade and the low sun shines directly upon it, I can almost fancy radiation
after all, - the interminable grotesques seem to form around a common centre
and rush off in headlong plunges of equal distraction.
It makes me tired to follow it.
I will take a nap I guess.
I don't know why I should write
I don't want to.
I don't feel able.
And I know John would think it
absurd. But I MUST say what I feel and think in some way - it is such a
But the effort is getting to
be greater than the relief.
Half the time now I am awfully
lazy, and lie down ever so much.
John says I musn't lose my strength,
and has me take cod liver oil and lots of tonics and things, to say nothing
of ale and wine and rare meat.
Dear John! He loves me very dearly,
and hates to have me sick. I tried to have a real earnest reasonable talk
with him the other day, and tell him how I wish he would let me go and
make a visit to Cousin Henry and Julia.
But he said I wasn't able to
go, nor able to stand it after I got there; and I did not make out a very
good case for myself, for I was crying before I had finished.
It is getting to be a great effort
for me to think straight. Just this nervous weakness I suppose. And dear
John gathered me up in his arms, and just carried me upstairs and laid
me on the bed, and sat by me and read to me till it tired my head.
He said I was his darling and
his comfort and all he had, and that I must take care of myself for his
sake, and keep well.
He says no one but myself can
help me out of it, that I must use my will and self-control and not let
any silly fancies run away with me.
There's one comfort, the baby
is well and happy, and does not have to occupy this nursery with the horrid
If we had not used it, that blessed
child would have! What a fortunate escape! Why, I wouldn't have a child
of mine, an impressionable little thing, live in such a room for worlds.
I never thought of it before, but it is lucky that John kept me here after
all, I can stand it so much easier than a baby, you see.
Of course I never mention it
to them any more - I am too wise, - but I keep watch of it all the same.
There are things in that paper
that nobody knows but me, or ever will. Behind that outside pattern the
dim shapes get clearer every day.
It is always the same shape,
only very numerous.
And it is like a woman stooping
down and creeping about behind that pattern. I don't like it a bit. I wonder
- I begin to think - I wish John would take me away from here!
It is so hard to talk with John
about my case, because he is so wise, and because he loves me so.
But I tried it last night.
It was moonlight. The moon shines
in all around just as the sun does.
I hate to see it sometimes, it
creeps so slowly, and always comes in by one window or another. John was
asleep and I hated to waken him, so I kept still and watched the moonlight
on that undulating wall-paper till I felt creepy.
The faint figure behind seemed
to shake the pattern, just as if she wanted to get out. I got up softly
and went to feel and see if the paper DID move, and when I came back John
"What is it, little girl?" he
said. "Don't go walking about like that - you'll get cold." I though it
was a good time to talk, so I told him that I really was not gaining here,
and that I wished he would take me away.
"Why darling!" said he, "our
lease will be up in three weeks, and I can't see how to leave before.
"The repairs are not done at
home, and I cannot possibly leave town just now. Of course if you were
in any danger, I could and would, but you really are better, dear, whether
you can see it or not. I am a doctor, dear, and I know. You are gaining
flesh and color, your appetite is better, I feel really much easier about
"I don't weigh a bit more," said
I, "nor as much; and my appetite may be better in the evening when you
are here, but it is worse in the morning when you are away!"
"Bless her little heart!" said
he with a big hug, "she shall be as sick as she pleases! But now let's
improve the shining hours by going to sleep, and talk about it in the morning!"
"And you won't go away?" I asked
"Why, how can I, dear? It is
only three weeks more and then we will take a nice little trip of a few
days while Jennie is getting the house ready. Really dear you are better!"
"Better in body perhaps - " I
began, and stopped short, for he sat up straight and looked at me with
such a stern, reproachful look that I could not say another word.
"My darling," said he, "I beg
of you, for my sake and for our child's sake, as well as for your own,
that you will never for one instant let that idea enter your mind! There
is nothing so dangerous, so fascinating, to a temperament like yours. It
is a false and foolish fancy. Can you not trust me as a physician when
I tell you so?"
So of course I said no more on
that score, and we went to sleep before long. He thought I was asleep first,
but I wasn't, and lay there for hours trying to decide whether that front
pattern and the back pattern really did move together or separately.
On a pattern like this, by daylight,
there is a lack of sequence, a defiance of law, that is a constant irritant
to a normal mind.
The color is hideous enough,
and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing.
You think you have mastered it,
but just as you get well underway in following, it turns a back- somersault
and there you are. It slaps you in the face, knocks you down, and tramples
upon you. It is like a bad dream.
The outside pattern is a florid
arabesque, reminding one of a fungus. If you can imagine a toadstool in
joints, an interminable string of toadstools, budding and sprouting in
endless convolutions - why, that is something like it.
That is, sometimes!
There is one marked peculiarity
about this paper, a thing nobody seems to notice but myself,and that is
that it changes as the light changes.
When the sun shoots in through
the east window - I always watch for that first long, straight ray - it
changes so quickly that I never can quite believe it.
That is why I watch it always.
By moonlight - the moon shines
in all night when there is a moon - I wouldn't know it was the same paper.
At night in any kind of light,
in twilight, candle light, lamplight, and worst of all by moonlight, it
becomes bars! The outside pattern I mean, and the woman behind it is as
plain as can be. I didn't realize for a long time what the thing was that
showed behind, that dim sub-pattern, but now I am quite sure it is a woman.
By daylight she is subdued, quiet.
I fancy it is the pattern that keeps her so still. It is so puzzling. It
keeps me quiet by the hour.
I lie down ever so much now.
John says it is good for me, and to sleep all I can. Indeed he started
the habit by making me lie down for an hour after each meal.
It is a very bad habit I am convinced,
for you see I don't sleep.
And that cultivates deceit, for
I don't tell them I'm awake - O no!
The fact is I am getting a little
afraid of John.
He seems very queer sometimes,
and even Jennie has an inexplicable look.
It strikes me occasionally, just
as a scientific hypothesis - that perhaps it is the paper! I have watched
John when he did not know I was looking, and come into the room suddenly
on the most innocent excuses, and I've caught him several times looking
at the paper! And Jennie too. I caught Jennie with her hand on it once.
She didn't know I was in the
room, and when I asked her in a quiet, a very quiet voice, with the most
restrained manner possible, what she was doing with the paper - she turned
around as if she had been caught stealing, and looked quite angry - asked
me why I should frighten her so! Then she said that the paper stained everything
it touched, that she had found yellow smooches on all my clothes and John's,
and she wished we would be more careful!
Did not that sound innocent?
But I know she was studying that pattern, and I am determined that nobody
shall find it out but myself!
Life is very much more exciting
now than it used to be. You see I have something more to expect, to look
forward to, to watch. I really do eat better, and am more quiet than I
was. John is so pleased to see me improve! He laughed a little the other
day, and said I seemed to be flourishing in spite of my wall-paper.
I turned it off with a laugh.
I had no intention of telling him it was because of the wall-paper
- he would make fun of me. He might even want to take me away.
I don't want to leave now until
I have found it out. There is a week more, and I think that will be enough.
I'm feeling ever so much better!
I don't sleep much at night, for it is so interesting to watch developments;
but I sleep a good deal in the daytime.
In the daytime it is tiresome
There are always new shoots on
the fungus, and new shades of yellow all over it. I cannot keep count of
them, though I have tried conscientiously.
It is the strangest yellow, that
wall-paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw - not
beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things.
But there is something else about
that paper - the smell! I noticed it the moment we came into the room,
but with so much air and sun it was not bad. Now we have had a week of
fog and rain, and whether the windows are open or not, the smell is here.
It creeps all over the house.
I find it hovering in the dining-room,
skulking in the parlor, hiding in the hall, lying in wait for me on the
It gets into my hair.
Even when I go to ride, if I
turn my head suddenly and surprise it - there is that smell! Such a peculiar
odor, too! I have spent hours in trying to analyze it, to find what it
It is not bad - at first, and
very gentle, but quite the subtlest, most enduring odor I ever met. In
this damp weather it is awful, I wake up in the night and find it hanging
over me. It used to disturb me at first. I thought seriously of burning
the house - to reach the smell. But now I am used to it. The only thing
I can think of that it is like is the color of the paper! A yellow
There is a very funny mark on
this wall, low down, near the mopboard. A streak that runs round the room.
It goes behind every piece of furniture, except the bed, a long, straight,
even smooch, as if it had been rubbed over and over.
I wonder how it was done and
who did it, and what they did it for. Round and round and round - round
and round and round - it makes me dizzy!
* * * * *
I really have discovered something
Through watching so much at night,
when it changes so, I have finally found out.
The front pattern does
move - and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it! Sometimes I think there
are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around
fast, and her crawling shakes it all over.
Then in the very bright spots
she keeps still, and in the very shady spots she just takes hold of the
bars and shakes them hard.
And she is all the time trying
to climb through. But nobody could climb through that pattern - it strangles
so; I think that is why it has so many heads.
They get through, and then the
pattern strangles them off and turns them upside down, and makes their
If those heads were covered or
taken off it would not be half so bad. I think that woman gets out in the
And I'll tell you why - privately
- I've seen her!
I can see her out of every one
of my windows!
It is the same woman, I know,
for she is always creeping, and most women do not creep by daylight.
I see her on that long road under
the trees, creeping along, and when a carriage comes she hides under the
I don't blame her a bit. It must
be very humiliating to be caught creeping by daylight! I always lock the
door when I creep by daylight. I can't do it at night, for I know John
would suspect something at once.
And John is so queer now, that
I don't want to irritate him. I wish he would take another room! Besides,
I don't want anybody to get that woman out at night but myself.
I often wonder if I could see
her out of all the windows at once.
But, turn as fast as I can, I
can only see out of one at a time.
And though I always see her,
she MAY be able to creep faster than I can turn! I have watched her sometimes
away off in the open country, creeping as fast as a cloud shadow in a high
If only that top pattern could
be gotten off from the under one! I mean to try it, little by little. I
have found out another funny thing, but I shan't tell it this time! It
does not do to trust people too much.
There are only two more days
to get this paper off, and I believe John is beginning to notice. I don't
like the look in his eyes.
And I heard him ask Jennie a
lot of professional questions about me. She had a very good report to give.
She said I slept a good deal
in the daytime.
John knows I don't sleep very
well at night, for all I'm so quiet!
He asked me all sorts of questions,
too, and pretended to be very loving and kind. As if I couldn't see through
Still, I don't wonder he acts
so, sleeping under this paper for three months. It only interests me, but
I feel sure John and Jennie are secretly affected by it. Hurrah! This is
the last day, but it is enough. John is to stay in town over night, and
won't be out until this evening.
Jennie wanted to sleep with me
- the sly thing! but I told her I should undoubtedly rest better for a
night all alone.
That was clever, for really I
wasn't alone a bit! As soon as it was moonlight and that poor thing began
to crawl and shake the pattern, I got up and ran to help her.
I pulled and she shook, I shook
and she pulled, and before morning we had peeled off yards of that paper.
A strip about as high as my head
and half around the room.
And then when the sun came and
that awful pattern began to laugh at me, I declared I would finish it to-day!
We go away to-morrow, and they
are moving all my furniture down again to leave things as they were before.
Jennie looked at the wall in
amazement, but I told her merrily that I did it out of pure spite at the
She laughed and said she wouldn't
mind doing it herself, but I must not get tired. How she betrayed herself
But I am here, and no person
touches this paper but me - not ALIVE!
She tried to get me out of the
room - it was too patent! But I said it was so quiet and empty and clean
now that I believed I would lie down again and sleep all I could; and not
to wake me even for dinner - I would call when I woke.
So now she is gone, and the servants
are gone, and the things are gone, and there is nothing left but that great
bedstead nailed down, with the canvas mattress we found on it.
We shall sleep downstairs to-night,
and take the boat home to-morrow. I quite enjoy the room, now it is bare
How those children did tear about
This bedstead is fairly gnawed!
But I must get to work.
I have locked the door and thrown
the key down into the front path.
I don't want to go out, and I
don't want to have anybody come in, till John comes. I want to astonish
I've got a rope up here that
even Jennie did not find. If that woman does get out, and tries to get
away, I can tie her!
But I forgot I could not reach
far without anything to stand on!
This bed will NOT move!
I tried to lift and push it until
I was lame, and then I got so angry I bit off a little piece at one corner
- but it hurt my teeth.
Then I peeled off all the paper
I could reach standing on the floor. It sticks horribly and the pattern
just enjoys it! All those strangled heads and bulbous eyes and waddling
fungus growths just shriek with derision!
I am getting angry enough to
do something desperate. To jump out of the window would be admirable exercise,
but the bars are too strong even to try.
Besides I wouldn't do it. Of
course not. I know well enough that a step like that is improper and might
I don't like to LOOK out of the
windows even - there are so many of those creeping women, and they creep
I wonder if they all come out
of that wall-paper as I did?
But I am securely fastened now
by my well-hidden rope - you don't get ME out in the road there!
I suppose I shall have to get
back behind the pattern when it comes night, and that is hard! It is so
pleasant to be out in this great room and creep around as I please!
I don't want to go outside. I
won't, even if Jennie asks me to.
For outside you have to creep
on the ground, and everything is green instead of yellow. But here I can
creep smoothly on the floor, and my shoulder just fits in that long smooch
around the wall, so I cannot lose my way.
Why there's John at the door!
It is no use, young man, you
can't open it!
How he does call and pound!
Now he's crying for an axe.
It would be a shame to break
down that beautiful door!
"John dear!' said I in the gentlest
voice, "the key is down by the front steps, under a plantain leaf!"
That silenced him for a few moments.
Then he said - very quietly indeed,
"Open the door, my darling!"
"I can't", said I. "The key is
down by the front door under a plantain leaf!" And then I said it again,
several times, very gently and slowly, and said it so often that he had
to go and see, and he got it of course, and came in. He stopped short by
the door. "What is the matter?" he cried. "For God's sake, what are you
I kept on creeping just the same,
but I looked at him over my shoulder. "I've got out at last," said I, "in
spite of you and Jane. And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't
put me back!"
Now why should that man have
fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had
to creep over him every time!