With a last, lingering tenderness, she parted the hair back from his forehead. "It is
no merit to have loved you," she said. "You are one of the men whom women all
like." She sighed and left him. It was her last weakness. She bent her head
affirmatively to the clock, as if it had been a living creature speaking to her; and
fed the funnel for the last time, to the last drop left in the Flask.
The waning moon shone in faintly at the window. With her hand on the door of
the room, she turned and looked at the light that was slowly fading out of the
"Oh, God, forgive me!" she said. "Oh, Christ, bear witness that I have suffered!"
One moment more she lingered on the threshold; lingered for her last look in this
world--and turned that look on him.
"Good-by!" she said, softly.
The door of the room opened, and closed on her. There was an interval of silence.
Then a sound came dull and sudden, like the sound of a fall.
Then there was silence again.
* * * * *
The hands of the clock, following their steady course, reckoned the minutes of the
morning as one by one they lapsed away. It was the tenth minute since the door of
the room had opened and closed, before Midwinter stirred on his pillow, and,
struggling to raise himself, felt the letter in his hand.
At the same moment a key was turned in the staircase door. And the doctor,
looking expectantly toward the fatal room, saw the Purple Flask on the window-
sill, and the prostrate man trying to raise himself from the floor.