Her face contracted with hatred. She had been a rather clever woman, and she believed that he was going to experiment with her. But she had also been a strong-willed woman and used to command since babyhood.
Give me that morphine, she said imperiously. If you dont Ill be dead before morning.
He stood imperturbable. She sprang from the bed and flung herself upon him, strong with anger and apprehension.
Give it to me! she screamed. Give it to me. She strove to bite him.
He caught her by the shoulder and held her at arms length. She writhed and struggled and cursed. Her oaths might have been learned in the gutter. She kicked at him and strove to reach him with her nails, clawing the air.
What an exquisite bride she was! he thought. And what columns of rubbish have been printed about her and her entertainments!
The woman was shrieking and struggling.
Give it to me! You brute! You fiend! I always hated you! Give it to me! I am dying! Help! Help! But the walls were padded.
He permitted her to fling herself upon him, easily brushing aside her jumping fingers and snapping teeth. He knew that her agony was frightful. Her body was a net-work of hungry nerves. The diseased pulp of her brain had ejected every thought but one. She squirmed like an old autumn leaf about to fall. Her ugly face became tragic. The words shot from her dry, contracted throat:
Give me the morphine! Give me the morphine!
Suddenly realising the immutability of the man in whose power she was, she sprang from him and ran frantically about the room, uttering harsh, bleat-like cries. She pulled open the drawers of a chest, rummaging among its harmless contents, gasping, quivering, bounding, as her tortured nerves commanded. When she had littered the floor with the contents of the chest she ran about screaming hopelessly. The doctor shuddered, but he thought of the four innocent people in her power and in his.
She fell on the floor, biting the carpet, striking out her arms, tearing her nightgown into strips; then lay quivering, a hideous, speckled, uncanny thing, who should have been embalmed and placed beside the Venus of Milo.
She raised herself on her hands and crawled along the carpet, casually at first, as a man stricken in the desert may, half-consciously, continue his search for water. Then the doctor, intently watching her, saw an expression of hope leap into her bulging eyes. She scrambled past him towards the wash-stand. Before he could define her purpose, she had leaped upon a goblet inadvertently left there and had broken it on the marble. He reached her just in time to save her throat.
Then she looked up at him pitifully. Give it to me!
She pressed his knees to her breast. The red, burned-out, tearducts yawned. The tortured body stiffened and relaxed.
Poor wretch! he thought. But what is the physical agony of a night to the mental anguish of a lifetime?
Once! once! she gasped, or kill me. Kill me! Kill me!
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