The Shadows on the Wall
by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman
"Henry had words with Edward in the study the night before Edward
died," said Caroline Glynn.
She was elderly, tall, and harshly thin, with a hard colourlessness of
face. She spoke not with acrimony, but with grave severity. Rebecca
Ann Glynn, younger, stouter and rosy of face between her crinkling
puffs of gray hair, gasped, by way of assent. She sat in a wide
flounce of black silk in the corner of the sofa, and rolled terrified
eyes from her sister Caroline to her sister Mrs. Stephen Brigham, who
had been Emma Glynn, the one beauty of the family. She was beautiful
still, with a large, splendid, full-blown beauty; she filled a great
rocking-chair with her superb bulk of femininity, and swayed gently
back and forth, her black silks whispering and her black frills
fluttering. Even the shock of death (for her brother Edward lay dead
in the house,) could not disturb her outward serenity of demeanour.
She was grieved over the loss of her brother: he had been the youngest,
and she had been fond of him, but never had Emma Brigham lost sight of
her own importance amidst the waters of tribulation. She was always
awake to the consciousness of her own stability in the midst of
vicissitudes and the splendour of her permanent bearing.
But even her expression of masterly placidity changed before her sister
Caroline's announcement and her sister Rebecca Ann's gasp of terror and
distress in response.
"I think Henry might have controlled his temper, when poor Edward was
so near his end," said she with an asperity which disturbed slightly
the roseate curves of her beautiful mouth.
"Of course he did not KNOW," murmured Rebecca Ann in a faint tone
strangely out of keeping with her appearance.
One involuntarily looked again to be sure that such a feeble pipe came
from that full-swelling chest.
"Of course he did not know it," said Caroline quickly. She turned on
her sister with a strange sharp look of suspicion. "How could he have
known it?" said she. Then she shrank as if from the other's possible
answer. "Of course you and I both know he could not," said she
conclusively, but her pale face was paler than it had been before.
Rebecca gasped again. The married sister, Mrs. Emma Brigham, was now
sitting up straight in her chair; she had ceased rocking, and was
eyeing them both intently with a sudden accentuation of family likeness
in her face. Given one common intensity of emotion and similar lines
showed forth, and the three sisters of one race were evident.
"What do you mean?" said she impartially to them both. Then she, too,
seemed to shrink before a possible answer. She even laughed an evasive
sort of laugh. "I guess you don't mean anything," said she, but her
face wore still the expression of shrinking horror.
"Nobody means anything," said Caroline firmly. She rose and crossed
the room toward the door with grim decisiveness.
"Where are you going?" asked Mrs. Brigham.
"I have something to see to," replied Caroline, and the others at once
knew by her tone that she had some solemn and sad duty to perform in
the chamber of death.
"Oh," said Mrs. Brigham.
After the door had closed behind Caroline, she turned to Rebecca.
"Did Henry have many words with him?" she asked.
"They were talking very loud," replied Rebecca evasively, yet with an
answering gleam of ready response to the other's curiosity in the quick
lift of her soft blue eyes.
Mrs. Brigham looked at her. She had not resumed rocking. She still
sat up straight with a slight knitting of intensity on her fair
forehead, between the pretty rippling curves of her auburn hair.
"Did you—hear anything?" she asked in a low voice with a glance toward
"I was just across the hall in the south parlour, and that door was
open and this door ajar," replied Rebecca with a slight flush.
"Then you must have—"
"I couldn't help it."
"Most of it."
"What was it?"
"The old story."
"I suppose Henry was mad, as he always was, because Edward was living
on here for nothing, when he had wasted all the money father left him."
Rebecca nodded with a fearful glance at the door.
When Emma spoke again her voice was still more hushed. "I know how he
felt," said she. "He had always been so prudent himself, and worked
hard at his profession, and there Edward had never done anything but
spend, and it must have looked to him as if Edward was living at his
expense, but he wasn't."
"No, he wasn't."
"It was the way father left the property—that all the children should
have a home here—and he left money enough to buy the food and all if
we had all come home."
"And Edward had a right here according to the terms of father's will,
and Henry ought to have remembered it."
"Yes, he ought."
"Did he say hard things?"
"Pretty hard from what I heard."
"I heard him tell Edward that he had no business here at all, and he
thought he had better go away."
"What did Edward say?"
"That he would stay here as long as he lived and afterward, too, if he
was a mind to, and he would like to see Henry get him out; and then—"
"Then he laughed."
"What did Henry say."
"I didn't hear him say anything, but—"
"I saw him when he came out of this room."
"He looked mad?"
"You've seen him when he looked so."
Emma nodded; the expression of horror on her face had deepened.
"Do you remember that time he killed the cat because she had scratched
Then Caroline reentered the room. She went up to the stove in which a
wood fire was burning—it was a cold, gloomy day of fall—and she
warmed her hands, which were reddened from recent washing in cold water.
Mrs. Brigham looked at her and hesitated. She glanced at the door,
which was still ajar, as it did not easily shut, being still swollen
with the damp weather of the summer. She rose and pushed it together
with a sharp thud which jarred the house. Rebecca started painfully
with a half exclamation. Caroline looked at her disapprovingly.
"It is time you controlled your nerves, Rebecca," said she.
"I can't help it," replied Rebecca with almost a wail. "I am nervous.
There's enough to make me so, the Lord knows."
"What do you mean by that?" asked Caroline with her old air of sharp
suspicion, and something between challenge and dread of its being met.
"Nothing," said she.
"Then I wouldn't keep speaking in such a fashion."
Emma, returning from the closed door, said imperiously that it ought to
be fixed, it shut so hard.
"It will shrink enough after we have had the fire a few days," replied
Caroline. "If anything is done to it it will be too small; there will
be a crack at the sill."
"I think Henry ought to be ashamed of himself for talking as he did to
Edward," said Mrs. Brigham abruptly, but in an almost inaudible voice.
"Hush!" said Caroline, with a glance of actual fear at the closed door.
"Nobody can hear with the door shut."
"He must have heard it shut, and—"
"Well, I can say what I want to before he comes down, and I am not
afraid of him."
"I don't know who is afraid of him! What reason is there for anybody
to be afraid of Henry?" demanded Caroline.
Mrs. Brigham trembled before her sister's look. Rebecca gasped again.
"There isn't any reason, of course. Why should there be?"
"I wouldn't speak so, then. Somebody might overhear you and think it
was queer. Miranda Joy is in the south parlour sewing, you know."
"I thought she went upstairs to stitch on the machine."
"She did, but she has come down again."
"Well, she can't hear."
"I say again I think Henry ought to be ashamed of himself. I shouldn't
think he'd ever get over it, having words with poor Edward the very
night before he died. Edward was enough sight better disposition than
Henry, with all his faults. I always thought a great deal of poor
Mrs. Brigham passed a large fluff of handkerchief across her eyes;
Rebecca sobbed outright.
"Rebecca," said Caroline admonishingly, keeping her mouth stiff and
"I never heard him speak a cross word, unless he spoke cross to Henry
that last night. I don't know, but he did from what Rebecca
overheard," said Emma.
"Not so much cross as sort of soft, and sweet, and aggravating,"
"He never raised his voice," said Caroline; "but he had his way."
"He had a right to in this case."
"Yes, he did."
"He had as much of a right here as Henry," sobbed Rebecca, "and now
he's gone, and he will never be in this home that poor father left him
and the rest of us again."
"What do you really think ailed Edward?" asked Emma in hardly more than
a whisper. She did not look at her sister.
Caroline sat down in a nearby armchair, and clutched the arms
convulsively until her thin knuckles whitened.
"I told you," said she.
Rebecca held her handkerchief over her mouth, and looked at them above
it with terrified, streaming eyes.
"I know you said that he had terrible pains in his stomach, and had
spasms, but what do you think made him have them?"
"Henry called it gastric trouble. You know Edward has always had
Mrs. Brigham hesitated a moment. "Was there any talk of
an—examination?" said she.
Then Caroline turned on her fiercely.
"No," said she in a terrible voice. "No."
The three sisters' souls seemed to meet on one common ground of
terrified understanding though their eyes. The old-fashioned latch of
the door was heard to rattle, and a push from without made the door
shake ineffectually. "It's Henry," Rebecca sighed rather than
whispered. Mrs. Brigham settled herself after a noiseless rush across
the floor into her rocking-chair again, and was swaying back and forth
with her head comfortably leaning back, when the door at last yielded
and Henry Glynn entered. He cast a covertly sharp, comprehensive
glance at Mrs. Brigham with her elaborate calm; at Rebecca quietly
huddled in the corner of the sofa with her handkerchief to her face and
only one small reddened ear as attentive as a dog's uncovered and
revealing her alertness for his presence; at Caroline sitting with a
strained composure in her armchair by the stove. She met his eyes
quite firmly with a look of inscrutable fear, and defiance of the fear
and of him.
Henry Glynn looked more like this sister than the others. Both had the
same hard delicacy of form and feature, both were tall and almost
emaciated, both had a sparse growth of gray blond hair far back from
high intellectual foreheads, both had an almost noble aquilinity of
feature. They confronted each other with the pitiless immovability of
two statues in whose marble lineaments emotions were fixed for all
Then Henry Glynn smiled and the smile transformed his face. He looked
suddenly years younger, and an almost boyish recklessness and
irresolution appeared in his face. He flung himself into a chair with
a gesture which was bewildering from its incongruity with his general
appearance. He leaned his head back, flung one leg over the other, and
looked laughingly at Mrs. Brigham.
"I declare, Emma, you grow younger every year," he said.
She flushed a little, and her placid mouth widened at the corners. She
was susceptible to praise.
"Our thoughts to-day ought to belong to the one of us who will NEVER
grow older," said Caroline in a hard voice.
Henry looked at her, still smiling. "Of course, we none of us forget
that," said he, in a deep, gentle voice, "but we have to speak to the
living, Caroline, and I have not seen Emma for a long time, and the
living are as dear as the dead."
"Not to me," said Caroline.
She rose, and went abruptly out of the room again. Rebecca also rose
and hurried after her, sobbing loudly.
Henry looked slowly after them.
"Caroline is completely unstrung," said he. Mrs. Brigham rocked. A
confidence in him inspired by his manner was stealing over her. Out of
that confidence she spoke quite easily and naturally.
"His death was very sudden," said she.
Henry's eyelids quivered slightly but his gaze was unswerving.
"Yes," said he; "it was very sudden. He was sick only a few hours."
"What did you call it?"
"You did not think of an examination?"
"There was no need. I am perfectly certain as to the cause of his
Suddenly Mrs. Brigham felt a creep as of some live horror over her very
soul. Her flesh prickled with cold, before an inflection of his voice.
She rose, tottering on weak knees.
"Where are you going?" asked Henry in a strange, breathless voice.
Mrs. Brigham said something incoherent about some sewing which she had
to do, some black for the funeral, and was out of the room. She went up
to the front chamber which she occupied. Caroline was there. She went
close to her and took her hands, and the two sisters looked at each
"Don't speak, don't, I won't have it!" said Caroline finally in an
"I won't," replied Emma.
That afternoon the three sisters were in the study, the large front
room on the ground floor across the hall from the south parlour, when
the dusk deepened.
Mrs. Brigham was hemming some black material. She sat close to the
west window for the waning light. At last she laid her work on her lap.
"It's no use, I cannot see to sew another stitch until we have a
light," said she.
Caroline, who was writing some letters at the table, turned to Rebecca,
in her usual place on the sofa.
"Rebecca, you had better get a lamp," she said.
Rebecca started up; even in the dusk her face showed her agitation.
"It doesn't seem to me that we need a lamp quite yet," she said in a
piteous, pleading voice like a child's.
"Yes, we do," returned Mrs. Brigham peremptorily. "We must have a
light. I must finish this to-night or I can't go to the funeral, and I
can't see to sew another stitch."
"Caroline can see to write letters, and she is farther from the window
than you are," said Rebecca.
"Are you trying to save kerosene or are you lazy, Rebecca Glynn?" cried
Mrs. Brigham. "I can go and get the light myself, but I have this work
all in my lap."
Caroline's pen stopped scratching.
"Rebecca, we must have the light," said she.
"Had we better have it in here?" asked Rebecca weakly.
"Of course! Why not?" cried Caroline sternly.
"I am sure I don't want to take my sewing into the other room, when it
is all cleaned up for to-morrow," said Mrs. Brigham.
"Why, I never heard such a to-do about lighting a lamp."
Rebecca rose and left the room. Presently she entered with a lamp—a
large one with a white porcelain shade. She set it on a table, an
old-fashioned card-table which was placed against the opposite wall
from the window. That wall was clear of bookcases and books, which
were only on three sides of the room. That opposite wall was taken up
with three doors, the one small space being occupied by the table.
Above the table on the old-fashioned paper, of a white satin gloss,
traversed by an indeterminate green scroll, hung quite high a small
gilt and black-framed ivory miniature taken in her girlhood of the
mother of the family. When the lamp was set on the table beneath it,
the tiny pretty face painted on the ivory seemed to gleam out with a
look of intelligence.
"What have you put that lamp over there for?" asked Mrs. Brigham, with
more of impatience than her voice usually revealed. "Why didn't you
set it in the hall and have done with it. Neither Caroline nor I can
see if it is on that table."
"I thought perhaps you would move," replied Rebecca hoarsely.
"If I do move, we can't both sit at that table. Caroline has her paper
all spread around. Why don't you set the lamp on the study table in
the middle of the room, then we can both see?"
Rebecca hesitated. Her face was very pale. She looked with an appeal
that was fairly agonizing at her sister Caroline.
"Why don't you put the lamp on this table, as she says?" asked
Caroline, almost fiercely. "Why do you act so, Rebecca?"
"I should think you WOULD ask her that," said Mrs. Brigham. "She
doesn't act like herself at all."
Rebecca took the lamp and set it on the table in the middle of the room
without another word. Then she turned her back upon it quickly and
seated herself on the sofa, and placed a hand over her eyes as if to
shade them, and remained so.
"Does the light hurt your eyes, and is that the reason why you didn't
want the lamp?" asked Mrs. Brigham kindly.
"I always like to sit in the dark," replied Rebecca chokingly. Then she
snatched her handkerchief hastily from her pocket and began to weep.
Caroline continued to write, Mrs. Brigham to sew.
Suddenly Mrs. Brigham as she sewed glanced at the opposite wall. The
glance became a steady stare. She looked intently, her work suspended
in her hands. Then she looked away again and took a few more stitches,
then she looked again, and again turned to her task. At last she laid
her work in her lap and stared concentratedly. She looked from the wall
around the room, taking note of the various objects; she looked at the
wall long and intently. Then she turned to her sisters.
"What IS that?" said she.
"What?" asked Caroline harshly; her pen scratched loudly across the
Rebecca gave one of her convulsive gasps.
"That strange shadow on the wall," replied Mrs. Brigham.
Rebecca sat with her face hidden: Caroline dipped her pen in the
"Why don't you turn around and look?" asked Mrs. Brigham in a wondering
and somewhat aggrieved way.
"I am in a hurry to finish this letter, if Mrs. Wilson Ebbit is going
to get word in time to come to the funeral," replied Caroline shortly.
Mrs. Brigham rose, her work slipping to the floor, and she began
walking around the room, moving various articles of furniture, with her
eyes on the shadow.
Then suddenly she shrieked out:
"Look at this awful shadow! What is it? Caroline, look, look!
Rebecca, look! WHAT IS IT?"
All Mrs. Brigham's triumphant placidity was gone. Her handsome face
was livid with horror. She stood stiffly pointing at the shadow.
"Look!" said she, pointing her finger at it. "Look! What is it?"
Then Rebecca burst out in a wild wail after a shuddering glance at the
"Oh, Caroline, there it is again! There it is again!"
"Caroline Glynn, you look!" said Mrs. Brigham. "Look! What is that
Caroline rose, turned, and stood confronting the wall.
"How should I know?" she said.
"It has been there every night since he died," cried Rebecca.
"Yes. He died Thursday and this is Saturday; that makes three nights,"
said Caroline rigidly. She stood as if holding herself calm with a
vise of concentrated will.
"It—it looks like—like—" stammered Mrs. Brigham in a tone of intense
"I know what it looks like well enough," said Caroline. "I've got eyes
in my head."
"It looks like Edward," burst out Rebecca in a sort of frenzy of fear.
"Yes, it does," assented Mrs. Brigham, whose horror-stricken tone
matched her sister's, "only— Oh, it is awful! What is it, Caroline?"
"I ask you again, how should I know?" replied Caroline. "I see it
there like you. How should I know any more than you?"
"It MUST be something in the room," said Mrs. Brigham, staring wildly
"We moved everything in the room the first night it came," said
Rebecca; "it is not anything in the room."
Caroline turned upon her with a sort of fury. "Of course it is
something in the room," said she. "How you act! What do you mean by
talking so? Of course it is something in the room."
"Of course, it is," agreed Mrs. Brigham, looking at Caroline
suspiciously. "Of course it must be. It is only a coincidence. It
just happens so. Perhaps it is that fold of the window curtain that
makes it. It must be something in the room."
"It is not anything in the room," repeated Rebecca with obstinate
The door opened suddenly and Henry Glynn entered. He began to speak,
then his eyes followed the direction of the others'. He stood stock
still staring at the shadow on the wall. It was life size and
stretched across the white parallelogram of a door, half across the
wall space on which the picture hung.
"What is that?" he demanded in a strange voice.
"It must be due to something in the room," Mrs. Brigham said faintly.
"It is not due to anything in the room," said Rebecca again with the
shrill insistency of terror.
"How you act, Rebecca Glynn," said Caroline.
Henry Glynn stood and stared a moment longer. His face showed a gamut
of emotions—horror, conviction, then furious incredulity. Suddenly he
began hastening hither and thither about the room. He moved the
furniture with fierce jerks, turning ever to see the effect upon the
shadow on the wall. Not a line of its terrible outlines wavered.
"It must be something in the room!" he declared in a voice which seemed
to snap like a lash.
His face changed. The inmost secrecy of his nature seemed evident
until one almost lost sight of his lineaments. Rebecca stood close to
her sofa, regarding him with woeful, fascinated eyes. Mrs. Brigham
clutched Caroline's hand. They both stood in a corner out of his way.
For a few moments he raged about the room like a caged wild animal. He
moved every piece of furniture; when the moving of a piece did not
affect the shadow, he flung it to the floor, the sisters watching.
Then suddenly he desisted. He laughed and began straightening the
furniture which he had flung down.
"What an absurdity," he said easily. "Such a to-do about a shadow."
"That's so," assented Mrs. Brigham, in a scared voice which she tried
to make natural. As she spoke she lifted a chair near her.
"I think you have broken the chair that Edward was so fond of," said
Terror and wrath were struggling for expression on her face. Her mouth
was set, her eyes shrinking. Henry lifted the chair with a show of
"Just as good as ever," he said pleasantly. He laughed again, looking
at his sisters. "Did I scare you?" he said. "I should think you might
be used to me by this time. You know my way of wanting to leap to the
bottom of a mystery, and that shadow does look—queer, like—and I
thought if there was any way of accounting for it I would like to
without any delay."
"You don't seem to have succeeded," remarked Caroline dryly, with a
slight glance at the wall.
Henry's eyes followed hers and he quivered perceptibly.
"Oh, there is no accounting for shadows," he said, and he laughed
again. "A man is a fool to try to account for shadows."
Then the supper bell rang, and they all left the room, but Henry kept
his back to the wall, as did, indeed, the others.
Mrs. Brigham pressed close to Caroline as she crossed the hall. "He
looked like a demon!" she breathed in her ear.
Henry led the way with an alert motion like a boy; Rebecca brought up
the rear; she could scarcely walk, her knees trembled so.
"I can't sit in that room again this evening," she whispered to
Caroline after supper.
"Very well, we will sit in the south room," replied Caroline. "I think
we will sit in the south parlour," she said aloud; "it isn't as damp as
the study, and I have a cold."
So they all sat in the south room with their sewing. Henry read the
newspaper, his chair drawn close to the lamp on the table. About nine
o'clock he rose abruptly and crossed the hall to the study. The three
sisters looked at one another. Mrs. Brigham rose, folded her rustling
skirts compactly around her, and began tiptoeing toward the door.
"What are you going to do?" inquired Rebecca agitatedly.
"I am going to see what he is about," replied Mrs. Brigham cautiously.
She pointed as she spoke to the study door across the hall; it was
ajar. Henry had striven to pull it together behind him, but it had
somehow swollen beyond the limit with curious speed. It was still ajar
and a streak of light showed from top to bottom. The hall lamp was not
"You had better stay where you are," said Caroline with guarded
"I am going to see," repeated Mrs. Brigham firmly.
Then she folded her skirts so tightly that her bulk with its swelling
curves was revealed in a black silk sheath, and she went with a slow
toddle across the hall to the study door. She stood there, her eye at
In the south room Rebecca stopped sewing and sat watching with dilated
eyes. Caroline sewed steadily. What Mrs. Brigham, standing at the
crack in the study door, saw was this:
Henry Glynn, evidently reasoning that the source of the strange shadow
must be between the table on which the lamp stood and the wall, was
making systematic passes and thrusts all over and through the
intervening space with an old sword which had belonged to his father.
Not an inch was left unpierced. He seemed to have divided the space
into mathematical sections. He brandished the sword with a sort of
cold fury and calculation; the blade gave out flashes of light, the
shadow remained unmoved. Mrs. Brigham, watching, felt herself cold
Finally Henry ceased and stood with the sword in hand and raised as if
to strike, surveying the shadow on the wall threateningly. Mrs.
Brigham toddled back across the hall and shut the south room door
behind her before she related what she had seen.
"He looked like a demon!" she said again. "Have you got any of that
old wine in the house, Caroline? I don't feel as if I could stand much
Indeed, she looked overcome. Her handsome placid face was worn and
strained and pale.
"Yes, there's plenty," said Caroline; "you can have some when you go to
"I think we had all better take some," said Mrs. Brigham. "Oh, my God,
"Don't ask and don't speak," said Caroline.
"No, I am not going to," replied Mrs. Brigham; "but—"
Rebecca moaned aloud.
"What are you doing that for?" asked Caroline harshly.
"Poor Edward," returned Rebecca.
"That is all you have to groan for," said Caroline. "There is nothing
"I am going to bed," said Mrs. Brigham. "I sha'n't be able to be at
the funeral if I don't."
Soon the three sisters went to their chambers and the south parlour was
deserted. Caroline called to Henry in the study to put out the light
before he came upstairs. They had been gone about an hour when he came
into the room bringing the lamp which had stood in the study. He set
it on the table and waited a few minutes, pacing up and down. His face
was terrible, his fair complexion showed livid; his blue eyes seemed
dark blanks of awful reflections.
Then he took the lamp up and returned to the library. He set the lamp
on the centre table, and the shadow sprang out on the wall. Again he
studied the furniture and moved it about, but deliberately, with none
of his former frenzy. Nothing affected the shadow. Then he returned
to the south room with the lamp and again waited. Again he returned to
the study and placed the lamp on the table, and the shadow sprang out
upon the wall. It was midnight before he went upstairs. Mrs. Brigham
and the other sisters, who could not sleep, heard him.
The next day was the funeral. That evening the family sat in the south
room. Some relatives were with them. Nobody entered the study until
Henry carried a lamp in there after the others had retired for the
night. He saw again the shadow on the wall leap to an awful life
before the light.
The next morning at breakfast Henry Glynn announced that he had to go
to the city for three days. The sisters looked at him with surprise.
He very seldom left home, and just now his practice had been neglected
on account of Edward's death. He was a physician.
"How can you leave your patients now?" asked Mrs. Brigham wonderingly.
"I don't know how to, but there is no other way," replied Henry easily.
"I have had a telegram from Doctor Mitford."
"Consultation?" inquired Mrs. Brigham.
"I have business," replied Henry.
Doctor Mitford was an old classmate of his who lived in a neighbouring
city and who occasionally called upon him in the case of a consultation.
After he had gone Mrs. Brigham said to Caroline that after all Henry
had not said that he was going to consult with Doctor Mitford, and she
thought it very strange.
"Everything is very strange," said Rebecca with a shudder.
"What do you mean?" inquired Caroline sharply.
"Nothing," replied Rebecca.
Nobody entered the library that day, nor the next, nor the next. The
third day Henry was expected home, but he did not arrive and the last
train from the city had come.
"I call it pretty queer work," said Mrs. Brigham. "The idea of a
doctor leaving his patients for three days anyhow, at such a time as
this, and I know he has some very sick ones; he said so. And the idea
of a consultation lasting three days! There is no sense in it, and NOW
he has not come. I don't understand it, for my part."
"I don't either," said Rebecca.
They were all in the south parlour. There was no light in the study
opposite, and the door was ajar.
Presently Mrs. Brigham rose—she could not have told why; something
seemed to impel her, some will outside her own. She went out of the
room, again wrapping her rustling skirts around that she might pass
noiselessly, and began pushing at the swollen door of the study.
"She has not got any lamp," said Rebecca in a shaking voice.
Caroline, who was writing letters, rose again, took a lamp (there were
two in the room) and followed her sister. Rebecca had risen, but she
stood trembling, not venturing to follow.
The doorbell rang, but the others did not hear it; it was on the south
door on the other side of the house from the study. Rebecca, after
hesitating until the bell rang the second time, went to the door; she
remembered that the servant was out.
Caroline and her sister Emma entered the study. Caroline set the lamp
on the table. They looked at the wall. "Oh, my God," gasped Mrs.
Brigham, "there are—there are TWO—shadows." The sisters stood
clutching each other, staring at the awful things on the wall. Then
Rebecca came in, staggering, with a telegram in her hand. "Here is—a
telegram," she gasped. "Henry is—dead."