Then my heart, compressed for an instant by emotion, began to beat furiously and I no longer heard anything! Then uttering a horrible cry, I fled, abandoning the horse, the carriage. In less than twenty minutes, bounding over the rocks and brush, I reached the threshold of our house, and cried in a stifled voice: "Run! Run! Sir Hawerburch is dead! Sir Hawerburch is in the cavern !"
Christian Weber approached the negress, and making a rapid pass over her forehead: "Are you there?" said he. "Yes, master." "Sir Thomas Hawerburch?" At these words she shuddered again. "Do you see him?" "Yes yes," she gasped in a strangling voice, "I see him." "Where is he?" "Up there in the back of the cavern dead!" "Dead!" said the doctor, "how?" "The spider Oh! the spider crab Oh!
Suddenly it came out like a flash and placed its fangs around the commodore's neck, and he cried out: 'Oh! oh! my God! It stung and fled. Sir Hawerburch sank down in the water and died. Then the spider returned and surrounded him with its web, and he floated gently, gently, to the back of the cavern. It drew in on the web. Now he is all black."
I was with him, holding the lighted candle with one hand and with the other a needle which I heated red-hot. Sir Thomas, seated, his chair tipped back against the sill of a window, his feet on a stool, watched us work, and smoked his cigar with a dreamy air. I stood in with Sir Thomas Hawerburch, and I accompanied him every day to the woods in his carriage.
Weber was naturally thick with Sir Thomas Hawerburch, as representing the only one of his clientele then in evidence, and I was not slow in perceiving that these two eccentrics held long conventicles together.
At the end of a week there remained at Spinbronn only a big Englishman who had gout in his hands as well as in his feet, who had himself addressed as Sir Thomas Hawerburch, Commodore; and he brought a large retinue, according to the usage of a British subject in a foreign land.
Christian Weber alone seemed calm; having passed his hand several times over the negress's forehead, he continued: "Agatha, tell us how death befell Sir Hawerburch." "He was bathing in the basin of the spring the spider saw him from behind, with his bare back. It was hungry, it had fasted for a long time; it saw him with his arms on the water.
At ten o'clock in the evening all the crowd came back, bringing the carriage, and in the carriage the clothes of Sir Hawerburch. They had discovered nothing. It was impossible to take ten steps in the cavern without being suffocated. During their absence Agatha and I waited, sitting in the chimney corner.
Then raising his voice: "No hard feelings, Sir Hawerburch." The commodore replied laughingly, and we got into the carriage, which was always waiting in front of the door of the house. Sir Thomas wanted to drive himself and dismissed his servant. He made me sit beside him on the same seat and we started off for Rothalps.