Here he was, a man in the prime of life, one of the handsomest men in London, with money, fame, social success, everything at his feet, and now, without a moment's warning, he was told that inevitable death lay before him, a death accompanied by more refined and lingering tortures than if he were bound upon a Red Indian stake.
Even to this day, the wild Khonds in the Indian mountains, and the Red men of America, sacrifice human beings at times, and, I fear, very often indeed; and believe that the gods will be the more pleased, and more certain to turn away their anger, the more horrible and lingering tortures they inflict upon their wretched victims.
We talk of instruments of torture; Englishmen take credit to themselves for having banished the use of them from their happy shore! Alas! he that has observed the secrets of a prison, well knows that there is more torture in the lingering existence of a criminal, in the silent intolerable minutes that he spends, than in the tangible misery of whips and racks! Such were our days.
But something of Simmons' shrewd knowledge of the world, something of the priest's contemptuous arraignment of material values, lingering in Gordon's mind, convinced him of the potential folly of that course. It would be more practical to sell back the options to those from which they had been purchased at the nominal prices paid.
In the midst of it all Mother remembered that dinner ought to be eaten at once, and that Bonnie must have a chance to wash her face and straighten her hair before dinner. So Father and Mother, with many a reluctant lingering and last word, as if they were not going to see her for a month, finally bustled off together.
If I failed? 'How could that affect my love? The voices seemed to be lingering still, in a sad, faint echo, so short a time it was since those words were uttered. His own fault. A man has no business to fail; least of all can he expect others to have time to look back upon him or pity him if he sink under the stress of conflict.
He had seen her for just a moment that morning, and, through the warm, lingering pressure of her hand, received the thanks which she could not speak.
They had delayed their breakfast until the doctor should come, and in the dining-room the table was laid with unusual care. Everything was in its place, and still Adah fluttered around it like a restless bird, lingering by what she knew was the doctor's chair, taking up his knife, examining his napkin ring, and wondering what he would think of the cheap bone rings used at Spring Bank.
I had meant to stay for a little while at Terracina, but somehow I took a kind of "scunner" at this poor old hotel of magnificent distances and the lingering, doddering, unwashed old men who acted as chambermaids. Perhaps, too, the fish kettle as a bath was a discouragement.
The woman went to the door again, to lean and peer up and down the street with that great anxiety and trouble in her face that made it old, and distorted the faint trace of lingering prettiness out of it as if it had been covered with ashes. "He's comin'," she said presently, in voice of immeasurable relief.