Nouvelles histoires extraordinaires

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 27

roides de l'escalier, et, m'ayant presque
culbuté la tête la première, m'exaspéra jusqu'à la folie. Levant une
hache, et oubliant dans ma rage la peur puérile qui jusque-là avait
retenu ma main, j'adressai à l'animal un coup qui eût été mortel, s'il
avait porté comme je le voulais; mais ce coup fut arrêté par la main de
ma femme. Cette intervention m'aiguillonna jusqu'à une rage plus que
démoniaque; je débarrassai mon bras de son étreinte et lui enfonçai ma
hache dans le crâne. Elle tomba morte sur la place, sans pousser un
gémissement.

Cet horrible meurtre accompli, je me mis immédiatement et
très-délibérément en mesure de cacher le corps. Je compris que je ne
pouvais pas le faire disparaître de la maison, soit de jour, soit de
nuit, sans courir le danger d'être observé par les voisins. Plusieurs
projets traversèrent mon esprit. Un moment j'eus l'idée de couper le
cadavre par petits morceaux, et de les détruire par le feu. Puis, je
résolus de creuser une fosse dans le sol de la cave. Puis, je pensai à
le jeter dans le puits de la cour,--puis à l'emballer dans une caisse
comme marchandise, avec les formes usitées, et à charger un
commissionnaire de le porter hors de la maison. Finalement, je m'arrêtai
à un expédient que je considérai comme le meilleur de tous. Je me
déterminai à le murer dans la cave,--comme les moines du moyen âge
muraient, dit-on, leurs victimes.

La cave était fort bien disposée pour un pareil dessein. Les murs
étaient construits négligemment, et avaient été récemment enduits dans
toute leur étendue d'un gros plâtre que l'humidité de l'atmosphère avait
empêché de durcir. De plus, dans l'un des murs, il y avait une saillie
causée par une fausse cheminée, ou espèce d'âtre, qui avait été comblée
et maçonnée dans le même genre que le reste de la cave. Je ne doutais
pas qu'il ne me fût facile de déplacer les briques à cet endroit, d'y
introduire le corps, et de murer le tout de la même manière, de sorte
qu'aucun oeil n'y pût rien découvrir de suspect.

Et je ne fus pas déçu dans mon calcul. À l'aide d'une pince, je délogeai
très-aisément les briques, et, ayant soigneusement appliqué le corps
contre le mur intérieur, je le soutins dans cette position jusqu'à ce
que j'eusse rétabli, sans trop de peine, toute la maçonnerie dans son
état primitif. M'étant procuré du mortier, du sable et du poil avec
toutes les précautions imaginables, je préparai un crépi qui ne pouvait
pas être distingué de l'ancien, et j'en recouvris très-soigneusement le
nouveau briquetage. Quand j'eus fini, je vis avec

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

Page 0
Y.
Page 1
Found in a Bottle," "A Descent Into a Maelstrom" and "The Balloon-Hoax"; such tales of conscience as "William Wilson," "The Black Cat" and "The Tell-tale Heart," wherein the retributions of remorse are portrayed with an awful fidelity; such tales of natural beauty as "The Island of the Fay" and "The Domain of Arnheim"; such marvellous studies in ratiocination as the "Gold-bug," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Purloined Letter" and "The Mystery of Marie Roget," the latter, a recital of fact, demonstrating the author's wonderful capability of correctly analyzing the mysteries of the human mind; such tales of illusion and banter as "The Premature Burial" and "The System of Dr.
Page 9
In a poem named "Ligeia," under which title he intended to personify the music of nature, our boy-poet gives us the following exquisite picture: Ligeia! Ligeia! My beautiful one, Whose harshest idea Will to melody run, Say, is it thy will, On the breezes to toss, Or, capriciously still, Like the lone albatross, Incumbent on night, As she on the air, To keep watch with delight On the harmony there? John Neal, himself a man of genius, and whose lyre has been too long capriciously silent, appreciated the high merit of these and similar passages, and drew a proud horoscope for their author.
Page 13
They have the exactness, and at the same time, the coldness of mathematical demonstrations.
Page 25
There were three fellows in particular who worried me beyond endurance, keeping watch continually about my door, and threatening me with the law.
Page 33
Indeed, I had so well secured them in their places, that such an accident was entirely out of.
Page 44
But if the net-work were separated from the hoop to admit this passage, what was to sustain the car in the meantime? Now the net-work was not permanently fastened to the hoop, but attached by a series of running loops or nooses.
Page 48
I had expected, of course, to see them betray a sense of pain, although in a less degree than their mother, and this would have been sufficient to confirm my opinion concerning the habitual endurance of atmospheric pressure.
Page 56
What, therefore, must have been my amazement, on awakening from a brief and disturbed slumber, on the morning of this day, the seventeenth, at finding the surface beneath me so suddenly and wonderfully augmented in volume, as to subtend no less than thirty-nine degrees in apparent angular diameter! I was thunderstruck! No words can give any adequate idea of the extreme, the absolute horror and astonishment, with which I was seized possessed, and altogether overwhelmed.
Page 71
It was a novelty, and by no means an ungrateful one.
Page 92
"You may have heard of one Captain Kidd.
Page 104
" That is the new Temple of the Sun, who is adored in Syria under the title of Elah Gabalah.
Page 125
Murder, then, has been committed by some third party; and the voices of this third party were those heard in contention.
Page 141
The father had died during the child's infancy, and from the period of his death, until within eighteen months before the assassination which forms the subject of our narrative, the mother and daughter had dwelt together in the Rue Pavée Saint Andrée; (*3) Madame there keeping a pension, assisted by Marie.
Page 148
He rubbed the arm and found hair upon it--something as indefinite, we think, as can readily be imagined--as little conclusive as finding an arm in the sleeve.
Page 175
But in the present case the question is of a dress, presenting but one edge.
Page 176
But do they not rather demonstrate the absence of a gang? What struggle could have taken place--what struggle so violent and so enduring as to have left its 'traces' in all directions--between a weak and defenceless girl and the gang of ruffians imagined? The silent grasp of a few rough arms and all would have been over.
Page 192
We now resolved to let off enough gas to bring our guide-rope, with the buoys affixed, into the water.
Page 196
[By Mr.
Page 202
For a moment of intense terror she paused upon the giddy pinnacle, as if in contemplation of her own sublimity, then trembled and tottered, and--came down.