The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 100

a foot wide, while a niche in the cliff just above it, gave it
a rude resemblance to one of the hollow-backed chairs used by our
ancestors. I made no doubt that here was the 'devil's seat' alluded to
in the MS., and now I seemed to grasp the full secret of the riddle.

"The 'good glass,' I knew, could have reference to nothing but a
telescope; for the word 'glass' is rarely employed in any other sense
by seamen. Now here, I at once saw, was a telescope to be used, and a
definite point of view, admitting no variation, from which to use it.
Nor did I hesitate to believe that the phrases, "forty-one degrees
and thirteen minutes,' and 'northeast and by north,' were intended as
directions for the levelling of the glass. Greatly excited by these
discoveries, I hurried home, procured a telescope, and returned to the

"I let myself down to the ledge, and found that it was impossible to
retain a seat upon it except in one particular position. This fact
confirmed my preconceived idea. I proceeded to use the glass. Of course,
the 'forty-one degrees and thirteen minutes' could allude to nothing but
elevation above the visible horizon, since the horizontal direction was
clearly indicated by the words, 'northeast and by north.' This latter
direction I at once established by means of a pocket-compass; then,
pointing the glass as nearly at an angle of forty-one degrees of
elevation as I could do it by guess, I moved it cautiously up or down,
until my attention was arrested by a circular rift or opening in the
foliage of a large tree that overtopped its fellows in the distance.
In the centre of this rift I perceived a white spot, but could not, at
first, distinguish what it was. Adjusting the focus of the telescope, I
again looked, and now made it out to be a human skull.

"Upon this discovery I was so sanguine as to consider the enigma solved;
for the phrase 'main branch, seventh limb, east side,' could refer only
to the position of the skull upon the tree, while 'shoot from the left
eye of the death's head' admitted, also, of but one interpretation, in
regard to a search for buried treasure. I perceived that the design was
to drop a bullet from the left eye of the skull, and that a bee-line,
or, in other words, a straight line, drawn from the nearest point of
the trunk through 'the shot,' (or the spot where the bullet fell,) and
thence extended to a distance of fifty

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Masque of the Red Death

Page 0
Here the case was very different, as might have been expected from the duke's love of the _bizarre_.
Page 1
To the right and left, in the middle of each wall, a tall and narrow Gothic window looked out upon a closed corridor which pursued the windings of the suite.
Page 2
His plans were bold and fiery, and his conceptions glowed with barbaric lustre.
Page 3
The dreams are stiff-frozen as they stand.
Page 4
But from a certain nameless awe with which the mad assumptions of the mummer had inspired the whole party, there were found none who put forth hand to seize him; so that, unimpeded, he passed within a yard of the prince's person; and, while the vast assembly, as if with one impulse, shrank from the centres of the rooms to the walls, he made his way uninterruptedly, but with the same.
Page 5
solemn and measured step which had distinguished him from the first, through the blue chamber to the purple--through the purple to the green--through the green to the orange--through this again to the white--and even thence to the violet, ere a decided movement had been made to arrest him.