The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 78

for we have no time to lose."

With a heavy heart I accompanied my friend. We started about four
o'clock--Legrand, Jupiter, the dog, and myself. Jupiter had with him the
scythe and spades--the whole of which he insisted upon carrying--more
through fear, it seemed to me, of trusting either of the implements
within reach of his master, than from any excess of industry or
complaisance. His demeanor was dogged in the extreme, and "dat deuced
bug" were the sole words which escaped his lips during the journey. For
my own part, I had charge of a couple of dark lanterns, while Legrand
contented himself with the scarabæus, which he carried attached to the
end of a bit of whip-cord; twirling it to and fro, with the air of a
conjuror, as he went. When I observed this last, plain evidence of my
friend's aberration of mind, I could scarcely refrain from tears. I
thought it best, however, to humor his fancy, at least for the present,
or until I could adopt some more energetic measures with a chance of
success. In the mean time I endeavored, but all in vain, to sound him in
regard to the object of the expedition. Having succeeded in inducing
me to accompany him, he seemed unwilling to hold conversation upon any
topic of minor importance, and to all my questions vouchsafed no other
reply than "we shall see!"

We crossed the creek at the head of the island by means of a skiff; and,
ascending the high grounds on the shore of the main land, proceeded in a
northwesterly direction, through a tract of country excessively wild and
desolate, where no trace of a human footstep was to be seen. Legrand led
the way with decision; pausing only for an instant, here and there, to
consult what appeared to be certain landmarks of his own contrivance
upon a former occasion.

In this manner we journeyed for about two hours, and the sun was just
setting when we entered a region infinitely more dreary than any yet
seen. It was a species of table land, near the summit of an almost
inaccessible hill, densely wooded from base to pinnacle, and
interspersed with huge crags that appeared to lie loosely upon the soil,
and in many cases were prevented from precipitating themselves into the
valleys below, merely by the support of the trees against which they
reclined. Deep ravines, in various directions, gave an air of still
sterner solemnity to the scene.

The natural platform to which we had clambered was thickly overgrown
with brambles, through which we soon discovered that it would

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