The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 99

an object would be nearly
certain to overdo the matter. When, in the course of his composition, he
arrived at a break in his subject which would naturally require a pause,
or a point, he would be exceedingly apt to run his characters, at this
place, more than usually close together. If you will observe the MS., in
the present instance, you will easily detect five such cases of unusual
crowding. Acting upon this hint, I made the division thus: 'A good
glass in the Bishop's hostel in the Devil's seat--forty-one degrees and
thirteen minutes--northeast and by north--main branch seventh limb east
side--shoot from the left eye of the death's-head--a bee-line from the
tree through the shot fifty feet out.'"

"Even this division," said I, "leaves me still in the dark."

"It left me also in the dark," replied Legrand, "for a few days; during
which I made diligent inquiry, in the neighborhood of Sullivan's Island,
for any building which went by the name of the 'Bishop's Hotel;' for, of
course, I dropped the obsolete word 'hostel.' Gaining no information on
the subject, I was on the point of extending my sphere of search, and
proceeding in a more systematic manner, when, one morning, it entered
into my head, quite suddenly, that this 'Bishop's Hostel' might have
some reference to an old family, of the name of Bessop, which, time out
of mind, had held possession of an ancient manor-house, about four
miles to the northward of the Island. I accordingly went over to the
plantation, and re-instituted my inquiries among the older negroes of
the place. At length one of the most aged of the women said that she
had heard of such a place as Bessop's Castle, and thought that she could
guide me to it, but that it was not a castle nor a tavern, but a high
rock.

"I offered to pay her well for her trouble, and, after some demur,
she consented to accompany me to the spot. We found it without much
difficulty, when, dismissing her, I proceeded to examine the place. The
'castle' consisted of an irregular assemblage of cliffs and rocks--one
of the latter being quite remarkable for its height as well as for its
insulated and artificial appearance I clambered to its apex, and then
felt much at a loss as to what should be next done.

"While I was busied in reflection, my eyes fell upon a narrow ledge in
the eastern face of the rock, perhaps a yard below the summit upon which
I stood. This ledge projected about eighteen inches, and was not more
than

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