The Passing of Zoroaster 3

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But on reaching the ferry-? who should be there to meet him but
the good neighbor again - the judge, returning also at an early
hour, exhausted by a hard day and cutting it shorter to make up.

For an instant Jack felt like a shadowed criminal. But the judge
was in his most charming, companionable mood, and kept close to
the suffering man's side; the side beginning to ache under the
inanimate life he was lugging about. He abandoned hope hope
now, as thoroughly as must Dante's disciples on entering
purgatory, deciding to make his last throw in the dead of night. If
the meaningless warning of the brakeman, not to leave any articles
on the cars, had jarred on his nerves early in the day, imagine with
what a screech of irony they sounded to him now!

Not until he reached his own door was the world really "left to
darkness and to" - him. Of course all the reactionary experience of
his arrival, "cum" the cat is too harrowing to bear description. This
time Kate burst into tears, - the palliative of all dear women, - only
to be suddenly aroused by her fears and new suggestions for
escape. The destroyer of the peace was temporarily put in the ash
barrel, in the darkest cellar, where they agreed they would bury
Zoroaster at the midnight hour, "when cats run home and owls to-
whit-to-whoo." There they would bury him, they swore, in a grave
bigger than the Heidelberger tun?, to an oblivion beyond any
Nirvana conceived by his Persian ancestors.

The house was still, the servants in bed, - not a sound in the world
beyond the thumping of their own hearts and consciences, as, in
smoking jacket and pink negligee, bearing silver candlesticks aloft
they crept down the cellar stairs to the secret committals. Nervous?
Of course. The "What was that?" of the pink Kate as they made
their descent, excited Jack's strained nervous system to a quiver
was a real Hogarthian picture: the black cellar for background, the
flickering candles revealing in soft light their anxious handsome
faces, bent to their repulsive task. Then, with sickening disgust,
they cut the strings, unrolled the paper, - and it was a leg of lamb!