Unformatted text preview: s pregnant. I could only trust to the edicts and pronouncements I had issued, ad nauseam, that the child must be protected no matter what happened as the years passed. A night came on, peaceful, warm. It must have been midsummer when I died! Surely it was. The crape myrtles were full of pink blos- soms. Surely I have not imagined such a thing. And I had sent everyone away from me. I knew it was coming. I lay quiet on a heap of pillows looking out at the clouds above the crape myrtle. I wanted to go back and back to Riverbend, I wanted to sit with Marie Claudette, I wanted to know, honestly, to know who had been that young man who kidnapped slaves and brought them to Margue- rite's chambers for her wild experiments? Who had been that thought- less knave? I lay there, and then a most dreadful truth seized me. A little truth, really. I couldn't move. I couldn't lift myself up. I could not make my arms obey. Death was stealing over me like a winter chill. It was freezing me. And then, as if there were a God for raconteurs and lechers, t...
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