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   Chapter 93 April 13th.

Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 1413

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

... Still the vérette does not attack the native whites. But the whole air has become poisoned; the sanitary condition of the city becomes unprecedentedly bad; and a new epidemic makes its appearance,-typhoid fever. And now the békés begin to go, especially the young and strong; and the bells keep sounding for them, and the tolling bourdon fills the city with its enormous hum all day and far into the night. For these are rich; and the high solemnities of burial are theirs-the coffin of acajou, and the triple ringing, and the Cross of Gold to be carried before them as they pass to their long sleep under the palms,-saluted for the last time by all the population of St. Pierre, standing bareheaded in

the sun....

... Is it in times like these, when all the conditions are febrile, that one is most apt to have queer dreams?

Last night it seemed to me that I saw that Carnival dance again,-the hooded musicians, the fantastic torrent of peaked caps, and the spectral masks, and the swaying of bodies and waving of arms,-but soundless as a passing of smoke. There were figures I thought I knew;-hands I had somewhere seen reached out and touched me in silence;-and then, all suddenly, a Viewless Something seemed to scatter the shapes as leaves are blown by a wind.... And waking, I thought I heard again,-plainly as on that last Carnival afternoon,-the strange cry of fear:-"C'est Bon-Dié ka passé!"...

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