Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/395

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355
HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES.

for Mrs. O'Reilly. As the medicine had no effect, her husband thought one dose might have been insufficient, as he had accidentally spilled a portion of it. He therefore made a second visit to the doctor, who, on renewing the prescription, said, "Mr. O'Reilly, you should take something yourself," as he knew that the latter was also suffering from insomnia.

What occurred thereafter is not known to anybody, but all the circumstances point to the fact that O'Reilly, unable to go to sleep, after administering the mixture to his wife, drank a quantity of some sleeping potion, of which there were several kinds in her medicine closet.

Mrs. O' Reilly woke up after a short sleep, fancying that she had heard some one call her. She noticed her husband's absence and perceived a light in the tower-room, adjoining her bedroom. Arising and entering the room, she found her husband, sitting on a couch, reading and smoking. She spoke to him and insisted on his retiring. He answered her quite collectedly and said, "Yes, Mamsie dear, (a pet name of hers) I have taken some of your sleeping medicine. I feel tired now, and if you will let me lie down on that couch (where Mrs. 0'Reilly had seated herself on entering the room) I will go to sleep right away."

As he lay down, Mrs. O'Reilly noticed an unusually pallid look on his face, and a sudden strange drowsiness come over him. Never suspecting anything serious she spoke to him again, and tried to rouse him, but the only answer she received was an inarticulate, "Yes, my love! Yes, my love!"

Becoming strangely alarmed she aroused her daughter Bessie and sent her hurriedly for Dr. Litchfield. It was then about four o'clock. The doctor worked for about an hour trying to revive him, but in vain. He died at ten minutes to five o'clock. Dr. Litchfield and a consulting physician, who had been summoned at the same time, recognized that death had been caused by accidental poisoning. The medicine which had been ordered for Mrs. O'Reilly, evidently was not that taken by her husband, as it contained