Page:Phosphor (1888).djvu/44

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Indescribable joy!

The bone passed through, and a current of cool, fresh air played on my face, wet with sweat, caused by my exertions and the suspense I had undergone.

The air, after that of the vault, was like a draught of fresh water to me, and revived my shattered energies amazingly.

With renewed strength I tore at the hole until I had made an opening large enough to get through.

What horrors might I not meet on the other side? But anything was better than the vault with its hideous corpses, so I knelt down and crawled into the hole.

I put my hands out but could feel nothing.

What was I to do? Return to the vault?

Never! I would rather die than return to that fearful stench.

The thought flashed through my mind—why not kill myself?

Anything was better than this awful darkness.

I crawled through and hung on to the side of the hole, then muttering a prayer, let go my hold.

For a second I was in the air, then, I touched the ground, and felt myself rolling down and down a steep incline.