In the light of the Red Lamp

By Sanchit Goel
Oct 03 2018 8 min read

Seated in a large armchair near the fire, his elbows on his knees, his hands held out to the warmth, he was talking slowly, interrupting himself abruptly now and again with a murmured: “Yes … yes …” as if he were trying to gather up, to make sure of his memories; then he would continue his sentence. The table beside him was littered with papers, books, odds and ends of various kinds. The lamp was turned low; I could see nothing of him except his pallid face and his hands, long and thin in the firelight. The purring of a cat that lay on the hearthrug and the crackling of the logs that sent up strangely shaped flames were the only sounds that broke the silence. He was speaking in a faraway voice as a man might in his sleep: “Yes … yes … It was the great, the greatest misfortune of my life. I could have borne the loss of every penny I possess, of my health … anything … everything … but not that! To have lived for ten years with the woman you adore, and then to watch her die and be left to face life alone … quite alone … it was almost more than I could bear …

10 Reads