Thomas Bailey Aldrich

The Stillwater Tragedy

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The Stillwater Tragedy (1880) is a novel by Thomas Bailey Aldrich. Excerpt from the book: "The chimney-stack of one house sends up no smoke. Yet the carefully trained ivy over the porch intimate that the place is not unoccupied. The sun appears to beat in vain at the casements of this silent house, which has a curiously sullen and defiant air, as if it had desperately and successfully barricaded itself against the approach of morning; yet if one were standing in the room that leads from the bed-chamber on the ground-floor—the room with the latticed window—one would see a ray of light thrust through a chink of the shutters, and pointing like a human finger at an object which lies by the hearth. This finger, gleaming, motionless, and awful in its precision, points to the body of old Mr. Lemuel Shackford, who lies there dead in his night-dress, with a gash across his forehead. In the darkness of that summer night a deed darker than the night itself had been done in Stillwater."
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