The Bronze Hand

Anna Katharine Green
The Bronze Hand, by

Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs) This eBook is for the use
of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions
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Title: The Bronze Hand 1897
Author: Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs)
Release Date: September 29, 2007 [EBook #22806]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by David Widger

By Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs)
Copyright, 1897, by Anna Katharine Green

HER room was on the ground floor of the house we mutually inhabited,
and mine directly above it, so that my opportunities for seeing her were
limited to short glimpses of her auburn head as she leaned out of the
window to close her shutters at night or open them in the morning. Yet
our chance encounter in the hall or on the walk in front, had made so
deep an impression upon my sensibilities that I was never without the
vision of her pale face set off by the aureole of reddish brown hair,
which, since my first meeting with her, had become for me the symbol
of everything beautiful, incomprehensible and strange.
For my fellow-lodger was a mystery.
I am a busy man now, but just at the time of which I speak, I had
leisure in abundance.
I was sharing with many others the unrest of the perilous days
subsequent to the raid of John Brown at Harper's Ferry. Abraham
Lincoln had been elected President. Baltimore, where the incidents I
am relating transpired, had become the headquarters of men who
secretly leagued themselves in antagonism to the North. Men and
women who felt that their Northern brethren had grievously wronged
them planned to undermine the stability of the government. The
schemes at this time were gigantic in their conception and far-reaching
in their scope and endless ramifications.
Naturally under these conditions, a consciousness of ever-present
danger haunted every thinking mind. The candor of the outspoken was
regarded with doubt, and the reticence of the more cautious, with
distrust. It was a trying time for sensitive, impressionable natures with
nothing to do. Perhaps all this may account for the persistency with
which I sat in my open window. I was thus sitting one night--a
memorable one to me--when I heard a sharp exclamation from below,
in a voice I had long listened for.
Any utterance from those lips would have attracted my attention; but,
filled as this was with marked, if not extraordinary, emotion, I could

not fail to be roused to a corresponding degree of curiosity and interest.
Thrusting out my head, I cast a rapid glance downward. A shutter
swinging in the wind, and the escaping figure of a man hurrying round
the corner of the street, were all that rewarded my scrutiny; though,
from the stream of light issuing from the casement beneath, I perceived
that her window, like my own, was wide open.
As I continued to watch this light, I saw her thrust out her head with an
eagerness indicative of great excitement. Peering to right and left, she
murmured some suppressed words mixed with gasps of such strong
feeling that I involuntarily called out:
"Excuse me, madam, have you been frightened in any way by the man I
saw running away from here a moment ago?"
She gave a great start and glanced up. I see her face yet--beautiful,
wonderful; so beautiful and so wonderful I have never been able to
forget it. Meeting my eye, she faltered out:
"Did you see a man running away from here? Oh, sir, if I might have a
word with you!"
I came near leaping directly to the pavement in my ardor and anxiety to
oblige her, but, remembering before it was too late that she was neither
a Juliet nor I a Romeo, I merely answered that I would be with her in a
moment and betook myself below by the less direct but safer means of
the staircase.
It was a short one and I was but a moment in descending, but that
moment was long enough for my heart to acquire a most uncomfortable
throb, and it was with anything but an air of quiet self-possession that I
approached the threshold I had never before dared to cross even in
The door was open and I caught one glimpse of her figure before she
was aware of my presence. She was contemplating her right hand with
a look of terror, which, added to her striking personality, made her

seem at the instant a creature of alarming characteristics
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