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Door!"






As if in the superhuman energy of his utterance there had been found the
potency of a spell--the huge antique panels to which the speaker
pointed, threw slowly back, upon the instant, their ponderous and ebony
jaws. It was the work of the rushing gust--but then without those doors
there DID stand the lofty and enshrouded figure of the Lady
Madeline of Usher. There was blood upon her white robes, and the
evidence of some bitter struggle upon every portion of her emaciated
frame. For a moment she remained trembling and reeling to and fro upon
the threshold, then, with a low moaning cry, fell heavily inward upon
the person of her brother, and in her violent and now final
death-agonies, bore him to the floor a corpse, and a victim to the
terrors he had anticipated.

From that chamber, and from that mansion, I fled aghast. The storm was
still abroad in all its wrath as I found myself crossing the old
causeway. Suddenly there shot along the path a wild light, and I turned
to see whence a gleam so unusual could have issued; for the vast house
and its shadows were alone behind me. The radiance was that of the full,
setting, and blood-red moon which now shone vividly through that once
barely discernible fissure of which I have before spoken as extending
from the roof of the building, in a zigzag direction, to the base.
While I gazed, this fissure rapidly widened--there came a fierce breath
of the whirlwind--the entire orb of the satellite burst at once upon my
sight--my brain reeled as I saw the mighty walls rushing asunder--there
was a long tumultuous shouting sound like the voice of a thousand
waters--and the deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly and
silently over the fragments of the "HOUSE OF USHER."





Next: The Old Nurse's Story

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