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The Yellow Crayon - E. Phillips Oppenheim

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The Yellow Crayon by E. Phillips Oppenheim


It was late summer-time, and the perfume of flowers stole into the
darkened room through the half-opened window.   The sunlight forced
its way through a chink in the blind, and stretched across the floor
in strange zigzag fashion.  From without came the pleasant murmur
of bees and many lazier insects floating over the gorgeous flower
beds, resting for a while on the clematis which had made the piazza
a blaze of purple splendour.  And inside, in a high-backed chair,
there sat a man, his arms folded, his eyes fixed steadily upon
vacancy.  As he sat then, so had he sat for a whole day and a whole
night.  The faint sweet chorus of glad living things, which alone
broke the deep silence of the house, seemed neither to disturb nor
interest him.  He sat there like a man turned to stone, his
forehead riven by one deep line, his straight firm mouth set close
and hard.  His servant, the only living being who had approached
him, had set food by his side, which now and then he had
mechanically taken.  Changeless as a sphinx, he had sat there in
darkness and in light, whilst sunlight had changed to moonlight,
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