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a doctor. And Christie, not much better off than himself, has been poking all sorts of fun at him, and at last has poked him over with a glass of fourth-proof brandy; you may depend, Agnes, he would not have got it if I had thought he was going to give it to the Doc. There was half a pint of it, and he had only just swallowed it when he fell his whole length upon the floor. Bob and I took him up and laid him on the settee, and put an old cushion under his head, and I guess he will sleep till morning."
“Well, Joe, get the house still as soon as possible."
“Don't worry, there shall be no more noise to-night; but you and sick, Agnes, you
bad better go to bed.”
“Not to-night, Joe, for Ashbel needs a great deal of care."
Agnes returned to the room, and
found the child in a sweet sleep. Mr. Willard was by the table writing, and the mother had fallen asleep in her chair. When she awoke she urged her husband to lie down; he consented, after looking at his watch and finding that it was near one. Agnes and the mother were left alone with the child. Mrs. Willard's deportment during the day and night had done much to establish herself in the confidence of her husband and nurse. They had drawn the cradle near a large open window, where Mrs. Willard had seated herself, enjoying the quietude of the house as she gazed upon the waters of the lake which were spread out before her; she resolved in her own heart to rid herself of the restraint and gratify her unconquerable appetite. She had, in part, accomplished this; her husband was in a sound sleep. “But how shall I dis
of Agnes? She watches me every step I take." She laid plan after plan, but in her own judgment she was thwarted. She had now hit upon right one; her eyes flashed with fiendish pleasure. She arose and went to Agnes, laid her hand kindly upon her head and said, “How pale you look, Aggy; you are ill, are you not ?"
“Oh, no! Mrs. Willard, I am only. weary.
“ I wish you would lie down, I can take care of Ashbel.”
“ It will be too much for you—I will sit with you."
“ Then I will make a julep; which will you have, Aggy, lemon, wintergreen, or mint ?"
“ I will take the mint if you please, and I would like it pretty sweet.”
Going to the table, she prepared two glasses, and added to Agnes a strong decoction of opium. She said,
as she handed the glass to Agnes, " We shall both be the better for drink
The unsuspecting girl drank the most of it without tasting; taking the glass from her lips she said, “ Mrs. Willard, I was not aware that mint was so bitter."
“ Mine is a little bitter, but it is very good; you had better drink all of it. Agnes did
from the bottom. Mrs. Willard seated herself by the window, waiting the result of her infernal deed; a short time showed that it was effectual. She saw that it was impossible for her faithful nurse to keep awake, and again went to her, patted her playfully on her cheek, “Come, dearest, you must lie down, you will fall out of your chair; let me lead you
bed.” Agnes, stupified, yielded to the entreaty, and suffered the monster to almost carry
her to an adjoining room, where she lay till late the next morning in a state of unconsciousness. Mrs. Willard, being left to herself, stealthily took from the pocket of her husband the key of the bar. She lost no time in unlocking the magazine of death, taking from the shelf a large decanter well filled, and returned to the side of her babe and commenced her debauch.