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The Spike or Victoria College Review 1936



Again the black-garbed figure addressed the grey form at the other end of the table. It was the same lifeless, almost inexorable monotone:

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"What will you stake me?"


The answer was a little weaker, but still confident.


The figure threw—a five and a two!

With a cold indifference which suggested that the issue was foregone, the other threw.

A five and a four!

One of the two remaining figures shuffled slowly away into the blackness.

Again Death had won and Disease would see him paid. . . .

It was a cold-looking room with white enamelled walls. In the corner near an open window was a bed, half-encompassed by white screens. Around it were three or four persons, all with solemn, drawn faces. A woman kneeling closer than the rest was weeping softly. The slight form, a mere skeleton whose shape hardly disturbed the evenness of the bedclothes, stirred feebly and slowly extended an arm almost as pale and lifeless-looking as the sheets, and touched the woman's cheek.

"Don't cry, Mother. I'll be all right."

The voice, though scarcely more than a whisper, sounded surprisingly clear in that silence.

The mother kissed the pale cheek. The arm rose slowly towards her—then fell limp on the coverlet. The white curtain at the window swayed silently in a gentle breeze. All else was still and quiet. .

Disease had discharged his duty.. . .