The Damnation of Theron Ware - Harold Frederic - Страница 1 из 444


THE DAMNATION OF THERON WARE
by Harold Frederic
PART I
CHAPTER I
No such throng had ever before been seen in the building during all its
eight years of existence. People were wedged together most uncomfortably
upon the seats; they stood packed in the aisles and overflowed the
galleries; at the back, in the shadows underneath these galleries, they
formed broad, dense masses about the doors, through which it would be
hopeless to attempt a passage.
The light, given out from numerous tin-lined circles of flaring gas-jets
arranged on the ceiling, fell full upon a thousand uplifted faces--some
framed in bonnets or juvenile curls, others bearded or crowned with
shining baldness--but all alike under the spell of a dominant emotion
which held features in abstracted suspense and focussed every eye upon a
common objective point.
The excitement of expectancy reigned upon each row of countenances, was
visible in every attitude--nay, seemed a part of the close, overheated
atmosphere itself.
An observer, looking over these compact lines of faces and noting the
uniform concentration of eagerness they exhibited, might have guessed
that they were watching for either the jury's verdict in some peculiarly
absorbing criminal trial, or the announcement of the lucky numbers in
a great lottery. These two expressions seemed to alternate, and even to
mingle vaguely, upon the upturned lineaments of the waiting throng--the
hope of some unnamed stroke of fortune and the dread of some adverse
decree.
But a glance forward at the object of this universal gaze would have


-10     пред. Страница 1 из 444 след.     +10