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I'll work that expression into my story) that the.red stain is straw
berry juice. An expert is sent for, who is coming next day with
his compound microscope to hunt for corpuscles. She dares not
burn the cloth, that would convict her, and—what next ? Sup
pose—oh; this is good ! She gets some salt in some miraculous
way and the necessary apparatus (how in heck ?—l'll have to.
read Nick Carter awhile before writing that part) and removes•
the stain with chlorine gas. Then she gets a strawberry and
squeezes the juice on and she's acquitted and, well,—l can easily
fix the rest.
That's no love story, and I never saw one like it. Suddenly a.
fearful thought strikes me. Will chlorine gas attack blood stain '?'
What fun the chemists would poke at me if I made a big blunder I.
Well they shan't have a chance. I grabbed my cap and ran over .
to the chemistry lab, where I set up the proper apparatus, and
soon had the vile, poisonous gas generating. Now for the blood !:
Human blood I grabbed my finger just as Doc. Newton did
when he came with his . new-fangled examinations, and jabbed.
away with a pin. No blood. A deeper thrust, no blood. Then
I gritted my teeth and chucked the pin way in. Jimmy, how it
hurt ! And I felt much like a martyr to the literary profession
when a moment later I put a rag bearing a big drop of my own.
gore to soak in the chlorine gas.
rive minutes elapsed without a perceptible change in the colon
of the blood stain,--then, horrors! An idea came that withered
me like a dried elderberry. What on earth is the use of all this.
confounded nonsense when plain.warm water would do the work.
as well ? I almost wept as the full force of my stupidity struck
me, and without waiting longer, I shoved the . apparatus under•
the hood and went to supper, cursing the literary business in
That evening I tried my best to collect my ideas for a new .
effort. I started a strange, unnatural, hypnotic yarn, which I
had conceived while reading the Black Cat, then outlined a weird
romance among the Cliff Dwellers, but it was no use. Each.
attempt was worse than the previous one, and gradually I 'began
to have a nauseating realization that if I ever produced anything
original, it must come from .a supernatural source.
One hope remained—a drowning man's straw; perhaps I can
dream something, some incongruous mess of nonsense out of