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Legend

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Legend

by Floyd Dell

Genre: Drama
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising

EXCERPT:

With one hand over her heart she approaches it again. She takes out of the box and puts on the table a skull. . . . She stares at it a long while, and then turns with a shiver.

How cold it is here! Where are the lights?

She is compelled to look again.

I had never thought of death. My heart is cold, too. The chill of the grave is on me. Was I ever in love? It seems strange to remember. What is his name? I almost have forgotten. And he is waiting for me. I will show him this. We should have looked at it together. . . .

A silence, as her mood changes.

So he had planned it! He wanted to cast the chill of the grave upon our love. He saw it all as though he had been here. He sent us- this! How well he knew me–better than I knew myself. An old man’s cunning! To stop my pulses throbbing with love, and put out the fever in my eyes. A trick! Yes, but it suffices. One look into the eyeless face of Death turns me to ashes. I am no longer fit for love. . . .

She turns to the door.

Why does he not come for his answer?

She looks for a lingering moment toward the door, and then turns back again to the table. Her mood changes again.

A present from a husband to a wife!

She takes it up in her hands.

A lady’s mirror! What was it that he said? “Look long and well into this mirror, and profit by what you see,” My mirror from the Catacombs!

She sinks into a chair, holding it between her hands as it rests on the table. Her tone is trance-like.

I look. I see the end of all things. I see that nothing matters. Is that your message? Why do you grin at me? You laugh to think that my face is like your face–or will be soon–in a few years-tomorrow. You mock at me for thinking I am alive. I am dead, you say. Dead, like you. Am I?


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