cleaning up so well (jones_casey) wrote,
cleaning up so well
jones_casey

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"any person with any imagination is bound to be afraid," said burne earnestly. "and this very walking at night is one of the things i was afraid about. i'm going to tell you why i can walk anywhere now and not be afraid."

"go on," amory urged eagerly. they were striding toward the woods, burne's nervous, enthusiastic voice warming to his subject.

"i used to come out here alone at night, oh, three months ago, and i always stopped at that cross-road we just passed. there were the woods looming up ahead, just as they do now, there were dogs howling and the shadows and no human sound. of course, i peopled the woods with everything ghastly, just like you do; don't you?"

"i do," amory admitted.

"well, i began analyzing it--my imagination persisted in sticking horrors into the dark--so i stuck my imagination into the dark instead, and let it look out at me--i let it play stray dog or escaped convict or ghost, and then saw myself coming along the road. that made it all right--as it always makes everything all right to project yourself completely into another's place. i knew that if i were the dog or the convict or the ghost i wouldn't be a menace to burne holiday any more than he was a menace to me. then i thought of my watch. i'd better go back and leave it and then essay the woods. no; i decided, it's better on the whole that i should lose a watch than that i should turn back--and i did go into them--not only followed the road through them, but walked into them until i wasn't frightened any more--did it until one night i sat down and dozed off in there; then i knew i was through being afraid of the dark."
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