The Emerald Eye (Fragment)

Clark Ashton Smith

Colonel Manners, though some twenty years my senior, had always been one of my best friends. Therefore, it was quite a shock to me to learn of his death. He was a tall, white-mustached man, straight as an arrow and with bronzed, clean-cut features. He had served for many years in India and had been present at the siege of Delhi and other important battles of the Great Mutiny.

The cause of death, as well as could be ascertained, was heart-failure. The colonel had been found dead in his chair about ten in the morning by a servant. Death had apparently taken place about midnight.

Naturally, knowing what a strong, healthy man the colonel had been, I was much surprised at the news. He was the last man whom I would have expected to die of heart-failure. However, at the time, I, as well as the doctors, suspected no other cause of death.

Of the Colonel’s private affairs I had little knowledge. He was a rather reticent man, and seldom talked of himself. He had told me very little of his experiences in India, but from chance remarks of his, I gathered that they had been very interesting.

Among his possessions was a large uncut emerald, about the size of a small walnut.

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