3. THE STRANGER'S HISTORY (continued)
"I find I can't go on; but come with me, I've got it all written
out, and you can read it if you like."
In his chamber, he said: "First, I kept a journal; then by and by,
after years, I took the journal and turned it into a book. How
long ago that was!"
He handed me his manuscript, and pointed out the place where
I should begin:
"Begin here--I've already told you what goes before." He was
steeped in drowsiness by this time. As I went out at his door
I heard him murmur sleepily: "Give you good den, fair sir."
I sat down by my fire and examined my treasure. The first part
of it--the great bulk of it--was parchment, and yellow with age.
I scanned a leaf particularly and saw that it was a palimpsest.
Under the old dim writing of the Yankee historian appeared traces
of a penmanship which was older and dimmer still--Latin words
and sentences: fragments from old monkish legends, evidently.
I turned to the place indicated by my stranger and began to read--