The Lightning-Rod Man-Short Story

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The Lightning-Rod Man-Short Story

What grand irregular thunder, thought I, standing on my hearth-stone

among the Acroceraunian hills, as the scattered bolts boomed overhead,

and crashed down among the valleys, every bolt followed by zigzag

irradiations, and swift slants of sharp rain, which audibly rang, like

a charge of spear-points, on my low shingled roof. I suppose, though,

that the mountains hereabouts break and churn up the thunder, so that

it is far more glorious here than on the plain. Hark!—some one at the

door. Who is this that chooses a time of thunder for making calls? And

why don't he, man-fashion, use the knocker, instead of making that

doleful undertaker's clatter with his fist against the hollow panel?

But let him in. Ah, here he comes. "Good day, sir:" an entire

stranger. "Pray be seated." What is that strange-looking walking-stick

he carries: "A fine thunder-storm, sir.”?


"You are wet. Stand here on the hearth before the fire."

"Not for worlds!"

The stranger still stood in the exact middle of the cottage, where he

had first planted himself. His singularity impelled a closer scrutiny.

A lean, gloomy figure. Hair dark and lank mutedly streaked over his

brow. His sunken pitfalls of eyes were ringed by indigo halos, and

played with an innocuous sort of lightning: the gleam without the

bolt. The whole man was dripping. He stood in a puddle on the bare oak

floor: his strange walking-stick vertically resting at his side.

It was a polished copper rod, four feet long, lengthwise attached to a

neat wooden staff, by insertion into two balls of greenish glass,

ringed with copper bands. The metal ...

... middle of paper ...

...ill not, of

purpose, make war on man's earth."

"Impious wretch!" foamed the stranger, blackening in the face as the

rainbow beamed, "I will publish your infidel notions."

"Begonia! Move quickly! If quickly you can, you that shines forth into

sight in moist times like the worm."

The scowl grew blacker on his face; the indigo-circles enlarged round

his eyes as the storm-rings round the midnight moon. He sprang upon

me, his tri-forked thing at my heart.

I seized it; I snapped it; I dashed it; I trod it; and dragging the

dark lightning-king out of my door, flung his elbowed, copper sceptre

after him.

But spite of my treatment, and spite of my dissuasive talk of him to

my neighbours, the Lightning-rod man still dwells in the land; still

travels in storm-time, and drives a brave trade with the fears of man.
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