A Monk of Cruta
"Place my despatch-box upon the table here, Gomez," he ordered.
Gomez left his seat by the window, and, opening a portmanteau, brought a small black box to the bedside. His master passed his hand over it, and drew it underneath the coverlet.
"I am prepared," he murmured, half to himself. "Father, according to the physician's reckoning, how long have I to live?"
"Barely an hour," answered the priest, without removing his eyes from the boat, whose progress he seemed to be scanning steadfastly. "Is your eternal future of so little moment to you," he went on in a tone of harsh severity, "that you can give your last thoughts, your last few moments, to affairs of this world? 'Tis an unholy death!