Letting Go

Plummet

“The flush of conflict passed out of Prather’s cheeks. His lips were two gray lines, his nostrils pumping with exhaustion. The pupils of his eyes centred in a stare at a Nemesis which he would deny and yet could not.

“‘No! My God, to think that you, the one man who could catch me, should have happened along!’ he breathed tensely. ‘No! To face that and bankruptcy? No!’

“He closed his eyes, and with a sudden wrench of anguish, in which desperate bravery seemed to flaunt desperate fear, before his purpose was designed, he threw himself free of the framework.

“Rodd extended a saving hand to the empty air. He glanced toward that dark object falling through space, two thousand feet above the peaks, and looked away in horror, and looked back again to see a thing scarcely larger than a ball strike on a shelf of rock and bound out of sight in the depths of the gorge.”

— In which a thief and murderer takes his own life rather than face justice in “The Hermit of Bubbling Water” by Frederick Palmer, published in 1910 in Scribner’s Magazine with illustrations by Frederick Coffay Yohn; also published as a chapter in Danbury Rodd: Aviator (1910).

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