A Terribly Strange Bed part 7
giddiness left me, and I began to feel a little like a reasonable being again.
My first thought was of the risk of sleeping all night in a gambling-house; my
second, of the still greater risk of trying to get out after the house was
closed, and of going home alone at night through the streets of Paris with a
large sum of money about me. I had slept in worse places than this on my
travels; so I determined to lock, bolt, and barricade my door, and take my
chance till the next morning.
I secured myself against all intrusion; looked under the bed, and into the
cupboard; tried the fastening of the window; and then, satisfied that I had
taken every proper precaution, pulled off my upper clothing, put my light,
which was a dim one, on the hearth among a feathery litter of wood-ashes, and
got into bed, with the handkerchief full of money under my pillow.
soon felt not only that I could not go to sleep, but that I could not even
close my eyes. I was wide awake, and in a high fever.. Every nerve in my body
trembled—every one of my senses seemed to be preter naturally sharpened. I
tossed and rolled, and tried every kind of position and perseveringly sought
out the cold corners of the bed, and all to no purpose.
I thrust my arms over the clothes; now I poked them under the clothes; now I
violently shot my legs straight out down to the bottom of the bed; now I
convulsively coiled them up as near my chin as they would go; now I shook out
my crumpled pillow, changed it to the cool side, patted it flat, and lay down
quietly on my back; now I fiercely doubled it in two, set it up on end, thrust
it against the board of the bed, and tried a sitting posture. Every effort was
in vain; I groaned with vexation as I felt that I was in for a sleepless night.
could I do? I had no book to read. And yet, unless I found out some method of
diverting my mind, I felt certain that I was in the condition to imagine all
sorts of horrors; to rack my brain with forebodings of every possible and
impossible danger; in short, to pass the night in suffering all conceivable
varieties of nervous terror.