But one day he found at the very back of the cave a relic that made him start as if a viper had stung his loving heart. It was a letter.
He knew it in a moment. It had already caused him many a pang; but now it almost drove him mad. Arthur Wardlaw's letter.
He recoiled from it, and let it lie. He went out of the cave, and cursed his hard fate. But he came back. It was one of those horrible things a man abhors, yet cannot keep away from. He took it up and dashed it down with rage many times; but it all ended in his lighting the lamp at night, and torturing himself with every word of that loving letter.
And she was going home to the writer of that letter, and he was left prisoner on the island. He cursed his generous folly, and writhed in agony at the thought. He raged with jealousy, so that his very grief was blunted for a time.
Then he prayed--prayed fervently. And at last, worn out with such fierce and contending emotions, he fell into a deep sleep, and did not wake till the sun was high in heaven.
He woke; and the first thing he saw was the fatal letter lying at his feet in a narrow stream of sunshine that came peering in.
He eyed it with horror. This, then, was then to haunt him by night and day.
He eyed it and eyed it. Then turned his face from it; but could not help eying it again.