evileyeDid the Devil use the woods as a stronghold and seduce the foolish into its shadows? Could it be said of a lost soul, Itur in antiquam silvam?
The citizens of Samar were less superstitious than most men, but Felix Fox thought thet they had too ready a notion and a mind too well stored with learning to be easy at the thought. Already they felt that they had found the spirit world. Was Biringan to prove a frontier-post for God’s servant against the horrid mysteries of witchcraft? . . . Presently his old dread of spirituality returned–that dread which he thought he had exorcised forever after the visits of the three spirits on Christmas Eve. He thought he had confronted it, but what if it should prove too strong for him? In his agitated thoughts, the disappearances seemed to have come out of it–Biringan had moved unscathed through the weeks of the investigation– Reality and the devils he served were Baringa’s judges. Was there some other terror still in its depths waiting to be loosed on mankind? He had moments of clear-sightedness, when he despised himself for the Enoch Shadoobee side of him, and realized that to be thus faint of heart was to acknowledge defeat and to abase himself before his enemy. But the conviction returned, stronger than will or reason, and Felix Fox would walk the hill with clenched hands and muttering lips, or on his knees in the privacy of his room struggle in blind prayer for a comfort that would not come.