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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Incident in a sleepless night

Incident in a sleepless night

It was a hot night and I could not sleep, I got up and looked out of the window. The sky was very beautiful to look at. There was half-moon in the west and many stars were burning bright in the firmament.

While being absorbed in this lovely night scene, I became aware of a moaning sound from the next flat. I listened for a while. I thought at first that somebody there was snoring or crying in his dream. But no, it was distinctly a moaning sound. It was soon followed by other sounds. They were of people talking loudly. I could not make out as to what they were talking.

The quarreling noise increased. Now and then, I could identify a voice that appeared to be begging. Very soon, I heard the noise of blows and a shrill cry of a woman. Still I hesitated to move out of my cozy bed to see what the matter was. The neighbor was only an acquaintance of mine and at that hour of the night I was reluctant to go and interfere.

While my thoughts were running along that strain, I heard a sudden crash as though something heavy had fallen. This was followed by a fearful shriek, and then silence followed. I feared something horrible had happened. So, I went to the neighbor’s door and knocked at it. It was opened by my neighbor, who appeared a picture of dismay and bewilderment. After some excuses I enquired of him what the matter was.

He took me in and showed me a scene. There lay his wife curled up on her bed. One or two chairs had been turned upside down. Things were in disarray. The neighbor showed me the chairs. After seating himself, he told me that his wife had been a hysterical patient and would now and then create scenes in the night. The voices had been theirs when he had tried to quieten her. She had pushed the chairs which had caused the crash. And after shrieking, she lay down in a swoon. It was a frequent occurrence. While I sought his excuse for disturbing him, he begged my pardon for having disturbed my peace at night. I bade him goodnight and returned to my room.

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