- Project Runeberg -  The Inferno /
170

(1913) [MARC] Author: August Strindberg Translator: Claud Field
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scepticism free me again from these black
thoughts, and after the perusal of certain occult
writings, I believe myself to be persecuted by
spirits of the elements, incubi and Lamias [1] who
wish to hinder me in the completion of my great
work on Alchemy. Instructed by the initiated
in such matters, I procure a Dalmatian dagger,
and consider myself well-armed against evil
spirits.

In the village a shoemaker dies, who was an
atheist and blasphemer. He had a jackdaw,
who now left to himself lives on the roof of a
neighbouring house. While watch is being kept
by the dead, they suddenly discover the jackdaw
in the room without anyone being able to explain
how it got there. On the day of the burial,
the black bird accompanies the funeral
procession, and perches on the coffin in the
churchyard before the ceremony. Every morning this
creature follows me in my walk, a fact which
really disquiets me because of the superstitious
nature of the people. One day, which is destined
to prove its last, the jackdaw accompanies
me with horrible screams and words of abuse,
which the blasphemer had taught him, through
the streets of the village. Then there come two


[1] A kind of female vampire.

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