Also another time she had wakened in dead of night, thinking that something touched her, and when she looked she saw that a black scaly tail, tufted with flame at the end, like a fiend's, had switched across her and lay there burning the covers. And when she turned shrieking, to see what manner of thing lay beside her in the bed, she was at first reassured by sight of her husband's face, then saw, to her horror, that horns had risen, black and pointed, from his forehead. After that she screamed again and remembered nothing until Joseph was shaking her awake, and there were neither horns nor tail to be seen. Nor were the bedclothes scorched.
The doctor from the mainland came and went. Silence settled over the island again, like a displaced curtain falling back in thickened, heavier folds. For there was a different quality in the silence now. It had tasted something, rich food on which it had long been thinly rationed. Shadowy things were trooping up, called by that scent of blood, like flies that smell carrion. They were not strangers to the old house; they had been ill-fed and at a distance, now they were hungry and avid and near.