Title: IN A FOG

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In a Fog."
Atlantic Monthly 5 (1860): 649-657.
A FEW minutes before one o'clock on the morning of Sunday, the 8th of February, 1857, Policeman Smithers, of the Third District, was meditatively pursuing his path of duty through the quietest streets of Ward Five, beguiling, as usual, the weariness of his watch by reminiscent Aethiopianisms, mellifluous in design, though not severely artistic in execution. Passing from the turbulent precincts of Portland and Causeway Streets, he had entered upon the solitudes of Green Street, along which he now dragged himself dreamily enough, ever extracting consolations from lugubrious cadences mournfully intoned. Very silent was the neighborhood. Very dismal the night. Very dreary and damp was Mr. Smithers; for a vile fog wrapped itself around him, filling his body with moist misery, and his mind with anticipated rheumatic horrors. Still he surged heavily along, tired Nature with tuneful charms sweetly restoring.
As he wound off a tender tribute to the virtues of the Ancient Tray, and was about sounding the opening notes of a requiem over the memory of the lost African Lily, surnamed Dale, one o'clock was announced by the bell of the Lynde-Street Church. Mr. Smithers's heart warmed a little at the thought of speedy respite from his midnight toil, and with hastening step he approached Chambers Street, and came within range of his relief post. He paused a moment upon the corner, and gazed around. It is the peculiar instinct of a policeman to become suspicious at every corner.
Nothing stirring. Silence everywhere. He listens acutely. No sound. He strains his eyes to penetrate the misty atmosphere. He is satisfied that order reigns. He prepares to resume his march, and the measure of his melancholy chant.
Three seconds more, and Policeman Smithers is another being. Now his hand ...
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