The next day I pleaded indisposition and spent most of the hours idling and drowsing in my chamber. Not till nearly midnight did I venture down. The servants were certainly asleep that time. A dose of chloral in their wine had attended to the certainty of their slumbers. Fully dressed, with an automatic in my pocket, I reached the cellar and opened the door. It swung noiselessly on its well-greased hinges. The darkness on the other side was the blackness of hell. An indescribable odor came to me, a prison smell and with it the soft half sob, half laugh of sleeping children, dreaming in their sleep, and not happy.
I flashed the light around the room. It was not a room but a cavern, a cave that extended far into the distance, the roof supported by stone pillars, set at regular intervals. As far as my light would carry I saw the long rows of white columns.
And to each pillar was bound a man, by chains. They were resting on the stone floor, twenty or more of