The Dance of Death
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It is a romance story. For twenty-five years Edgar, a captain in the Swedish coast artillery, and his wife, Alice, live an unhappy existence. Their unhappiness is caused by Edgar’s contempt for everyone else in the world; he thinks of himself as a better being than others, even his wife, and he makes their marriage a tyranny. They live on an island off the coast, where Edgar is the commanding officer of the artillery detachment. Living in an old prison, they avoid the other people of the island as well as officers of the post and their wives. Indeed, Alice is virtually a prisoner in her home. The only means of communication she has with the mainland is through a telegraph key, which she teaches herself to operate. She keeps her skill with the telegraph a secret, for her husband does not want her to have any means of communication with the outside world.