Home had been to him the only verdant spot in the
desert of life. In his wife and children he had centered all
affection, and now they were torn from him. The remembrance of
their love clung to him like the death grapple of a drowning
man, sinking him down into darkness and death. This was followed
by a calm a thousand times more terrible, the creeping agony of
despair, that brings with it no power of resistance.
"It was as if the dead could feel
The icy worm around him steal."
Such for many days was the state of Cornelius Campbell. Those
who knew and reverenced him feared that the spark of reason was
forever extinguished. But it rekindled, and with it came a wild,
demoniac spirit of revenge. The death groan of Chocorua would
make him smile in his dreams, and when he waked, death seemed
too pitiful a vengeance for the anguish that was eating into his
Chocorua's brethren were absent on a hunting expedition at the
time he committed the murder, and those who watched his
movements observed that he frequently climbed the high
precipice, which afterwards took his name. He was probably
looking for indications of their return. Here Campbell resolved
to carry out his deadly plan.