• 8 •
right. Also, I cannot credit the idea that hell itself would be so cold and impersonal.Well, I am no revenant. Rather than the scent of decay, my nostrils are full of some damnable perfume worn by one of the constabulary. Frightful. All that remains is to believe I am alive. Alive again! Yet how?I am accused of horriﬁc crimes, and I have refused to admit anything. The men I have killed knew the side they had chosen. I appealed to these authorities to contact General Washington, and they responded with astonishment, some with open ridicule. They even dared question my name—as if they had never heard of a man named Ichabod!Gather your head, Crane. You have been in unusual circum-stances before, and you survived by keeping your wits . . .I will discern the truth—if, that is, I can keep my head.At least they have permitted me to write, though if they take this journal from me it will do nothing to alter their belief that I am in-sane. Yet I will hold nothing back. I have always used my journals to collect private thoughts that have yet to take their full shape; reminiscences, drawings, and documents that may prove useful later; and any other bits of ﬂotsam that wish to escape my mind onto their pages. The act of writing, through its peculiar alchemy whereby the fruits of the mind are transformed into symbols intelligible to all literate minds—this is the greatest magic, perhaps. It is without doubt the greatest tonic for the sanity of a man such as myself, dis-placed two centuries and given the dark gift of life after death. I am a revenant in a time not my own, and also it seems a soldier in a war of whose many fronts I had no inkling—before today.
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