During the cholera epidemic that occurred in New York City presumably during the summer of 1832, the narrator decides to visit a relative living near the Hudson River north of the city for two weeks. There, the two men observe the massive destruction that cholera is causing from afar, as they hear news each day of one of their friends who has died from this terrible illness down in the city.
But the chief peculiarity of this horrible thing was the representation of a Death’s Head, which covered nearly the whole surface of its breast, and which was as accurately traced in glaring white, upon the dark ground of the body, as if it had been there carefully designed by an artist.
He heard me to the end—at first laughed heartily—and then lapsed into an excessively grave demeanor, as if my insanity was a thing beyond suspicion.
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