Saturday, October 12, 2013

Can Adding Fluoride to Milk Help Improve Children’s Dental Health?

English: Putting toothpaste on a toothbrush. T...
English: Putting toothpaste on a toothbrush. The toothpaste is Crest Pro-Health Clean Cinnamon, 0.454% stannous fluoride, 0.16% w/v fluoride ion. Deutsch: Zahnpasta auf eine Zahnbürste auftragen. Русский: Выдавливание зубной пасты из тюбика на зубную щётку (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Dr. Mercola
People in the UK may want to pay special attention to the following issue. The Blackpool Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board recently proposed adding fluoride to milk in its primary schools.
This so-called “dental milk” would ostensibly be introduced to promote dental health in school age children, since the town does not fluoridate its municipal water supplies. The proposal was supported by “an overwhelming majority.”
The dental health in Blackpool children is said to be among the worst in the country, with 43 percent of 12-year olds having at least one unhealthy tooth,1compared to 33.4 percent nationally.
Ten other areas of the UK have already introduced fluoridated milk to its students: St Helens, Knowsley, Wirral, West Cheshire, Manchester, Trafford, Leeds, Sheffield, Barnsley and Doncaster.
Councilor Tony Williams said parents should be given both sides of the argument before agreeing to let their children have fluoridated milk.
 “I believe that just adding fluoride to school milk falls far short of the need to tackle the problem,” he told the British Gazette.2 “Better school dental programs should also be introduced with an increase in school visits from NHS dentists and oral hygiene specialists.
“Most school children in Blackpool are now eating two breakfasts a day with the school serving including starch and syrup. Children should be allowed and encouraged to brush their teeth in school after every meal.”
In response, cabinet member for health, Ivan Taylor, said that the council has not yet made any decision on the matter, but that they will be “testing the opinion of schools and anyone else that’s interested.” He also noted that parents would have the right to choose if they want their children to receive fluoridated milk or not.

Why Is Poisoning of Children Considered a Valuable Public Health Policy?

The debate over the dangers of fluoride has been ongoing for more than six decades, despite the fact that study after study has confirmed that fluoride is a dangerous, toxic poison that bio-accumulates in your body while being ineffective at preventing dental decay.
Fluoride can also create a calcium deficiency situation by precipitating calcium out of solution. This causes low blood calcium, as well as the buildup of calcium stones and crystals in joints and organs. This could potentially turn out to be a concern with regard to adding fluoride to calcium-rich milk...
Worse yet, when you consider the fact that there are 25 studies showing that fluoride reduces IQ in children, the idea of giving fluoridated milk to school children is a shockingly bad idea, even if they don’t also drink fluoridated water.  Approximately 100 animal studies have also linked fluoride to brain damage. This includes such effects as:3
Reduction in nicotinic acetylcholine receptorsDamage to the hippocampusFormation of beta-amyloid plaques (the classic brain abnormality in Alzheimer's disease)
Reduction in lipid contentDamage to the purkinje cellsExacerbation of lesions induced by iodine deficiency
Impaired antioxidant defense systemsIncreased uptake of aluminumAccumulation of fluoride in the pineal gland

One particularly striking animal study4 published in 1995 showed that fluoride ingestion had a profound influence on the animals' brains and altered behavior. Pregnant rats given fluoride produced hyperactive offspring. And animals given fluoride after birth became apathetic, lethargic "couch potatoes." Other research has linked fluoride toxicity with the wide-ranging problems listed below.
Increases lead absorptionDisrupts collagen synthesisIncreases manganese absorption, which is alsolinked to lower IQ in childrenCrippling skeletal fluorosis andbone fractures
Genetic damage and cell deathIncreased tumor and cancer growthDisrupts immune systemInhibits antibody production
Brain damage, and lowered IQDementiaArthritisSevere eye problems, includingblindness
Impairedthyroid functionBone cancer (osteosarcoma)Inactivates 62 enzymesMuscle disorders

Important Facts About Fluoride

After reviewing the available evidence, the only rational conclusion you can come to is that fluoride's health dangers far outweigh the marginal dental benefits itmight offer. For example, the science is very clear about the following:
  • Fluoride acts as a cumulative poison and is in no way a "nutrient.” It offers NO benefits at all to the human body.
  • Fluoride exposure for many can easily reach toxic levels. For example, poison control should be called if you swallow a quarter milligram of fluoride from toothpaste. Meanwhile just ONE glass of fluoridated water can contain this amount of fluoride.
  • Fluoride is a cumulative poison that has been proven to cause wide-ranging, serious health problems, such as damage to your bones, brain and endocrine system.
  • Dental caries can be prevented with means other than fluoridation, thereby avoiding the adverse effects of fluoride.
  • Recent research reveals that ingesting fluoride in supplement form does notreduce cavities in primary teeth, and may in fact cause harm.
  • When hydrofluorosilicic acid is added to water, over 99% goes down the drain and into the environment.  It never comes in contact with a human tooth
A 2011 Cochrane Database Review,5 which looked at 11 studies involving more than 7,000 children, showed that the effect of fluoride supplements (in the form of tablets, drops, lozenges and chewing gum) on primary teeth could not be determined, with one study showing no cavity-reducing effect. Meanwhile, the study revealed that no difference was noted between fluoride supplements or topical fluoride for preventing cavities. The researchers noted:
"In the review, no conclusion could be reached about the effectiveness of fluoride supplements in preventing tooth decay in young children (less than 6 years of age) with deciduous teeth. Moreover, insufficient evidence exists to show whether or not using fluoride supplements in young children (less than 6 years of age) could mottle teeth (fluorosis), an effect of chronic ingestion of excessive amounts of fluoride."

Aspartame—Another Harmful Ingredient Considered for Addition to Dairy

Earlier this year, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) filed a petition with the FDA requesting the agency “amend the standard of identity” for milk and 17 other dairy products. This was done to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient — including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame—without having to indicate its use on the label.
The IDFA and NMPF claimed the proposed amendments would “promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity by providing for lower-calorie flavored milk products” since many children are more inclined to drink flavored milk products than unflavored milk.
Funny how big business’ ideas of “helping children” keep revolving around the use of wholly unnatural ingredients that have clearly been proven toxic! In this case, I’m not sure what’s more frustrating: the fact that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) insists on using the flawed theory of calories as a measure of the “healthfulness” of school meals; their misguided insistence on fat free and low fat products to combat obesity; or their ignorant stance on artificial sweeteners...
When combined, what you end up with is a nutritional nightmare. How can anyone believe a fat-free, hormone-laced pasteurized milk-like product from cows raised on genetically engineered corn, flavored with artificial flavors, colors and chemical sweeteners might actually do a growing body good? The nutritional illiteracy within these agencies is staggering... yet they’re responsible for making decisions that affect over 30 million school children across the US on a daily basis.


What Really Causes Cavities and Obesity?

Interestingly, the root cause behind both of these problems that “dental milk” and “low-calorie” artificially sweetened milk propose to address is identical, and can be summed up in two words: sweetened beverages—and when it comes to obesity, thisincludes those sweetened with artificial sweeteners!
Soda and other sweet beverages, including all fruit juices, have long been known to increase your risk of cavities. Many of these types of beverages supply a double-whammy because they also cause dental erosion, which is a condition independent of the microbial action that produces cavities. Unlike caries, dental erosion is a process of incremental decalcification, which, over time, literally dissolves your teeth.

If officials are adamant about pushing fluoride into a drink, it would appear to be a better choice to dump it into soda instead of milk or tap water.
Sweetened beverages of ALL kinds are also one of the primary culprits behind our skyrocketing obesity rates, which are closely mirrored in both the UK and the US. As recently reported in the Guardian Express,6 kids are 40 percent heavier today compared to just 25 years ago, and a growing number of studies have linked rising childhood obesity rates to increased consumption of sugary beverages, including those sweetened with no- or low-cal sweeteners.
In fact, artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause greater weight gain than calorie-laden sugars, and recent research has also found that diet soda drinkers suffer the same exact health problems as those who opt for regular soda, such as excessive weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.7, 8 In short, cutting out sweetened beverages is one of the quickest ways to simultaneously address your child’s dental health and weight.

The Best Way to Ensure Healthy Teeth

Anyone who has ever read Dr. Weston Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration will soon recognize that diet is a major factor in dental health. Dr. Price wrote this book in 1920 and it is full of pictures of cultures with excellent dental health that rapidly deteriorated once processed Western food was introduced. When Dr. Price studied these native diets, he noticed some similarities in the foods that kept them so healthy. Among them:
  • The foods were natural, unprocessed, and organic (and contained no sugar except for the occasional bit of honey or maple syrup).
  • The people ate foods that grew in their native environment. In other words, they ate locally grown, seasonal foods.
  • Many of the cultures ate unpasteurized dairy products, and all of them ate fermented foods.
  • The people ate a significant portion of their food raw.
  • All of the cultures ate animal products, including animal fat and, often, full-fat butter and organ meats.
I believe that if you have an optimal diet, without processed foods and sugars from infancy, you can be virtually assured of cavity-free teeth. All of the brushing and flossing in the world will not give you the healthy teeth that following the eating patterns described above will, so if you value your pearly whites, get started eating a healthier diet today.

Improve Your Health by Ditching Sweetened Drinks

Sweetened beverages, whether sweetened with sugar, corn syrup, naturally-occurring fructose, or artificial sweeteners likeaspartame, are among the worst culprits in the fight against obesity and related health problems, including diabetes and heart disease. Sweetened drinks are also a primary cause of cavities. Ditching ALL of these types of beverages can go a long way toward reducing your and your child’s risk for cavities and weight gain—not to mention a long list of other chronic health problems. 
Your best and most cost-effective beverage choice is to drink filtered tap water. Nothing beats pure water when it comes to serving your body’s needs. If you really feel the urge for a carbonated beverage, try sparkling mineral water with a squirt of lime or lemon juice.
Since we’re on the topic of milk, I would also like to add my latest recommendations. As always of course, the only acceptable dairy products would be raw, unpasteurized organic varieties. Raw is more important than organic so don’t be fooled. Although raw milk is only available commercially in a few states in the US, nearly everyone can get it by going to RealMilk.com. For those of you who live in the UK or Ireland, The Natural Food Finder9 is one resource.
I recommend drinking whole milk only; the lower the fat content the more processed and less wholesome it is.  

Join the Fight to Get Fluoride Out of Drinking Water

There's no doubt about it: Fluoride should not be ingested. Even scientists from the EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a "chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.” Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41 percent of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis—unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride.
Clearly, children are being overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why?
At least when it comes to topical application, you have a choice. You can easily buy fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash. But you're stuck with whatever your community puts in the water, and it's very difficult to filter out of your water once it's added. Many do not have the resources or the knowledge to do so.
The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of water fluoridation in the first place. Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to END water fluoridation, both in the United States and Canada. 
Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So, please, support the anti-fluoride movement by making a donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.
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Free Blues, Just add Your Own Brews, Breezes of Old, Free Mp3 Album Downloads

English: Pink bikini.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Freaky Cleen and Dickey F with Breezes of Old.  Blues music to kick back and drinks some brews while having a great time.  Today is Blues and Brews at the Gloucester Courthouse area.  Rain looks like it's going to make the event a washout yet again.  So kick back with no worries.  We are providing the Blues to ya for free.  No 20 dollar bill entrance here.  Just use that money to buy your own beer and save a bundle.  Old fashioned style blues you are sure to enjoy.

  Here is the big thing about it all.  You can download these songs for free and play them all you want.  Unlike the Blues and Brews event, you still have something left over that you don't get from them.  We give you the music to keep.  They just play it for you and even if you do like it, you do not get to keep it.  Now maybe some of the bands will sell you a CD, but not us.




Now because there is a rain out and they probably are not doing refunds of your hard earned cash, we are giving you a second album to enjoy today.  More free downloads.  2 entire Blues albums for you to really kick back and enjoy.  Search our site and you will also find plenty of more free music to enjoy.  Download all you want.  No charge.  No need to waste your money at the Blues and Brews soggy rain event.
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Battle of the Hook Pre Show, Liberty's Kids 31, Bostonians

The Anti Federalist Papers No 23 Certain Powers Necessary For the Common Defense, Can and Should Be Limited

In Federalist No. 23, Alexander Hamilton spoke of the necessity for an energetic government. "BRUTUS" replied.

Taken from the 7th and 8th essays of "Brutus" in The New-York Journal, January 3 and 10, 1788.

In a confederated government, where the powers are divided between the general and the state government, it is essential . . . that the revenues of the country, without which no government can exist, should be divided between them, and so apportioned to each, as to answer their respective exigencies, as far as human wisdom can effect such a division and apportionment....

No such allotment is made in this constitution, but every source of revenue is under the control of Congress; it therefore follows, that if this system is intended to be a complex and not a simple, a confederate and not an entire consolidated government, it contains in it the sure seeds of its own dissolution. One of two things must happen. Either the new constitution will become a mere nudum pactum, and all the authority of the rulers under it be cried down, as has happened to the present confederacy. Or the authority of the individual states will be totally supplanted, and they will retain the mere form without any of the powers of government. To one or the other of these issues, I think, this new government, if it is adopted, will advance with great celerity.

It is said, I know, that such a separation of the sources of revenue, cannot be made without endangering the public safety-"unless (says a writer) [Alexander Hamilton] it can be shown that the circumstances which may affect the public safety are reducible within certain determinate limits; unless the contrary of this position can be fairly and rationally disputed, it must be admitted, as a necessary consequence, that there can be no limitation of that authority which is to provide for the defense and protection of the community, etc."(1) 
(1 Federalist, No. 23.)

Read The Rest Below;






https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8PKB4B3Z5-kME0yNE5UaDBIX0E/edit?usp=sharing
You can also read the document at the above link as well as download a copy from either the link above or from Slideshare.


http://www.putlocker.com/file/1EEE405F1ED8DA2
B
You can also download a free copy at this above link.

Liberty Education Series.


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Gloucester, VA School Information You Didn't Know

Page Middle School was slated for potential demolition months before a tornado came through and took care of the issue for the county.

  The Gloucester, VA school board had already submitted proposals to replace the then present Page Middle School to the Gloucester, VA Board of Supervisors in September, 2010.  The tornado didn't take out the school until Saturday, April 16th, 2011 or 7 months later.  The estimated costs that the school board proposed to the county board of supervisors?  Nearly 70 million dollars for a new Page Middle School construction.  Makes the now present 26 million look cheap.  In fact, here is what is really strange.  Renovations to Page were also looked at and the stated figures, unjustified, were over 22 million dollars for repairs and upgrades.  Again, we state, unjustified estimates.

  What is very disturbing is the more we dig into the background of what is going on, we are not getting answers to a lot of questions, we are getting even more disturbing questions.  Expected capital expenditures for 2013 as calculated back in 2010 was nearly 6 million dollars for new roofs, HVAC and buses.  Guess what though, 2014 already had more  HVAC repairs and buses replacements calculated at another near 6 million dollars.  2015, 5.5 million dollars and 2016?  Near 9 million dollars for HVAC replacements.  Does this mean we need more bonds?

  So why are we funding HVAC replacements with bonds?  When you look at the 2010 capital replacement plan for 2012 through 2016, there was nothing budgeted for TC Walker school.  So it looks like the TC Walker school was already Slated for closing back during that period and was already a long range goal.  Just so you can see these figures for yourself, we have made that report available below.



Gloucester, VA September 2010 BOS-SB Meeting from Chuck Thompson

You can open this report up to full screen view by left clicking the icon at the far bottom right hand side of the Slideshare container above.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8PKB4B3Z5-kZ1MtTlh2RUxFNFU/edit?usp=sharing
The above link is another way to view the Cross Board of Supervisors and School Board meeting information from September 21st, 2010.  You can also download copies from either location.  Gloucester County has had the land where the new Page Middle School is slated to be built since 2004.
http://prd.gloucesterva.info/property.asp?RECNUM=41530&DWELL=1  Tax map and ownership records.  Shows that the Gloucester, County School Board has had this land since November, 2004.

http://www.wavy.com/news/local/three-die-in-gloucester-tornado  Link to WAVY TV10 story on tornado taking out the school in April, 2011.

  More to come.


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Edgar Allen Poe - The Black Cat

Cat
Cat (Photo credit: @Doug88888)
FOR the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not—and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events have terrified—have tortured—have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror—to many they will seem less terrible thanbarroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the common-place—some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.
From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions. I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With these I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them. This peculiarity of character grew with my growth, and in my manhood, I derived from it one of my principal sources of pleasure. To those who have cherished an affection for a faithful and sagacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of explaining the nature or the intensity of the gratification thus derivable. There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.
I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, gold-fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat.
This latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black, and sagacious to an astonishing degree. In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not that she was ever serious upon this point—and I mention the matter at all for no better reason than that it happens, just now, to be remembered.
Pluto—this was the cat's name—was my favorite pet and playmate. I alone fed him, and he attended me wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets.
Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during which my general temperament and character—through the instrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance—had (I blush to confess it) experienced a radical alteration for the worse. I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition. I not only neglected, but ill-used them. For Pluto, however, I still retained sufficient regard to restrain me from maltreating him, as I made no scruple of maltreating the rabbits, the monkey, or even the dog, when by accident, or through affection, they came in my way. But my disease grew upon me—for what disease is like Alcohol!—and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish—even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper.
One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame. I took from my waistcoat-pocket a pen-knife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket! I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity.
When reason returned with the morning—when I had slept off the fumes of the night's debauch—I experienced a sentiment half of horror, half of remorse, for the crime of which I had been guilty; but it was, at best, a feeble and equivocal feeling, and the soul remained untouched. I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine all memory of the deed.
In the meantime the cat slowly recovered. The socket of the lost eye presented, it is true, a frightful appearance, but he no longer appeared to suffer any pain. He went about the house as usual, but, as might be expected, fled in extreme terror at my approach. I had so much of my old heart left, as to be at first grieved by this evident dislike on the part of a creature which had once so loved me. But this feeling soon gave place to irritation. And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of PERVERSENESS. Of this spirit philosophy takes no account. Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart—one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such? This spirit of perverseness, I say, came to my final overthrow. It was this unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself—to offer violence to its own nature—to do wrong for the wrong's sake only—that urged me to continue and finally to consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute. One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree;—hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart;—hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offence;—hung it because I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin—a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it—if such a thing wore possible—even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God.
On the night of the day on which this cruel deed was done, I was aroused from sleep by the cry of fire. The curtains of my bed were in flames. The whole house was blazing. It was with great difficulty that my wife, a servant, and myself, made our escape from the conflagration. The destruction was complete. My entire worldly wealth was swallowed up, and I resigned myself thenceforward to despair.
I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity. But I am detailing a chain of facts—and wish not to leave even a possible link imperfect. On the day succeeding the fire, I visited the ruins. The walls, with one exception, had fallen in. This exception was found in a compartment wall, not very thick, which stood about the middle of the house, and against which had rested the head of my bed. The plastering had here, in great measure, resisted the action of the fire—a fact which I attributed to its having been recently spread. About this wall a dense crowd were collected, and many persons seemed to be examining a particular portion of it with very minute and eager attention. The words "strange!" "singular!" and other similar expressions, excited my curiosity. I approached and saw, as if graven in bas relief upon the white surface, the figure of a gigantic cat. The impression was given with an accuracy truly marvellous. There was a rope about the animal's neck.
When I first beheld this apparition—for I could scarcely regard it as less—my wonder and my terror were extreme. But at length reflection came to my aid. The cat, I remembered, had been hung in a garden adjacent to the house. Upon the alarm of fire, this garden had been immediately filled by the crowd—by some one of whom the animal must have been cut from the tree and thrown, through an open window, into my chamber. This had probably been done with the view of arousing me from sleep. The falling of other walls had compressed the victim of my cruelty into the substance of the freshly-spread plaster; the lime of which, with the flames, and theammonia from the carcass, had then accomplished the portraiture as I saw it.
Although I thus readily accounted to my reason, if not altogether to my conscience, for the startling fact just detailed, it did not the less fail to make a deep impression upon my fancy. For months I could not rid myself of the phantasm of the cat; and, during this period, there came back into my spirit a half-sentiment that seemed, but was not, remorse. I went so far as to regret the loss of the animal, and to look about me, among the vile haunts which I now habitually frequented, for another pet of the same species, and of somewhat similar appearance, with which to supply its place.
One night as I sat, half stupified, in a den of more than infamy, my attention was suddenly drawn to some black object, reposing upon the head of one of the immense hogsheads of Gin, or of Rum, which constituted the chief furniture of the apartment. I had been looking steadily at the top of this hogshead for some minutes, and what now caused me surprise was the fact that I had not sooner perceived the object thereupon. I approached it, and touched it with my hand. It was a black cat—a very large one—fully as large as Pluto, and closely resembling him in every respect but one. Pluto had not a white hair upon any portion of his body; but this cat had a large, although indefinite splotch of white, covering nearly the whole region of the breast. Upon my touching him, he immediately arose, purred loudly, rubbed against my hand, and appeared delighted with my notice. This, then, was the very creature of which I was in search. I at once offered to purchase it of the landlord; but this person made no claim to it—knew nothing of it—had never seen it before.
I continued my caresses, and, when I prepared to go home, the animal evinced a disposition to accompany me. I permitted it to do so; occasionally stooping and patting it as I proceeded. When it reached the house it domesticated itself at once, and became immediately a great favorite with my wife.
For my own part, I soon found a dislike to it arising within me. This was just the reverse of what I had anticipated; but—I know not how or why it was—its evident fondness for myself rather disgusted and annoyed. By slow degrees, these feelings of disgust and annoyance rose into the bitterness of hatred. I avoided the creature; a certain sense of shame, and the remembrance of my former deed of cruelty, preventing me from physically abusing it. I did not, for some weeks, strike, or otherwise violently ill use it; but gradually—very gradually—I came to look upon it with unutterable loathing, and to flee silently from its odious presence, as from the breath of a pestilence.
What added, no doubt, to my hatred of the beast, was the discovery, on the morning after I brought it home, that, like Pluto, it also had been deprived of one of its eyes. This circumstance, however, only endeared it to my wife, who, as I have already said, possessed, in a high degree, that humanity of feeling which had once been my distinguishing trait, and the source of many of my simplest and purest pleasures.
With my aversion to this cat, however, its partiality for myself seemed to increase. It followed my footsteps with a pertinacity which it would be difficult to make the reader comprehend. Whenever I sat, it would crouch beneath my chair, or spring upon my knees, covering me with its loathsome caresses. If I arose to walk it would get between my feet and thus nearly throw me down, or, fastening its long and sharp claws in my dress, clamber, in this manner, to my breast. At such times, although I longed to destroy it with a blow, I was yet withheld from so doing, partly by a memory of my former crime, but chiefly—let me confess it at once—by absolute dread of the beast.
This dread was not exactly a dread of physical evil—and yet I should be at a loss how otherwise to define it. I am almost ashamed to own—yes, even in this felon's cell, I am almost ashamed to own—that the terror and horror with which the animal inspired me, had been heightened by one of the merest chimaeras it would be possible to conceive. My wife had called my attention, more than once, to the character of the mark of white hair, of which I have spoken, and which constituted the sole visible difference between the strange beast and the one I had destroyed. The reader will remember that this mark, although large, had been originally very indefinite; but, by slow degrees—degrees nearly imperceptible, and which for a long time my Reason struggled to reject as fanciful—it had, at length, assumed a rigorous distinctness of outline. It was now the representation of an object that I shudder to name—and for this, above all, I loathed, and dreaded, and would have rid myself of the monster had I dared—it was now, I say, the image of a hideous—of a ghastly thing—of the GALLOWS!—oh, mournful and terrible engine of Horror and of Crime—of Agony and of Death!
And now was I indeed wretched beyond the wretchedness of mere Humanity. And a brute beast —whose fellow I had contemptuously destroyed—a brute beast to work out for me—for me a man, fashioned in the image of the High God—so much of insufferable wo! Alas! neither by day nor by night knew I the blessing of Rest any more! During the former the creature left me no moment alone; and, in the latter, I started, hourly, from dreams of unutterable fear, to find the hot breath of the thing upon my face, and its vast weight—an incarnate Night-Mare that I had no power to shake off—incumbent eternally upon my heart!
Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed. Evil thoughts became my sole intimates—the darkest and most evil of thoughts. The moodiness of my usual temper increased to hatred of all things and of all mankind; while, from the sudden, frequent, and ungovernable outbursts of a fury to which I now blindly abandoned myself, my uncomplaining wife, alas! was the most usual and the most patient of sufferers.
One day she accompanied me, upon some household errand, into the cellar of the old building which our poverty compelled us to inhabit. The cat followed me down the steep stairs, and, nearly throwing me headlong, exasperated me to madness. Uplifting an axe, and forgetting, in my wrath, the childish dread which had hitherto stayed my hand, I aimed a blow at the animal which, of course, would have proved instantly fatal had it descended as I wished. But this blow was arrested by the hand of my wife. Goaded, by the interference, into a rage more than demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain. She fell dead upon the spot, without a groan.
This hideous murder accomplished, I set myself forthwith, and with entire deliberation, to the task of concealing the body. I knew that I could not remove it from the house, either by day or by night, without the risk of being observed by the neighbors. Many projects entered my mind. At one period I thought of cutting the corpse into minute fragments, and destroying them by fire. At another, I resolved to dig a grave for it in the floor of the cellar. Again, I deliberated about casting it in the well in the yard—about packing it in a box, as if merchandize, with the usual arrangements, and so getting a porter to take it from the house. Finally I hit upon what I considered a far better expedient than either of these. I determined to wall it up in the cellar—as the monks of the middle ages are recorded to have walled up their victims.
For a purpose such as this the cellar was well adapted. Its walls were loosely constructed, and had lately been plastered throughout with a rough plaster, which the dampness of the atmosphere had prevented from hardening. Moreover, in one of the walls was a projection, caused by a false chimney, or fireplace, that had been filled up, and made to resemble the red of the cellar. I made no doubt that I could readily displace the bricks at this point, insert the corpse, and wall the whole up as before, so that no eye could detect any thing suspicious. And in this calculation I was not deceived. By means of a crow-bar I easily dislodged the bricks, and, having carefully deposited the body against the inner wall, I propped it in that position, while, with little trouble, I re-laid the whole structure as it originally stood. Having procured mortar, sand, and hair, with every possible precaution, I prepared a plaster which could not be distinguished from the old, and with this I very carefully went over the new brickwork. When I had finished, I felt satisfied that all was right. The wall did not present the slightest appearance of having been disturbed. The rubbish on the floor was picked up with the minutest care. I looked around triumphantly, and said to myself—"Here at least, then, my labor has not been in vain."
My next step was to look for the beast which had been the cause of so much wretchedness; for I had, at length, firmly resolved to put it to death. Had I been able to meet with it, at the moment, there could have been no doubt of its fate; but it appeared that the crafty animal had been alarmed at the violence of my previous anger, and forebore to present itself in my present mood. It is impossible to describe, or to imagine, the deep, the blissful sense of relief which the absence of the detested creature occasioned in my bosom. It did not make its appearance during the night—and thus for one night at least, since its introduction into the house, I soundly and tranquilly slept; aye, slept even with the burden of murder upon my soul!
The second and the third day passed, and still my tormentor came not. Once again I breathed as a freeman. The monster, in terror, had fled the premises forever! I should behold it no more! My happiness was supreme! The guilt of my dark deed disturbed me but little. Some few inquiries had been made, but these had been readily answered. Even a search had been instituted—but of course nothing was to be discovered. I looked upon my future felicity as secured.
Upon the fourth day of the assassination, a party of the police came, very unexpectedly, into the house, and proceeded again to make rigorous investigation of the premises. Secure, however, in the inscrutability of my place of concealment, I felt no embarrassment whatever. The officers bade me accompany them in their search. They left no nook or corner unexplored. At length, for the third or fourth time, they descended into the cellar. I quivered not in a muscle. My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence. I walked the cellar from end to end. I folded my arms upon my bosom, and roamed easily to and fro. The police were thoroughly satisfied and prepared to depart. The glee at my heart was too strong to be restrained. I burned to say if but one word, by way of triumph, and to render doubly sure their assurance of my guiltlessness.
"Gentlemen," I said at last, as the party ascended the steps, "I delight to have allayed your suspicions. I wish you all health, and a little more courtesy. By the bye, gentlemen, this—this is a very well constructed house." [In the rabid desire to say something easily, I scarcely knew what I uttered at all.]—"I may say an excellentlywell constructed house. These walls—are you going, gentlemen?—these walls are solidly put together;" and here, through the mere phrenzy of bravado, I rapped heavily, with a cane which I held in my hand, upon that very portion of the brick-work behind which stood the corpse of the wife of my bosom.
But may God shield and deliver me from the fangs of the Arch-Fiend! No sooner had the reverberation of my blows sunk into silence, than I was answered by a voice from within the tomb!—by a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child, and then quickly swelling into one long, loud, and continuous scream, utterly anomalous and inhuman—a howl—a wailing shriek, half of horror and half of triumph, such as might have arisen only out of hell, conjointly from the throats of the dammed in their agony and of the demons that exult in the damnation.
Of my own thoughts it is folly to speak. Swooning, I staggered to the opposite wall. For one instant the party upon the stairs remained motionless, through extremity of terror and of awe. In the next, a dozen stout arms were toiling at the wall. It fell bodily. The corpse, already greatly decayed and clotted with gore, stood erect before the eyes of the spectators. Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder, and whose informing voice had consigned me to the hangman. I had walled the monster up within the tomb!

Edgar Allen Poe


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