Scarcely had I dropped my head back into its original position, when
there flashed upon my mind what I cannot better describe than as the
unformed half of that idea of deliverance to which I have previously
alluded, and of which a moiety only floated indeterminately through
my brain when I raised food to my burning lips. The whole thought was
now present -- feeble, scarcely sane, scarcely definite, -- but still
entire. I proceeded at once, with the nervous energy of despair, to
attempt its execution.
For many hours the immediate vicinity of the low framework upon which
I lay, had been literally swarming with rats. They were wild, bold,
ravenous; their red eyes glaring upon me as if they waited but for
motionlessness on my part to make me their prey. "To what food," I
thought, "have they been accustomed in the well?"