Hollister took his unseeing gaze off the door with a start, like a man withdrawing his mind from wandering in far places. He sat down before the dressing-table and forced himself to look steadfastly, appraisingly, at the reflection of his face in the mirror – that which had once been a presentable man's countenance.
He shuddered and dropped his eyes. This was a trial he seldom ventured upon. He could not bear that vision long. No one could. That was the fearful implication which made him shrink. He, Robert Hollister, in the flush of manhood, with a body whose symmetry and vigor other men had envied, a mind that functioned alertly, a spirit as nearly indomitable as the spirit of man may be, was like a leper among his own kind; he had become a something that filled other men with pitying dismay when they looked at him, that made women avert their gaze and withdraw from him in spite of pity.
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