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The "Red Death" had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious.
He summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends. The external world could take care of itself.
The rooms in which the masquerade was held-- there were seven. All of different color and in which the window panes matched that of the walls. All but the seventh apartment, whose panes were a scarlet- blood color, and there was no light of any kind.
There stood against the western wall, a gigantic clock of ebony. Its pendulum swung to and fro with a loud clang leaving the Prince's guests silent in the presence of the echo. The masquerade stopped and even the giddiest grew pale. That's when guests became aware of the presence of a masked figure.
When the eyes of Prince Prospero fell upon this spectral image, his brow reddened with rage. "Who dares?" he demanded. It was then that the prince with rage of his own cowardice followed the figure through the chambers.
Then, summoning the wild courage of despair, a throng of the revellers at once threw themselves into the black apartment and now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death and died each in the despairing posture of his fall.
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