Indeed, he could not be long in discovering that people beyond a suspicion of unbalance, or not obviously coveting the moment's arrest of attention gained them by their statements, never had experience with or knowledge of the restless dead. Slowly accepting this as evidence that no such things existed, Mr. Lecky found terrors deeper, and to him more plausible, to fill that unoccupied place - the simple sense of himself alone, and, not unassociated with it, the conception of a homicidal maniac quietly pursuing him.The first was exemplified by chance solitude in what he had considered deep woods. No part in it was played by natural dismay which he might have felt at finding himself lost, and none by any tangible suggestion of danger. Mr. Lecky could not even remember where or when it was. Long ago, under a seamless gray sky which would probably end with snow; in an autumnal silence free from birds, unmoved by the least breath of wind, he had come to be walking at random impulse.Leaves, yellow, tan, drifted deep and loose over the difficulties of an uneven hillside. His feet crashed and crackled in them. He was not going anywhere. He had nothing in mind. It might have been this receptive vacancy of thought which let him, little by little, grow aware of a menace. The unnatural light leaf-buried ground, the low dark sky, the solitary noise of his unskilled progress - none of them was good. He began to notice that though the fall of leaves left an apparent bright openness, in reality it merely pushed to a distance the point at which the woods became as impenetrable as a wall.He walked more and more slowly, listening, hearing nothing; looking, seeing nothing. Soon he stopped, for he was not going any farther. Standing in the deep leaves beneath trees bare and practically dead in the catalepsy of impending winter, he knew that he did not want to be here. A great evil - no more to be named than, met, to be escaped - waited fairly close. So he left. He got out of those woods onto an open road where he need not watch for anything he could not see.

~ James Gould Cozzens