"In the forests of America, Indians had been free of the disease until the Colonists came; today, whole tribes sickened and died. Smallpox had its place in the Litany along with earthquakes, fires and floods, with battle murder, and sudden death. The difference was that earthquakes, fires and floods came rarely, and battles were always fought on foreign fields, but the disease was abroad in the early morning before the people were quite awake.
At night, while they slept, it crept like a footpad down the narrow lanes between houses, looking for victims whom it might drag through its dark, low, inscrutable door."
"...her voice as sounding like golden bells being shaken over black velvet...: