Oscar Berg had been one of my boon companions in
boyhood; but many years had elapsed since our last meeting.
A letter, however, had lately reached me from Queens, New
York — a letter from him — which, in its wildly importunate
nature, had admitted of no other than a personal reply.
The MS. gave evidence of nervous agitation. Oscar spoke of
acute bodily illness —of a mental disorder which oppressed him —
and of an earnest desire to see me, as his
best and indeed his only personal friend, with a view
of attempting, by my cheerfulness, some alleviation of his malady.
Paraphrases from the short story The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe.