The House of the Seven Gables

Why is Phoebe startled when the Judge clears his throat?

Chapter 8

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The Judge makes a small noise in his throat, it's sort of a creepy gurgling sound.This makes Phobe recall Matthew Maule’s curse on Colonel Pyncheon,"God will give him blood to drink" It was rumored that blood can be heard to gurgle in the throats of Pyncheons.