Doubtless, the height of the tower, seated as it was on the hill-top, the rushing of the ceaseless wind, the hypnotic effect of the lofty altitude of the speck in the sky at which he gazed, and the rushing of the paper messengers up the string till sight of them was lost in distance, all helped to further affect his brain, undoubtedly giving way under the strain of beliefs and circumstances which were at once stimulating to the imagination, occupative
of his mind, and absorbing.
Although seldom as witty as Ellis, Winik can turn a good phrase, e.g., "the Russian throne had been neither elective nor hereditary--it was occupative
." But he also writes a few clunkers, as in the Yogi Berra-esque: "the dawn of a new era had begun."