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Masterpieces of Mystery
Riddle Stories

written by "French, Joseph Lewis, 1858-1936"
...f her friends being put to any inconvenience. "It can't stand there; you'll unpack it, won't you? or shall I have it moved into the passage?" "Oh, no, thank you, Bella—please let it stand where it is: it will do very well indeed." "What will do very well?" exclaimed Colonel Damer, who now entered the bedroom, followed by a servant with another trunk. "Only Blanche's box, Colonel Damer," said Bella Clayton. "She doesn't wish to unpack it, and it will be in her way here, I'm afraid. It might stand in your dressing-room."—This she said as a "feeler," knowing that some gentlemen do not like to be inconvenienced, even in their dressing-rooms. But Colonel Damer was as unselfish as it was possible for an old Indian to be. "Of course it can," he replied. "Here (to the servant), just shoulder that box, will you, and move it into the next room." The man took up the article in question rather carelessly, and nearly let it fall again. Mrs. Damer darted forward as if to save it. "Pray put it down," she said, nervously. "I have no wish to have it moved—I shall require it by-and-by; it will be no inconvenience—" "Just as you like, dear," said Mrs. Clayton, who was becoming rather tired of the little discussion. "And now take off your things, dear Blanche, and let me ring for some tea." Colonel Damer walked into his dressing-room and left the two ladies alone. The remainder of the luggage was brought upstairs; the tea was ordered and served, and whilst Mrs. Clayton busied herself in pouring it out, Mrs. Damer sank back upon a sofa which stood by the fire, and conversed with her cousin. She had been beautiful, this woman, in her earlier youth, though no one would have thought it to see her now. As Bella handed her the tea she glanced towards the thin hand stretched out to receive it, and from thence to the worn face and hollow eyes, and could scarcely believe she saw the same person she had parted from three...

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