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Half a Hero
A Novel

written by "Hope, Anthony, 1863-1933"
...t anything which would save her from what they dreaded, and, she confessed to herself, rightly dreaded. No, she would not believe it yet; and, if it were not true, why should she not be happy? Why should she not, even though she did what Dick had not dared to do, and what, when Coxon asked her, she had laughed at for an absurdity? There began to be more movement outside the gates. The first note of band-music was wafted to her ear, and the roll of wheels announced the return of the church-goers. She roused herself and went to meet them. They were agog with excitement, partly about the meeting, partly about the murder. While Eleanor was trying to tell her of the state[Pg 187] of popular feeling, the Governor seized her arm and began to detail the story of the discovery. "You remember the man?" he asked. "He was at our flower-show—had a sort of row with Medland, you know. Well, he's been found murdered (so the police think) in a low part of the town! The woman who keeps the house found him. He didn't come down in the morning, and, as she couldn't make him hear, she forced the door, and found him with his throat cut." "Awful!" shuddered Lady Eynesford. "He looked such a respectable man too." "Ah, I fancy he'd gone a bit to the bad lately—taken to drinking and so on." "He was a friend of Mr. Kilshaw's, wasn't he?" asked Alicia. "A sort of hanger-on, I think. Anyhow, there he was dead, and with his pockets empty." "Perhaps he killed himself," she suggested. "They think not. They've arrested the woman, but she declares she knows nothing about it!" "Poor man!" said Alicia; and, at another time, she might have thought a good deal about the horrible end of a man whom she had known as an acquaintance. But, as it was, she soon forgot him again, and, leaving the rest, returned to her solitary seat. In the town, the news of the murder was but one ruffle more on the wave of excitement, and not a very marked one. Few ...

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