The Medium (Chapter 4, page 2 of 21)

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Mr. Culvert shook his head. "The missing book is large with a beautiful red leather spine. It made quite a hole in my shelves and I noticed it missing immediately. I questioned the servants of course, but none owned up to the theft. However I'm quite certain it was one particular maid. She has been with us for only a month, and as the newest member in the house, I'm afraid suspicion naturally fell on her. Besides, the girl was very nervous when I questioned her."

"She's still with you?" I asked.

He nodded. "I couldn't dismiss her without evidence and I never found the book despite having the housekeeper search the room the girl shares with two other maids." "We'll speak to her later," Jacob said.

I'd been thinking the same thing but wasn't sure if involving George Culvert any more than he already was would be a good idea. On the other hand, the more we spoke to him, the more I liked him and thought he could be trusted with all the information we knew. He might even prove helpful.

And I had a feeling he wouldn't think I was mad for talking to a ghost.

Before I could think further on the matter, he stood and offered me his hand. "Would you like to come with me to the library, Miss Chambers? We might as well get started on your research topic."

I took his hand and heard a grunt from Jacob. I casually raised my brows in his direction, challenging him to tell me what bothered him so much about the courteous action, but he merely grunted again and turned away. We both followed Culvert down to an enormous room on the ground floor filled to bursting with books. The library took up two entire levels and every spare space of wall was covered in shelves crammed with books of all shapes and sizes. Each wall had a ladder to reach the higher volumes, and two big arched windows framed with heavy crimson drapes allowed light into even the furthest corners. For night, cast iron gas lamps topped with crouching angels were bolted to the vertical sides of the shelves and were also positioned on pedestals beside most of the chairs. The mahogany furniture looked heavy with solid, stumpy legs ending in clawed feet, so unlike the spindly pieces in the drawing room. There were two leather-inlaid desks, one small and one large, and deep reading chairs upholstered in red leather that looked soft enough to curl up in. A small fire burned low in the enormous hearth to keep the chill away and the thick rug covering most of the floor gave the room a warm, welcoming feel. It was my idea of heaven.

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