The Ghost of Guir House (Chapter 5, page 1 of 18)

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Chapter 5

Although Mr. Henley had no doubt of the truth of Miss Guir's assertion,
the mystery of her life was as real and deeply impressive as ever.
Perhaps it was even more so, as seeming more subtle and far-reaching
than crime itself, if such a thing were possible. Paul was determined
to investigate the secret of the closet stairs; for while Ah Ben's
explanation was plausible to a degree, the blank wall and heavy door
at the bottom filled him with an uncanny fascination, which grew as he
pondered upon them. Exactly what course to pursue he had not decided,
but awaited an opportunity to continue his efforts in earnest. There
were two serious difficulties to contend with; one was the want of
tools, the other the necessity of prosecuting his work in silence.

As upon the previous evening, Dorothy and Mr. Henley dined alone,
although Ah Ben, appearing just before they had finished, partook of
a little dry lettuce and a small cup of coffee. Dorothy, as usual,
ate most sparingly, "scarcely enough," as Paul remarked, "to keep the
parrot alive."

After dinner they went together into the great hall, where Ah Ben
prepared a pipe apiece for himself and his guest.

The logs were piled high upon the hearth, and the cheery blaze lit up
the old pictures with a shimmering lustre, reducing the lamp to a
mere spectral ornament. It was the flickering firelight that made the
men and women on the walls nod at each other, as perhaps they had
done in life.

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