The House of a Thousand Candles (Chapter 3, page 1 of 8)


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Chapter 3

Annandale derives its chief importance from the fact
that two railway lines intersect there. The Chicago
Express paused only for a moment while the porter deposited
my things beside me on the platform. Light
streamed from the open door of the station; a few
idlers paced the platform, staring into the windows of
the cars; the village hackman languidly solicited my
business. Suddenly out of the shadows came a tall,
curious figure of a man clad in a long ulster. As I
write, it is with a quickening of the sensation I received
on the occasion of my first meeting with Bates. His
lank gloomy figure rises before me now, and I hear his
deep melancholy voice, as, touching his hat respectfully,
be said: "Beg pardon, sir; is this Mr. Glenarm? I am Bates
from Glenarm House. Mr. Pickering wired me to meet
you, sir."

"Yes; to be sure," I said.

The hackman was already gathering up my traps,
and I gave him my trunk-checks.

"How far is it?" I asked, my eyes resting, a little regretfully,
I must confess, on the rear lights of the vanishing
train.

"Two miles, sir," Bates replied. "There's no way
over but the hack in winter. In summer the steamer
comes right into our dock."

"My legs need stretching; I'll walk," I suggested,
drawing the cool air into my lungs. It was a still, starry
October night, and its freshness was grateful after the
hot sleeper. Bates accepted the suggestion without
comment. We walked to the end of the platform, where
the hackman was already tumbling my trunks about,
and after we had seen them piled upon his nondescript
wagon, I followed Bates down through the broad quiet
street of the village. There was more of Annandale
than I had imagined, and several tall smoke-stacks
loomed here and there in the thin starlight.

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