The House of a Thousand Candles (Chapter 7, page 1 of 10)


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Chapter 7

I was so thoroughly angry with myself that after
idling along the shores for an hour I lost my way in the
dark wood when I landed and brought up at the rear
door used by Bates for communication with the villagers
who supplied us with provender. I readily found
my way to the kitchen and to a flight of stairs beyond,
which connected the first and second floors. The house
was dark, and my good spirits were not increased as I
stumbled up the unfamiliar way in the dark, with, I
fear, a malediction upon my grandfather, who had built
and left incomplete a house so utterly preposterous. My
unpardonable fling at the girl still rankled; and I was
cold from the quick descent of the night chill on the
water and anxious to get into more comfortable clothes.
Once on the second floor I felt that I knew the way to
my room, and I was feeling my way toward it over the
rough floor when I heard low voices rising apparently
from my sitting-room.

It was pitch dark in the hall. I stopped short and
listened. The door of my room was open and a faint
light flashed once into the hall and disappeared. I heard
now a sound as of a hammer tapping upon wood-work.

Then it ceased, and a voice whispered: "He'll kill me if he finds me here. I'll try again to-morrow.
I swear to God I'll help you, but no more
now-"

Then the sound of a scuffle and again the tapping of
the hammer. After several minutes more of this there
was a whispered dialogue which I could not hear.

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