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


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Chapter 8

A moment later Bates entered with a fresh supply of
wood. I watched him narrowly for some sign of perturbation,
but he was not to be caught off guard. Possibly
he had not heard the shots in the wood; at any
rate, he tended the fire with his usual gravity, and after
brushing the hearth paused respectfully.

"Is there anything further, sir?"

"I believe not, Bates. Oh! here's a hammer I picked
up out in the grounds a bit ago. I wish you'd see if it
belongs to the house."

He examined the implement with care and shook his
head.

"It doesn't belong here, I think, sir. But we sometimes
find tools left by the carpenters that worked on
the house. Shall I put this in the tool-chest, sir?"

"Never mind. I need such a thing now and then and
I'll keep it handy."

"Very good, Mr. Glenarm. It's a bit sharper to-night,
but we're likely to have sudden changes at this season."

"I dare say."

We were not getting anywhere; the fellow was certainly
an incomparable actor.

"You must find it pretty lonely here, Bates. Don't
hesitate to go to the village when you like."

"I thank you, Mr. Glenarm; but I am not much for
idling. I keep a few books by me for the evenings. Annandale
is not what you would exactly call a diverting
village."

"I fancy not. But the caretaker over at the summer
resort has even a lonelier time, I suppose. That's what
I'd call a pretty cheerless job,-watching summer cottages
in the winter."

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