The House of a Thousand Candles (Chapter 4, page 1 of 11)

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Chapter 4

I ran to the window and peered out into the night.
The wood through which we had approached the house
seemed to encompass it. The branches of a great tree
brushed the panes. I was tugging at the fastening of
the window when I became aware of Bates at my elbow.

"Did something happen, sir?"

His unbroken calm angered me. Some one had fired
at me through a window and I had narrowly escaped
being shot. I resented the unconcern with which this
servant accepted the situation.

"Nothing worth mentioning. Somebody tried to assassinate
me, that's all," I said, in a voice that failed
to be calmly ironical. I was still fumbling at the catch
of the window.

"Allow me, sir,"-and he threw up the sash with an
ease that increased my irritation.

I leaned out and tried to find some clue to my assailant.
Bates opened another window and surveyed the
dark landscape with me.

"It was a shot from without, was it, sir?"

"Of course it was; you didn't suppose I shot at myself,
did you?"

He examined the broken pane and picked up the bullet
from the table.

"It's a rifle-ball, I should say."

The bullet was half-flattened by its contact with the
wall. It was a cartridge ball of large caliber and might
have been fired from either rifle or pistol.

"It's very unusual, sir!" I wheeled upon him angrily
and found him fumbling with the bit of metal, a
troubled look in his face. He at once continued, as
though anxious to allay my fears. "Quite accidental,
most likely. Probably boys on the lake are shooting at

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