The Midnight Queen (Chapter 3, page 1 of 10)

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Chapter 3

The search was given over at last in despair, and the doctor took his
hat and disappeared. Sir Norman and Ormiston stopped in the lower hall
and looked at each other in mute amaze.

"What can it all mean?" asked Ormiston, appealing more to society at
large than to his bewildered companion.

"I haven't the faintest idea," said Sir Norman, distractedly; "only I am
pretty certain, if I don't find her, I shall do something so desperate
that the plague will be a trifle compared to it!"

"It seems almost impossible that she can have been carried off--doesn't

"If she has!" exclaimed Sir Norman, "and I find out the abductor, he
won't have a whole bone in his body two minutes after!"

"And yet more impossible that she can have gone off herself," pursued
Ormiston with the air of one entering upon an abstruse subject, and
taking no heed whatever of his companion's marginal notes.

"Gone off herself! Is the man crazy?" inquired Sir Norman, with a stare.
"Fifteen minutes before we left her dead, or in a dead swoon, which is
all the same in Greek, and yet he talks of her getting up and going off

"In fact, the only way to get at the bottom of the mystery," said
Ormiston, "is to go in search of her. Sleeping, I suppose, is out of the

"Of course it is! I shall never sleep again till I find her!"

They passed out, and Sir Norman this time took the precaution of turning
the key, thereby fulfilling the adage of locking the stable-door when
the steed was stolen. The night had grown darker and hotter; and as they
walked along, the clock of St. Paul's tolled nine.

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