The Midnight Queen (Chapter 5, page 1 of 9)

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Chapter 5

The by-path down which Sir Norman rode, led to an inn, "The Golden
Crown," about a quarter of a mile from the ruin. Not wishing to take
his horse, lest it should lead to discovery, he proposed leaving it here
till his return; and, with this intention, and the strong desire for a
glass of wine--for the heat and his ride made him extremely thirsty--he
dismounted at the door, and consigning the animal to the care of a
hostler, he entered the bar-room. It was not the most inviting place
in the world, this same bar-room--being illy-lighted, dim with
tobacco-smoke, and pervaded by a strong spirituous essence of stronger
drinks than malt or cold water. A number of men were loitering about,
smoking, drinking, and discussing the all-absorbing topic of the plague,
and the fires that might be kindled. There was a moment's pause, as Sir
Norman entered, took a seat, and called for a glass of sack, and then
the conversation went on as before. The landlord hastened to supply his
wants by placing a glass and a bottle of wine before him, and Sir Norman
fell to helping himself, and to ruminating deeply on the events of the
night. Rather melancholy these ruminations were, though to do the young
gentleman justice, sentimental melancholy was not at all in his line;
but then you will please to recollect he was in love, and when people
come to that state, they are no longer to be held responsible either for
their thoughts or actions. It is true his attack had been a rapid one,
but it was no less severe for that; and if any evil-minded critic is
disposed to sneer at the suddenness of his disorder, I have only to say,
that I know from observation, not to speak of experience, that love at
first sight is a lamentable fact, and no myth.

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