The Midnight Queen (Chapter 9, page 1 of 19)

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Chapter 9

In one instant Sir Norman was on his feet and his hand on his sword. In
the tarry darkness, neither the face nor figure of the intruder could be
made out, but he merely saw a darker shadow beside him standing in the
sea of darkness. Perhaps he might have thought it a ghost, but that the
hand which grasped his shoulder was unmistakably of flesh, and blood,
and muscle, and the breathing of its owner was distinctly audible by his

"Who are you?" demanded Sir Norman, drawing out his sword, and wrenching
himself free from his unseen companion.

"Ah! it is you, is it? I thought so," said a not unknown voice. "I have
been calling you till I am hoarse, and at last gave it up, and started
after you in despair. What are you doing here?"

"You, Ormiston!" exclaimed Sir Norman, in the last degree astonished.
"How--when--what are you doing here?"

"What are you doing here? that's more to the purpose. Down flat on
your face, with your head stuck through that hole. What is below there,

"Never mind," said Sir Norman, hastily, who, for some reason quite
unaccountable to himself, did not wish Ormiston to see. "There's nothing
therein particular, but a lower range of vaults. Do you intend telling
me what has brought you here?"

"Certainly; the very fleetest horse I could find in the city."

"Pshaw! You don't say so?" exclaimed Sir Norman, incredulously. "But
I presume you had some object in taking such a gallop? May I ask what?
Your anxious solicitude on my account, very likely?"

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