Mr Frogworth gave a start. He blenched (had he known it) with the pallor of one whom an Apparition has visited, and left little doubt as to the ultimate malignity of its purposes. For he had seen — or could have sworn it, at any rate — what appeared to be a pair of inviting blue eyes, peering at him from beyond the wainscoting.

He shook himself — this was scarcely possible; he had left her boxed up at Throgmorton — and resolved to investigate calmly and methodically. Striding up to where the eyes had appeared he grasped two fistfuls of wainscoting and tore it to bits with a banshee shriek. But there was nothing behind it but a couple of brown spiders, which rolled away from the light like pinballs into their holes.

Very well, then, this left no doubt. It had been an illusion, a hallucination born of nerves. Mr Frogworth laughed at himself for his foolish susceptibility. Gloria here? Why, what an imbecilic notion! Had he not boxed her up thoroughly at Throgmorton, in a lead coffin twenty feet underground, wrists and ankles bound together with steel fetters and a black scarf of spider’s silk tied tightly over those inviting blue eyes?

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December 21, 2012 · 11:11 pm

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