Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/207

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X.

Anna wrote to him at last to come and see her.

The day was dim: rain seemed to be falling, though it left no trace on the damp road and pavements. Carbury Street—at best a cheerless row of unhomelike dwellings—had to Sacheverell's overwrought mind a terribly ominous gloom. In Number 14, one light was burning on the second floor; he guessed it was Anna's sitting-room. He walked up the steps slowly—with no gladness, no hope, only a weight at his heart. A dull little maid-servant ushered him up the stairs; he gave his name in a voice he did not recognise; the servant girl disappeared behind a portière, came out again and left him. As the door closed, the portière moved and Anna stood before him.

"Well?" she said, smiling, "well?"

Sacheverell put out his hand and just touched her. She was not a Spirit. She wore the dress he had last seen her in—one he knew well—a black garment of very ordinary make, threadbare but exquisitely neat. Her eyes were large, and shone with unearthly brightness; her face had a white radiance which wasneither deathlike nor human. The beauty of her countenance made him dumb; he felt she had seen a glory he knew not of—nor guessed. She led him into an inner room—a tiny room lit by a flaring oil-

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