Page:The Wheel of Time, Collaboration, Owen Wingrave (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1893).djvu/227

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OWEN WINGRAVE

effort he should have to make. "I hope he is there," he said to his wife; "it puts them all so in the wrong!" At any rate, he couldn't take upon himself to explore a house he knew so little. He was inconsequent—he didn't prepare for bed. He sat in the dressing-room with his light and his novel, waiting to find himself nodding. At last, however, Mrs. Coyle turned over and ceased to talk, and at last, too, he fell asleep in his chair. How long he slept he only knew afterwards by computation; what he knew, to begin with, was that he had started up, in confusion, with the sense of a sudden appalling sound. His sense cleared itself quickly, helped doubtless by a confirmatory cry of horror from his wife's room. But he gave no heed to his wife; he had already bounded into the passage. There the sound was repeated—it was the "Help! help!" of a woman in agonized terror. It came from a distant quarter of the house, but the quarter was sufficiently indicated. Spencer Coyle rushed straight before him, with the sound of opening doors and alarmed voices in his ears, and the faintness of the early dawn