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A Strange Disappearance Anna Katharine Green

The Mark Of The Red Cross

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I found the latter in his own home and more than enthusiastic upon the subject.

"Well," said he after I had informed him of the discoveries I had made, "the fates seem to prosper you in this. I have not received an inkling of light upon the matter since I parted from you at Mr. Blake's house. By the way I saw that gentleman this morning and I tell you we will find him a grateful man if this affair can be resolved satisfactorily,"

'That is good," said I," gratitude is what we want." Then shortly, "Perhaps it is no more than our duty to let him know that his wife is safe and under my eye; though I would by no means advocate his knowing just how near him she is, till the moment comes when he is wanted, or we shall have a lover's impetuosity to deal with as well as all the rest." Then with a hurried rememberance of a possible contingency, went on to say, "But, by the way, in case we should need the cooperation of Mrs. Blake in what we have before us, you had better get a line written in French from Mrs. Daniels, expressive of her belief in Mr. Blake's present affection for his wife. The latter will not otherwise trust us, or understand that we are to be obeyed in whatever we may demand. Let it be unsigned and without names in case of accident; and if the housekeeper don't understand French, tell her to get some one to help her that does, only be sure that the handwriting employed is her own."

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Mr. Gryce seemed to perceive the wisdom of this precaution and promised to procure me such a note by a certain hour, after which I related to him the various other details of the capture such as I had planned it, meeting to my secret gratification an unqualified approval that went far towards alleviating that wound to my pride which I had received from him in the beginning of this affair.

"Let all things proceed as you have determined, and we shall accomplish something that it will be a life-long satisfaction to remember," said he; "but you must be prepared for some twist of the screw which you do not anticipate. I never knew anything to go off just as one prognosticates it must, except once," he added thoughtfully, "and then it was with a surprise attached to it that well nigh upset me notwithstanding all my preparations."

"You won a great success that day," remarked I. "I hope the fates will be as propitious to me to-morrow. Failure now would break my heart."

"But you won't fail," exclaimed he. "I myself am resolved to see you through this matter with credit."

And in this assurance I returned to my lodgings where I found the landlady sitting where I had left her, darning her twenty-third sock.

"I have to mend for a dozen men and three boys," said she, "and the boys are the worst by a heap sight. Look at that, will you," holding up a darn with a bit of stocking attached. "That hole was made playing shinny."

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A Strange Disappearance
Anna Katharine Green

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