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A Strange Disappearance Anna Katharine Green

The Capture

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I did not shrink. With that brave woman's garments drawn about me, something of her dauntless spirit seemed to invade my soul, and though I expected--But let that come in its place, I am not here to interest you in myself or my selfish thoughts.

A half hour passed; he had never lingered away so long before, or so it seemed, and I was beginning to wonder if we should have to keep up this strain of nerve for hours, when the heavy tread was again heard in the hall, and with a blow of the fist that argued anger or a brutal impatience, he flung open the door and came in, I did not turn my head.

"Where's father?" he growled, stopping where he was a foot or so from the door.

I shook my head with a slight gesture and remained looking out.

He brought his cane down on the floor with a thump. "What do you mean by sitting there staring out of the window like mad and not answering when I ask you a decent question?"

Still I made no reply.

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Provoked beyond endurance, yet held in check by that vague sense of danger in the air,--which while not amounting to apprehension is often sufficient to hold back from advance the most daring foot,--he stood glaring at me in what I felt to be a very ferocious attitude, but made no offer to move. Instantly I rose and still looking out of the window, made with my hand what appeared to be a signal to some one on the opposite side of the way. The ruse was effective. With an oath that rings in my ears yet, he lifted his heavy cane and advanced upon me with a bound, only to meet the same fate as his father at the hands of the watchful detectives. Not, however, before that heavy cane came down upon my head in a way to lay me in a heap at his feet and to sow the seeds of that blinding head-ache, which has afflicted me by spells ever since. But this termination of the affair was no more than I had feared from the beginning; and indeed it was as much to protect Mrs. Blake from the wrath of these men, as from any requirements of the situation I had assumed the disguise I then wore. I therefore did not allow this mishap to greatly trouble me, unpleasant as it was at the time, but, as soon as ever I could do so, rose from the floor and throwing off my strange habiliments, proceeded to finish up to my satisfaction, the work already so successfully begun.

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A Strange Disappearance
Anna Katharine Green

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