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A Strange Disappearance Anna Katharine Green

The Secret Of Mr. Blake's Studio

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Mr. Gryce rose to his feet. "You are right," said he, and he gave a short glance in my direction. "All that I have said would not perhaps justify me in this intrusion, if--" he looked again towards me. "Do you wish me to continue?" he asked.

Mr. Blake's intent look deepened. "I see no reason why you should not utter the whole," said he. "A good story loses nothing by being told to the end. You wish to say something about my journey to Schoenmaker's house, I suppose."

Mr. Gryce gravely shook his head.

"What, you can let such a mystery as that go without a word?"

"I am not here to discuss mysteries that have no connection with the sewing-girl in whose cause I am interested."

"Then," said Mr. Blake, turning for the first time upon my superior with all the dignified composure for which he was eminent, "it is no longer necessary for us to prolong this interview. I have allowed, nay encouraged you to state in the plainest terms what it was you had or imagined you had against me, knowing that my actions of late, seen by those who did not possess the key to them, must have seemed a little peculiar. But when you say you have no interest in any mystery disconnected with the girl who has lived the last few months in my house, I can with assurance say that it is time we quitted this unprofitable conversation, as nothing which I have lately done, said or thought here or elsewhere has in any way had even the remotest bearing upon that individual; she having been a stranger to me while in my house, and quite forgotten by me, after her unaccountable departure hence."

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Mr. Gryce's hand which had been stretched out towards the hitherto untouched decanter before him, suddenly dropped. "You deny then," said he, "all connection between yourself and the woman, lady or sewing-girl, who occupied that room above our heads for eleven months previous to the Sunday morning I first had the honor to make your acquaintance."

"I am not in the habit of repeating my assertions," said Mr. Blake with some severity, "even when they relate to a less disagreeable matter than the one under discussion."

Mr. Gryce bowed, and slowly reached out for his hat; I had never seen him so disturbed. "I am sorry," he began and stopped, fingering his hat-brim nervously. Suddenly he laid his hat back, and drew up his form into as near a semblance of dignity as its portliness would allow.

"Mr. Blake," said he, "I have too much respect for the man I believed you to be when I entered this house to-night, to go with the thing unsaid which is lying at present like a dead weight upon my lips. I dare not leave you to the consequence of my silence; for duty will compel me to speak some day and in some presence where you may not have the opportunity which you can have here, to explain yourself with satisfaction. Mr. Blake I cannot believe you when you say the girl who lived in this house was a stranger to you."

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A Strange Disappearance
Anna Katharine Green

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