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  I As Seen By Two Strangers Anna Katharine Green

VIII Strange Doings For George

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That evening George sat so long over the newspapers that in spite of my absorbing interest in the topic engrossing me, I fell asleep in my cozy little rocking chair. I was awakened by what seemed like a kiss falling very softly on my forehead, though, to be sure, it may have been only the flap of George's coat sleeve as he stooped over me.

"Wake up, little woman," I heard, "and trot away to bed. I'm going out and may not be in till daybreak."

"You! going out! at ten o'clock at night, tired as you are - as we both are! What has happened-Oh!"

This broken exclamation escaped me as I perceived in the dim background by the sitting-room door, the figure of a man who called up recent, but very thrilling experiences.

"Mr. Sweetwater," explained George. "We are going out together. It is necessary, or you may be sure I should not leave you.

I was quite wide awake enough by now to understand. "Oh, I know. You are going to hunt up the man. How I wish -"

But George did not wait for me to express my wishes. He gave me a little good advice as to how I had better employ my time in his absence, and was off before I could find words to answer.

This ends all I have to say about myself; but the events of that night carefully related to me by George are important enough for me to describe them, with all the detail which is their rightful due. I shall tell the story as I have already been led to do in other portions of this narrative, as though I were present and shared the adventure.

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As soon as the two were in the street, the detective turned towards George and said:

"Mr. Anderson, I have a great deal to ask of you. The business before us is not a simple one, and I fear that I shall have to subject you to more inconvenience than is customary in matters like this. Mr. Brotherson has vanished; that is, in his own proper person, but I have an idea that I am on the track of one who will lead us very directly to him if we manage the affair carefully. What I want of you, of course, is mere identification. You saw the face of the man who washed his hands in the snow, and would know it again, you say. Do you think you could be quite sure of yourself, if the man were differently dressed and differently occupied?

"I think so. There's his height and a certain strong look in his face. I cannot describe it."

"You don't need to. Come! we're all right. You don't mind making a night of it?"

"Not if it is necessary.

"That we can't tell yet." And with a characteristic shrug and smile, the detective led the way to a taxicab which stood in waiting at the corner.

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