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0105_001E The Lair of the White Worm Bram Stoker

Hawk And Pigeon

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Sir Nathaniel answered softly, laying his hand on the youth's shoulder.

"You are right, my boy; quite right. That is the proper way to look at it. And I may tell you that we old men, who have no children of our own, feel our hearts growing warm when we hear words like those."

Then Adam hurried on, speaking with a rush, as if he wanted to come to the crucial point.

"Mr. Watford had not come in, but Lilla and Mimi were at home, and they made me feel very welcome. They have all a great regard for my uncle. I am glad of that any way, for I like them all--much. We were having tea, when Mr. Caswall came to the door, attended by the negro. Lilla opened the door herself. The window of the living-room at the farm is a large one, and from within you cannot help seeing anyone coming. Mr. Caswall said he had ventured to call, as he wished to make the acquaintance of all his tenants, in a less formal way, and more individually, than had been possible to him on the previous day. The girls made him welcome--they are very sweet girls those, sir; someone will be very happy some day there--with either of them."

"And that man may be you, Adam," said Mr. Salton heartily.

A sad look came over the young man's eyes, and the fire his uncle had seen there died out. Likewise the timbre left his voice, making it sound lonely.

"Such might crown my life. But that happiness, I fear, is not for me--or not without pain and loss and woe."

"Well, it's early days yet!" cried Sir Nathaniel heartily.

The young man turned on him his eyes, which had now grown excessively sad.

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"Yesterday--a few hours ago--that remark would have given me new hope--new courage; but since then I have learned too much."

The old man, skilled in the human heart, did not attempt to argue in such a matter.

"Too early to give in, my boy."

"I am not of a giving-in kind," replied the young man earnestly. "But, after all, it is wise to realise a truth. And when a man, though he is young, feels as I do--as I have felt ever since yesterday, when I first saw Mimi's eyes--his heart jumps. He does not need to learn things. He knows."

There was silence in the room, during which the twilight stole on imperceptibly. It was Adam who again broke the silence.

"Do you know, uncle, if we have any second sight in our family?"

"No, not that I ever heard about. Why?"

"Because," he answered slowly, "I have a conviction which seems to answer all the conditions of second sight."

"And then?" asked the old man, much perturbed.

"And then the usual inevitable. What in the Hebrides and other places, where the Sight is a cult--a belief--is called 'the doom'-- the court from which there is no appeal. I have often heard of second sight--we have many western Scots in Australia; but I have realised more of its true inwardness in an instant of this afternoon than I did in the whole of my life previously--a granite wall stretching up to the very heavens, so high and so dark that the eye of God Himself cannot see beyond. Well, if the Doom must come, it must. That is all."

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The Lair of the White Worm
Bram Stoker

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