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THE footstep came slowly up the sloping path. The holly hedges were high, and for some time nothing more was visible than a moving speck over the solid wall of green. There is something in awaiting in this way the slow approach of a stranger which affects the nerves, even when there is little expectation and no alarm in the mind. Mrs Ogilvy sat speechless and unable to move, her throat parched and dry, her heart beating wildly. Was it he? Was it some one pursuing him some avenger of blood on his track? Was it no one at all some silly messenger, some sturdy beggar, some one who would require Andrew to turn him away? These questions went through her head in a whirl, with out any volition of hers. The last was the most likely. She waited with a growing passion and suspense, yet still in outward sem


blance as the rose-bush with all its buds showing white, which stood tranquilly in the dimness behind her. It was growing dark; or rather it was growing dim, everything still visible, but vaguely, as if a veil had dropped between the eye and what it saw. When the man came out at the head of the path, detached and separate from all the trees and their shadows, upon the little platform, a thrill came over the looker - on. He seemed to pause there for a moment, then advanced slowly.

A tall big man, loosely dressed so as to make his proportions look bigger: his features, which there would not in any case have been light enough to see, half lost in a long brown beard, and in the shade of the broad soft hat, partly folded back, which covered his head. He did not take that off or say anything, but came slowly, half re


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