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    2."No doubt," papa continued, "Mr. Harmer was right, and all their actions are dictated by this priest; it was he who ordered them to make friends with their brother, at Gerald Harmer's death, and to come over here and take up their abode,—I know they were at that convent when they heard the news, and that they had announced their intention of staying there permanently—and now he has sent over this Father Eustace. The man looks a religious enthusiast, and there is no doubt that he will never allow them to change their minds even were they disposed. Altogether, my children, it is evident the only remaining chance is to find out the secret chamber. If we can discover that, well and good; if not, it will be wiser for us, painful as the disappointment is, to give up all hope of finding the will, and to endeavour to go on as if it had never had an existence. It is a most unfortunate affair now, Sir John having died."
    3.So with a pistol in one hand, and a candle in the other, Miss Harmer went out of her door and along the short corridor which led to her sister's bedroom—a strange gaunt figure, in a long white dress covering her head—in fact a nun's attire, which she put on when she prayed at night, and from underneath which the stiff white frills of her cap bristled out strangely. She walked deliberately along, for she believed that she was only deceiving herself, and that the cry which she had thought she heard was only a wilder gust of wind among the trees. When she reached her sister's door, she paused and listened. Then she started back, for within she could hear low murmured words in men's voices, and then a strange stifled cry: she hesitated but for one moment, to deliberate whether she should go back to fetch the other pistol—then that strange cry came up again, and she threw open the door and entered. She was prepared for something, but for nothing so terrible as met her eyes. The room was lighted by the two candles which still burned in a little oratory at one end of the room before a figure of the Virgin; a chair lay overturned near it, and it was evident that Angela Harmer had, like her sister, been engaged at her devotions when her assailants had entered the room, and when she had given that one loud cry which had at last brought her sister to her assistance. But all this Cecilia Harmer did not notice then, her eyes were fixed on the group in the middle of the room.
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