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By Anne Dean

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Sample text

A human skeleton,’ he added. Chapter Six … Well, Eliza, as you may imagine, there is not another topic on anyone’s lips but the skeleton in the pool. ’ And it is, of course, the mortal remains of the Grey Nun. Lucy is quite sure that it must be. That the bones of a woman who died four hundred years ago should have been preserved so long and should, furthermore, be accompanied, as these were, by a quantity of sovereigns, many of which bear the likeness of our present king, does not seem to astonish her at all.

And now Margaret … But this would not do at all! Blame and resentment would only make her unhappy – as Eliza reminded her every time she wrote. The surest escape from misery was mental exertion – that was a maxim of which Miss Steerforth herself would have approved. And Dido had discovered that the very best kind of mental exertion was the solving of a puzzle or mystery. She tucked her feet under the counterpane again, took up her letter and resolutely turned her mind once more to the strange, inexplicable events in the abbey ruins.

Nor can I escape the feeling that there was something wrong – no, not wrong exactly, perhaps I should rather say strange – about the discovery of the bones. I keep remembering that moment when the captain and I first saw the commotion down beside the lake and I feel as if there was something decidedly odd … A knocking on the house door stilled Dido’s pen. She waited, fervently hoping that the visitor would not be admitted to disturb her precious hour of solitude. Margaret was gone to pay calls in the village and she had been quite determined to finish this letter while she was alone.

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