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A Strange Disappearance

the gas and unlocked that famous bureau drawer. "Will you do so any longer in
face of these?" And drawing off the towel that lay uppermost, he revealed the
neatly folded dress, wide collar, brooch and faded roses that lay beneath. "Mrs.
Daniels assures us these articles belonged to the sewing-woman Emily; were
brought here by her. Dare you say they are not the ones reproduced in the
portrait below?"
Mr. Blake uttering a cry sank on his knees before the drawer. "My God! My God!"
was his only reply, "what are these?" Suddenly he rose, his whole form quivering,
his eyes burning. "Where is Mrs. Daniels?" he cried, hastily advancing and
pulling the bell. "I must see her at once. Send the house-keeper here," he
ordered as Fanny smiling demurely made her appearance at the door.
"Mrs. Daniels is out," returned the girl, "went out as soon as ever you got up from
dinner, sir."
"Gone out at this hour?"
"Yes sir; she goes out very often nowadays, sir."
Her master frowned. "Send her to me as soon as she returns," he commanded,
and dismissed the girl.
"I don't know what to make of this," he now said in a strange tone, approaching
again the touching contents of that open bureau drawer with a look in which
longing and doubt seemed in some way to be strangely commingled. "I cannot
explain the presence of these articles in this room; but if you will come below I
will see what I can do to make other matters intelligible to you. Disagreeable as it
is for me to take anyone into my confidence, affairs have gone too far for me to
hope any longer to preserve secrecy as to my private concerns."
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