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The Hand of Ethelberta

4. Sandbourne Pier - Road To Wyndway - Ball-Room In
Wyndway House
The last light of a winter day had gone down behind the
houses of Sandbourne, and night was shut close over all.
Christopher, about eight o'clock, was standing at the end of
the pier with his back towards the open sea, whence the
waves were pushing to the shore in frills and coils that were
just rendered visible in all their bleak instability by the row of
lights along the sides of the jetty, the rapid motion landward
of the wavetips producing upon his eye an apparent
progress of the pier out to sea. This pier-head was a spot
which Christopher enjoyed visiting on such moaning and
sighing nights as the present, when the sportive and
variegated throng that haunted the pier on autumn days was
no longer there, and he seemed alone with weather and the
invincible sea.
Somebody came towards him along the deserted footway,
and rays from the nearest lamp streaked the face of his
sister Faith.
'O Christopher, I knew you were here,' she said eagerly.
'You are wanted; there's a servant come from Wyndway
House for you. He is sent to ask if you can come
immediately to play at a little dance they have resolved upon
this evening--quite suddenly it seems. If you can come, you
must bring with you any assistant you can lay your hands
upon at a moment's notice, he says.'
'Wyndway House; why should the people send for me above
all other musicians in the town?'
Faith did not know. 'If you really decide to go,' she said, as
they walked homeward, 'you might take me as your
assistant. I should answer the purpose, should I not, Kit?
since it is only a dance or two they seem to want.'