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The Lady of the Shroud

Book 4. Under The Flagstaff
Rupert's Journal--Continued.
May 1, 1907.
For some days after the last adventure I was in truth in a half-dazed condition, unable to
think sensibly, hardly coherently. Indeed, it was as much as I could do to preserve
something of my habitual appearance and manner. However, my first test happily came
soon, and when I was once through it I reacquired sufficient self-confidence to go
through with my purpose. Gradually the original phase of stupefaction passed, and I was
able to look the situation in the face. I knew the worst now, at any rate; and when the
lowest point has been reached things must begin to mend. Still, I was wofully sensitive
regarding anything which might affect my Lady of the Shroud, or even my opinion of
her. I even began to dread Aunt Janet's Second-Sight visions or dreams. These had a fatal
habit of coming so near to fact that they always made for a danger of discovery. I had to
realize now that the Lady of the Shroud might indeed be a Vampire--one of that horrid
race that survives death and carries on a life-in-death existence eternally and only for
evil. Indeed, I began to EXPECT that Aunt Janet would ere long have some prophetic
insight to the matter. She had been so wonderfully correct in her prophetic surmises with
regard to both the visits to my room that it was hardly possible that she could fail to take
cognizance of this last development.
But my dread was not justified; at any rate, I had no reason to suspect that by any force or
exercise of her occult gift she might cause me concern by the discovery of my secret.
Only once did I feel that actual danger in that respect was close to me. That was when she
came early one morning and rapped at my door. When I called out, "Who is that? What is
it?" she said in an agitated way:
"Thank God, laddie, you are all right! Go to sleep again."
Later on, when we met at breakfast, she explained that she had had a nightmare in the
grey of the morning. She thought she had seen me in the crypt of a great church close
beside a stone coffin; and, knowing that such was an ominous subject to dream about,
came as soon as she dared to see if I was all right. Her mind was evidently set on death
and burial, for she went on:
"By the way, Rupert, I am told that the great church on time top of the cliff across the
creek is St. Sava's, where the great people of the country used to be buried. I want you to
take me there some day. We shall go over it, and look at the tombs and monuments
together. I really think I should be afraid to go alone, but it will be all right if you are with
me." This was getting really dangerous, so I turned it aside:
Really, Aunt Janet, I'm afraid it won't do. If you go off to weird old churches, and fill
yourself up with a fresh supply of horrors, I don't know what will happen. You'll be
 
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