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The Woman in White

The Story Continued By Vincent Gilmore
I
I write these lines at the request of my friend, Mr. Walter Hartright. They are intended to
convey a description of certain events which seriously affected Miss Fairlie's interests,
and which took place after the period of Mr. Hartright's departure from Limmeridge
House.
There is no need for me to say whether my own opinion does or does not sanction the
disclosure of the remarkable family story, of which my narrative forms an important
component part. Mr. Hartright has taken that responsibility on himself, and circumstances
yet to be related will show that he has amply earned the right to do so, if he chooses to
exercise it. The plan he has adopted for presenting the story to others, in the most truthful
and most vivid manner, requires that it should be told, at each successive stage in the
march of events, by the persons who were directly concerned in those events at the time
of their occurrence. My appearance here, as narrator, is the necessary consequence of this
arrangement. I was present during the sojourn of Sir Percival Glyde in Cumberland, and
was personally concerned in one important result of his short residence under Mr.
Fairlie's roof. It is my duty, therefore, to add these new links to the chain of events, and to
take up the chain itself at the point where, for the present only Mr. Hartright has dropped
it.
I arrived at Limmeridge House on Friday the second of November.
My object was to remain at Mr. Fairlie's until the arrival of Sir Percival Glyde. If that
event led to the appointment of any given day for Sir Percival's union with Miss Fairlie, I
was to take the necessary instructions back with me to London, and to occupy myself in
drawing the lady's marriage-settlement.
On the Friday I was not favoured by Mr. Fairlie with an interview. He had been, or had
fancied himself to be, an invalid for years past, and he was not well enough to receive
me. Miss Halcombe was the first member of the family whom I saw. She met me at the
house door, and introduced me to Mr. Hartright, who had been staying at Limmeridge for
some time past.
I did not see Miss Fairlie until later in the day, at dinner-time. She was not looking well,
and I was sorry to observe it. She is a sweet lovable girl, as amiable and attentive to every
one about her as her excellent mother used to be--though, personally speaking, she takes
after her father. Mrs. Fairlie had dark eyes and hair, and her elder daughter, Miss
Halcombe, strongly reminds me of her. Miss Fairlie played to us in the evening--not so
well as usual, I thought. We had a rubber at whist, a mere profanation, so far as play was
concerned, of that noble game. I had been favourably impressed by Mr. Hartright on our
first introduction to one another, but I soon discovered that he was not free from the
social failings incidental to his age. There are three things that none of the young men of
the present generation can do. They can't sit over their wine, they can't play at whist, and
 
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