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LOST SIR MASSINGBERD.

CHAPTER I.

OUT OF MIND, OUT OF SIGHT.

NOTWITHSTANDING the baronet's polite invitation, and although Mr. Long did not return, as expected, upon the ensuing morning, I felt no inclination to exchange my solitude for the society of Mr. Gilmore at bowls. I was, indeed, rather curious to see the bowling-green, which I had heard from my tutor was one of the very finest in England, fenced in by wondrous walls of yew ; but, to arrive there, it was necessary to pass close to the Hall, and, consequently, to run great risk of meeting Sir Massing

VOL. II.

berd, my repugnance to whom had returned with tenfold strength since the preceding day. My reason, it is true, could suggest no possible harm from my having enclosed his letter to Marmaduke, but still an indefinable dread of what I had done oppressed me. I could not imagine in what manner I could have been outwitted ; but a certain malignant exultation in Sir Massingberd's face when he was taking his leave, haunted my memory, and rendered hateful the idea of meeting it again. Moreover, the companionship of Gilmore, the butler, was not attractive. He bore a very bad character with the villagers, among whom he was said to emulate in a humble manner the vices of his lord and master; he had been his companion and confidential servant for a great number of years, and it was not to be wondered at, even supposing that he commenced that servitude as an

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