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Come Rack! Come Rope! By Robert Hugh Benson Characters: 1553

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:05

For one deathly instant the two sat looking each into the other's white face-since even the priest changed colour at the sound. (While they had talked the dawn had begun to glimmer, and the windows showed grey and ghostly on the thin morning mist.) Then they rose together. Marjorie was the first to speak.

"You must come upstairs at once," she said. "All is ready there, as you know."

The priest's lips moved without speaking. Then he said suddenly:

"I had best be off the back way; that is, if it is what I think-"

"The house will be surrounded."

"But you will have harboured me-"

Marjorie's lips opened in a smile.

"I have done that in any case," she said. She caught up the candle and blew it out, as she went towards the door.

"Come quickly," she


At the door Janet met them. Her old face was all distraught with fear. She had that moment run downstairs again on hearing the noise. Marjorie silenced her by a gesture….

The young carpenter had done his work excellently, and Marjorie had taken care that there had been no neglect since the work had been done. Yet so short was the time since the hearing of the horses' feet, that as the girl slipped out of the press again after drawing back the secret door, there came the loud knocking beneath, for which they had waited with such agony.

"Quick!" she said….

From within, as she waited, came the priest's whisper. "Is this to be pushed-?"

"Yes; yes."

There was the sound of sliding wood and a little snap. Then she closed the doors of the press again.

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