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THE WOMAN IN WHITE.

MISS HALCOMBE'S NARRATIVE CONCLUDED.

JULY 6th. Eight o'clock. The sun is shining
in a clear sky. I have not been near my bed
I have not once closed my weary, wakeful eyes.
From the same window at which I looked out
into the darkness of last night, I look out, now,
at the bright stillness of the morning.

I count the hours that have passed since
I escaped to the shelter of this room, by my
own sensationsand those hours seem like
weeks.

How short a time, and yet how long to me
since I sank down in the darkness, here, on the
floor, drenched to the skin, cramped in every
limb, cold to the bones, a useless, helpless,
panic-stricken creature.

I hardly know when I roused myself. I hardly
know when I groped my way back to the
bedroom, and lighted the candle, and searched (with
a strange ignorance, at first, of where to look
for them) for dry clothes to warm me. The
doing of these things is in my mind, but not
the time when they were done.

Can I even remember when the chilled,
cramped feeling left me, and the throbbing heat
came in its place?

Surely it was before the sun rose? Yes; I
heard the clock strike three. I remember the
time by the sudden brightness and clearness,
the feverish strain and excitement of all my
faculties which came with it. I remember my
resolution to control myself, to wait patiently
hour after hour, till the chance offered ot removing
Laura from this horrible place, without the
danger of immediate discovery and pursuit. I
remember the persuasion settling itself in my
mind that the words those two men had said to
each other, would furnish us, not only with our
justification for leaving the house, but with our
weapons of defence against them as well. I
recal the impulse that awakened in me to
preserve those words in writing, exactly as they
were spoken, while the time was my own, and
while my memory vividly retained them. All
this I remember plainly: there is no confusion
in my head yet. The coming in here, from
the bedroom, with my pen and ink and paper,
before sunrisethe sitting down at the widely-
opened window to get all the air I could to
cool methe ceaseless writing, faster and faster,
hotter and hotter, driving on, more and more
wakefully, all through the dreadful interval before
the house was astir againhow clearly I recal it,
from the beginning by candlelight, to the end
on the page before this, in the sunshine of the
new day!

Why do I sit here still? Why do I weary
my hot eyes and my burning head by writing
more? Why not lie down and rest myself, and
try to quench the fever that consumes me, in
sleep?

I dare not attempt it. A fear beyond all
other fears has got possession of me. I am
afraid of this heat that parches my skin. I am
afraid of the creeping and throbbing that I feel
in my head. If I lie down now, how do I know
that I may have the sense and the strength
to rise again?

Oh, the rain, the rainthe cruel rain that
chilled me last night!

* * * * *

Nine o'clock. Was it nine struck, or eight?
Nine, surely? I am shivering againshivering,
from head to foot, in the summer air. Have I
been sitting here asleep? I don't know what
I have been doing.

Oh, my God! am I going to be ill?

Ill, at such a time as this!

My headI am sadly afraid of my head. I
can write, but the lines all run together. I see
the words. LauraI can write Laura, and see
I write it. Eight or ninewhich was it?

So cold, so coldoh, that rain last night!—
and the strokes of the clock, the strokes I can't
count, keep striking in my head——

* * * * *

NOTE.

[At this place the entry in the Diary ceases to
be legible. The two or three lines which follow,
contain fragments of words only, mingled with
blots and scratches of the pen. The last marks
on the paper bear some resemblance to the first
two letters (L. and A.) of the name of Lady
Glyde.

On the next page of the Diary, another entry
appears. It is in a man's handwriting, large,
bold, and firmly regular; and the date is "July
the 7th." It contains these lines:]

[POSTSCRIPT BY A SINCERE FRIEND]

The illness of our excellent Miss Halcombe

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