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Maybe that's a bit much. The Dept. of Fine Tuning has been notified.
Right now I'm in the business of not holding the manuscript back any further. "The first words on the page were entirely lost, but those that appeared to commence the narrative were as follows: 'O! ye, whoever ye are, whom chance, or misfortune, may hereafter conduct to this spot--to ye I speak--to ye reveal the story of my wrongs, and ask ye to avenge them. Vain hope! yet it imparts some comfort to believe it possible that what I now write may one day meet the eye of a fellow creature.' " Don't tell me Alli's readers don't know how that feels!

" 'Know then, that on the night of the twelfth of October, in the year 1642, I was arrested on the road to Caux, and on the very spot where a column is erected to the memory of the immortal Henry, by four ruffians, who, after disabling my servant, bore me through wilds and woods to this abbey. Their demeanour was not that of common banditti, and I soon perceived they were employed by a superior power to perpetrate some dreadful purpose. Entreaties and bribes were vainly offered them to discover their employer and abandon their design: they would not reveal even the least circumstance of their intentions.

" 'But when, after a long journey, they arrived at this edifice, their base employer was at once revealed, and his horrid scheme but too well understood. What a moment was that! All the thunders of Heaven seemed launched at this defenceless head! O fortitude! nerve my heart to'---"

Just then, Adeline's candle goes out, and her reading--along with mine and the rest of Alli's readers'--is cruelly suspended for another night.


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