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The Slave of the Lamp

Henry Seton Merriman

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .verity, "and you may also tell us where you have been during the last four weeks."

Poor old human wreck! Only ten hours earlier her nephew had bid her farewell for the day. Christian began an explanation in a weary, mechanical way, like an actor tired of the part assigned to him, but the old ladies would not listen. Aunt Hester interrupted him promptly.

"Your shallow excuses are wasted on us, Nephew Vellacott. You have doubtless been away, enjoying yourself and leaving us—us who support you and deprive ourselves in order to keep a decent coat upon your back—leaving us to the mercy of all the thieves in London. And tell us, pray—what are we to do for spoons and forks to-night?"

"What?" exclaimed Christian with perfunctory interest, "have the spoons gone—?" he almost said "again," but checked himself in time. He turned to look at the table, which had been carefully denuded of every piece of silver.

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