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The Disowned — Volume 08 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
page 1 of 55 (01%)

Plot on thy little hour, and skein on skein
Weave the vain mesh, in which thy subtle soul
Broods on its venom! Lo! behind, before,
Around thee, like an armament of cloud,
The black Fate labours onward--ANONYMOUS.

The dusk of a winter's evening gathered over a room in Crauford's
house in town, only relieved from the closing darkness by an expiring
and sullen fire, beside which Mr. Bradley sat, with his feet upon the
fender, apparently striving to coax some warmth into the icy palms of
his spread hands. Crauford himself was walking up and down the room
with a changeful step, and ever and anon glancing his bright, shrewd
eye at the partner of his fraud, who, seemingly unconscious of the
observation he underwent, appeared to occupy his attention solely with
the difficulty of warming his meagre and withered frame.

"Ar'n't you very cold there, sir?" said Bradley, after a long pause,
and pushing himself farther into the verge of the dying embers, "may I
not ring for some more coals?"

"Hell and the--: I beg your pardon, my good Bradley, but you vex me
beyond patience; how can you think of such trifles when our very lives
are in so imminent a danger?"

"I beg your pardon, my honoured benefactor, they are indeed in

"Bradley, we have but one hope,--fidelity to each other. If we