s happenin

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omething of the kind was bound to happen. She has been lured away, or she has been kidnapped. When you come to think of it, it is quite an easy matter in grounds as large as these. It seems quite hopeless to try and fight agains

t these scoundrels. Depend upon it, they have found out our plans in some mysterious way, and have taken this step to thwart them at the last moment. But how did they manage, how could they have communicated with Vera? And what

extraordinary allurement did they hold out to her to induce her to go off with strangers in this way? Oh, the thing is maddening!" "I don't know," Walter exclaimed. "I only know that we are wasting time, a

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nd very precious time at that. Now, let me see, what would be the most likely thing to appeal to the sentiments of a young girl like Vera? I should say something to do with her mother. That, you may depend upon it--a letter from her mother. We can very soon see whether my suspicions are right or not. I'll go out into the hall at once and intervie

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w the footmen." A group of idle, lounging footmen were loafing in the hall. Walter went straight to the point. "Which of you gave Miss Rayne a letter just now?" he demanded. "And who brought it? Come, speak out!" The strong, determined voice was not without its effect. One of the footmen came forward and murmured that he had taken the le

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tter and delivered it to Vera. "It was about half

an hour ago, sir," he explained. "No, I don't know the man who brought it. He looked like a small tradesman, or respectable clerk. All he told me was to give the letter to Miss Rayn

ispered. "I

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