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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-The Turn of the Screw by Henry James


difference for the better, that I could see, in there having been in the house-and for
how long, above all?- a person of whom I was in ignorance. It lasted while I just bridled
a little with the sense that my office demanded that there should be no such ignorance
and no such person. It lasted while this visitant, at all events-and there was a touch of
the strange freedom, as I remember, in the sign of familiarity of his wearing no hat-
seemed to fix me, from his position, with just the question, just the scrutiny through the
fading light, that his own presence provoked. We were too far apart to call to each
other, but there was a moment at which, at shorter range, some challenge between us,
breaking the hush, would have been the right result of our straight mutual stare. He
was in one of the angles, the one away from the house, very erect, as it struck me, and
with both hands on the ledge. So I saw him as I see the letters I form on this page; then,
exactly, after a minute, as if to add to the spectacle, he slowly changed his place-
passed, looking at me hard all the while, to the opposite corner of the platform. Yes, I
had the sharpest sense that during this transit he never took his eyes from me, and I can
see at this moment the way his hand, as he went, passed from one of the crenelations to
the next. He stopped at the other corner, but less long, and even as he turned away still
markedly fixed me. He turned away; that was all I knew.
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-The Turn of the Screw by Henry James



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