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things-a scrap of an infant!” “Isn’t it just a proof of her blessed innocence?” my friend
bravely inquired.

She brought me, for the instant, almost round. “Oh, we must clutch at thatwe must
cling to it! If it isn’t a proof of what you say, it’s a proof of-God knows what! For the
woman’s a horror of horrors.” Mrs. Grose, at this, fixed her eyes a minute on the
ground; then at last raising them, “Tell me how you know,” she said.

“Then you admit it’s what she was?” I cried.
“Tell me how you know,” my friend simply repeated.
“Know? By seeing her! By the way she looked.” “At you, do you mean-so wickedly?”
“Dear me, no I could have borne that. She gave me never a glance. She only fixed the
child.” Mrs. Grose tried to see it. “Fixed her?” “Ah, with such awful eyes!” She stared
at mine as if they might really have resembled them. “Do you mean of dislike?” “God
help us, no. Of something much worse.” “Worse than dislike?”- this left her indeed at a

“With a determination-indescribable. With a kind of fury of intention.” I made her
turn pale. “Intention?” “To get hold of her.” Mrs. Grose-her eyes just lingering on
mine-gave a shudder and walked to the window; and while she stood there looking
out I completed my statement. “That’s what Flora knows.” After a little she turned
round. “The person was in black, you say?” “In mourning-rather poor, almost shabby.
But-yes-with extraordinary beauty.” I now recognized to what I had at last, stroke by
stroke, brought the victim of my confidence, for she quite visibly weighed this. “Oh,
handsome-very, very,” I insisted; “wonderfully handsome. But infamous.” She slowly
came back to me. “Miss Jessel-was infamous.” She once more took my hand in both her
own, holding it as tight as if to fortify me against the increase of alarm I might draw
from this disclosure. “They were both infamous,” she finally said.

So, for a little, we faced it once more together; and I found absolutely a degree of help
in seeing it now so straight. “I appreciate,” I said, “the great decency of your not having
hitherto spoken; but the time has certainly come to give me the whole thing.” She
appeared to assent to this, but still only in silence; seeing which I went on: “I must have
it now. Of what did she die? Come, there was something between them.” “There was
everything.” “In spite of the difference-?” “Oh, of their rank, their condition”- she
brought it woefully out. “She was a lady.” I turned it over; I again saw. “Yes-she was a
lady.” “And he so dreadfully below,” said Mrs. Grose.

I felt that I doubtless needn’t press too hard, in such company, on the place of a servant
in the scale; but there was nothing to prevent an acceptance of my companion’s own
measure of my predecessor’s abasement. There was a way to deal with that, and I dealt;
the more readily for my full vision-on the evidence-of our employer’s late clever,
good-looking “own” man; impudent, assured, spoiled, depraved. “The fellow was a
hound.” Mrs. Grose considered as if it were perhaps a little a case for a sense of shades.
“I’ve never seen one like him. He did what he wished.” “With her?” “With them all.” It
was as if now in my friend’s own eyes Miss Jessel had again appeared. I seemed at any
rate, for an instant, to see their evocation of her as distinctly as I had seen her by the
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