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The particular impression I had received proved in the morning light, I repeat, not
quite successfully presentable to Mrs. Grose, though I reinforced it with the mention of
still another remark that he had made before we separated. “It all lies in half a dozen
words,” I said to her, “words that really settle the matter.

‘Think, you know, what I might do!’ He threw that off to show me how good he is. He
knows down to the ground what he ‘might’ do. That’s what he gave them a taste of at
school.” “Lord, you do change!” cried my friend.

“I don’t change-I simply make it out. The four, depend upon it, perpetually meet. If on
either of these last nights you had been with either child, you would clearly have
understood. The more I’ve watched and waited the more I’ve felt that if there were
nothing else to make it sure it would be made so by the systematic silence of each.
Never, by a slip of the tongue, have they so much as alluded to either of their old
friends, any more than Miles has alluded to his expulsion.

Oh, yes, we may sit here and look at them, and they may show off to us there to their
fill; but even while they pretend to be lost in their fairytale they’re steeped in their
vision of the dead restored. He’s not reading to her,” I declared; “they’re talking of
them-they’re talking horrors! I go on, I know, as if I were crazy; and it’s a wonder I’m
not. What I’ve seen would have made you so; but it has only made me more lucid,
made me get hold of still other things.”

My lucidity must have seemed awful, but the charming creatures who were victims of
it, passing and repassing in their interlocked sweetness, gave my colleague something
to hold on by; and I felt how tight she held as, without stirring in the breath of my
passion, she covered them still with her eyes. “Of what other things have you got
hold?” “Why, of the very things that have delighted, fascinated, and yet, at bottom, as I
now so strangely see, mystified and troubled me. Their more than earthly beauty, their
absolutely unnatural goodness. It’s a game,” I went on; “it’s a policy and a fraud!” “On
the part of little darlings-?” “As yet mere lovely babies? Yes, mad as that seems!” The
very act of bringing it out really helped me to trace it-follow it all up and piece it all

“They haven’t been good-they’ve only been absent. It has been easy to live with them,
because they’re simply leading a life of their own. They’re not minethey’re not ours.
They’re his and they’re hers!” “Quint’s and that woman’s?” “Quint’s and that woman’s.
They want to get to them.” Oh, how, at this, poor Mrs. Grose appeared to study them!
“But for what?” “For the love of all the evil that, in those dreadful days, the pair put
into them. And to ply them with that evil still, to keep up the work of demons, is what
brings the others back.”

“Laws!” said my friend under her breath. The exclamation was homely, but it revealed
a real acceptance of my further proof of what, in the bad time-for there had been a
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