d who was left with the impression that the gentleman who got off must be a very kind man. It was darker and blowier and snowier than when he had left the corner, and Mr. Gilton floundered through the unbroken drifts up the little path to the door with increasing grudges in his heart against the difficulties of Christmas. The lock was off, and he went in slamming the door after him. There was no light in the hall, and he murmured loudly against the inconvenience.
"Confound it!" he said, "why didn't they light the gas? I'm not one of those confounded Biltons; I can afford to pay for what I don't get;" and, without pausing to take off his hat and coat, he strode to the sitting-room door and flung it open. That was an awful moment. The sudden change from the cold and darkness almost blinded him, and confirmed the impression that he was the victim of an illusion. The sound of many voices, and then the hush of sudden consternation, was in his ears. There was a lamp and there was a fire, and there between th
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