The Golden Calf

The Golden Calf

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The Golden Calf by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Published:

1883

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The Golden Calf

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Book Excerpt

Barbados, nor had any of the existing pupils ever seen the ghost. But the general faith in him was unshaken. He was described as an elderly man in a snuff-coloured, square-cut coat, knee-breeches, and silk stockings rolled up over his knees. He was supposed to be one of the extinct Mauleverers; harmless and even benevolently disposed; given to plucking flowers in the garden at dusk; and to gliding along passages, and loitering on the stairs in a somewhat inane manner. The bolder-spirited among the girls would have given a twelve-month's pocket money to see him. Miss Pillby declared that the sight of that snuff-coloured stranger would be her death.

'I've a weak 'art, you know,' said Miss Pillby, who was not mistress of her aspirates,--she managed them sometimes, but they often evaded her,--'the doctor said so when I was quite a little thing.'

'Were you ever a little thing, Pillby?' asked Miss Rylance with superb disdain, the present Pillby being long and gaunt.

And the group of listeners laughed, with

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