Miss Tilney led the way into a chamber, and scarcely staying to hope she would find it comfortable, left her with an anxious entreaty that she would make as little alteration as possible in her dress.
A moment’s glance was enough to satisfy Catherine that
her apartment was very unlike the one which Henry had
endeavoured to alarm her by the description of. It was by no
means unreasonably large, and contained neither tapestry
nor velvet. The walls were papered, the floor was carpeted;
the windows were neither less perfect nor more dim than
those of the drawing-room below; the furniture, though not
of the latest fashion, was handsome and comfortable, and
the air of the room altogether far from uncheerful. Her heart
instantaneously at ease on this point, she resolved to lose no
time in particular examination of anything, as she great-
ly dreaded disobliging the general by any delay.
Her habit therefore was thrown off with all possible haste, and she was preparing to unpin the linen package, which the chaise-seat had conveyed for her immediate accommodation, when her eye suddenly fell on a large high chest. The sight of it made her start; and, forgetting everything else, she stood gazing on it in motionless wonder, while these thoughts crossed her:
‘This is strange indeed! I did not expect such a sight
as this! An immense heavy chest! What can it hold? Why
should it be placed here? Pushed back too, as if meant to be
out of sight! I will look into it — cost me what it may, I will
look into it — and directly too — by daylight. If I stay till
evening my candle may go out.’ She advanced and exam-
ined it closely.
Her fearful curiosity was every moment growing great-
er; and seizing, with trembling hands, the hasp of the lock,
she resolved at all hazards to satisfy herself at least as to its
contents. With difficulty , for something seemed to resist
her efforts, she raised the lid a few inches; but at that mo-
ment a sudden knocking at the door of the room made her,
starting, quit her hold, and the lid closed with alarming vio-
To be continued
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