The gallery was terminated by folding doors, which Miss
Tilney, advancing, had thrown open, and passed through,
and seemed on the point of doing the same by the first door
to the left, in another long reach of gallery, when the gen-
eral, coming forwards, called her hastily, and, as Catherine
thought, rather angrily back, demanding whether she were
going? — And what was there more to be seen? — Had not
Miss Morland already seen all that could be worth her no-
tice? — And did she not suppose her friend might be glad
of some refreshment after so much exercise?
Miss Tilney drew back directly, and the heavy doors were closed upon the mortified Catherine, who, having seen, in a momentary glance beyond them, a narrower passage, more numerous openings, and symptoms of a winding staircase, believed herself at last within the reach of something worth her notice; and felt, as she unwillingly paced back the gallery, that she would rather be allowed to examine that end of the house than see all the finery of all the rest. The general’s evident desire of preventing such an examination was an additional stimulant.
Something was certainly to be concealed; her fancy, though it had trespassed lately once or twice, could not mislead her here; and what that something was, a short sentence of Miss Tilney’s, as they followed the general at some distance downstairs, seemed to point out: ‘I was going to take you into what was my mother’s room — the room in which she died — ‘ were all her words; but few as they were, they conveyed pages of intelligence to Catherine. It was no wonder that the general should shrink from the sight of such objects as that room must contain; a room in all probability never entered by him since the dreadful scene had passed, which released his suffering wife, and left him to the stings of conscience.
To be continued
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