By Anne Dean
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Extra info for A Woman of Consequence
She seemed to be about to say something to Harriet and she was looking up at her – and into the gallery. ’ ‘Yes,’ admitted Dido with reluctance. ‘That is how it appeared. Or, at least, if it was not a look of positive fright, it was one of very great surprise …’ She struggled to remember, and to speak, exactly. ‘As if she had seen something which ought not to be there. There was a kind of involuntary recoil. ’ ‘Of course,’ said Mrs Harman-Foote with a dismissive wave of the hand, ‘there was no ghost.
And children must always be told the truth. It is a principle of mine. I must have a rational account to give them. ’ ‘Yes, yes, of course,’ said Dido anxiously. She might care little about young Georgie’s delicate sensibilities, but she cared a great deal about unsolved conundrums. ‘There must be something we can do to come at the truth,’ she said eagerly. ‘It cannot be so very obscure. Perhaps if I were to return to the ruins and look into the gallery again …’ ‘Yes. That is precisely what is needed.
She tucked her feet under the counterpane again, took up her letter and resolutely turned her mind once more to the strange, inexplicable events in the abbey ruins. * * * … We rested a while upon the fallen stones in the shelter of the nave, but the girls were quite determined to climb the narrow old night stair into the haunted gallery. So up we all went and, as we climbed, the wind whipped about us horribly and we were forced to hold hard to our bonnets. However, we gained the gallery in safety and Lucy began explaining how the Grey Nun appears there to ‘wail and wring her hands whenever there is trouble about to befall the people of Madderstone’, and how, ‘at this very moment’ she herself could scarcely stand for ‘the extraordinary emotions’ which the place aroused in her … And a great deal more of that kind.