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Download Moment of Silence by Anna Dean PDF

By Anna Dean

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It must have been a remarkably fine tree, for even its broken remains had a kind of melancholy dignity. There was an ornate bench of green wrought iron standing close beside it and Dido sat herself down upon it to think. Before her the yellowing autumn grass stretched away under a heavy grey sky, each blade thickly beaded with dew. The great trees of the park stood out black against white mist and the squat tower of the family chapel rose up above a dark bank of yews. On her right, a well-trodden path led off along the edge of the ha-ha that bounded the shrubbery, and beyond the shrubbery rose lawns and fountains and all the columned grandeur of the house-front.

It was only her own strange mind which noticed such things. She continued. So how she came to be in the shrubbery is almost as much of a mystery to us all as how she should be shot. For she was shot. Another pause, for such details seemed indelicate. But Eliza would, quite naturally, wish to know, so: give the information simply and clearly and, of course, avoid excessive sensibility. Well, it seems there was a great deal of shooting here today for the men from the house were out above three hours with their guns this morning.

I looked carefully at the distance between the spinney and the shrubbery and I am sure that a man running could have covered the ground in a minute – or maybe two. And could he have crossed the ha-ha? Well, yes, I think that he might. It is formed of only a moderate ditch – just deep enough to prevent the fence it contains from interrupting the view from the pleasure grounds – and the fence itself is not high. It does not need to be, for Sir Edgar’s park has no deer in it to come marauding in the gardens; there are only sheep and cattle, neither of which are remarkable for their prowess in jumping.

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