organised, must have suffered under such an ordeal as this. No man could have gone through it, and come out of it unchanged.
Arriving at Limmeridge late on the evening of the fifteenth, Miss Halcombe wisely resolved not to attempt the assertion of Lady Glyde's identity, until the next day.
The first thing in the morning, she went to Mr. Fairlie's room; and, using all possible cautions and preparations beforehand, at last told him, in so many words, what had happened. As soon as his first astonishment and alarm had subsided, he angrily declared that Miss Halcombe had allowed herself to be duped by Anne Catherick. He referred her to Count Fosco's letter, and to what she had herself told him of the personal resemblance between Anne and his deceased niece; and he positively declined to admit to his presence even for one minute only, a madwoman whom it was an insult and an outrage to have brought into his house at all.
Miss Halcombe left the room; waited till the first heat of her indignation had passed away; decided, on reflection, that Mr. Fairlie should see his niece in the interests of common humanity, before he closed his doors on her as a stranger; and thereupon, without a word of previous warning, took Lady Glyde with her to his room. The servant was posted at the door to prevent their entrance; but Miss Halcombe insisted on passing him, and made her way into Mr. Fairlie's presence, leading her sister by the hand.
The scene that followed, though it only lasted for a few minutes, was too painful to be described—Miss Halcombe herself shrank from referring to it. Let it be enough to say that Mr. Fairlie declared, in the most positive terms, that he did not recognise the woman who had been brought into his room; that he saw nothing in her face and manner to make him doubt for a moment that his niece lay buried in Limmeridge churchyard; and that he would call on the law to protect him if before the day was over she was not removed from the house.
Taking the very worst view of Mr. Fairlie's selfishness, indolence, and habitual want of feeling, it was manifestly impossible to suppose that he was capable of such infamy as secretly recognising and openly disowning his brother's child. Miss Halcombe humanely and sensibly allowed all due force to the influence of prejudice and alarm in preventing him from fairly exercising his perceptions; and accounted for what had happened, in that way. But when she next put the servants to the test, and found that they too were, in