The Dead Secret: A Novel
The Dead Secret: A Novel

Year of publication: 2013
Keywords: Cornwall (England : County) -- Fiction Gothic fiction (Literary genre) Illegitimate children -- Fiction Inheritance and succession -- Fiction Mothers and daughters -- Fiction

The Dead Secret: A Novel

Wilkie Collins

Classical prose

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THE DEAD SECRET  BOOK I.  CHAPTER I. THE TWENTY-THIRD OF AUGUST, 1829. "Will she last out the night, I wonder?" "Look at the clock, Mathew." "Ten minutes past twelve! She has lasted the night out. She has lived, Robert, to see ten minutes of the new day." These words were spoken in the kitchen of a large country-house situated on the west coast of Cornwall. The speakers were two of the men-servants composing the establishment of Captain Treverton, an officer in the navy, and the eldest male representative of an old Cornish family. Both the servants communicated with each other restrainedly, in whispers—sitting close together, and looking round expectantly toward the door whenever the talk flagged between them. "It's an awful thing," said the elder of the men, "for us two to be alone here, at this dark time, counting out the minutes that our mistress has left to live!" "Robert," said the other, "you have been in...