I got hold of Mrs. Grose as soon after this as I could; and I can give no intelligible account of how I fought out the interval. Yet I still hear myself cry as I fairly threw myself into her arms: They knowits too monstrous: they know, they know!
And what on earth? I felt her incredulity as she held me.
Why, all that we knowand heaven knows what else besides! Then, as she released me, I made it out to her, made it out perhaps only now with full coherency even to myself. Two hours ago, in the gardenI could scarce articulateFlora saw!
Mrs. Grose took it as she might have taken a blow in the stomach. She has told you? she panted.
Not a wordthats the horror. She kept it to herself! The child of eight, that child! Unutterable still, for me, was the stupefaction of it.
Mrs. Grose, of course, could only gape the wider. Then how do you know?
I was thereI saw with my eyes: saw that she was perfectly aware.
Do you mean aware of him?
Noof her. I was conscious as I spoke that I looked prodigious things, for I got the slow reflection of them in my companions face. Another personthis time; but a figure of quite as unmistakable horror and evil: a woman in black, pale and dreadfulwith such an air also, and such a face!on the other side of the lake. I was there with the childquiet for the hour; and in the midst of it she came.
Came howfrom where?
From where they come from! She just appeared and stood therebut not so near.
And without coming nearer?
Oh, for the effect and the feeling, she might have been as close as you!
My friend, with an odd impulse, fell back a step. Was she someone youve never seen?
Yes. But someone the child has. Someone you have. Then, to show how I had thought it all out: My predecessorthe one who died.
Miss Jessel. You dont believe me? I pressed.
She turned right and left in her distress. How can you be sure?
This drew from me, in the state of my nerves, a flash of impatience. Then ask Florashes sure! But I had no sooner spoken than I caught myself up. No, for Gods sake, dont! Shell say she isntshell lie!
Mrs. Grose was not too bewildered instinctively to protest. Ah, how can you?
Because Im clear. Flora doesnt want me to know.
Its only then to spare you.
No, nothere are depths, depths! The more I go over it, the more I see in it, and the more I see in it, the more I fear. I dont know what I dont seewhat I dont fear!
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