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Uncle Silas A Tale of Bartram-Haugh
by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Rather late in life he married, and his beautiful young wife died, leaving me, their only child, to his care. This bereavement, I have been told, changed him—made him more odd and taciturn than ever, and his temper also, except to me, more severe. There was also some disgrace about his younger brother—my uncle Silas—which he felt bitterly.
Then he looked steadfastly upon the key, and from it to me, suddenly lifting it up, and said abruptly, 'See, child,' and, after a second or two, 'Remember this key.' It was oddly shaped, and unlike others.'Yes, sir.' I always called him 'sir.' 'It opens that,' and he tapped it sharply on the door of the cabinet.'In the daytime it is always here,' at which word he dropped it into his pocket again. 'You see?—and at night under my pillow—you hear me?''Yes, sir.''You won't forget this cabinet—oak—next the door—on your left—you won't forget?''No, sir.''Pity she's a girl, and so young—ay, a girl, and so young—no sense—giddy. You say, you'll remember?'