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: "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 the service here since you were a boy—did you ever hear that our mistress was a play-actress when our master married her?" "How came you to know that?" inquired the elder servant, sharply. "Hush!" cried the other, rising quickly from his chair. A bell rang in the passage outside. "Is that for one of us?" asked Mathew. "Can't you tell, by the sound, which is which of those bells yet?" exclaimed Robert, contemptuously. "That bell is for Sarah Leeson. Go out into the passage and look." 8 The younger servant took a candle and obeyed. When he opened the kitchen-door, a long row of bells met his eye on the wall opposite. Above each of them was painted, in neat black letters, the distinguishing title of the servant whom it was specially intended to summon. The row of letters began with Housekeeper and Butler, and ended with Kitchen-maid and Footman's Boy.