abington abbey

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III THB FIRST VISIT The Vicar was in luck, if what he really wanted was an opportunity of introducing himself to the newcomers. At the end of the village the high stone wall which enclosed the park of the Abbey began, and curved away to the right. The entrance was by a pair of fine iron gates flanked by an ancient stone lodge. A little further on was a gate in the wall, which led to a path running across the park to the church. When he came in view of the entrance the car was standing in front of the gates, and its occupants were just alighting from it to make their way to the smaller gate. The Vicar hurried up to them and took off his hat. " Are you trying to get in to the Abbey ? " he said. " The people of the lodge ought to be there to open the gates." Grafton turned to him with his pleasant smile. " There doesn't seem to be anybody there," he said. " We thought we'd go in by this gate, and my man could go and see if he could get the keys of the house. We want to look over it." " But the lodge-keeper certainly ought to be there," said the Vicar, and hurried back to the larger gate,at which he lifted up his voice in accents of command. "Mrs. Roeband!" he called, "Mrs. Roeband! Roe- band!! Where are you all? I'm afraid they must be out, sir." " Yes, I'm afraid they must," said Grafton. " But please don't bother about it. Perhaps you could tell my man where to get the keys." " They ought not to leave the place like this," said the Vicar in an annoyed voice. " It's quite wrong; quite wrong. I must find out the reason for it. I think the best way, sir, would be for your man to go to the Estate Office. I'll tell him." He gave directions to the chauffeur, while Grafton and Caroline stood by, stealing a glance at one another as some slight failure on the...
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