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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 165 pages of information about Lair of the White Worm.
I knew the family well.  When still a young girl, Lady Arabella wandered into a small wood near her home, and did not return.  She was found unconscious and in a high fever—­the doctor said that she had received a poisonous bite, and the girl being at a delicate and critical age, the result was serious—­so much so that she was not expected to recover.  A great London physician came down but could do nothing—­indeed, he said that the girl would not survive the night.  All hope had been abandoned, when, to everyone’s surprise, Lady Arabella made a sudden and startling recovery.  Within a couple of days she was going about as usual!  But to the horror of her people, she developed a terrible craving for cruelty, maiming and injuring birds and small animals—­even killing them.  This was put down to a nervous disturbance due to her age, and it was hoped that her marriage to Captain March would put this right.  However, it was not a happy marriage, and eventually her husband was found shot through the head.  I have always suspected suicide, though no pistol was found near the body.  He may have discovered something—­God knows what!—­so possibly Lady Arabella may herself have killed him.  Putting together many small matters that have come to my knowledge, I have come to the conclusion that the foul White Worm obtained control of her body, just as her soul was leaving its earthly tenement—­that would explain the sudden revival of energy, the strange and inexplicable craving for maiming and killing, as well as many other matters with which I need not trouble you now, Adam.  As I said just now, God alone knows what poor Captain March discovered—­it must have been something too ghastly for human endurance, if my theory is correct that the once beautiful human body of Lady Arabella is under the control of this ghastly White Worm.”

Adam nodded.

“But what can we do, sir—­it seems a most difficult problem.”

“We can do nothing, my boy—­that is the important part of it.  It would be impossible to take action—­all we can do is to keep careful watch, especially as regards Lady Arabella, and be ready to act, promptly and decisively, if the opportunity occurs.”

Adam agreed, and the two men returned to Lesser Hill.

CHAPTER IX—­SMELLING DEATH

Adam Salton, though he talked little, did not let the grass grow under his feet in any matter which he had undertaken, or in which he was interested.  He had agreed with Sir Nathaniel that they should not do anything with regard to the mystery of Lady Arabella’s fear of the mongoose, but he steadily pursued his course in being prepared to act whenever the opportunity might come.  He was in his own mind perpetually casting about for information or clues which might lead to possible lines of action.  Baffled by the killing of the mongoose, he looked around for another line to follow.  He was fascinated

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