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Ethel May Dell
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 484 pages of information about The Keeper of the Door.

Apparently there was not.  Olga believed there were some electric switches somewhere but she had forgotten where.

Max began to stroll about in search of them.

“Here comes the rain!” said Nick.  “It will be lighter directly.”

The rain came quite suddenly in an immense volume, that beat with deafening force upon the roof, drowning all but the loudest crashes of thunder.  For a few seconds the darkness was like night.  Then, swift and awful, there came a flash that was brighter than the noonday sun.  It streaked through the stained-glass window, showing the dreadful picture like a vision to those below it, throwing a stream of vivid crimson upon the floor; then glanced away into the dark.

There came a sound like the bursting of shell that shook the very walls to their foundation.  And through it and above it, high and horrible as the laughter of storm-fiends there came a woman’s laugh....

In that instant Nick’s hand suddenly left Olga’s.  He leaped from her side with the agility of a panther, and hurled himself into the darkness of the archway that led to the inner hall.

Something dreadful was happening there, she knew not what; and her heart stood still in terror while peal after peal of that awful laughter rang through the pealing thunder.

Then came another flash of lighting, keen as the blade of a sword, and she saw.  There, outlined against the darkness of the archway, red-robed and terrible, stood Violet.  Her right hand was flung up above her head, and in her grasp was a knife that she must have taken from the table.  She was laughing still with white teeth gleaming, but in her eyes shone the glare of madness and the red, red lust of blood.

The picture flashed away and the thunder broke forth again, but the fiendish laughter continued for seconds till suddenly it turned to a piercing scream and ceased.  Only the echoes of the thunder remained and a dreadful sound of struggling on the further side of the archway, together with a choking sound near at hand as of some animal striving against restraint.

Olga stumbled blindly forward.  “Nick!  Nick!  Where are you?  What has happened?” she cried, in an agony.

Instantly his voice came to her.  “Here, child!  Don’t be scared!  I’m holding the dog.”

She groped her way to him, nearly falling over Cork, who was dragging against his hand.

The great dog turned to her, whining, and, reassured by her presence, ceased to resist.

“That’s better,” said Nick, with relief.  “Can you hold him?”

She slipped her hand inside his collar!  “Nick!  What has happened?” she whispered, for her voice was gone.

Dimly she discerned figures in the inner hall, but there was no longer any sound of struggling.  And then quite suddenly Max came back through the archway.

“Lend me a hand, Ratcliffe!” he said.  “I’m bleeding like a pig.”

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