The Dream Woman by Wilkie Collins Page 1 of 69

Wilkie Collins

The Dream Woman

A Mystery in Four Narratives

THE FIRST NARRATIVE

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT OF THE FACTS BY PERCY FAIRBANK

I

"Hullo, there! Hostler! Hullo-o-o!"

"My dear! why don't you look for the bell?"

"I have looked-there is no bell."

"And nobody in the yard. How very extraordinary! Call again, dear."

"Hostler! Hullo, there! Hostler-r-r!"

My second call echoes through empty space, and rouses nobody-produces, in short, no visible result. I am at the end of my resources-I don't know what to say or what to do next. Here I stand in the solitary inn yard of a strange town, with two horses to hold, and a lady to take care of. By way of adding to my responsibilities, it so happens that one of the horses is dead lame, and that the lady is my wife.

Who am I?-you will ask.

There is plenty of time to answer the question. Nothing happens; and nobody appears to receive us. Let me introduce myself and my wife.

I am Percy Fairbank-English gentleman-age (let us say) forty-no profession-moderate politics-middle height-fair complexion-easy character-plenty of money.



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