North Carolina Newspapers

    CHAPTER XXV? Continued.
? 12?
"By all means. Inspector," said Ber
trnnd yawning. "I am a mere amateur.
All caves look alike to me. Hind the
briars; they prick most accursedly."
Arkwright's Inspection of the cave
was brie;
"It Is empty, but the place has been
used, and recently," he reported.
"Strange they should not have chosen
It; It Is the best hiding place in the
"Perhaps they only recently discov
ered this desirable residence, and were
about to shift their quarters," suggest
ed de Jussac. "No doubt, if a few
watchful policemen ambush themselves
efficiently during the dark hours, they
will catch the amiable consort of that
- J cutthroat yonder. One hopes so. It Is
painful to the law-abiding to know that
malefactors are at large. Particularly
when they are females."
Inspector Arkwright looked at him
dubiously, and made no reply. Bitty,
also, when the two rejoined him, eyed
de Jussac with extreme thoughtful
ness, nnd had some difficulty In sup
pressing his emotion. He was still
mounting gunrd over Jake, who lay
upon his Improvised stretcher and
gazed up at the sky with a singularly
beatific smile. De Jussac offered him a
/ cigarette, which he accepted silently.
"I think," said Inspector Arkwright,
z "I'll call on you two gentlemen to as
? slst me and we'll get liiin out of this. I
want^ the place cleared."
It was not an easy matter to carry
the gate and Its burden out of the pits.
By the time they had achieved It, the
car arrived from Jervaulx and wound
!ts way over the flat turf. Jake was
ilfted Into It.
"I must trouble you to accompany
me, Mr. Spencer," said Arkwright.
"Anything to oblige the police," ?ald
Billy, cojieezing himself into the front
of the car. It was a tight lit.
The journey to Stanhoe was made
almost in silence. When the car ar
rived at the police station Jake was
duly disposed of, while Billy cooled his
heels in a dingy waiting room that had
been whitewashed some time during
the period when Sir Robert Peel was
reorganizing the force. Presently In
spector Arkwright joined him. The in
spector closed the door, and regarded
Bi!ly with a sphinx-like but faintly
humorous eye.
"I think, Mr. Spencer," he said
quietly, "that you have no very high
opinion of my Intelligence?"
"Wrong there," said Billy, politely..
*T don't know that I'd class the Stan
toe staff with the world's great think
ers. But I've heard a lot ubout Scot
land Yard, and, if I may say so, you
come fully up to sample."
"There Is no harm now in my telling
you that I know precisely what your
movements have been, Mr. Spencer. I
know that It was you, and not the pris
oner, who stayed at Ivy cottage as the
tenant of Mrs. Sunning. I know that
your companion, at the same time,
stayed next door. I have also a fairly
accurate comprehension of the reasons
which led you to accept temporary em
ployment In the Jervaulx abbey house
hold. I did not, till now, know who
you were. But the papers you gave me
establish your Identity. And that
makes all the difference."
Billy was silent.
'I am, you see, In possession of the
'?There's one recent fact," thought
Billy, "that you're not wise to."
"Your affairs, Mr. Spencer, though
somewhat complicated, do not call for
the intervention of the police," said
Arkwrlght; with the ghost of a smile,
"und no official cognizance will be
taken of that matter; unless something
unforeseen occurs. I am a thief hunter
and not a castigator of rash young
men. What I know, I shall, doubtless,
keep to myself."
i Bflly felt an enormous sense of re
lief, combined with a sharp twinge of
"The irresponsible couple who en
sconced themselves at rvy cottage,"
Bald Arkwrlght, with a dry smile, "made
a good deal of trouble for themselves."
"Inspector," said Billy, "did you ever
do a fool thing?"
Inspector Arkwrlght twinkled.
"A good many, when I was your age.
And. -sometimes, even now. However,
I wish you good fortune. I am not un
grateful U you for your share In the
running to earth of Mr. Jnke. It is the
duty of the civilian to assist the police.
The woman will still be brought to
book. And I shall call on your forml
dpble employer before I leave. Good-by,
Mr. Spencer."
Billy walked out of Stanhoe police
station and made his way back to the
abbey on foot.
"Gee!" he said pensively. "But that
last stunt was awful dangerous f Of
course, I see well enough what hap
pened. Bnt It was Just a lucky acci
dent neither Almee nor that blamed
nuisance of a woman was seen getting
away. TTie luckiest sort of accident.
Inspector Arkwrlght isn't the fool I
took him for, by a long way. I wonder
how much he knows? But he can't
know that."
He shook his shoulders.
"It came near being a real crash ?
Just when everything had come right.
It put the wind up me worse than any
thing yet. But there's nothing to be
scared at now." ;
Despite the excellent turn affairs
had taken, Billy's mind was troubling
him. He had the air of a small boy
whose raid on the Jam cupboard Is
?bout to be discovered. When M tr
[ By Sidney Gozving
Illustrations by Ellsworth Young
Copyright 1923 by Sidney Co wine (
rived at the abbey there was no sign
of his partner. After lingering for
some time near the most likely haunts,
Billy sighed and retreated to the
He had not been there long when
Almee's face appeared furtively round
the angle of the door.
"Hello!" she said, stepping Inside..
She halted, and they looked at each
other dubiously. Almee was decidedly
pale, her eyes pathetic and rather
"I couldn't help It, Billy !" she said
"Couldn't help what?" v
"You saw us getting away, didn't
you? And the girl ? and the Sphinx?
Has Monsieur de Jussac explained to
"I haven't seen him," said Billy,
quietly, "but I guess It isn't hard to see
how things were. You might as well
tell me, though."
Almee, very gloomily, described her
encounter with Calamity Kate.
"I know," she concluded, shakily,
"you're thinking me an Idiot. I'd no
right to take such a risk ? with the po
lice there and everything. I ? I sup
pose she's a thief. But she's done such
a lot for that man, and she was so mis
erable. He's her husband. And 1
couldn't help thinking about you and
me, Billy, and how I should feel If you
? you?"
She broke down and began to cry
"That's how It was. Are you very
angry with me?"
Billy gasped and, stepping quickly to
Billy Pulled Aimee'a Hands Away.
her, pulled Almee's hands away from
her face.
"Angry ? with you?" he exclaimed,
holding them tight. "I was afraid you'd
be mad with me! You ought to. Why,
I did the same thing, and I'd no ex
cuse ! I ought to have made sure that
woman was run In."
"You? did the same thing?" said
Almee, staring.
"Yes! Of course, I never dreamed
you were In the pks, or I wouldn't have
done It. That crippled crook In the
cave got over me. They've got him for
five or ten years; and he's earned It,
But he was all broken up about his
\vlfe. Neither of them deserve a scrap
of sympathy. Bjit? the poor devil was
In such a state, that somehow I fell for
it. He never whined on his own ac
count ; he was thinking of his wife. It
got me on a raw spot. He knew I must
have tracked him through her ? he
begged me to say nothing about her.
"And I didn't. I gave him that much
rope. Never told the police I'd seen
her elate by. Running down women is
their job. If it's got to be done, let
them do it. They haven't any choice ?
but I had. All the same," said Hilly, "if
I'd dreamed for a moment you were in
the pits, I'd have chased fifty female
thieves sooner than you should take a
chance! I ought to be horsewhipped
for rlskln' lt.M
"I think it was fine of yon, Billy h
cried Almee with sparkling eyes. .
"No!" he said, "it's you that were
"This," said Almee, "is what comes
of growing sentimental. Neither of us
would have dreamed of making such ?
such fools of ourselves a week ago.
What will become of her? Will she
get away?"
"I don't know or care. If she made
the road, there's jHlce enough In the
Sphinx to take her a hundred miles
from here. I only hope they don't find
her with the machine. But I'll bet they
don't. She'll get clear and cover her
tracks ? she's the sort that doei."
"But the Sphinx," said Almee, with
Intense remorse, "our Sphinx, Billy!
I've lost her for you !"
Billy laughed.
"We'll mighty soon have nnother ?
there's two hundred rfended at the
docks last week ? same model; and a
factory being equipped to build the new
model over here. Mass production."
"What! Yon never told me It had
got as far as that! But ? I wanted the
old one, Billy ? our Sphinr."
"Maybe yon'H have her yet Only
I'm not going to let her make trouble
for you. We're pretty near done with
"But how ? "
"Never mind. I'll tell you some time.
Gee ! how you'll laugh ! But I'm giv
ing you the ctych ? it Is so."
J "Billy!" she cried, "isnt that splen
did! Though I ? I ? "
"I hnven't been worrying so much
about It lately," said Almee swiftly.
"But It's good to know. And what's
going to happen now?"
"I know one thing that's going to
happen now," said Billy, and he kissed
her with ? as de Jussac would say ?
"Billy!" said Almee a little breath
lessly. "Aunt suid we had to be
decorous I" ?
"So we are," replied Billy. He kissed
her again.
Half an hour later Billy, passing the
main porch, encountered Lady Ery
thea. ) {
'Spencer," she said, "I was about to
send for you. The person from Scot
land Yard, who has just left, informed
me that he had not only captured one
of the thieves, but that you had ren
dered him invaluable assistance. It
really seems a remarkable ending to
the uffalr ? but It does not surprise me
in the least ! I suld from the first that
you were more likely to make a suc
cess of this problem than all the po
lice In the country, if they would only
consult you. I was perfectly right ?
my judgment, in fact, is never wrong."
"Yes, my lady."
"I am quite cnpable of reading be
tween the lines," said Lady Erythea
with suppressed triumph. "It is my
conviction that the capture of this
abominable thief was due entirely to
you. The police are imbeciles."
Billy shook his head.
"On the contrary, Inspector Ark
wright is an uncommonly clever man,
my lady," he said respectfully. "As for
me, I had ? luck. Luck's a queer thing.
Even cleverness won't always beat it."
Lady Erythea looked a little out of
her depth.
"In any case," she continued, "I am
very pleased that this absurd suspicion
of the police regarding you is cleared
up. and that you come out of the affair
with such credit. It confirms my opin
ion of you."
Lady Erythea contemplated Billys
tall figure and serenely handsome face
with a certain regret.
"I am sorry," she said, "that you are
leaving Jervaulx."
Billy smiled.
"The week I have spent In your lady
ship's service," he said gently, "has
been the happiest time of my life."
Lady Erythea was not given to ex
pressing her emotions. But her aus
tere face i?ositively tinged a faint pink
color with pleasure.
"Where le My Daughter?"
"Why can't >ve stay on for another
week, Billy?" said Almee, leaning a
ilttle farther out of the study window,
duster in hand. "Go to Aunt ? the
Missus, I mean ? and ask her to let you
keep the Job. She'll jump at It."
"Nothing doing!" said Billy sternly.
Alince sighed. The houf was nearly
noon on the day following the Odyssey
of the crag pits. No'news had been
heard of Calamity Kate, wh"o appeared
to have drifted out of history on the
Sphinx. A brief interval of peace had
settled apon Jervaulx.
"There'll be a vacancy for a parlor
maid an' chauffeur," announced Billy
with decision. He was standing on the
gravel Just outside the window. "All
the bother with the police is wiped off
the slate. It's only a fool that backs
his luck too far. And It's time to quit
the game and turn the lights out."
"That means Aunt has got to know
who 1 am, and who Georgie is; and ?
and all the rest of it."
"There's no way out of that, I'm
"I know. But I do rather funk It.
Billy. ) The worst If It Is poor old
Georgie Is in a tighter place than I
"We'll have to see her through It."
"Don't you think," said Almee, dis
tinctly worried, "that It would be best
If Georgiua arranged to cut short her
visit and went home?and Amy Snooks
gave notice,, or just cleared out. You
as well. Then we ? we . could explain It
all by letter, or something. I think it
would look better that way.**
Billy looked at her a little oddly.
"I am in a funk, Billy," said Almee,
trembling slightly. "I don't care for
myself, but it's awful to thfnk of poor
Georgie having the storm break on her.
She Isn't built for It. I believe If the
thing Isn't sprnng on us suddenly, and
we manage it at the right time, we ?
we might get away with It"
"Rlglu again," said BlUy, "but I
shan't go. I shall stay and put It
through myself."
"No!" said Almee quickly. "I won't
hear of that."
"You Just leave It to me," said Billy,
soothingly, "there's another way. Til
; show yoo ? "
The whirr of a -motor Interrupted
him. A large automobile was ap
proaching up the park road. Almee
looked at It Such an expression of
horror came over her features that
Billy was startled.
"What's the matter?"
"That's absolutely torn ltl" said
Almee in strangled tones.
"Eh P*
"It's Dad r ,
Almee dived back Into the room like
a rabbit retreating Into Its furrow.
The automobile swept up to the main
entrance ; " the Very Reverend Lord
Scroope descended.
"Is Lady Erythea In?" he snid, al
most curtly, to the butier. "Announce
me at once, please. Lord Scroope."
Mr. Tarbeaux showed him into the
empty drawing room. Lord Scroope
deposited his hat among a cluster of
Dresden ornaments. His brow, usually
white and serene as alabaster, was
clouded. Lady Erythea entered ma
"Anthony !** she said.
Lord Scroope, omitting any greeting,
regarded her fixedly.
"I received your letter by last n?ght's
post, Erythea, announcing Airaee's en
gagement to Alexander. I borrowed
the bishop's car, and I have been trav
eling from Closemlnster since seven
this morning."
Lady Erythea received the news w 1th
a smile of approval.
"The silly child wished me to delay
announcing her betrothal. But that, of
course, I could not consent to. I wrote
to you at once, Anthony. I commend
the energy you have shown In hasten
ing to congratulate them ? and me. One
so seldom sees you in a hurry."
Lord Scroope deliberately placed a
pair of gold-rlmmed pince-nez on his
nose and stared at his sister-in-law.
"The news of this engagement," he
said earnestly, "is unwelcome to me.
Entirely unwelcome." ?
Lady Erythea stiffened In every limb.
Her ear-trumpet was presented In one
hand ; with the other she raised her
lorgnettes and directed them at Lord
Regarded Each Other Glawily.
Scroope. ? The two regarded each other
"I do not understand you," said Lady
Erythea with frigidity. "Alexander is
a young man of unexceptionable char
acter and prospects. Jeft'aulx will be
his. The Scroope estate is entailed, and
I am sufficiently au fait with your af
fairs to know that when your two sons
in the Service are provided for there
will be no overpowering fortune left
for Almee. It appears that If there is
any complaint, It should come from
"The financial aspect of the question
does not weigh with me," said Lord
Scroope with asperity. "I object to
the match itself. If Alexander is to
marry at all ? "
"If he Is to marry !" interrupted Lady
Erythea warmly. "Of course he is to
marry. Though I confess I was very
much afraid he never would. Permit
me to tell you, Anthony, that In taking
up this attitude as to the marriage of
priests, you stand on a very shaky
foundation. You yourself are a Clerk
In Orders, and an extreme Ritualist.
Shall I remind you thnt if you had not
married Delicia? and an excellent thing
it was for you ? this situation would
never have arisen !"
"I am not conscious of having ex
pressed any such argument," said Lord
Scroope very stiffly, but with a certain
pinkness about the ears. "As for Alex
ander, he is In every way an excellent
young man. But if he is to marry, the
last thing I should have desired Is his
alliance with my daughter. Their tem
peraments are so opposed that I am
convinced* nothing bat * anhappiness
could result ? In fact, your news seemed
to me almost Incredible: I do not know
what to do ? the position is very diffi
cult for me, If the ?hild has really be
come attached to him," concluded Lord
Scroope. with visible distress.
"Good gracious, man, what did you
expect?" exclaimed his sister-in-law.
"It npver entered my head," said
Lord Scroope, emphatically. "I thought
that your influence, and that of Alex
ander, would hard a steadying effect
on Almee, who web . in some need of It
But this? !"
Lady Erythea riowed Increasing ex
asperation. j /
"Yon am talking robblghn she ex
claimed, sharply. "Of all tffe girls
known to me, no more suitable male
could be found for Alexander. Indeed,
during her sojourn here Aimee ha? en
deared herself to me scarcely less than
to him. Her piety, her quiet devotion ?
the complete absence in her of all
slangine9s ? all these speak eloquently
in her favor."
- Lord Scroope gazed at her In bewil
"I really do not follow you, Erythea.
And I am greatly disappointed," said
Lord Scroope heavily, "greatly disap
pointed. I did not foresee this."
"I am not responsible, my dear
Anthony, for your lack of foresight,'*
said his sister-in-law, acidly. A shadow
darkened the window, and she turned.
"But your daughter can answer for her
Georgina stepped In through the
open window, followed by Mr. Lam be.
Suddenly observing Lord Scroope she
halted and became rigid. Every scrap
of color left her cheeks. Alexander
halted also, and slowly turned a deep
plum color.
"Since it Is a fait accompli," said
Lady Erythea to her brother-in-law,
almost with a touch of pleading, "be
amiable, Anthony, and bestow your
blessing on the happy pair."'
She raised her ear-trumpet as though
to share in the benediction. Lord
Scroope looked at Georgina dumbly and
then stared at Lady Erythea.
"What did you say?" he asked diz
"The happy pair!" said Lady Ery
thea, loudly and Irritably.
"Where Is my daughter?" exclaimed
Lord Scroope with consternation. "Ery
thea, where Is my daughter?"
Lady Erythea started. She glanced
at Georgina's horror-6trIcken face, and
then, with deep concern, moved to her
brother-in-law's side.
"My dear Anthony," she said In a
low voice, "come upstairs and lie down.
It will soon pass off. Do not be
alarmed, Aimee. Leon on my arm,
Lord Scroope shook himself free.
"Are you in your senses, Erythea?
This is my niece by marrlage?Geor
gina Beniers. What is she doing here?"
'T-yes." gulped Alexander's fiancee.
"I'm Geo.gina. I couldn't help it."
She collapsed Into an armchair and
burst into tears Alexander stood over
her like a large and protective dog ; he
laid a hand on her shoulder and glared
at the others with defiance.
Lady Erythea turned pale. It was
disconcerting to find two members ct
the Scroope family simultaneously
smitten with insanity.
"Where is Aimee?" insisted Lord
Scroope, turning upon her. "Where is
my daughter?"
"Dad !"
The disheveled parlor maid darted In
through yie door. Aimee's cap was
awry, her face was pale, her eyes very
bnght ; the top of her fipron heaved
tumultuously. She stopped short, as
Lady Erythea glared speechless at this
"Don't cry, Georgie," said Aimee ; "it
wasn't your fault."
"Have I been transported into Bed
Ian:?" asked Lord Scroope, dizzily. "Or
are vfou rehearsing a charade? What
Is sire doing in this costume?"
Lrfdy Erythea struggled for breath.
'This," she said grimly, "is my par
lor maid. Snooks, whom I foolishly en
gaged on your recommendation. She
lias engaged herself again, however, to
my chauffeur."
Lord Scroope looked at his sister-in
law with commiseration.
"This." he said, in the soothing tone
with which one would address a de
lirious person, "is my daughter. Almee.
I am rather glad to fiiuj her ? in any
costume. I began to w<mder what you
had done with her."
Lady Erythea's frame slowly stiff
ened. Her fingers clenched the ear1
trumpet as though it were the handle
of a club. Her eyes were terrible. Be
fore the storm could break, Aimee in
"It wasn't Ai? .it's fault. Dad," she
said breathlessly, "nor Georgie's ? nor
Alexander's. It was all mine. And If
you all want to beat somebody, it had
better be me ! I ? I'm here to explain !"
"Some explanation," said Lord
Scroope' quietly, "seems to be called
Aimee, avoiding her aunt's eyes, ad
dressed herself to the quivering ear
"I didn't want to come here. Dad
made me. I was ? frightened of you.
Anyway, I didn't think Jervaulx would
suit me, and that you'd hate me. So I
skipped the car at Bnrn Ash," said
Almee, her speech pouring from her like
a torrent, "and made the chauffeur
bring Georgjna on here. And I ment
off on my own !
"Georglna arrived here, and you
took her for me. You Insisted she was
me. And she didn't dare explain, for
fear of getting me Into a row. That's
what Georgie Is! S^e can't lie ? she
can't even act ? but she'd let you cut
her In pieces before she'd get me into
trouble !
"I got here the same night, and
climbed Into her room. And Georgie
begged me to own up, and I wouldn't
And I came the next night ; Georgie
was ready to give It all away?and
then the burglars got In. I was nearly
caught, all the household chased me.
the butler tore a great piece out of my
skirt. But I got away, and at last
right down by the crossroads, I ran Into
Bll ? Mr. Spencer."
Almee paused for breath.
"Who," Inquired Lord Scroope, In the
hush that followed, "Is Mr. Spencer?"
"A motorcyclist. He had eome across
the thieves getting away, had a fight
with them ? they were too many for
him, but he got back some ef the Jew*
els. I told him tfce awful nnxa I was
in. Of course, th<^ police were after
me ? rrt seen ihslr car already. If they
gat hold of ma, tfcay'd know t ha? the.
silly thing I'd done." said Ainu ,.
a gulp. "It would come out tliat I
your daughter? it*wouid be all ,)V
country, and in all the newsp;,,,,.,.^^
. r Lord Scroope, very paie, drew a ,j
'breath, and ghve a prolonged shijiit
"B? Mr. Spencer told me I'd got?"
go back and make a clean breast of,
all. He wanted to tell you. But i ^/r) ,
dare. I refused to let him say a 0t
thing? I made him swear he would!!"
It was my trouble, not his. So he <]m
what I asked ; even though it n ?
the police would suspect him, too. o!
he took the jewels to Aunt K.-yth^
and never said a word about me : an*|
when she offered him the Job as , haaf
feur he took It; so that the poll *
wouldn't suspect him?or me' u
came here and drove Aunt's oars!" *
"And you?" said her father quietlr
"What happened to you?"
^ "I went back to Scroope next day j
found Amy Snooks was coming here ?
maid? I ma<Je her go to Seabridge. an(f
took her place. Dad. Just to ho saf9
from those beastly police? In tin- hop,
they'd catch the thieves, If we ?:iTft
them time ? and then they woui^
catch me nnd make me explain. Anj
it's Just what happened; Billy? Mr
Spencer ? caught one of them ytster.
day, and the police have got him. w
body knows anything about me, except
you here!"
Aimee panted like a deer nt hay.
"And Billy's asked me to marry him
and I'm going to!" she said despite-'
ly. "I love him ! There's nobody
Billy? he's been splendid ! He isn't a
chauffeur at all? till Aunt made li!ia
one. And I'd marry him, even if hs
was !" declared Aimee, on the verge of
There was a stunned silence. For
once speech denied Itself even tol.aily
Erythea. Georgina was sobbing gently
in the chair. Alexander still stood over
her and said nothing.
"I seem to find a thread of enlighten
ment in this story," suid Lord Scroope,
slowly. "Yes, I think I know enough
of you, Aimee, to understand. 1 have
a question to put. You came here on
the day following the burglary. Where
did you spend the previous niglitt
What were you doing?"
"I was in a cave !"
Lord Scroope passed a long white
hand across his brow.
"A cave?" he repeated, blankly. "Ycu
have reverted, it seems, to the customs
of our Neolithic ancestors ? "
"It was a ripping cave," said Aimee
a little hysterically, "down in the crag
pits. All the little rabbits for company.
It was more peaceful than Jervaulx.
I krtmv it wouldn't have suited Georgie.*
"May I ask when this unknown
young man fiermitted himself to pro
pose to you?"
"Yesterday !"
"We will not pursue that matter."
said Lord Scroope, gloomily; "Hits
hardly seems the time or place for de
tailed explanations. I feel ? "
"fhe door opened and Mofisieur rt#
Jussac entered. He gave a slight start
as his eyes traveled rapidly over the
"A thousand pardons! A family
matter, I perceive," he said quickly, "I
will withdraw ? "
"Don't go, Vicomte!" exclaimed
Aimee. "Anyone who's a friend of
mine is welcome here. You may as well
be In at the death."
"If I can be of any service ? " said
Bertrand. He bowed courteously to
Aimee's fathci. "Lord Scroope, I pre
"You," said Lady Erythea to Ber
trand, trembling with wrath, "w?rt
also In this conspiracy! You apf*>ar
know the whole story P
"Oh, of course he knows it," saii
Almee, wildly, "just as Billy knew It.
and Georgina, and Diana, too. Thej
all did their best for me ? right from
the beginning. I wasn't worth it? hut
they did."
"It seems," said Lady Erythea, grtP*
ping the back of a chair, "that every
one in my household knew all about
this ? except mysfelf and my nephew 1
Who, through his position and his inn*'
conce, now finds himself ? "
"I beg your pardon. Aunt," said Al
exander, pallid but calm, "I, also, kne*
everything that was to be known
from the moment Almee entered thli
house. I kaew that Georgina? wa?
Georgina. I ftm as culpable as any."
Imagination and Memory.
?>. pagination la not, like memory, held
to actuftl experience. It takes tb?
mind beyond its own experience, be
yond the present and apparent B
Ideall? ?

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