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It was just four o'clock on a dull grey winter afternoon. The little Stuarts' nursery looked the picture of cosiness and comfort with the blazing fire that threw flickering lights over the bright-coloured pictures on the walls, the warm carpet under foot, and the fair fresh faces of the children gathered there.
Five of them there were, and they were alone, for the old nurse who had brought them all up from their infancy was at present absent from the room.
By one of the large square windows stood one of the little girls; she was gazing steadily out into the fast darkening street below, her chin resting on one of the bars that were fastened across the lower part of the window.

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