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The White Gauntlet

A woman in a wood—encountered accidentally, and alone. ’Tis an encounter to challenge curiosity—even though she be but a gipsy, or a peasant girl gathering sticks. If a high-born dame, beautiful,—and, above all, bright-haired,—curiosity is no longer the word; but admiration, involuntary, unrestrained—bordering upon adoration. It is but the instinct of man’s heart to worship the fairest object, upon which man’s eye may rest; and this is a beautiful woman, with bright hair, met in the middle of a wood.

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