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TheAdventure of the Black Lady

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    TheAdventure of the Black Lady

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    About the beginning of last June (as near as I can remember) Bellamora came to Town from Hampshire; and was oblig'd to lodge the first Night at the same Inn where the Stage-Coach set up. The next Day she took Coach for Covent-Garden, where she thought to find Madam Brightly, a Relation of her's; with whom she design'd to continue for about half a Year undiscover'd, if possible, by her Friends in the Country: And order'd therefore her Trunk, with her Cloaths, and most of her Money and Jewels, to be brought after her to Madam Brightly's, by a strange Porter whom she spoke to in the Street as she was taking Coach; being utterly unacquainted with the neat Practices of this fine City. When she came to Bridges-street, where inded her Cousin had lodged near three or four Years since; she was strangely surpriz'd that she cou'd not learn any thing of her; no, nor so much as meet with any one that had ever heard of her Cousin's Name. Till, at last, describing Madam Brightly to one of the house-keepers in that place, he told her, that there was such a kind of Lady, whom he had sometimes seen there about a Year and a half ago; but that he believ'd, she was married and remov'd towards So-ho. In this Perplexity she quite forgot her Trunk and Money, &c. and wander'd in her Hackney-Coach all over St. Ann's Parish; inquiring for Madam Brightly, still describing her Person, but in vain; for no soul cou'd give her any Tale or Tidings of such a Lady. After she had thus fruitlesly rambled, till she, the Coachman, and the very Horses were e'en tir'd, by good Fortune for her, she happen'd on a private House, where lived a good, discreet, ancient Gentlewoman, who was fallen a little to decay, and was forc'd to let Lodgings for the best part of her Livelihood: From whom she understood, that there was such a kind of a Lady who had lain there somewhat more than a Twelve-month, being near three Months after she was married: But that she was now gone abroad with the Gentleman her Husband; either to the Play, or to take the fresh Air; and she believ'd, wou'd not return till Night. This Discourse of the good Gentlewoman's so elevated Bellamora's drooping Spirits, that after she had begg'd the Liberty of staying there till they came home, she discharg'd the Coachman in all haste, still forgetting her Trunk, and the more valuable Furniture of it.