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        "I am holding a fwunction on Saturday in honour of this young man," he lisped, "you and your wife have not yet visited my home.   Why don't you come?"

        I could not think quickly of an excuse, and it was an intriguing invitation.   So I accepted, while he stll held me in his grip.

         We arrived late.   The street outside the Darby home in Balgowlah was lined with expensive cars.

         At night, the big house had an eerie appearance, with dark shadows falling across its white walls.   More than a hundred years old, it had once been the home of Sir Henry Parkes, an early Premier of NSW.   Several rambling additions had been built on over the years and tall pine trees had grown up to screen the bulk and to add an air of mystery.

         We walked up the gravel path towards the brightly lit porch.   I felt as if I was approaching the castle of Count Dracula. The front door was open.   Beyond lay a wide hallway paved in black and white marble.

         Hesitating for a few seconds on the threshold, we could hear Darby's raised voice coming from somewhere inside.   We walked hesitantly into the hall, our steps clattering on the marble.

         The voice seemed to be comig from inside a room on the right hand side. I put my head in through the doorway, and found what appeared to some sort of chapel.   Chairs were arranged on either side of an aisle.

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