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II “My name is Helen Stoner, and I am living with my stepfather, who is the last of one of the oldest families in England, the Roylotts of Stoke Moran. “The family was at one time among the richest in England, but at present only a few acres of land and an old house are left. The last squire lived the horrible life of a poor aristocrat; but his only son, my stepfather took a medical degree  and went to India, where, by his professional skill and his force of character, he established a large practice. In a fit of anger, however, he beat his native servant to death and went to prison. After that he returned to England a gloomy and disappointed man. “When Dr. Roylott was in India he married my mother, Mrs. Stoner, the young widow. My sister Julia and I were twins, and we were only two years old at the time of my mother’s second marriage. She had a considerable sum of money and all this she left to Dr. Roylott while we lived with him, but a certain sum should be paid to each of us every year in the event of our marriage  . After our return to England my mother died – she was killed eight years ago in a railway accident. Dr. Roylott then left London and took us to live with him in the old house at Stoke Moran. The money which my mother had left was enough for all our wants, and it seemed we could be happy.