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I was reading a light novel, and this sentence came up, is と here working as quotation with 察して? and what can the verb in this situation mean?

むしろ追いかけられていると察して、逃げ足を速めるに違いない。

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察して is the te-form of 察する, and it is one of the verbs that take quotative-と. The meaning is "to notice/understand/guess (some fact, indirectly via a circumstantial evidence, a facial expression, etc)". The と-clause contains what is noticed/understood.

追いかけられていると察する
to notice they are chased (not by actually seeing the chaser but by seeing some indirect evidence)

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