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An Agreeable Explanation






A gentleman of undoubted veracity relates the following story.

"When I was a young man, I took up my residence at a lodging-house,
which was occupied by several families. On taking possession of my
apartments, I agreed with the old lady of the house, who had two
children, to accommodate me with a key to the street-door, to prevent
unnecessary trouble to the servant or family, as I should very
frequently stay out late in the evening. This was agreed to; and, by way
of making things more agreeable, I had always a light left burning for
me on the staircase, which was opposite to the outer door. This
arrangement being made, things continued very comfortable for some
months; till, one night, or rather morning, returning and opening the
door as usual, I thought I heard a faint scream--I paused for a few
seconds. The cry of 'Murder!' now feebly succeeded. I hesitated how to
act, when the cry of 'Murder!' was again more loudly vociferated. This
very much alarmed me; and, instead of going forward, I instantly
re-opened the street-door, and was in the act of calling the watch, when
a tall spare figure, at least six feet high, in a complete white dress,
and pointed cap, with a candle in its hand, appeared before me. This
unexpected encounter completed my astonishment, and I was about to
speak, when the phantom (which proved to be my good old landlady) thus
addressed me--'I hope, Sir, I have not alarmed you; but, just before you
came to the door, I had a most frightful dream. I thought robbers had
broken into my house, and, not content with plunder, had murdered my
children, and were about to destroy me; when the noise you made on
opening the door increased my agony of mind; and, before I was
sufficiently sensible, I screamed out Murder! as you must have
heard.' This explanation having taken place, the poor woman retired, and
was for several days after extremely ill; and I was not a little pleased
myself at finding what I at first supposed a supernatural encounter thus
terminate, without having recourse to a divine exorcist."





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