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An Apparition And Death






The old family seat of the T.'s, one of the most prominent names in the
community, is not far from the scenes of the above-mentioned adventure.
In all this region of lovely situations and charming water views, its
site is one of the most beautiful. The brick mansion, with all the
strangely mixed comforts and discomforts of ancient architecture, rears
its roof up from an elevated lawn, while the silvery thread of a
land-locked stream winds nearly around the whole. Over the further bank
dance the sparkling waters of a broad estuary, flashing in the glance of
the sunshine or tossing its white-capped billows in angry mimicry of the
sea. The gleam of white sails is never lacking to add variety and
picturesqueness to the scene. In the dead, hushed calm of a summer
evening, when the lifted oar rests on the gunwale, unwilling to disturb
with its dip the glassy surface, one has a strange, dreamy sense of
being suspended in space, the sky, in all its changing beauties, being
accurately reflected in illimitable depth by the still water, until the
charm is broken by the splash and ripple of a school of nomadic alewives
or the gliding, sinuous fin of a piratical shark. In this lovely home it
was wont for the family to assemble on the occasion of certain domestic
celebrations, and it was at one of these that the following incident
occurred: All were present except one member, who was detained by
sickness at her residence, fifteen miles away. It was in early afternoon
that one of the ladies standing at an open window, suddenly exclaimed:
"Why, there's Aunt Milly crossing the flower garden!" The party
approached the window, and beheld, in great surprise, the lady, in her
ordinary costume, slowly strolling among the flowers. She paused and
looked earnestly at the group, her features plainly visible; then turned
and disappeared amidst the shrubbery. No trace of her presence being
discoverable, it was natural that a gloom fell upon the company. A few
hours later a messenger arrived with the intelligence of her death. The
time of her apparition and the time of her death coincided.





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