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Childless
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Peter's Ghost






A naval officer visited a friend in the country. Several men were
sitting round the smoking-room fire when he arrived, and a fox-terrier
was with them. Presently the heavy, shambling footsteps of an old
dog, and the metallic shaking sound of his collar, were heard coming
up stairs.

"Here's old Peter!" said his visitor.

"_Peter's dead_!" whispered his owner.

The sounds passed through the closed door, heard by all; they pattered
into the room; the fox-terrier bristled up, growled, and pursued a
viewless object across the carpet; from the hearth-rug sounded a
shake, a jingle of a collar and the settling weight of a body
collapsing into repose. {156}

This pleasing anecdote rests on what is called _nautical evidence_,
which, for reasons inexplicable to me, was (in these matters)
distrusted by Sir Walter Scott.





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