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Haunted Places
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The Transplanted Ghost A Christmas Story






BY WALLACE IRWIN


When Aunt Elizabeth asked me to spend Christmas with her at Seven Oaks
she appended a peculiar request to her letter. "Like a good fellow," she
wrote, "won't you drop off at Perkinsville, Ohio, on your way, and take
a look at Gauntmoor Castle? They say it's a wonderful old pile; and its
history is in many ways connected with that of our own family. As long
as you're the last of the Geoffray Pierreponts, such things ought to
interest you." Like her auburn namesake who bossed the Thames of yore,
sweet, red-haired, romantic autocrat, Aunt Elizabeth! Her wishes were
commands.

"What the deuce is Aunt Elizabeth up to now?" I asked Tim Cole, my law
partner, whom I found in my rooms smoking my tobacco. "Why should I be
inspecting Gauntmoor Castle--and what is a castle named Gauntmoor doing
in Perkinsville, Ohio, anyway? Perkinsville sounds like the Middle West,
and Gauntmoor sounds like the Middle Ages."

"Right in both analyses," said the pipe-poaching Tim. "Castle Gauntmoor
is from the Middle Ages, and we all know about where in Ohio
Perkinsville is. But is it possible that you, twenty-seven years old and
a college graduate, haven't heard of Thaddeus Hobson, the Marvelous
Millionaire?" I shook my head. "The papers have been full of Hobson in
the past two or three years," said Tim. "It was in 1898, I think, that
Fate jumped Thaddeus Hobson to the golden Olympus. He was first head
salesman in the village hardware store, then he formulated so successful
a scheme to clean up the Tin Plate Combine that he put away a fabulous
number of millions in a year, and subsequently went to England. Finally
he set his heart on Norman architecture. After a search he found the
ancient Castle Gauntmoor still habitable and for sale. He thrilled the
British comic papers by his offer to buy the castle and move it to
America. Hobson saw the property, telegraphed to London, and closed the
deal in two hours. And an army of laborers at once began taking the
Gauntmoor to pieces, stone by stone.

"Transporting that relic to America involved a cost in labor and
ingenuity comparable with nothing that has yet happened. Moving the
Great Pyramid would be a lighter job, perhaps. Thousands of tons of
scarred and medieval granite were carried to the railroads, freighted to
the sea, and dragged across the Atlantic in whopping big lighters
chartered for the job. And the next the newspapers knew, the monster
was set up in Perkinsville, Ohio."

"But why did he do it?" I asked.

"Who knows?" said Tim. "Ingrowing sentiment--unlimited capital--wanted
to do something for the Home Town, probably; wanted to beautify the
village that gave him his start--and didn't know how to go at it. Well,
so long!" he called out, as I seized my hat and streaked for the train.

* * * * *

It was dinner time when the train pulled in at Perkinsville. The town
was as undistinguished as I expected. I was too hungry to care about
castles at the moment, so I took the 'bus for the Commercial Hotel, an
establishment that seemed to live up to its name, both in sentiment and
in accommodation. The landlord, Mr. Spike, referred bitterly to the
castle, which, he explained, was, by its dominating presence, "spoilin'
the prosperous appearance of Perkinsville." Dinner over, he led me to a
side porch.

"How does Perkinsville look with that--with that curio squattin' on top
of it?" asked Mr. Spike sternly, as he pointed over the local livery
stable, over Smith Brothers' Plow Works, over Odd Fellows' Hall, and up,
up to the bleak hills beyond, where, poised like a stony coronet on a
giant's brow, rose the great Norman towers and frowning buttresses of
Gauntmoor Castle. I rubbed my eyes. No, it couldn't be real--it must
be a wizard's work!

"What's old Hobson got out of it?" said Mr. Spike in my ear. "Nothin'
but an old stone barn, where he can set all day nursin' a grouch and
keepin' his daughter Anita--they do say he does--under lock and key for
fear somebody's goin' to marry her for her money."

Mr. Spike looked up at the ramparts defiantly, even as the Saxon churl
must have gazed in an earlier, far sadder land.

"It's romantic," I suggested.

"Yes, darn rheumatic," agreed Mr. Spike.

"Is it open for visitors?" I asked innocently.

"Hobson?" cackled Spike. "He'd no more welcome a stranger to that place
than he'd welcome--a ghost. He's a hol-ee terror, Hobson!"

Mr. Spike turned away to referee a pool game down in the barroom.

The fires of a December sunset flared behind Gauntmoor and cast the grim
shadows of Medievalism over Mediocrity, which lay below. Presently the
light faded, and I grew tired of gazing. Since Hobson would permit no
tourists to inspect his castle, why was I here on this foolish trip?
Already I was planning to wire Aunt Elizabeth a sarcastic reference to
being marooned at Christmas with a castle on my hands, when a voice at
my shoulder said suddenly:

"Mr. Hobson sends his compliments, sir, and wants to know would Mr.
Pierrepont come up to Gauntmoor for the night?"

A groom in a plum-colored livery stood at my elbow. A light station
wagon was waiting just outside. How the deuce did Hobson know my name?
What did he want of me at Gauntmoor this time of night? Yet prospects of
bed and breakfast away from the Commercial lured me strangely.

"Sure, Mr. Pierrepont will be delighted," I announced, leaping into the
vehicle, and soon we were mounting upward, battling with the winds
around the time-scarred walls. The wagon stopped at the great gate. A
horn sounded from within, the gate swung open, a drawbridge fell with a
hideous creaking of machinery, and we passed in, twenty or thirty feet
above the snow-drifted moat. Beyond the portcullis a dim door swung
open. Some sort of seneschal met us with a light and led us below the
twilight arches, where beyond, I could catch glimpses of the baileys and
courts and the donjon tower against the heavy ramparts.

The wind hooted through the high galleries as we passed; but the west
wing, from its many windows and loopholes, blazed with cheerful yellow
light. It looked nearly cozy. Into a tall, gaunt tower we plunged, down
a winding staircase, and suddenly we came into a vast hall, stately with
tapestries and innumerable monkish carvings--and all brightly lighted
with electricity!

A little fat man sat smoking in a chair near the fire. When I entered he
was in his shirt sleeves, reading a newspaper, but when a footman
announced my name the little man, in a state of great nervousness,
jumped to his feet and threw on a coat, fidgeting painfully with the
armholes. As he came toward me, I noticed that he was perfectly bald. He
looked dyspeptic and discontented, like a practical man trying vainly to
adjust his busy habits to a lazy life. Obviously he didn't go with the
rest of the furniture.

"Pleased to see you, Mr. Pierrepont," he said, looking me over carefully
as if he thought of buying me. "Geoffray Pierrepont--tut, tut!--ain't it
queer!"

"Queer!" I said rather peevishly. "What's queer about it?"

"Excuse me, did I say queer? I didn't mean to be impolite, sir--I was
just thinking, that's all."

You could hear the demon Army of the Winds scaling the walls outside.

"Maybe you thought it kind of abrupt, Mr. Pierrepont, me asking you up
here so unceremonious," he said. "My daughter Annie, she tells me I
ought to live up to the looks of the place; but I've got my notions. To
tell you the truth, I'm in an awful quandary about this Antique Castle
business and when I heard you was at the hotel, I thought you might help
me out some way. You see you----"

He led me to a chair and offered me a fat cigar.

"Young man," he said, "when you get your head above water and make good
in the world--if you ever do--don't fool with curios, don't monkey with
antiques. Keep away from castles. They're like everything else sold by
curio dealers--all humbug. Look nice, yes. But get 'em over to America
and they either fall to pieces or the paint comes off. Whether it's a
chair or a castle--same old story. The sly scalawags that sell you the
goods won't live up to their contracts."

"Hasn't Gauntmoor all the ancient inconveniences a Robber Baron could
wish?" I asked.

"It ain't," announced Mr. Hobson. "Though it looks all right to a
stranger, perhaps. There may be castles in the Old World got it on
Gauntmoor for size--thank God I didn't buy 'em!--but for looks you can't
beat Gauntmoor."

"Comfortable?" I asked.

"Can't complain. Modern plumbed throughout. Hard to heat, but I put an
electric-light plant in the cellar. Daughter Annie's got a Colonial
suite in the North Tower."

"Well," I suggested, "if there's anything the castle lacks, you can buy
it."

"There's one thing money can't buy," said Mr. Hobson, leaning very
close and speaking in a sibilant whisper. "And that's ghosts!"

"But who wants ghosts?" I inquired.

"Now look here," said Mr. Hobson. "I'm a business man. When I bought
Gauntmoor, the London scalawags that sold it to me gave me distinctly to
understand that this was a Haunted Castle. They showed me a haunted
chamber, showed me the haunted wall where the ghost walks, guaranteed
the place to be the Spook Headquarters of the British Isles--and see
what I got!" He snapped his fingers in disgust.

"No results?"

"Results? Stung! I've slept in that haunted room upstairs for a solid
year. I've gazed night after night over the haunted rampart. I've even
hired spiritualists to come and cut their didoes in the towers and
donjon keep. No use. You can't get ghosts where they ain't."

I expressed my sympathy.

"I'm a plain man," said Hobson. "I ain't got any ancestors back of
father, who was a blacksmith, and a good one, when sober. Somebody
else's ancestors is what I looked for in this place--and I've got 'em,
too, carved in wood and stone in the chapel out back of the tower. But
statues and carvings ain't like ghosts to add tone to an ancient
lineage."

"Is there any legend?" I asked.

"Haven't you heard it?" he exclaimed, looking at me sharply out of his
small gray eyes. "It seems, 'way back in the sixteenth century, there
was a harum-scarum young feller living in a neighboring castle, and he
took an awful shine to Lady Katherine, daughter of the Earl of Cummyngs,
who was boss of this place at that time. Now the young man who loved
Miss--I mean Lady--Katherine was a sort of wild proposition. Old man
wouldn't have him around the place; but young man kept hanging on till
Earl ordered him off. Finally the old gent locked Lady Kitty in the
donjon tower," said Mr. Hobson.

"Too much shilly-shallying in this generation," he went on. "Every
house that's got a pretty girl ought to have a donjon keep. I've got
both." He paused and wiped his brow.

"This fresh young kid I'm telling you about, he thought he knew more
than the old folks, so he got a rope ladder and climbed up the masonry
one night, intending to bust into the tower where the girl was. But just
as he got half across the wall--out yonder--his foot slipped and he
broke his neck in the moat below. Consequence, Lady Kitty goes crazy and
old Earl found dead a week later in his room. It was Christmas Eve when
the boy was killed. That's the night his ghost's supposed to walk along
the ramparts, give a shriek, and drop off--but the irritating thing
about it all is, it don't ever happen."

"And now, Mr. Hobson," I said, throwing away the butt of my cigar, "why
am I here? What have I got to do with all this ghost business?"

"I want you to stay," said Hobson, beseechingly. "To-morrow night's
Christmas Eve. I've figured it out that your influence, somehow, you
being of the same blood, as it were, might encourage the ghost to come
out and save the reputation of the castle."

A servant brought candles, and Hobson turned to retire.

"The same blood!" I shouted after him. "What on earth is the name of
the ghost?"

"When he was alive his name was--Sir Geoffray de Pierrepont," said
Thaddeus Hobson, his figure fading into the dimness beyond.

I followed the servant with the candle aloft through chill and carven
corridors, through galleries lined with faded portraits of forgotten
lords. "Wheels!" I kept saying to myself. "The old man evidently thinks
it takes a live Pierrepont to coax a dead one," and I laughed nervously
as I entered the vast brown bedroom. I had to get on a chair in order to
climb into the four-poster, a cheerful affair that looked like a royal
funeral barge. At my head I noticed a carved device, seven mailed hands
snatching at a sword with the motto: "CAVE ADSUM!"

"Beware, I am here!" I translated. Who was here? Ghosts? Fudge! What
hideous scenes had this chamber beheld of yore? What might not happen
here now? Where, by the way, was old Hobson's daughter, Anita? Might not
anything be possible? I covered my head with the bedclothes.

* * * * *

Next morning being mild and bright for December, and Thaddeus Hobson and
his mysterious daughter not having showed up for breakfast, I amused
myself by inspecting the exterior of the castle. In daylight I could see
that Gauntmoor, as now restored, consisted of only a portion of the
original structure. On the west side, near a sheer fall of forty or
fifty feet, stood the donjon tower, a fine piece of medieval barbarism
with a peaked roof. And, sure enough! I saw it all now. Running along
the entire west side of the castle was a wonderful wall, stretching
above the moat to a dizzy height. It was no difficult matter to mount
this wall from the courtyard, above which it rose no more than eight or
ten feet. I ascended by a rude sentry's staircase, and once on top I
gazed upward at the tall medieval prison-place, which reared above me
like a clumsy stone chimney. Just as I stood, at the top of the wall, I
was ten or twelve feet below the lowest window of the donjon tower.
This, then, was the wall that the ancient Pierrepont had scaled, and
yonder was the donjon window that he had planned to plunder on that
fatal night so long ago. And this was where Pierrepont the Ghost was
supposed to appear!

How the lover of spectral memory had managed to scale that wall from the
outside, I could not quite make out. But once on the wall, it was no
trick to snatch the damsel from her durance vile. Just drop a long rope
ladder from the wall to the moat, then crawl along the narrow ledge--got
to be careful with a job like that--then up to the window of the donjon
keep, and away with the Lady Fair. Why, that window above the ramparts
would be an easy climb for a fellow with strong arms and a little nerve,
as the face of the tower from the wall to the window was studded with
ancient spikes and the projecting ends of beams.

I counted the feet, one, two, three--and as I looked up at the window,
a small, white hand reached out and a pink slip of paper dropped at my
feet. It read:

DEAR SIR: I'm Miss Hobson. I'm locked in the donjon tower. Father always
locks me here when there's a young man about. It's a horrid,
uncomfortable place. Won't you hurry and go?

Yours respectfully,

A. HOBSON.

I knew it was easy. I swung myself aloft on the spikes and stones
leading to the donjon window. When I was high enough I gazed in, my chin
about even with the sill. And there I saw the prettiest girl I ever
beheld, gazing down at a book tranquilly, as though gentlemanly rescuers
were common as toads around that tower. She wore something soft and
golden; her hair was night-black, and her eyes were that peculiar shade
of gray that--but what's the use?

"Pardon," I said, holding on with my right hand, lifting my hat with my
left. "Pardon, am I addressing Miss Annie Hobson?"

"You are not," she replied, only half looking up. "You are addressing
Miss Anita Hobson. Calling me Annie is another little habit father ought
to break himself of." She went on reading.

"Is that a very interesting book?" I asked, because I didn't like to go
without saying something more.

"It isn't!" She arose suddenly and hurled the book into a corner. "It's
Anthony Hope--and if there's anything I hate it's him. Father always
gives me Prisoner of Zenda and Ivanhoe to read when he locks me into
this donjon. Says I ought to read up on the situation. Do you think so?"

"There are some other books in the library," I suggested. "Bernard Shaw
and Kipling, you know. I'll run over and get you one."

"That's fine--but no!" she besought, reaching out her hand to detain me.
"No, don't go! If you went away you'd never come back. They never do."

"Who never do?"

"The young men. The very instant father sees one coming he pops me in
the tower and turns the key. You see," she explained, "when I was in
Italy I was engaged to a duke--he was a silly little thing and I was
glad when he turned out bogus. But father took the deception awfully to
heart and swore I should never be married for my money. Yet I don't see
what else a young girl can expect," she added quite simply.

I could have mentioned several hundred things.

"He has no right!" I said sternly. "It's barbarous for him to treat a
girl that way--especially his daughter."

"Hush!" she said. "Dad's a good sort. But you can't measure him by other
people's standards. And yet--oh, it's maddening, this life! Day after
day--loneliness. Nothing but stone walls and rusty armor and books.
We're rich, but what do we get out of it? I have nobody of my own age
to talk to. How the years are passing! After a while--I'll be--an old
maid. I'm twenty-one now!" I heard a sob. Her pretty head was bowed in
her hands.

Desperately I seized the bars of the window and miraculously they
parted. I leaned across the sill and drew her hands gently down.

"Listen to me," I said. "If I break in and steal you away from this,
will you go?"

"Go?" she said. "Where?"

"My aunt lives at Seven Oaks, less than an hour from here by train. You
can stay there till your father comes to his reason."

"It's quite like father never to come to his reason," she reflected.
"Then I should have to be self-supporting. Of course, I should
appreciate employment in a candy shop--I think I know all the principal
kinds."

"Will you go?" I asked.

"Yes," she replied simply, "I'll go. But how can I get away from here?"

"To-night," I said, "is Christmas Eve, when Pierrepont the Ghost is
supposed to walk along the wall--right under this window. You don't
believe that fairy story, do you?"

"No."

"Neither do I. But can't you see? The haunted wall begins at my window
on one end of the castle and ends at your window on the other. The bars
of your cell, I see, are nearly all loose."

"Yes," she laughed, "I pried them out with a pair of scissors."

I could hear Hobson's voice across the court giving orders to servants.

"Your father's coming. Remember to-night," I whispered.

"Midnight," she said softly, smiling out at me. I could have faced
flocks and flocks of dragons for her at that moment. The old man was
coming nearer. I swung to the ground and escaped into a ruined court.

Well, the hours that followed were anxious and busy for me. I worked in
the glamour of romance like a soldier about to do some particularly
brave and foolish thing. From the window of my room I looked down on the
narrow, giddy wall below. It was a brave and foolish thing. Among the
rubbish in an old armory I found a coil of stout rope, forty or fifty
feet of it. This I smuggled away. From a remote hall I borrowed a
Crusader's helmet and spent the balance of the afternoon in my room
practicing with a sheet across my shoulders, shroud-fashion.

We dined grandly at eight, the old man and I. He drank thirstily and
chatted about the ghost, as you might discuss the chances in a coming
athletic event. After what seemed an age he looked at his watch and
cried: "Whillikens! Eleven o'clock already! Well, I'll be going up to
watch from the haunted room. I think, Jeff, that you'll bring me luck
to-night."

"I am sure I shall!" I answered sardonically, as he departed.

Three quarters of an hour later, wearing the Crusader's helmet and
swathed in a bedsheet, I let myself down from the window to the haunted
wall below. It was moonlight, bitter cold as I crouched on the wall,
waiting for the stroke of twelve, when I should act the spook and walk
along that precarious ledge to rescue Anita.

The "haunted wall," I observed from where I stood, was shaped like an
irregular crescent, being in plain view of Hobson's "haunted room" at
the middle, but not so at its north and south ends, where my chamber and
Anita's tower were respectively situated. I pulled out my watch from
under my winding-sheet. Three minutes of twelve. I drew down the vizor
of my helmet and gathered up my cerements preparatory to walking the
hundred feet of wall which would bring me in sight of the haunted room
where old Hobson kept his vigil. Two minutes, one minute I waited,
when--I suddenly realized I was not alone.

A man wearing a long cloak and a feather in his cap was coming toward me
along the moonlit masonry. Aha! So I was not the only masquerading swain
calling on the captive princess in the prison tower. A jealous pang shot
through me as I realized this.

The man was within twenty feet of me, when I noticed something. He was
not walking on the wall. He was walking on air, three or four feet
above the wall. Nearer and nearer came the man--the Thing--now into
the light of the moon, whose beams seemed to strike through his misty
tissue like the thrust of a sword. I was horribly scared. My knees
loosened under me, and I clutched the vines at my back to save me from
falling into the moat below. Now I could see his face, and somehow fear
seemed to leave me. His expression was so young and human.

"Ghost of the Pierrepont," I thought, "whether you walk in shadow or in
light, you lived among a race of Men!"

His noble, pallid face seemed to burn with its own pale light, but his
eyes were in darkness. He was now within two yards of me. I could see
the dagger at his belt. I could see the gory cut on his forehead. I
attempted to speak, but my voice creaked like a rusty hinge. He neither
heeded nor saw me; and when he came to the spot where I stood, he did
not turn out for me. He walked through me! And when next I saw him he
was a few feet beyond me, standing in mid-air over the moat and gazing
up at the high towers like one revisiting old scenes. Again he floated
toward me and poised on the wall four feet from where I stood.

"What do you here to-night?" suddenly spoke, or seemed to speak, a voice
that was like the echo of a silence.

No answer came from my frozen tongue. Yet I would gladly have spoken,
because somehow I felt a great sympathy for this boyish spirit.

"It has been many earth-years," he said, "since I have walked these
towers. And ah, cousin, it has been many miles that I have been called
to-night to answer the summons of my race. And this fortress--what power
has moved it overseas to this mad kingdom? Magic!"

His eyes seemed suddenly to blaze through the shadows.

"Cousin," he again spoke, "it is to you that I come from my far-off
English tomb. It was your need called me. It is no pious deed brings you
to this wall to-night. You are planning to pillage these towers
unworthily, even as I did yesterday. Death was my portion, and broken
hearts to the father I wronged and the girl I sought."

"But it is the father wrongs the girl here," I heard myself saying.

"He who rules these towers to-day is of stern mind but loving heart,"
said the ghost. "Patience. By the Star that redeems the world, love
should not be won to-night by stealth, but by--love."

He raised his hands toward the tower, his countenance radiant with an
undying passion.

"She called to me and died," he said, "and her little ghost comes not
to earth again for any winter moon or any summer wind."

"But you--you come often?" my voice was saying.

"No," said the ghost, "only on Christmas Eve. Yule is the tide of
specters; for then the thoughts of the world are so beautiful that they
enter our dreams and call us back."

He turned to go, and a boyish, friendly smile rested a moment on his
pale face.

"Farewell, Sir Geoffray de Pierrepont," he called to me.

Into the misty moonlight the ghost floated to that portion of the wall
directly opposite the haunted room. From where I stood I could not see
this chamber. After a moment I shook my numb senses to life. My first
instinct was one of strong human curiosity, which impelled me to follow
far enough to see the effect of the apparition on old Hobson, who must
be watching at the window.

I tiptoed a hundred feet along the wall and peered around a turret up to
a room above, where Hobson's head could easily be seen in a patch of
light. The ghost, at that moment, was walking just below, and the effect
on the old man, appalling though it was, was ludicrous as well. He was
leaning far out of the window, his mouth wide open; and the entire disk
of his fat, hairless head was as pallid as the moon itself. The specter,
who was now rounding the curve of the wall near the tower, swerved
suddenly, and as suddenly seemed to totter headlong into the abyss
below. As he dropped, a wild laugh broke through the frosty air. It
wasn't from the ghost. It came from above--yes, it emanated from
Thaddeus Hobson, who had, apparently, fallen back, leaving the window
empty. Lights began breaking out all over the castle. In another moment
I should be caught in my foolish disguise. With the courage of a coward,
I turned and ran full tilt along the dizzy ledge and back to my window,
where I lost no seconds scrambling up the rope that led to my room.

With all possible haste I threw aside my sheet and helmet and started
downstairs. I had just wrestled with a ghost; I would now have it out
with the old man. The castle seemed ablaze below. I saw the flash of a
light skirt in the picture gallery, and Anita, pale as the vision I had
so lately beheld, came running toward me.

"Father--saw it!" she panted. "He had some sort of sinking spell--he's
better now--isn't it awful!" She clung to me, sobbing hysterically.

Before I realized what I had done, I was holding her close in my arms.

"Don't!" I cried. "It was a good ghost--he had a finer spirit than mine.
He came to-night for you, dear, and for me. It was a foolish thing we
planned."

"Yes, but I wanted, I wanted to go!" she sobbed now crying frankly on my
shoulder.

"You are going with me," I said fiercely, raising her head. "But not
over any ghost-ridden breakneck wall. We're going this time through the
big front door of this old castle, American fashion, and there'll be an
automobile waiting outside and a parson at the other end of the line."

We found Thaddeus Hobson alone, in the vast hall looking blankly at the
fire.

"Jeff," he said solemnly, "you sure brought me luck to-night if you can
call it such being scared into a human icicle. Br-r-r! Shall I ever get
the cold out of my backbone? But somehow, somehow that foggy feller
outside sort of changed my look on things. It made me feel kinder
toward living folks. Ain't it strange!"

"Mr. Hobson," I said, "I think the ghost has made us all see things
differently. In a word, sir, I have a confession to make--if you don't
mind."

And I told him briefly of my accidental meeting with Anita in the
donjon, of the practical joke we planned, of our sudden meeting with the
real ghost on the ramparts. Mr. Hobson listened, his face growing
redder and redder. At the finish of my story he suddenly leaped to his
feet and brought his fist down on the table with a bang.

"Well, you little devils!" he said admiringly, and burst into loud
laughter. "You're a spunky lad, Jeff. And there ain't any doubt that the
de Pierreponts are as good stuff as you can get in the ancestry
business. The Christmas supper is spread in the banquet hall. Come, de
Pierrepont, will you sup with the old Earl?"

* * * * *

The huge oaken banquet hall, lined with rich hangings, shrunk us to
dwarfs by its vastness. Golden goblets were at each place. A butler,
dressed in antique livery, threw a red cloak over Hobson's fat
shoulders. It was a whim of the old man's.

As we took our places, I noticed the table was set for four.

"Whose is the extra place?" I asked.

The old man at first made no reply. At last he turned to me earnestly
and said: "Do you believe in ghosts?"

"No," I replied. "Yet how else can I explain that vision I saw on the
ramparts?"

"Is the fourth place for him?" Anita almost whispered.

The old man nodded mutely and raised a golden goblet.

"To the Transplanted Ghost!" I said. It was an empty goblet that I
touched to my lips.





Next: The Last Ghost In Harmony

Previous: The Ghost-ship



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