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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