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Mystery Of The Coins

Scary Books: The Best Ghost Stories

Dr. Funk was especially anxious to have an opportunity to see and talk

with Mr. Beecher, in the hope that light would be thrown on the mystery

which surrounds a previous manifestation. Through the spirit of one

"Jack" Rakestraw, who says he used to lead the choir in one of Mr.

Beecher's churches, but frankly admits that he cannot remember exactly

where the church was located--even spirits have a way of forgetting

, spiritualists declare--Dr. Funk was informed that Mr. Beecher

was troubled because the publisher had failed to return a coin, known as

the "widow's mite," which he had borrowed some years ago, from the late

Professor Charles E. West, a well known numismatist, to make a cut to

illustrate a dictionary. Dr. Funk supposed the coin had been returned a

long time ago, but upon looking the matter up found it in a drawer of a

safe, among some old papers, exactly as Mr. Rakestraw maintained.

When Mr. Beecher appeared to him in person, so far as he could

determine, Dr. Funk asked him several direct questions, to which the

replies, he admits, were somewhat sublime. Although Dr. Funk has found

the long-lost coin--which, by the way, is said to be worth $2,500--he is

not certain to whom it should be returned, now that Professor West is

dead and his collection of coins sold. Should the "widow's mite" go to

Professor West's heirs or to the purchaser of the collection? is a

question which has as yet remained unanswered.

"That is a matter I am leaving to be determined by the Society for

Psychical Research and Mrs. Piper, who ought to be able to learn from

the spirit world what disposition Professor West wishes to have made of

the coin," said Dr. Funk. It is at any rate a matter that does not

appear to concern the spirit of Mr. Beecher.