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Ghosts I have Met and Some Others

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Author Topic: Ghosts I have Met and Some Others  (Read 556 times)
Keeper of the Seven Keys
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« Reply #105 on: November 03, 2009, 02:21:42 am »

"Jack he no likee too."

Jack was the mastiff.

"What's the matter with Jack?" queried Dawson. "You don't mean to
say Jack's afraid?"

"Do' know if he 'flaid," said Chung, "He growl most time."

Clearly there was no comfort for Dawson here. To rid him of his
fears it was evident that Chung could be of no assistance, and
Chung's feeling that even Jack was affected by the uncanny something
was by no means reassuring. Dawson went out into the yard and
whistled for the dog, and in a moment the magnificent animal came
bounding up. Dawson patted him on the back, but Jack, instead of
rejoicing as was his wont over this token of his master's affection,
gave a yelp of pain, which was quite in accord with Dawson's own
feelings, for gentle though the pat was, his hand after it felt as
though he had pressed it upon a bunch of needles.

"What's the matter, old fellow?" said Dawson, ruefully rubbing the
palm of his hand. "Did I hurt you?"

The dog tried to wag his tail, but unavailingly, and Dawson was
again filled with consternation to observe that even as Chung's
queue stood high, even as his own hair would not lie down, so it was
with Jack's soft furry skin. Every hair on it was erect, from the
tip of the poor beast's nose to the end of his tail, and so stiff
withal that when it was pressed from without it pricked the dog
within.

"There seems to be some starch in the air of Dampmere," said Dawson,
thoughtfully, as he turned and walked slowly into the house. "I
wonder what the deuce it all means?"

And then he sought his desk and tried to write, but he soon found
that he could not possibly concentrate his mind upon his work. He
was continually oppressed by the feeling that he was not alone. At
one moment it seemed as if there were a pair of eyes peering at him
from the northeast corner of the room, but as soon as he turned his
own anxious gaze in that direction the difficulty seemed to lie in
the southwest corner.

"Bah!" he cried, starting up and stamping his foot angrily upon the
floor. "The idea! I, Charles Dawson, a man of the world, scared by--
by--well, by nothing. I don't believe in ghosts--and yet--at times I
do believe that this house is haunted. My hair seems to feel the
same way. It stands up like stubble in a wheat-field, and one might
as well try to brush the one as the other. At this rate nothing'll
get done. I'll go to town and see Dr. Bronson. There's something the
matter with me."

So off Dawson went to town.

"I suppose Bronson will think I'm a fool, but I can prove all I say
by my hair," he said, as he rang the doctor's bell. He was instantly
admitted, and shortly after describing his symptoms he called the
doctor's attention to his hair.

If he had pinned his faith to this, he showed that his faith was
misplaced, for when the doctor came to examine it, Dawson's hair was
lying down as softly as it ever had. The doctor looked at Dawson for
a moment, and then, with a dry cough, he said:

[Illustration: "WHEN HE ROSE UP IN THE MORNING HE WOULD FIND EVERY
SINGLE HAIR ON HIS HEAD STANDING ERECT"]

"Dawson, I can conclude one of two things from what you tell me.
Either Dampmere is haunted, which you and I as sane men can't
believe in these days, or else you are playing a practical joke on
me. Now I don't mind a practical joke at the club, my dear fellow,
but here, in my office hours, I can't afford the time to like
anything of the sort. I speak frankly with you, old fellow. I have
to. I hate to do it, but, after all, you've brought it on yourself."

"Doctor," Dawson rejoined, "I believe I'm a sick man, else this
thing wouldn't have happened. I solemnly assure you that I've come
to you because I wanted a prescription, and because I believe myself
badly off."

"You carry it off well, Dawson," said the doctor, severely, "but
I'll prescribe. Go back to Dampmere right away, and when you've seen
the ghost, telegraph me and I'll come down."
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