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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 557 times)
Keeper of the Seven Keys
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« Reply #105 on: November 03, 2009, 02:22:34 am »

"No."

"Are you ill?"

"No; but I'm deuced uncomfortable What's this mattress stuffed with--
needles?"

"Needles? No. It's a hair mattress. Isn't it all right?"

"Not by a great deal. I feel as if I had been sleeping on a
porcupine. Light up the gas and let's see what the trouble is."

Dawson did as he was told, wondering meanwhile why the gas had gone
out. No one had turned it out, and yet the key was unmistakably
turned; and, what was worse, on ripping open Perkins's mattress, a
most disquieting state of affairs was disclosed.

_Every single hair in it was standing on end!_

A half-hour later four figures were to be seen wending their way
northward through the darkness--two men, a huge mastiff, and a
Chinaman. The group was made up of Dawson, his guest, his servant,
and his dog. Dampmere was impossible; there was no train until
morning, but not one of them was willing to remain a moment longer
at Dampmere, and so they had to walk.

"What do you suppose it was?" asked Perkins, as they left the third
mile behind them.

"I don't know," said Dawson; "but it must be something terrible. I
don't mind a ghost that will make the hair of living beings stand on
end, but a nameless invisible something that affects a mattress that
way has a terrible potency that I have no desire to combat. It's a
mystery, and, as a rule, I like mysteries, but the mystery of
Dampmere I'd rather let alone."

"Don't say a word about the--ah--the mattress, Charlie," said
Perkins, after awhile. "The fellows'll never believe it."

"No. I was thinking that very same thing," said Dawson.

And they were both true to Dawson's resolve, which is possibly why
the mystery of Dampmere has never been solved.

If any of my readers can furnish a solution, I wish they would do
so, for I am very much interested in the case, and I truly hate to
leave a story of this kind in so unsatisfactory a condition.

A ghost story without any solution strikes me as being about as
useful as a house without a roof.




CARLETON BARKER, FIRST AND SECOND


My first meeting with Carleton Barker was a singular one. A friend
and I, in August, 18--, were doing the English Lake District on
foot, when, on nearing the base of the famous Mount Skiddaw, we
observed on the road, some distance ahead of us, limping along and
apparently in great pain, the man whose subsequent career so sorely
puzzled us. Noting his very evident distress, Parton and I quickened
our pace and soon caught up with the stranger, who, as we reached
his side, fell forward upon his face in a fainting condition--as
well he might, for not only must he have suffered great agony from a
sprained ankle, but inspection of his person disclosed a most
extraordinary gash in his right arm, made apparently with a sharp
knife, and which was bleeding most profusely. To stanch the flow of
blood was our first care, and Parton, having recently been graduated
in medicine, made short work of relieving the sufferer's pain from
his ankle, bandaging it about and applying such soothing properties
as he had in his knapsack--properties, by the way, with which,
knowing the small perils to which pedestrians everywhere are liable,
he was always provided.
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