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Ghosts I have Met and Some Others

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Keeper of the Seven Keys
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« Reply #105 on: November 03, 2009, 02:24:03 am »

"That's just the reason why you should see for yourself that it was
caused by my falling on my knife. I had it grasped in my right hand,
intending to cut myself a stick, when I slipped. As I slipped it
flew from my hand and I landed on it, fortunately on the edge and
not on the point," he explained, his manner far from convincing,
though the explanation seemed so simple that to doubt it were
useless.

"Did you recover the knife?" asked Parton. "It must have been a
mighty sharp one, and rather larger than most people carry about
with them on excursions like yours."

"I am not on the witness-stand, sir," returned the other, somewhat
petulantly, "and so I fail to see why you should question me so
closely in regard to so simple a matter--as though you suspected me
of some wrongdoing."

"My friend is a doctor," I explained; for while I was quite as much
interested in the incident, its whys and wherefores, as was Parton,
I had myself noticed that he was suspicious of his chance patient,
and seemingly not so sympathetic as he would otherwise have been.
"He regards you as a case."

"Not at all," returned Parton. "I am simply interested to know how
you hurt yourself--that is all. I mean no offence, I am sure, and if
anything I have said has hurt your feelings I apologize."

"Don't mention it, doctor," replied the other, with an uneasy smile,
holding his left hand out towards Parton as he spoke. "I am in great
pain, as you know, and perhaps I seem irritable. I'm not an amiable
man at best; as for the knife, in my agony I never thought to look
for it again, though I suppose if I had looked I should not have
found it, since it doubtless fell into the underbrush out of sight.
Let it rest there. It has not done me a friendly service to-day and
I shall waste no tears over it."

With which effort at pleasantry he rose with some difficulty to his
feet, and with the assistance of Parton and myself walked on and
into Keswick, where we stopped for the night. The stranger
registered directly ahead of Parton and myself, writing the words,
"Carleton Barker, Calcutta," in the book, and immediately retired to
his room, nor did we see him again that night. After supper we
looked for him, but as he was nowhere to be seen, we concluded that
he had gone to bed to seek the recuperation of rest. Parton and I
lit our cigars and, though somewhat fatigued by our exertions,
strolled quietly about the more or less somnolent burg in which we
were, discussing the events of the day, and chiefly our new
acquaintance.
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