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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, 02:27:31 am »

II


The mystery of Carleton Barker was by no means lessened when next
morning it was found that his room not only was empty, but that, as
far as one could judge from the aspect of things therein, it had not
been occupied at all. Furthermore, our chance acquaintance had
vanished, leaving no more trace of his whereabouts than if he had
never existed.

"Good riddance," said Parton. "I am afraid he and I would have come
to blows sooner or later, because the mere thought of him was
beginning to inspire me with a desire to thrash him. I'm sure he
deserves a trouncing, whoever he is."

I, too, was glad the fellow had passed out of our ken, but not for
the reason advanced by Parton. Since the discovery of the stainless
cuff, where marks of blood ought by nature to have been, I goose
-fleshed at the mention of his name. There was something so
inexpressibly uncanny about a creature having a fluid of that sort
in his veins. In fact, so unpleasantly was I impressed by that
episode that I was unwilling even to join in a search for the
mysteriously missing Barker, and by common consent Parton and I
dropped him entirely as a subject for conversation.

We spent the balance of our week at Keswick, using it as our head
-quarters for little trips about the surrounding country, which is
most charmingly adapted to the wants of those inclined to
pedestrianism, and on Sunday evening began preparations for our
departure, discarding our knickerbockers and resuming the
habiliments of urban life, intending on Monday morning to run up to
Edinburgh, there to while away a few days before starting for a
short trip through the Trossachs.

While engaged in packing our portmanteaux there came a sharp knock
at the door, and upon opening it I found upon the hall floor an
envelope addressed to myself. There was no one anywhere in the hall,
and, so quickly had I opened the door after the knock, that fact
mystified me. It would hardly have been possible for any person,
however nimble of foot, to have passed out of sight in the period
which had elapsed between the summons and my response.

"What is it?" asked Parton, observing that I was slightly agitated.

"Nothing," I said, desirous of concealing from him the matter that
bothered me, lest I should be laughed at for my pains. "Nothing,
except a letter for me."

"Not by post, is it?" he queried; to which he added, "Can't be.
There is no mail here to-day. Some friend?"

"I don't know," I said, trying, in a somewhat feminine fashion, to
solve the authorship of the letter before opening it by staring at
the superscription. "I don't recognize the handwriting at all."

I then opened the letter, and glancing hastily at the signature was
filled with uneasiness to see who my correspondent was.
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