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HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS

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Author Topic: HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS  (Read 5682 times)
Porscha Campbell
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« Reply #75 on: November 15, 2009, 05:15:48 am »

V

The **** Lane Ghost

The quaint old London church of St. Sepulchre's could not by any stretch of the imagination be called a fashionable place of worship. It stood in a crowded quarter of the city, and the gentry were content to leave it to the small tradesfolk and humble working people who made up its parish. Now and again a stray antiquarian paid it a fleeting visit; but, speaking generally, the coming of a stranger was so rare as to be accounted an event.

It is easy, then, to understand the sensation occasioned by the appearance at prayers one morning, in the year of grace, 1759, of a young and well dressed couple whose natural habitat was obviously in quite other surroundings. As they waited in the aisle—the man tall, erect, and easy of bearing, the woman fair and graceful—there was an instant craning of necks and vast nudging of one's neighbor; and long after they had seated themselves a[Pg 82] subdued whispering bore further, if unnecessary, testimony to the curiosity they had aroused.

Probably no one felt a more lively interest than did the parish clerk, who, in showing them to a pew, had noted the tenderness with which they regarded each other. It needed nothing more to persuade him that they were eloping lovers, and that a snug gratuity was as good as in his pocket. All through the service he fidgeted impatiently in the shadows near the door, and as soon as the congregation was dismissed and he perceived that the visitors were lingering in their places, he hurried forward and accosted them. His name, he volubly explained, was Parsons; he was officiating clerk of the parish; likewise master in the charity school nearby. No doubt they would like to inspect the church, perhaps to visit the school; it might even be they were desirous of meeting the pastor? He would be delighted if he could serve them in any way.

"Possibly you can," said the man, "for you doubtless know the neighborhood like a book. My name is Knight, and this lady is my wife. We—" He stopped short at sight of the[Pg 83] changed expression on the other's face, and breesquely demanded, "How now, man? What are you gaping at?"

"No offense, sir, no offense," stammered the disappointed and embarrassed clerk. "I beg your pardon, sir and madam."

There was an awkward pause before the man began again. "As I was saying, my name is Knight and this lady is my wife. We have only recently come to London and are in search of lodgings. If you know of any good place to which you can recommend us, we shall be heartily obliged to you."

Whatever he was, Clerk Parsons was not a fool, and these few words showed him plainly that he was face to face with a mystery. Elopers or no, such a well born couple would not from choice bury themselves in this forbidding section of London. With a cunning fostered by long years of precarious livelihood, he at once resolved to profit if he could from their need.

"I fear, sir," said he, "that I know of no lodgings that would be at all suitable for you. We are poor folk, all of us, and—"
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