Newspaper Page Text
AN INVORMAL " EVENING AT HOME "
that's only a Scotch superstition. What an absurd idea. And
then the thought struck me, ' why don't you prove its false ? ' I
argued it would be too much trouble of course ; but the more I
thought about it, the more I disliked the idea of spending a night
all alone in the house. And I finally concluded that I must be
afraid and I couldn't stand that, so I swore I'd do it."
" Well, Saturday night of that week was Halloween, so filling
my pockets with something to eat, and packing some blankets
and books and a pipe in a small telescope, I started out to inves
" s I found the house all right, and had no difficulty in getting
in It seemed to be an ordinary house, but in a damp, cold, and
dilapidated condition. I picked out the sitting-room, which had a
fire place, as the best room in which to spend the night ; and
gathering up some wood, I soon had a bright fire roaring up the
old chimney.. I then gathered up a quantity of wood to last
through the night, fixed up a bunk on an old discarded sofa, and
after eating my lunch, took up a book to wait for the shades of
night,—also the ghosts."
" In reading and smoking, I passed the evening away, and,
getting used to the unearthly silence, laughed to think how fool
ish these simple farmers were. But that hollow laugh echoing
through the empty house made me feel creepy, and I caught my
self listening for some horrible sound. But you see it was too
early for that, and everything was as silent as a tomb. So I read
and smoked, and smoked and read, and all the while I kept
thinking more and more about some blamed superstitious story
and ' losing my nerve.' "
" Finally about eleven o'clock I decided I felt sleepy, so filling
the grate with wood, I crawled into my bunk. I told myself I
wasn't scared, that I didn't care for 'a whole host of ghosts. But
I wanted to jerk the blankets over my head just, the same, and
only refrained from doing so by feeling for my revolver. But
everything was quiet, and after awhile I fell asleep."
" Suddenly I was awakened by a noise. I sat up and listened.
Silence. The fire had burned down to a few half glowing coals,
and I thought about getting up and putting on some more wood.
But hark! What was that noise ? Great Scott! it made my blood
run cold. From some far corner of the cellar, a hollow, sepul
chral groan sounded, at first faint, like the far away cry of a