all the mediums say. No manifestations, examining something. “Do you see any. in consequence of the presence of an un- body?” I cried in a whisper, feeling the believer.” His laugh sounded very un chill of nervous panic steal over me at comfortable to me in the silence; and it this action. “It's nothing but a was now near midnight. But that laugh founded juniper-bush,” he said. This I seemed the signal; before it died away knew very well to be nonsense, for the the moaning we had heard before was re- juniper-bush was on the other side. He sumed. It started from some distance went about after this round and round, off, and came towards us, nearer and poking his taper everywhere, then renearer, like some one walking along and turned to me on the inner side of the moaning to himself. There could be no wall. He scoffed no longer; his face was idea now that it was a hare caught in a contracted and pale. “How long does trap. The approach was slow, like that this go on?” he whispered to ine, like a of a weak person with little halts and man who does not wish to interrupt some pauses. We heard it coming along the one who is speaking. I had become too grass straight towards the vacant door. much perturbed myself to remark whether way. Simson had been a little startled by the successions and changes of the voice the first sound. He said hastily, " That were the same as last night. It suddenly child has no business to be out so late.” went out in the air almost as he was But he felt, as well as I, that this was no speaking, with a soft reiterated sob dying child's voice. As it came nearer, he grew away. If there had been anything to be silent, and, going to the doorway with his seen, I should have said that the person taper, stood looking out towards the was at that moment crouching on the sound. The taper being unprotected blew ground close to the door. about in the night air, though there was We walked home very silent afterwards. scarcely any wind. I threw the light of It was only when we were in sight of the my lantern steady and white across the house that I said, "What do you think of same space. It was in a blaze of light in it?” “I can't tell what to think of it,” he the midst of the blackness. A little icy said quickly. He took — though he was thrill had gone over me at the first sound, a very temperate man not the claret I but as it came close, I confess that my was going to offer him, but some brandy only feeling was satisfaction. The scoffer from the tray, and swallowed it almost could scoff no more. The light touched undiluted. “Mind you, I don't believe a his own face, and showed a very perplexed word of it,” he said, when he had lighted countenance. If he was afraid, he con- bis candle; “but I can't tell what to think cealed it with great success, but he was of it," he turned round to add, when he perplexed. And then all that had hap: was half-way up-stairs. pened on the previous night was enacted All of this, however, did me no good

It fell strangely upon me with with the solution of my problem. I was a sense of repetition. Every cry, every to help this weeping, sobbing thing, which sob seemned the same as before. I lis was already to me as distinct a personality tened almost without any emotion at all in as anything I knew — or what should I my own person, thinking of its effect upon say to Roland ? It was on my heart that Simson. He maintained a very bold front my boy would die if I could not find some on the whole. All that coming and going way of helping this creature. You may of the voice was, is our ears could be be surprised that I should speak of it in trusted, exactly in front of the vacant, this way. I did not know if it was man blank doorway, blazing full of light, which or woman; but I no more doubted that it caught and shone in the glistening leaves was a soul in pain than I doubted my own of the great hollies at a little distance. being; and it was my business to soothe Not a rabbit could have crossed the turf this pain to deliver it, if that was possiwithout being seen; but there was noth- ble. Was ever such a task given to an ing. After a tine, Simson, with a certain anxious father trembling for his only boy? caution and bodily reluctance, as it I felt in my heart, fantastic as it may apseemed to me, went out with his roll of pear, that I inust fulfil this somehow, or taper into this space. His figure showed part with my child; and you may conceive against the holly; in full outline. Just at that rather than do that I was ready to this moment the voice sank, as was its die. But even my dying would not have custom, and seemed to Aing itself down advanced me - unless by bringing me at the door. Simson recoiled violently, into the same world with that seeker at as if some one had come up against him, the door, then turned, and held his taper low as if |

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Next morning Simson was out before ioned; perhaps he did not think so much breaksast, and came in with evident signs about the troublous problems of theology of the damp grass on his boots, and a look as many of the young men, por ask himof worry and weariness, which did not say self any hard questions upon the Confes. much for the night he had passed. He sion of Faith – but he understood human improved a little after breakfast, and vis. nature, which is perhaps better. He reited his two patients, for Bagley was still ceived me with a cordial welcome. “ Come an invalid. I went out with him on bis away, Colonel Mortimer," he said ; " I'm way to the train, to hear what he had to all the more glad to see you, that I feel say about the boy. “He is going on very it's a good sign for the boy. He's doing well,” he said; "there are no complica- well? - God be praised - and the Lord tions as yet. But mind you, that's not a bless him and keep him. He has many a boy to be trified with, Mortimer. Not a poor body's prayers

and that can do word to bim about last night.” I had to nobody harm.” tell him then of my last interview with “ Hé will need them all, Dr. Moncrieff," Roland, and of the impossible demand he I said, “and your counsel too." And I had made upon me -- by which, though told him the story — more than I had told he tried to laugh, he was much discom- Simson. The old clergyman listened to posed, as I could see. “We must just me with many suppressed exclamations, perjure ourselves all round,” he said, and at the end the water stood in his eyes. “and swear you exorcised it;” but the “That's just beautiful,” he said. "I man was too kind-hearted to be satisfied do not mind to have heard anything like with that. “It's frightfully serious for it; it's as fine as Burns when he wished you, Mortimer. I can't laugh as I should deliverance to one that is prayed for in like to. I wish I saw a way out of it, for no kirk. Ay, ay! so he would have you your sake. By the way,” he added short console the poor lost spirit? God bless ly; "didn't you notice that juniper-bush the boy! There's something more than on the left-hand side ?” “There was one common in that, Colonel Mortimer. And on the right hand of the door. I noticed also the faith of him in his father! - 1 you made tliat mistake last night.” “ Mis. would like to put that into a sermon. take!” he cried, with a curious low laugh, Then the old gentleman gave me pulling up the collar of his coat as though alarmed look, and said, " No, no; I was he felt the cold, - “there's no juniper not meaning a sermon; but I must write there this morning, left or right. Just go it down for the Children's Record.'' I and see.” As he stepped into the train a saw the thought that passed through his few minutes after, he looked back upon mind. Either he thought, or he feared I me and beckoned me for a parting word. would think, of a funeral sermon. You “ I'm coming back to night,” he said. may believe this did not make me more

I don't think I had any feeling about cheerful. this as I turned away from that common I can scarcely say that Dr. Moncrieff bustle of the railway which made my pri- gave me any advice. How could any one vate preoccupations feel so strangely out advise on such a subject? But he said, of date. There had been a distinct satis. “ I think I'll come too. I'm an old man; faction in my mind before that his scep- I'm less liable to be frighted than those ticisin had been so entirely deleated. But that are further off the world unseen. It the more serious part of the matter behoves me to think of my own journey pressed upon me now. I went straight there. I've no cut and-dry beliefs on the from the railway to the manse, which subject. I'll come too: and maybe at the stood on a little plateau on the side of the moment the Lord will put into our heads river opposite to the woods of Brentwood. what to do.” The minister was one of a class which is This gave me a little confort not so common in Scotland as it used to be. than Simson had given me. To be clear He was a man of good family, well edu- about the cause of it was not my grand cated in the Scotch way, strong in philos. desire. It was another thing that was in ophy, not so strong in Greek, strongest | my mind - my boy. As for the poor soul of all in experience, - a man who had | at the open door, I had no more doubt, "come across,'' in the course of his life, as I Irave said, of its existence than I bud most people of note that had ever been in of my own. It was no ghost to me. I Scotland, — and who was said to be very knew the creature, and it was in troubie. sound in doctrine, without infringing the That was my feeling about it, as it was toleration to which old men, who are good Roland's. To hear it first was a great men, so often come. He was old-fash- I shock to my nerves, but not now; a man

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will get accustomed to anything. But to the other ruin — the larger ruins of the do something for it was the great prob. old house — for some time, as I had done lem; how was I to be serviceable to a before. There were marks upon the being that was invisible, that was mortal grass here and there, I could not call no longer? “Maybe at the moment the them footsteps, all about; but that told Lord will put it into our heads.” This is for nothing one way or another. I had very old-fashioned phraseology, and a examined the ruined rooms closely the week before, most likely, I should have first day. They were half filled up with smiled (though always with kindness) at soil and débris, without brackens and Dr. Moncrieff's credulity; but there was bramble — no refuge for any one there. a great comfort, whether rational or oth- It vexed me that Jarvis should see me erwise I cannot say, in the mere sound of coming from that spot when he came up the words.

to me for his orders. I don't know whether The road to the station and the village my nocturnal expeditions had got wind lay through the glen — not by the ruins; among the servants. But there was a but though the sunshine and the fresh significant look in his face. Something air, and the beauty of the trees, and the in it I felt was like my own sensations sound of the water were all very soothing when Simson in the midst of bis sceptito the spirits, my mind was so full of my cism was struck dumb. Jarvis felt satisown subject that I could not refrain from fied that his veracity had been put beyond turning to the right hand as I got to the question. I never spoke to a servant of top of the glen, and going straight to the mine in such a peremptory tone before. place which I may call the scene of all I sent him away " with a flea in his lug," my thoughts. It was lying full in the as the man described it afterwards. In. sunshine, like all the rest of the world. terference of every kind was intolerable

gable looked due to me streamed down through the doorway as I could not face Roland. I did not go up our lantern had done, throwing a flash of to his room as I would have naturally light upon the damp grass beyond. There done at once. This the girls could not was a strange suggestion in the open door understand. They saw there was some - so futile, a kind of emblem of vanity mystery in it. “Mother has gone to lie --all free around, so that you could go down," Agatha said ; "he has had such where you pleased, and yet that semblance a good night.” " But he wants you so, of an enclosure - that way of entrance, papa!”cried little Jeanie, always with her unnecessary, leading to nothing; And two arms embraciny mine in a pretty way why any creature should pray and weep she had. I was obliged to go at last — but to get in to nothing: or be kept out what could I say? I could only kiss him, by nothing! You could not dwell upon and tell him to keep still — that I was doit, or it made your brain go round. I re-ing all I could. There is something inysmembered, however, what Simson said tical about the patience of a child. It about the juniper, with a little smile on will come all right, won't it, father?” he my own mind as to the inaccuracy of said. “God grant it may! I hope so, recollection, which even a scientific man Roland.”, “Oh yes, it will come all right.” will be guilty of. I could see now the Perhaps he understood that in the midst light of my lantern gleaming upon the of my anxiety I could not stay with him wet, glistening surface of the spiky leaves as I should have done otherwise. But at the right hand - and he ready to go to the girls were inore surprised than it is the stake for it that it was the left! I possible to describe. They looked at me went round to make sure. And then 1 with wondering eyes.

"If I were ill, saw what he had said. Right or left there papa, and you only stayed with me a mo. was no juniper at all. I was confounded ment, I should break my heart,” said Agaby this, though it was entirely a matter of tha. But the boy had a sympathetic feeldetail: nothing at all; a bush of bram. ing. He knew that of my own will I would bles waving, the grass growing up to the not have done it. I shut myself up in the very walls. But after all, though it gave library, where I could not rest, but kept me a shock for a moment, what did that pacing up and down like a caged beast. matter? There were marks as if a num- What could I do? and if I could do nothber of footsteps had been up and down ing, what would become of my boy? in front of the door; but these might These were the questions that, without have been our steps; and all was bright, ceasing, pursued each other through my and peaceful, and still. I poked about | mind.

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Simson came out to dinner, and when | supplied. With these differences, everythe house was all still, and most of the thing seemed as on the previous night. servants in bed, we went out and met Dr. And what occurred was exactly the Moncrieff, as we had appointed, at the same, with the same air of repetition, head of the glen. Simson, for his part, point for point, as I had formerly rewas disposed to scoff at the doctor. "If marked. I declare that it seemed to me there are to be any spells, you know, I'll as if I were pushed against, put aside, by cut the whole concern,” he said. I did the owner of the voice as he paced up not make him any reply. I had not in- and down in his trouble, – though these vited him; he could go or come as he are perfectly futile words, seeing that the pleased. He was very talkative, far more stream of light from my lantern, and that so than suited my humor, as we went on. from Simson's taper, lay broad and clear, “One thing is certain, you know, there without a shadow, without the smailest must be some human agency,” he said. break, aross the entire breadth of the " It is all bosh about apparitions. I never grass. I had ceased even to be alarmed, have investigated the laws of sound to for my part. My heart was sent with pity any great extent, and there's a great deal and trouble — pity for the poor, suffering in ventriloquism that we don't know much human creature that moaned and pleaded about.” “If it's the same to you,” I said, so, and trouble for myself and my boy. "I wish you'd keep all that to yourself, God ! if I could not find any help — and Simson. It doesn't suit my state of mind." what help could I find ? - Roland would “Oh, I hope I know how to respect idio- die. syncrasy,” he said.

The very tone of We were all perfectly still till the first his voice irritated me beyond measure. outburst was exhausted, as I knew (by These scientific fellows, I wonder people experience) it would be. Dr. Moncrieff, put up with them as they do, when you to whom it was new, was quite still on the have no mind for their cold blooded confi- other side of the wall, as we were in our dence. Dr. Moncrieff met us about eleven places. My heart had remained almost o'clock, the same time as on the previous at its usual beating during the voice. I night. He was a large man, with a vener- was used to it; it did not rouse all my able countenance and white hair - - old, pulses as it did at first. But just as it but in full vigor, and thinking less of a threw itself sobbing at the door (I cannot cold night walk than many a younger use other words), there suddenly came

He had his lantern as I had. We something which sent the blood coursing were fully provided with means of light through my veins and my heart into my ing the place, and we were all of us reso. mouth. It was a voice inside the wall lute men. We had a rapid consultation the minister's well-known voice. I would as we went up, and the result was that we have been prepared for it in any kind of divided to different posts. Dr. Moncrieff adjuration, but I was not prepared for remained inside the wall — if you can call what I heard. It came out with a sort of: that inside where there was no wall but stammering, as if too much moved for

Simson placed himself on the side utterance. “Willie, Willie! Oh, God next the ruins, so as to intercept any com- preserve us ! is it you?" munication with the old house, which was These simple words had an effect upon what his mind was fixed upon.

I was

me that the voice of the invisible creatposted on the other side. To say that ure had ceased to have. I thought the nothing could come near without being old man, whom I had brought into this seen was self-evident.

It had been so danger, had gone mad with terror. I also on the previous night. Now, with made a dash round to the other side of our three lights in the midst of the dark. the wall, half crazed myself with the ness, the whole place seemed illuminated. thought. He was standing where I had Dr. Moncrieff's lantern, which was a large left him, his shadow thrown vague and one, without any means of shutting up - large upon the grass by the lantern which an old-fashioned lantern with a pierced stood at his feet. . I lifted my own light and ornamental top shone steadily, the to see his face as I rushed forward. He rays shooting out of it upward into the was very pale, his eyes wet and glistengloom. He placed it on the grass, where ing, his mouth quivering with parted lips. the middle of the room, if this had been He neither saw nor heard me. We that a room, would have been. The usual had gone through this experience before, effect of the light streaming out of the bad crouched towards each other to get a doorway was prevented by the illumina- little strength to bear it. But he was not tion which Simson and I on either side even aware that I was there. His whole



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being seemed absorbed in anxiety and pression in his face such as words could tenderness. He held out his hands, which not tell, his under lip dropped, his eyes trembled, but it seemed to me with eager. wild, staring. It seemed to be to him, ness, not fear. He went on speaking all that image of blank ignorance and wonthe time. “Willie, if it is you - and it's der, that we were praying. All the time you, if it is not a delusion of Satan, the voice, with a low, arrested sobbing, Willie, lad! why come ye here frighting lay just where he was standing, as I them that know you not? Why came ye thought. not to me?"

“Lord," the minister said, “Lord, take He seemed to wait for an answer. him into thy everlasting habitations. The When his voice ceased, his countenance, mother he cries to is with thee. Who can every line moving, continued to speak. open to him but thee? Lord, when is it Simson gave me another terrible shock, too late for thee, or what is too hard for stealing into the open doorway with his thee? Lord, let that woman there draw light, as much awestricken, as wildly curi. him inower! Let her draw him inower!” ous, as l. But the minister resumed, I sprang forward to catch something in without seeing Simson, speaking to some my arms that flung itself wildly within the one else.

His voice took a tone of expos. door. The illusion was so strong, that I tulation.

never paused till I felt my forehead

graze "Is this right to come here? Your against the wall and my hands clutch the mother's gone with your name on her ground — for there was nobody there to lips. Do you think she would ever close save from falling, as in my foolishness I her door on her own lad? Do ye think thought. Simson held out his hand to me the Lord will close the door, ye faint to help me up. He was trembling and hearted creature? No!- I forbid ye! 1 cold, his lower lip hanging, his speech alforbid ye !” cried the old man. The sob- most inarticulate. “It's gone,” he said, bing voice had begun to resume its cries. stammering, “it's gone!” We leant He made a step forward, calling out the upon each other for a moment, trembling last words in a voice of command. “I so much both of us that the whole scene forbid ye! Cry out no more to man. Go trembled as if it were going to dissolve home, ye wandering spirit! go home! Do and disappear; and yet as long as I live I you ear me? – me that christened ye, will never forget it shining of the that have struggled with ye, that have strange lights, the blackness all round, the wrestled for ye with the Lord !” Here the kneeling figure with all the whiteness of loud tones of his voice sank into tender- the light concentrated on its white, vener

“ And her, too, poor woman! poor able head and uplifted hands. A strange, woman! her you are calling upon. She's solemn stillness seemed to close all round no here. You'll find her with the Lord. us. By intervals a single syllable," Lord ! Go there and seek her, not here. Do Lord !” came from the old minister's lips. you hear me, lad? go after her there. He saw none of us, nor thought of us. I He'll let you in, though it's late. Man, never knew how long we stood, like sentake heart! if you will lie and sob and tinels guarding him

at his prayers, holdgreet, let it be at heaven's gate, and no ing our lights in a confused, dazed way, your poor mother's ruiped door."

not knowing what we did. But at last he He stopped to get his breath; and the rose from his knees, and standing up at voice had stopped, not as it had done be his full height, raised his arms, as the fore, when its time was exhausted and all Scotch manner is at the end of a religious its repetitions said, but with a sobbing service, and solemnly gave the apostolical catch in the breath as if overruled. Then benediction to what? to the silent the minister spoke again. “ Are you earth, the dark woods, the wide-breathing hearing me, Will? Oh, laddie, you've atmosphere — for we were but spectators liked the beggarly elements all your days. gasping an Amen! Be done with them now. Go home to the It seemed to me that it must be the Father – the Father! Are you hearing middle of the night, as we all walked me?" Here the old man sank down upon back. It was in reality very late. Dr. his knees, his face raised upwards, his Moncrieff put his arm into mine. He hands held up with a tremble in them, all walked slowly, with an air of exhaustion. wbite in the light in the midst of the It was as if we were coming from a deathdarkness. I resisted as long as I could, bed. Something hushed and solemnized though I cannot tell why, - then I, too, the very air. There was that sense of redropped upon my knees. Simson all the lief in it which there alway's is at the end time stood in the doorway, with an ex- of a death-struggle. And nature, persist


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