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great presence of mind, and after murmuring something about regret at missing a bathe, and his being a bold swimmer from his infancy, prepared to set himself to rights with a view to breakfast. On our way to the cottage, Challoner impressed on me, and especially on his brother, the importance of keeping close the events of the night. He would not hear of Lord Carden mentioning the subject to Mr. Wiseman, or writing of it to Lady Carden, which I could see to my surprise gravelled Lord Carden not a little, though I should have thought there were parts of the case on which he might not care to dwell. Since then, however, and after our story had become the public property of our friends, Lord Carden was, I found, very fond of giving minute accounts of it, accounts so minute that people have sometimes come up to me, and said that they had had no idea from previous experience that Lord Carden was such a plucky little chap.

I could see Mrs. Wiseman was dying to ask us how we had passed the night, as she received us at her breakfast table, but Challoner was beforehand with her, and beginning at once with the description of a ghastly figure that had—he said-appeared to us in the small hours, proceeded as Mrs. Wiseman's eyes grew more and more terrified, to say that it unscrewed its head (which was a skull) from its neck, and played cup and ball with it, its great feat being to catch the skull on the point by one of its eyeholes.

* Whenever it succeeded in doing this,' Challoner continued, gravely, it laughed, making a sound like hollow marbles being shaken in an empty box. With the first streak of dawn it disappeared, carrying its head in its hand. Didn't it, Mostyn?'

Mrs. Wiseman was by this time laughing in little muffled explosions behind her hand, and telling her husband there never was, no, there never was, a young gentleman to make fun like the Honourable Mr. Frank, that there was not.

In short, by acting an untruth and telling white lies, we succeeded in making Mr. and Mrs. Wiseman believe we had seen and heard nothing.

After breakfast we returned to the Chase, and almost the whole morning was spent in going over the house and gardens. From garret to basement we went, and returned at last to the long low pillared drawing-room, the state room of the house, elaborately panelled and carved in some light wood, which, as in other parts of the house, had been painted white, the walls being hung between the panels with rare old drawings and ébauches by Titian, Pynaker, and Claude Lorraine.

‘A big house this to keep up on £3000 a year,' said Lord Carden, looking out over the sweeping lawn, with lake and deer park.beyond. If I were my brother, I think I should prefer taking my share, and having a house in London.'

Mr. Wiseman murmured something about fine old timber that wanted cutting down, family place, etc.

•What has become of those two young Mortons who inherit if the place is sold ?' asked Lord Carden.

Mr. Wiseman could not say. He really could not take upon himself to say. He could only shake his head. They were a very bad lot, he was afraid ; a very bad lot. They were always writing to Miss Challoner for money. Last time they wrote from America.

Lord Carden made a remark to the effect that when they first took to bad ways he himself had said at the time to Lady Carden that he did not think they would ever come to much good, in fact ... Challoner had already wandered into the hall with his hands in his pockets. I followed him, and found him in the ante-room leading into the hall, looking earnestly at the brazen lamp as it hung by its long chain from the ceiling like some giant spider. Presently he drew a chair under it, and mounting thereon, examined the lamp inside and out long and carefully. The result was evidently not satisfactory, for at last he sprang down, and rammed the chair back against the wall with a gesture half-impatient, half-annoyed. I could see he was cudgelling his brains for a rational explanation, and was cudgelling them in vain.

Slowly and absently he returned through the hall and went upstairs to the boudoir. I followed him still, and coming into the room

a moment after him, found him on his knees, examining the dim stain upon the floor, as dim, and brown, and old as it had been the afternoon before. He got up and stood looking at me with an intent absence of

gaze. It's no good racking your brains,' I said. 'I don't mind the lamp,' he said, slowly; "and I don't mind that,' pointing to the stain ; ‘but,' with a sudden vehemence, • what floors me is.

I understood what he was thinking of. He could not account for the disappearance of the ghost into thin air while we stood in the doorway, the only means of egress from the room. I


could, because I knew ghosts always took their leave in that manner, but this, I could see, was just the point he would not concede, even to himself.

• Do you believe in ghosts, Mostyn?' he said suddenly. • Ahem !' I replied. “I did not yesterday.'

*I don't to-day,' he said, vehemently, as if to convince himself, and shutting the door with a bang, he marched downstairs. I was sorry for him.

The afternoon turned to rain and was spent in the library looking over maps of the estate and of the house, parts of which, especially the cellars, and most of the outside walls were of great antiquity, the cellars showing evident traces of fortification, so Mr. Wiseman informed us. The more modern part of the Chase, which, with the exception of the hall, consisted mainly of the living rooms of the house, was itself a hundred years old, with furniture of about the same date.

Gradually Challoner's interest flagged, he became distracted, and at last, after pacing up and down for a few moments, he suddenly quitted the room.

Half an hour afterwards, as I sauntered back towards the hall for a book I had left there, I came upon him, sitting on the lowest step of the staircase, putting on his boots. I stood still and stared at him. He raised an excited flushed face, rather dusty and smudged, especially on one side. As I opened my mouth to speak he made me a rapid sign to be silent.

'Have you seen "Bound to Win " anywhere about ?' he asked, a moment later, in his natural voice. I can't think where I laid it down.'

'I saw it last on the hall table,' I replied. “I expect it is there still.'

And he went to look for it.

We dined again that evening at the Wisemans, and again Challoner announced his intention of sitting up one night more, ' in order,' as he said, 'to give the ghost a chance if it had been detained by temporary indisposition the night before, of putting in an appearance.'

He looked excited, talked at random, was gay by fits and starts, and then relapsed into sudden silences. I could make nothing of him.

Suddenly, when in the course of the evening we happened to

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be alone together for a few moments, he came close up to me and said

'I can rely on you at a pinch, Mostyn?'

I replied somewhat faintly, for I have a great dislike to pinches, that I supposed he could.

'I do rely on you,' he said, 'entirely,' then continued hurriedly, Wherever I go to-night you follow me, and mind, there will be a candle. I'll see there is one, you bring it with you.'

"Oh, Heavens, Challoner, what are you going to do?' I gasped, turning cold.

* Perhaps much, perhaps nothing,' he replied quickly. “Nothing if you lose your head. Hush, here are the others!'

What could have induced Lord Carden to join our second night watch I know not, unless an extreme fear of being thought the coward he was, urged him to the very thing of which he stood in terror. At any rate, come he would and did, though I could see he was shaking in his shoes, and indeed in all his clothes. Wolf alone remained behind, having been tied up and forgotten, until it was too late to go back for him.

No need to make any effort to keep awake to-night! Sleep, as we sat round the hall fire, seemed a thing of the past, like a shop with which we have closed our account, and have no present dealing. The night was almost as quiet as the previous one, save for the low continual whisper of the rain which fell quietly, without intermission. At a quarter to twelve Challoner noiselessly rose, and lit the battered old brass candle which he had placed earlier on the table. I can see that candlestick now. I stared at him in uneasy expectation. Then he slipped off his boots, and I did the same.

It was a very long quarter of an hour. At last the distant church clock began to strike, but my heart made such a sudden thumping and knocking against my ribs that I only heard the first few sounds. Lord Carden gasped, bent forwards, and drew up his legs in a veritable colic of terror. We listened breathless, straining our ears and eyes in the direction of the ante-room. Not a sound, not an echo. The rain upon the roof-that was all. We waited. Nothing but the rain, nothing, nothing. The house was as silent as the grave. A dark look came over Challoner's face, but he never took his eyes off the lower part of the hall. I can see him now, leaning with his arms upon the table, with his intent face and fixed gaze. Slowly I began to be relieved. So

did Lord Carden. It was not coming to-night. After what seemed an interminable interval the church clock struck one.

Not to-night,' I whispered to Challoner. We may as well make ourselves comfortable and go to sleep.'

Challoner looked at me attentively for a moment, and then his eyes turned back with intent watchfulness to the lower end of the hall, dimly visible in the lamp light.

I yawned, and stretched myself, and looked at Challoner, dozed off, and woke up with a start, and looked at him again. There he sat, never stirring, never moving his eyes, the lamp at his elbow throwing the light on his intent face, on his stern compressed lips. He was waiting. I fell asleep again for very weariness with my head upon the table.

Mostyn, Mostyn, wake up, for Heaven's sake!' whispered a hoarse voice in my ear, while a strong hand shook me by the shoulder. “Wake up or it will be too late.'

I struggled back to consciousness, and rubbed my eyes. The lamp and the fire looked blurred and dim as if seen through a fog. Challoner himself seemed moving in a mist, with only his voice and his heavy hand close to me.

Wake up! Wake up!' he kept repeating in a whisper of intense excitement. 'It's coming now. I see it. There! There ! It's in the ante-room.'

And then suddenly I was wide awake, and my faculties and eyesight returned to me. There was a wild almost savage light in Challoner's eyes that made me shiver as I followed their direction. I had not awaked one moment too soon. There it stood in the archway. It was coming through the hall. The same tall white figure, the same swaying motion, the white fur cloak flung back over the shoulders. Challoner sprang to his feet, and then as quickly sat down again, dragging me down too with a grip like a vice.

When it had passed out at the other end of the hall he started to his feet, and motioning to the flaring candle which was now wavering about in the socket, stole after the retreating figure. I caught up the heavy brass candlestick with a shaking hand and


Up the broad staircase, along the corridor we went, noiseless as the ghostly figure in front of us. There was but little moonlight, but it was not wholly dark.

not wholly dark.' Challoner's step quickened as we neared the boudoir. So methought did the

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