as my memory now reports this extraordinary scene, I could discern but a
part of his body; it was as if he had been partly blotted out - I cannot
otherwise express it - then a shifting of his position would bring it all
into view again.
"All this must have occurred within a few seconds, yet in that time
Morgan assumed all the postures of a determined wrestler vanquished by
superior weight and strength. I saw nothing but him, and him not always
distinctly. During the entire incident his shouts and curses were heard,
as if through an enveloping uproar of such sounds of rage and fury as I
had never heard from the throat of man or brute!
"For a moment only I stood irresolute, then throwing down my gun I ran
forward to my friend's assistance. I had a vague belief that he was
suffering from a fit, or some form of convulsion. Before I could reach
his side he was down and quiet. All sounds had ceased, but with a
feeling of such terror as even these awful events had not inspired I now
saw again the mysterious movement of the wild oats, prolonging itself
from the trampled area about the prostrate man toward the edge of a
wood. It was only when it had reached the wood that I was able to
withdraw my eyes and look at my companion. He was dead."
A MAN THOUGH NAKED MAY BE IN RAGS
The coroner rose from his seat and stood beside the dead man. Lifting an
edge of the sheet he pulled it away, exposing the entire body,
altogether naked and showing in the candle-light a claylike yellow. It
had, however, broad maculations of bluish black, obviously caused by
extravasated blood from contusions. The chest and sides looked as if
they had been beaten with a bludgeon. There were dreadful lacerations;
the skin was torn in strips and shreds.
The coroner moved round to the end of the table and undid a silk
handkerchief which had been passed under the chin and knotted on the top
of the head. When the handkerchief was drawn away it exposed what had
been the throat. Some of the jurors who had risen to get a better view
repented their curiosity and turned away their faces. Witness Harker
went to the open window and leaned out across the sill, faint and sick.
Dropping the handkerchief upon the dead man's neck the coroner stepped
to an angle of the room and from a pile of clothing produced one garment
after another, each of which he held up a moment for inspection. All
were torn, and stiff with blood. The jurors did not make a closer
inspection. They seemed rather uninterested. They had, in truth, seen
all this before; the only thing that was new to them being Harker's
"Gentlemen," the coroner said, "we have no more evidence, I think. Your
duty has been already explained to you; if there is nothing you wish to
ask you may go outside and consider your verdict."
The foreman rose - a tall, bearded man of sixty, coarsely clad.
"I should like to ask one question, Mr. Coroner," he said. "What asylum
did this yer last witness escape from?"
"Mr. Harker," said the coroner, gravely and tranquilly, "from what
asylum did you last escape?"
Harker flushed crimson again, but said nothing, and the seven jurors
rose and solemnly filed out of the cabin.
"If you have done insulting me, sir," said Harker, as soon as he and the
officer were left alone with the dead man, "I suppose I am at liberty to
Harker started to leave, but paused, with his hand on the door latch.
The habit of his profession was strong in him - stronger than his sense
of personal dignity. He turned about and said:
"The book that you have there - I recognize it as Morgan's diary. You
seemed greatly interested in it; you read in it while I was testifying.
May I see it? The public would like - - "
"The book will cut no figure in this matter," replied the official,
slipping it into his coat pocket; "all the entries in it were made
before the writer's death."
As Harker passed out of the house the jury reëntered and stood about the
table, on which the now covered corpse showed under the sheet with sharp
definition. The foreman seated himself near the candle, produced from
his breast pocket a pencil and scrap of paper and wrote rather
laboriously the following verdict, which with various degrees of effort
"We, the jury, do find that the remains come to their death at the hands
of a mountain lion, but some of us thinks, all the same, they had fits."
AN EXPLANATION FROM THE TOMB
In the diary of the late Hugh Morgan are certain interesting entries
having, possibly, a scientific value as suggestions. At the inquest upon
his body the book was not put in evidence; possibly the coroner thought
it not worth while to confuse the jury. The date of the first of the
entries mentioned cannot be ascertained; the upper part of the leaf is
torn away; the part of the entry remaining follows:
". . . would run in a half-circle, keeping his head turned always toward
the center, and again he would stand still, barking furiously. At last
he ran away into the brush as fast as he could go. I thought at first
that he had gone mad, but on returning to the house found no other
alteration in his manner than what was obviously due to fear of
"Can a dog see with his nose? Do odors impress some cerebral center with
images of the thing that emitted them? . . .
"Sept. 2. - Looking at the stars last night as they rose above the crest
of the ridge east of the house, I observed them successively
disappear - from left to right. Each was eclipsed but an instant, and
only a few at the same time, but along the entire length of the ridge
all that were within a degree or two of the crest were blotted out. It
was as if something had passed along between me and them; but I could
not see it, and the stars were not thick enough to define its outline.
Ugh! I don't like this." . . .
Several weeks' entries are missing, three leaves being torn from the
"Sept. 27. - It has been about here again - I find evidences of its
presence every day. I watched again all last night in the same cover,
gun in hand, double-charged with buckshot. In the morning the fresh
footprints were there, as before. Yet I would have sworn that I did not
sleep - indeed, I hardly sleep at all. It is terrible, insupportable! If
these amazing experiences are real I shall go mad; if they are fanciful
I am mad already.
"Oct. 3. - I shall not go - it shall not drive me away. No, this is _my_
house, _my_ land. God hates a coward. . . .
"Oct. 5. - I can stand it no longer; I have invited Harker to pass a few
weeks with me - he has a level head. I can judge from his manner if he
thinks me mad.
"Oct. 7. - I have the solution of the mystery; it came to me last
night - suddenly, as by revelation. How simple - how terribly simple!
"There are sounds that we cannot hear. At either end of the scale are
notes that stir no chord of that imperfect instrument, the human ear.
They are too high or too grave. I have observed a flock of blackbirds
occupying an entire tree-top - the tops of several trees - and all in full
song. Suddenly - in a moment - at absolutely the same instant - all spring
into the air and fly away. How? They could not all see one
another - whole tree-tops intervened. At no point could a leader have
been visible to all. There must have been a signal of warning or
command, high and shrill above the din, but by me unheard. I have
observed, too, the same simultaneous flight when all were silent, among
not only blackbirds, but other birds - quail, for example, widely
separated by bushes - even on opposite sides of a hill.
"It is known to seamen that a school of whales basking or sporting on
the surface of the ocean, miles apart, with the convexity of the earth
between, will sometimes dive at the same instant - all gone out of sight
in a moment. The signal has been sounded - too grave for the ear of the
sailor at the masthead and his comrades on the deck - who nevertheless
feel its vibrations in the ship as the stones of a cathedral are stirred
by the bass of the organ.
"As with sounds, so with colors. At each end of the solar spectrum the
chemist can detect the presence of what are known as 'actinic' rays.
They represent colors - integral colors in the composition of
light - which we are unable to discern. The human eye is an imperfect
instrument; its range is but a few octaves of the real 'chromatic
scale.' I am not mad; there are colors that we cannot see.
"And, God help me! the Damned Thing is of such a color!"
BY VINCENT O'SULLIVAN
From _The Boston Evening Transcript_
Mrs. Wilton passed through a little alley leading from one of the gates
which are around Regent's Park, and came out on the wide and quiet
street. She walked along slowly, peering anxiously from side to side so
as not to overlook the number. She pulled her furs closer round her;
after her years in India this London damp seemed very harsh. Still, it
was not a fog to-day. A dense haze, gray and tinged ruddy, lay between
the houses, sometimes blowing with a little wet kiss against the face.
Mrs. Wilton's hair and eyelashes and her furs were powdered with tiny
drops. But there was nothing in the weather to blur the sight; she could
see the faces of people some distance off and read the signs on the
Before the door of a dealer in antiques and second-hand furniture she
paused and looked through the shabby uncleaned window at an unassorted
heap of things, many of them of great value. She read the Polish name
fastened on the pane in white letters.
"Yes; this is the place."
She opened the door, which met her entrance with an ill-tempered jangle.
From somewhere in the black depths of the shop the dealer came forward.
He had a clammy white face, with a sparse black beard, and wore a skull
cap and spectacles. Mrs. Wilton spoke to him in a low voice.
A look of complicity, of cunning, perhaps of irony, passed through the
dealer's cynical and sad eyes. But he bowed gravely and respectfully.
"Yes, she is here, madam. Whether she will see you or not I do not know.
She is not always well; she has her moods. And then, we have to be so
careful. The police - Not that they would touch a lady like you. But the
poor alien has not much chance these days."
Mrs. Wilton followed him to the back of the shop, where there was a
winding staircase. She knocked over a few things in her passage and
stooped to pick them up, but the dealer kept muttering, "It does not
matter - surely it does not matter." He lit a candle.
"You must go up these stairs. They are very dark; be careful. When you
come to a door, open it and go straight in."
He stood at the foot of the stairs holding the light high above his head
and she ascended.
The room was not very large, and it seemed very ordinary. There were
some flimsy, uncomfortable chairs in gilt and red. Two large palms were
in corners. Under a glass cover on the table was a view of Rome. The
room had not a business-like look, thought Mrs. Wilton; there was no
suggestion of the office or waiting-room where people came and went all
day; yet you would not say that it was a private room which was lived
in. There were no books or papers about; every chair was in the place it
had been placed when the room was last swept; there was no fire and it
was very cold.
To the right of the window was a door covered with a plush curtain. Mrs.
Wilton sat down near the table and watched this door. She thought it
must be through it that the soothsayer would come forth. She laid her
hands listlessly one on top of the other on the table. This must be the
tenth seer she had consulted since Hugh had been killed. She thought
them over. No, this must be the eleventh. She had forgotten that
frightening man in Paris who said he had been a priest. Yet of them all
it was only he who had told her anything definite. But even he could do
no more than tell the past. He told of her marriage; he even had the
duration of it right - twenty-one months. He told too of their time in
India - at least, he knew that her husband had been a soldier, and said
he had been on service in the "colonies." On the whole, though, he had
been as unsatisfactory as the others. None of them had given her the
consolation she sought. She did not want to be told of the past. If Hugh
was gone forever, then with him had gone all her love of living, her
courage, all her better self. She wanted to be lifted out of the
despair, the dazed aimless drifting from day to day, longing at night
for the morning, and in the morning for the fall of night, which had
been her life since his death. If somebody could assure her that it was
not all over, that he was somewhere, not too far away, unchanged from
what he had been here, with his crisp hair and rather slow smile and
lean brown face, that he saw her sometimes, that he had not forgotten
her. . . .
"Oh, Hugh, darling!"
When she looked up again the woman was sitting there before her. Mrs.
Wilton had not heard her come in. With her experience, wide enough now,
of seers and fortune-tellers of all kinds, she saw at once that this
woman was different from the others. She was used to the quick
appraising look, the attempts, sometimes clumsy, but often cleverly
disguised, to collect some fragments of information whereupon to erect a
plausible vision. But this woman looked as if she took it out of
Not that her appearance suggested intercourse with the spiritual world
more than the others had done; it suggested that, in fact, considerably
less. Some of the others were frail, yearning, evaporated creatures, and
the ex-priest in Paris had something terrible and condemned in his look.
He might well sup with the devil, that man, and probably did in some way
But this was a little fat, weary-faced woman about fifty, who only did
not look like a cook because she looked more like a sempstress. Her
black dress was all covered with white threads. Mrs. Wilton looked at
her with some embarrassment. It seemed more reasonable to be asking a
woman like this about altering a gown than about intercourse with the
dead. That seemed even absurd in such a very commonplace presence. The
woman seemed timid and oppressed: she breathed heavily and kept rubbing
her dingy hands, which looked moist, one over the other; she was always
wetting her lips, and coughed with a little dry cough. But in her these
signs of nervous exhaustion suggested overwork in a close atmosphere,
bending too close over the sewing-machine. Her uninteresting hair, like
a rat's pelt, was eked out with a false addition of another color. Some
threads had got into her hair too.
Her harried, uneasy look caused Mrs. Wilton to ask compassionately: "Are
you much worried by the police?"
"Oh, the police! Why don't they leave us alone? You never know who comes
to see you. Why don't they leave me alone? I'm a good woman. I only
think. What I do is no harm to any one." . . .
She continued in an uneven querulous voice, always rubbing her hands
together nervously. She seemed to the visitor to be talking at random,
just gabbling, like children do sometimes before they fall asleep.
"I wanted to explain - - " hesitated Mrs. Wilton.
But the woman, with her head pressed close against the back of the
chair, was staring beyond her at the wall. Her face had lost whatever
little expression it had; it was blank and stupid. When she spoke it was
very slowly and her voice was guttural.
"Can't you see him? It seems strange to me that you can't see him. He is
so near you. He is passing his arm round your shoulders."
This was a frequent gesture of Hugh's. And indeed at that moment she
felt that somebody was very near her, bending over her. She was
enveloped in tenderness. Only a very thin veil, she felt, prevented her
from seeing. But the woman saw. She was describing Hugh minutely, even
the little things like the burn on his right hand.
"Is he happy? Oh, ask him does he love me?"
The result was so far beyond anything she had hoped for that she was
stunned. She could only stammer the first thing that came into her head.
"Does he love me?"
"He loves you. He won't answer, but he loves you. He wants me to make
you see him; he is disappointed, I think, because I can't. But I can't
unless you do it yourself."
After a while she said:
"I think you will see him again. You think of nothing else. He is very
close to us now."
Then she collapsed, and fell into a heavy sleep and lay there
motionless, hardly breathing. Mrs. Wilton put some notes on the table
and stole out on tip-toe.
* * * * *
She seemed to remember that downstairs in the dark shop the dealer with
the waxen face detained her to show some old silver and jewelry and such
like. But she did not come to herself, she had no precise recollection
of anything, till she found herself entering a church near Portland
Place. It was an unlikely act in her normal moments. Why did she go in
there? She acted like one walking in her sleep.
The church was old and dim, with high black pews. There was nobody
there. Mrs. Wilton sat down in one of the pews and bent forward with her
face in her hands.
After a few minutes she saw that a soldier had come in noiselessly and
placed himself about half-a-dozen rows ahead of her. He never turned
round; but presently she was struck by something familiar in the figure.
First she thought vaguely that the soldier looked like her Hugh. Then,
when he put up his hand, she saw who it was.
She hurried out of the pew and ran towards him. "Oh, Hugh, Hugh, have
you come back?"
He looked round with a smile. He had not been killed. It was all a
mistake. He was going to speak. . . .
Footsteps sounded hollow in the empty church. She turned and glanced
down the dim aisle.
It was an old sexton or verger who approached. "I thought I heard you
call," he said.
"I was speaking to my husband." But Hugh was nowhere to be seen.
"He was here a moment ago." She looked about in anguish. "He must have
gone to the door."
"There's nobody here," said the old man gently. "Only you and me. Ladies
are often taken funny since the war. There was one in here yesterday
afternoon said she was married in this church and her husband had
promised to meet her here. Perhaps you were married here?"
"No," said Mrs. Wilton, desolately. "I was married in India."
* * * * *
It might have been two or three days after that, when she went into a
small Italian restaurant in the Bayswater district. She often went out
for her meals now: she had developed an exhausting cough, and she found
that it somehow became less troublesome when she was in a public place
looking at strange faces. In her flat there were all the things that
Hugh had used; the trunks and bags still had his name on them with the
labels of places where they had been together. They were like stabs. In
the restaurant, people came and went, many soldiers too among them, just
glancing at her in her corner.
This day, as it chanced, she was rather late and there was nobody there.
She was very tired. She nibbled at the food they brought her. She could
almost have cried from tiredness and loneliness and the ache in her
Then suddenly he was before her, sitting there opposite at the table. It
was as it was in the days of their engagement, when they used sometimes
to lunch at restaurants. He was not in uniform. He smiled at her and
urged her to eat, just as he used in those days. . . .
I met her that afternoon as she was crossing Kensington Gardens, and she
told me about it.
"I have been with Hugh." She seemed most happy.
"Did he say anything?"
"N-no. Yes. I think he did, but I could not quite hear. My head was so
very tired. The next time - - "
* * * * *
I did not see her for some time after that. She found, I think, that by
going to places where she had once seen him - the old church, the little
restaurant - she was more certain to see him again. She never saw him at
home. But in the street or the park he would often walk along beside
her. Once he saved her from being run over. She said she actually felt
his hand grabbing her arm, suddenly, when the car was nearly upon her.
She had given me the address of the clairvoyant; and it is through that
strange woman that I know - or seem to know - what followed.
Mrs. Wilton was not exactly ill last winter, not so ill, at least, as to
keep to her bedroom. But she was very thin, and her great handsome eyes
always seemed to be staring at some point beyond, searching. There was a
look in them that seamen's eyes sometimes have when they are drawing on
a coast of which they are not very certain. She lived almost in
solitude: she hardly ever saw anybody except when they sought her out.
To those who were anxious about her she laughed and said she was very
One sunny morning she was lying awake, waiting for the maid to bring her
tea. The shy London sunlight peeped through the blinds. The room had a
fresh and happy look.
When she heard the door open she thought that the maid had come in. Then
she saw that Hugh was standing at the foot of the bed. He was in uniform
this time, and looked as he had looked the day he went away.
"Oh, Hugh, speak to me! Will you not say just one word?"
He smiled and threw back his head, just as he used to in the old days at
her mother's house when he wanted to call her out of the room without
attracting the attention of the others. He moved towards the door, still
signing to her to follow him. He picked up her slippers on his way and
held them out to her as if he wanted her to put them on. She slipped out
of bed hastily. . . .
* * * * *
It is strange that when they came to look through her things after her
death the slippers could never be found.
[J] Copyright, 1917, by The Boston Transcript Co. Copyright, 1918, by
"DEY AIN'T NO GHOSTS"[K]
BY ELLIS PARKER BUTLER
Once 'pon a time dey was a li'l' black boy whut he name was Mose. An'
whin he come erlong to be 'bout knee-high to a mewel, he 'gin to git
powerful 'fraid ob ghosts, 'ca'se dat am sure a mighty ghostly location
whut he lib' in, 'ca'se dey's a grabeyard in de hollow, an' a
buryin'-ground on de hill, an' a cemuntary in betwixt an' between, an'
dey ain't nuffin' but trees nowhar excipt in de clearin' by de shanty
an' down de hollow whar de pumpkin-patch am.
An' whin de night come' erlong, dey ain't no sounds _at_ all whut kin be
heard in dat locality but de rain-doves, whut mourn out,
"Oo-_oo_-o-o-o!" jes dat trembulous _an'_ scary, an' de owls, whut mourn
out, "Whut-_whoo_-o-o-o!" more trembulous an' scary dan dat, an' de
wind, whut mourn out, "You-_you_-o-o-o!" mos' scandalous' trembulous an'
scary ob all. Dat a powerful onpleasant locality for a li'l' black boy
whut he name was Mose.
'Ca'se dat li'l' black boy he so specially black he can't be seen in de
dark _at_ all 'cept by de whites ob he eyes. So whin he go' outen de
house _at_ night, he ain't dast shut he eyes, 'ca'se den ain't nobody
can see him in de least. He jest as invidsible as nuffin'. An' who know'
but whut a great, big ghost bump right into him 'ca'se it can't see him?
An' dat shore w'u'd scare dat li'l' black boy powerful' bad, 'ca'se
yever'body knows whut a cold, damp pussonality a ghost is.
So whin dat li'l' black Mose go' outen de shanty at night, he keep' he
eyes wide open, you may be shore. By day he eyes 'bout de size ob
butter-pats, an' come sundown he eyes 'bout de size ob saucers; but whin
he go' outen de shanty at night, he eyes am de size ob de white chiny
plate whut set on de mantel; an' it powerful' hard to keep eyes whut am
de size ob dat from a-winkin' an' a-blinkin'.
So whin Hallowe'en come erlong, dat lil' black Mose he jes mek' up he
mind he ain't gwine outen he shack _at_ all. He cogitate' he gwine stay
right snug in de shack wid he pa an' he ma, 'ca'se de rain-doves tek
notice dat de ghosts are philanderin' roun' de country, 'ca'se dey mourn
out, "Oo-_oo_-o-o-o!" an' de owls dey mourn out, "Whut-_whoo_-o-o-o!"
and de wind mourn out, "You-_you_-o-o-o!" De eyes ob dat li'l' black
Mose dey as big as de white chiny plate whut set on de mantel by side de
clock, an' de sun jes a-settin'.
So dat all right. Li'l' black Mose he scrooge' back in de corner by de
fireplace, an' he 'low' he gwine stay dere till he gwine _to_ bed. But
byme-by Sally Ann, whut live' up de road, draps in, an' Mistah Sally
Ann, whut is her husban', he draps in, an' Zack Badget an' de