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Haunted Portmanteau (1908)

Haunted Portmanteau (1908)

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Published by draculavanhelsing
The World's News 1908 (Sept 12)
The World's News 1908 (Sept 12)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Nov 09, 2013
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07/26/2014

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The World's News (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 1955), Saturday 12 September 1908, page 9National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article133966899
A
TrueGhost
Story.
.
(STRANGE
VISITANT
ANDHIS
POBTMANTEATT.
AWest
Australian
Incident.
(By
YAL
JAMIESOJf.)
OP
all
the
places
themost
unlikely
for
theexperience
I
am
ahoutto
relate
was
I
,
a
mining
camp
on
the
com
paratively-modern
goldfieldsof
WestAustralia.I
was
camped
with
a
Government
boringparty
in
a
12-roomedgazabo,
oncea
thriv
ing
hotel.
A
lockedportmanteau
stood
against
the
wallin
one
ofthevacant
rooms
with
John
Thompson
printed
in.
hold,blackletters
on
theside.
 Who's
this
chap?
I
inquiredcuriously.
 Dunno,
saidthelackadaisicalbushmaj.
 'Some
fellerull
come
back
for
itsome
day.
With
this
nonchalant
explanation
the
port
manteaupassed
outof
notice.On
e
night
I
awoke,
and
was
surprised
to
see
thefigure
of
a
man
s
t
an
dingheside
my
bed.
I
saw
by
his
height
and
breadth
it
was
not
my
mateTrevor
and
was
unlike
anyof
our
men,
though
I
could
notdis
tinguish
his
feat
ures
in
the
d
a
r
kness.
An
grily
Imade
a
grab
at
the
in
truder,but
was
horrifiedtofeelmy
hand
closeclose
on
nothingness.
Yet
Icouldstill
see
the
figure
into
whose
body
my
hand
had
penetrated
fad
ingslowly
beforemy
eyes.It
was
decid
edly
uncanny.
My
handsshook
as
I
groped
formatches.
Lighting
our
candle—which
was
supported
intheneckof
a
dead
marine—I
roused
Trevor. You
do
look
in
a
funk heremarked
as
I
relatedwhat
I
had
seen.
 Butdon't
talk
to
me
of
ghosts;
Idon't
believethat
rot.You
had
a
bad
dream,
that'sall.
Itwasn't
a
dream,
I
persisted,
 anditwasn't
a
ghost.
It
was
a
spirit. What's
the
difference?
laughed
Trevor.
 Ghosts,
I
replied,
 are
traditionallywhite,this
apparition
was
dressedlike
an
ordinary
 
man,anddarkfrom
head
to
heel.
Rot murmured
Trevordrowsily.
 You
can
callitrot
if
you
like,
I
said, but
I
am
notover-anxiousto
see
that
phan
tom
again
to-night,
so
I'll
keep
thelight
going
if
it
won'tdisturb
you.
Trevor
consented,
and,
wassoon
fast
asleepagain.
I
puzzled
over
the
strange
phenome
non
until
I,
too,
fell
asleep.
Inthe
morning
we
foundthe
candle
burntto
a
finish.A
circular
sprayofgrease
a
foot'swi^thfromthebottleroused
my
curie*ity.There
was
absolutely
no
draught
toaccount
for
theblown-outgrease.Bach
succeedingnight
a
fullcandle
was
placed
inthe
bottle,
andburnt
on
intothe
morn
ing.
Thedistant
circle
ofgrease
sprayed
f>n
thefloor
always
as
if
some
mysterious
breath
were
attempting
to
extinguish
the
light.
Trevor
thought
it
curious,
butgave
no
seri
ous
consideration
tothematter.One
afternoon,
pitting
beneaththe
bough
shade
at
the
rear
porch,
wewere
startled
by
three
sharp
raps
on
thewall.
Knowing
there
was
notanyoneinthe
house,certainly
notin
our
room—whore
thesoundsoccurredwewalkedroundto
investigate,
butwithout
re
sult.The
others
soon
dismissedtheincidentfromtheir
thoughts,
butin
my
mindthemysterious
night
visitorandthose
imperative
raps
wef-eassociated.
Shortly
afterwards
Trevor's
scepticism
was
mightilyshaken.
HeandIsat
together
inthe
great
dining-room.
Therest
were
playing
cards
intheother
hotel.
It
was
clear
moonlightwithout,
andthewindows
were
raised
high
toadmit
therefreshing
breeze-
I
wias
idlytwanging
the
banjo,
while
Trevorhummed
some
popular
coon
ditties.
Suddenly
hestopped
abruptly
inthe
midst
of
a
phrase,
andwith
a
stormy
 Whatthe
devil
are
you
doingthere?
he
dashed,past
me
totheopenwindow.
Picking
up
my
valued
instrument—which
his
violent
outbursthadcaused
me
to
dump
on
the
floor—I
joined
him
at
thewindow.
 What's
up?
Isaid.
He
peered
aboutthebarrenspaceof
ground
thatstretched
awayfromthe
building
some
distance
before
showing
any
vegetation,
then
lookedat
me
with
a
puzzledexpression.
 I
saw
a
man'sface
as
plainly
as
I
see
yoursnow,
looking
in
through
that
window,and,
as
quick
as
I
gothere,
I'mdashed
if
I
can
tell
how
the
beggar
got
intoambush
so
soon.
 
how
the
beggar
got
intoambush
so
soon.
This
ledge
is7ft.fromthe
ground,
I
re
marked; he
musthavebeen
a
long
'un
That'strue,
admittedTrevor. No
humanbeing
couldhavescrambledoffwithout
,
some
sign
or
sound.Thisoldrattleshellishaunted
rightenough.
I
vote
we
rig
up
our
tents
andquit.
Hecan'tharm
us.
I
argued,
 andI'mde
veloping
a
scientific
interestin
the
matter.I
feelcurious
tolearn
if
there
isany
connec
tionbetweenthe
disembodied'shadow
andthis
locality.
It's
beastlyuncanny,
remarked
Trevor,with
furtive
glances,
about
the
room.
The
nextappearanceof
the
apparition
was
at
the
doorof
the
room
containing
the
port
manteau.
Iwas
passingalong
the
gloomy
cor
ridorandfelt
every
hair
on
my
headrisetoattention.Just
an
instant
the
shadow-man
stood,
pointing
at
theport.,thenvanished.
IfanciedI
heard
the
word
 mother
as
hefad
edfromviewIfeltconvinced
now
of
thereality
and
identity
ofthetroubled
phantom,
and
announced
my
discovery
toTrevor.
 John
Thompson
called
again
last
night
and
wantshis.
portmanteau
sent
to
his
mother. John
Thompson
he
echoed. Who'she?
The
chap
that
admiredyou
through
thewin
dowandthe
owner
ofthat
port.
ThenI
re-*
lated
mysecondvision.
 Verygood,
said
Trevor,
 as
guesswork,
butyou'vegot
to
get
your
supposition
cor
roborated
by
someone
whoknowsJohn
Thomp
son.
I
never
heardanyonesaythat
portbe
longed
to
a
deadman. Inthe
course
of
conversationwith,
an
old
miner,
my
conclusions
weresoon
afterwardsverified.John
Thompson
wasone
of
a
party
of
men
who
owned
a
localmine.Out
one
day
after
some
horsesho
was
drenched
withrain.
Negiecting
to
change
hiswet
garmentsbrought
ona
severe
cold,
and
finallydeveloped
Bright's
dis
ease.
He
had
camped
in
thedesertedhotel,
occupying
the
room
Trevorand
I
6lept
in,
wherehelay
till
within
In
few
days
ofhis
death,beingremovedwhen
toofargoneto
Coolgardie
Hospital.Thedeceasedminer
was
verydevotedtohis
mother,
wholivedin
Victoria,
and
always
senther
monthly
remittances.He
had
diedwithout
making
a
will,
and
was
totally
unpre
pared
for
his
sadend.
After
gaining
thisinformationI
visited
the
deceasedman'smates
and
procured
fromthem
theaddress
ofMrs.I
thenforwardedthe
portmanteau,

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