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Haunted House (1926)

Haunted House (1926)

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Published by draculavanhelsing
The World's News 1926 (Sep 4)
The World's News 1926 (Sep 4)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Nov 09, 2013
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07/03/2014

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The World's News (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 1955), Saturday 4 September 1926, page 23, 30National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article131459126
Tlie
HauntedHouse.
(By
E.B.
WELCH.)
IN
theearlypartof1S5S,
theold
Money
Wigram
linerEssex
(CaptainAttwood),
enteredPort
PhillipHeads,
and
sped
on
up
the
bay
under
all
plain
sail,tolandher
motley
collection
of
passengers,
most
of
whom
were
in
a
desperate
hurry
to
try
theirluck
on
thegoldfields.Inthe
meantime,
a
wedding'
was
being
celebrated
inthe
saloon,
inthepresenceofthe
skipper
and
a
smallgroupofpassengers
summonedforthe
purpose.The
officiating
minister,
who
shortly
after
landing
became
a
popularMelbourne
preacher,
wassome
what
embarrassedwhen,
in
answer
tothe
fateful
question,
 Wiltthoutakethis
man
to
be
thy
lawfulhusband? the
bride-that
was-to-beburstinto
a
torrentof
tears,
and
resolutely
refused
to
answer.
An
elderlywoman,hard
of
feature,
and
grimly
self
possessed,spoke
a
few
wordstoherin
an
undertone,
when,
with
a
visible
effort,she
recovered
herselfsufficiently
to
make
thenecessai'yresponses,andthegroupdis
persed,
to
pack
its
belongings
and
getready
forthe
shore.Thegirl's
l'ace
wasone
to
dreamabout;
it
was
faultlessly
beautiful,
andhadfromtimetotime
during
thevoyage
impressed
all
who
saw
her,
and
those
whocould
get
a
chatwithher
were
heldfortunateindeed.It
was
handsome
.'JimmvWatkinswho
man
aged
totaketipallher
time
andattentionwhen Auntie wasn't
looking,
and Auntie
was
decisive
inhereffortsto
prevent
thatwhen
possible.
In
fact,
 Auntie
was
the
key
to
whatever
mystery
there
was
in
pro
moting
themarriagewhich
had
just
taken
place,
and
the
bridegroom,
a
mostvillain
ous-looking
fellow,
was
said
to
be
her
son.
OnCole'swharf
a
stormy
scene
between Auntie
andthe
girl
took
place,the
latter
declaring
that
no
power
on
earthcouldinduce
or
compel
hertolive
with,
or
inany
way
to
recognise,
the
man
towhomshehad
been
married.
And
that
was
thelastthe
majority
of
the
passengersknew
or
caredof
the
principal
actorsinthedomesticdrama,
enactedinthesaloon
of
the.
goodship
Kssex
on
thatbrightMarohmorningin
3
sr>s.
Late
in
theafternoon
of
a
sweltering
Novemberday,
in
 WesternQueensland,
a
 
Novemberday,
in
 WesternQueensland,
a
solitary
horseman
(a.
Governmentofficial)
saw
withsatisfaction
what
appeared
fromthe
distance
tobe
a
comfortable,
roomy
slab
and
bark
cottage.
 Well,
old
horse,
I'm
glad
to
see
quarters
for
the
night
in
sight,
as
muchforyoursake
as
mine.
Now,
don'tsulk.
Push
on. In
answer
to
hiscall,
a
most
repulsive
looking
man
appeared.
In
reply
tothe
question,
could
lie
put
himselfandhorseupfor
the
night?
the
hideous
creature
replied,
 Yes,
if
you
like.
I'll
send
mymotherinto
you.
Withthatheturnedandwalkedoff.
The
mother,
Mrs.
James,
a
dour,
grimlooking
woman,
said,
 Yes,
you're
welcometo
stay
the
night,
butlet
me
tellyouthis
place
is
haunted.Yousmile?
Doyouknowwhere
you
are?
Well,
not
exactly,
but
I've
a
fairidea.
The
hard-facedMrs.James
went
on
tosay. Isuppose
you
remember
hearing
ofthe
disappearance
ofthatyounggirl,
MaryTimms
nigh
upontwoyearsago.
Well,
thisis
where
sheis
supposed
tohavebeen
murdered.
Eversinceher
disappearance
shehas
been
coming
backeverylittle
while,
worryingeverybody
to
give
her
a
restingplace.
She
was
hereinservicetothe
Paynes.
I
was
cook,
andmy
son
a
sort
jfknockabout.
They
were
notmuch
good,those
Paynes.Kept
this
place
'as
a
selec
tionand
roadside
house;
butin
reality
they
were
cattleduffersandrobbers.
Well,
the
ghost
reducedthem
to
almostskinandbone.Where
they
arenow
I
do
not
know;
but
theyasked
my
son
and
myself
tostay
on.
My
sonwas
dead
against
it,
butIdeterminedto
stay
andsolve
the
mystery
if
possible,
as
thatgirl
was
my
niece.The
Paynes
didnotknow
it,
as
shewent
by
the
name
ofTimms.After
coming
fromtheOld
Country
and
landing
in
Melbourne,
we
lost
her
for
a
considerable
time.
Then,
to
her
dismay,
we
trackedher
right'.from
Melbourne
to
this*
far-away
part
of
Qpeensland,
only
tolose
her
again.
From
the
timeof
Mrs.
James'appearance
on
the
scene
thevisitor
hadbeen
wondering;
whereandwhenhehad
seen
that
woman
before.
Then,
whenshe
spoke
ofthe
OldCountry
and
landing
in
Melbourne,
that
wedding
in
the
saloonofthe
Essex
came
like
a
flash.Thenheknew Auntie
once
again.
Being
a
verywiseman,he
kept
his
tongue
wellbetweenhis
teeth,
butmadeup
hismind
thathere
wasa
mystery
forhimto
solve,
as
 Auntie
hadsaid
there
 
was
one
forher.Whichofthem
would
win
through?
If
thePaynes
were
roguesand
robbers,
he
was
quite
sure
Mrs.James
and
her
sonwere
not
muchbetter.Per
haps
thegirl
had
escaped
them
once
again.
Godforbidthatsuch
a
lovelygirl
hadbeendonetodeath.
Anyhow,
hemust
get
as
muchinformation
as
possible.
Then
let
Inspector
A
I:
know
as
soonas
maybe.
On
the
pies,
of
being
veryweary,and
a
long
ride
in
frofit
of
him
on
the
morrow,
our
friend
retired
tvarlv
to
the
room
(shown
him.Avery
comfortable,
roomy
apartment
it
was,withloosematsandbitsof
carpet
thrown
aboutthe
boardedfloor.
Our
friend
soon
extinguished
thecandle,
preferring
the
brightmoonlight.
He
couldhear
inthedistance
occasionally
thevoicesofMrs.
James
and
her
son.
Thenthe
idea
came
to
him
nottogoto
sleep
atall.
but
watchand
wait,
as
hedidnottrustthem.
One
o'clock.Allsilent.Outcrept
our
friend
tothe
right
sideof
the
house,and,
to
his
surprise,
into
an
out-building
on
therightcreptthe
figure
of
a
man,
closely
followed
by
our
friend.The
figure
lifted
a
trapdoor,disappeared,
and
pulled
thedoordown
after
him.
Ourfriendwavered,
un
certainwhatnexttodo.
Many
a
time
I'veheardhimsay, When
in
doubt,smoke ;
whichhedid.
Aftersit
tingby
thewindowfor
an
hour
or
so,
he
began
to
think
the
placecertainly
was
haunted,
for,
directly
underhis
feet,
hecouldhear
something
orsomeone
moving
about.
What
diditmean?Better
get
oldM
on
the
jobquickly.
Justinhis
line.
Then,
as
dawn
was
breaking,
a
couple
of
hours'
sleep
was
snatched.
Laterhetook
his
departure—man
andhorse
refreshed,
Mrs.
Jamesremunerated,
and
unsuspicious.
Roma
atlastnotthefinetownof
to-day,but
even
inthose
days
one
of
some
importance.Ourfriend,
and
Inspector
Mhad
a
longtalk
on
the
subject.
M
thought
it
was
only
a
wild-goose
chase.At
thetime
ofthe
supposed
murderof
thegirlhe
and
his
men
had
spentquite
a
week
poking
about,
butcould
not
find
anything.
 I,
pei'sonally,
thinkthe
girl
got
away,
he
said.
 Well,
I
don't;
andifyou
won't
move
in
the,matter,
I'll
see
what
can
bedone whenI
get
backtoBrisbane.
Whatmakes
you
think
we'llstrike
the'mystery?

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