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Haunted Man

Haunted Man

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Australian Town & Country Journal 1894 (December 29)
Australian Town & Country Journal 1894 (December 29)

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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Oct 25, 2011
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09/01/2013

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Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), Saturday 29 December 1894, page 29National Library of Australiahttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71267973
TlieHauntedMan.
OST
people,
1
think,
willdisbe
lieA'e
this
story.
Indeed,
to
tell
the
truth,
there
are
timeswhenIdisbelieve
it
myself,though
I
wasa
witnessofthe
things
Ihere
re
late.There
are
timeswhenIfancythatImusthavebeenthe
victim
of
some
hypnoticexpertment,
for
thefactsofthe
caseare
such
as
not
readily
tolendthemselvestoany
ordinaryexplanation.
IfirstmetAntonio
Pellegra
in
Melbourne.
He
was
then
a
pedlar
of
plaster
ornaments,
andin
the
course
ofhis
wanderings
insearchofcustomers
lie
ono
day
calledatthehousewhereI
was
stopping.
Among
hismiscellaneous
goods
hehad
one
very
pretty
head-somenameless
god
dess
ofthestudio-andI
bought
it.
AfterI
paid
him.
andreceivedthc
plaster
casi,heliltedup
Iiis
basket
as
if
aboutiogo;thenhe
hesitated,
andset
it
down
again.
"WiththathoadI
alwaysgive
a
present,"
he
remarked,
invery
goodEnglish.
"Will
you
pleasepick
an
 
otherhoad7""A
phenomenalpedlar
this,"I
thought,
forthe
price
Ihad
given
for
tlie
cast
was
by
no
means
extravagant."Youmust
buy
your
goods
very
cheaply,"
1remarked
aloud,
"to
givepresents
awaylikethis.""Itismy
custom,"
he
rejoined,
and
there
wasan
oddlookinhiseyeswhichIcouldnot
explain.
I
glanced
over
the
trayagain,
andfouudthatthere
was
only
one
piece
whichinsizematchedthe
one
Ihad
bought.
It
was
thoheadof
a
man,and
wasan
excellent
piece
ofwork.Itwas,in
fact,
so
wellexecutedthat
1
won
deredthatIhadnotnoticedthisartisticvalue
previously."This
head7"I
queried,
pointing
to
it.
"Very
well,"
he
replied,"will
you
please
take
it?"Ilifted
it
up,and
was
surprised
tofindthatinsteadof
being
plaster,
as
I
supposed,
it
was
of
some
kindofmarble."Averyfinehead
indeed,"
1remarked.
"Yes,"
the
pedlar
replied,
as
heshoulderedhis
basket,
"there
is
notanother
one
like
it."
Itookthe
purchase
and
present
intothe
house,
and
put
theformerdown
on
thetable.I
was
about
to
place
tileotherdoAvnalso,whenI
suddenly
became
aware
of
something
strange
about
it.
For
a
moment,
thethousandth
part
of
a
second
perhaps,
Ibecameconsciousthatthesolid
mar
blehad
suddenly
becomeflesh,an'dthenhad
as
suddenlychanged
to
mar
ble
again.
The
change,
if
change
it
were,
took
place
so
suddenly,
thatIfound
myselfwondering
whethertheAvhole
thing
Avas
not
some
strangehallucination,
some
trickofthe
brain,
somenerve
cell
varying
fromthe
nor
mal,
an
uiiAvontedpressurein
some
bloodArossel.I
finally
came
totheconclusionthatmy
imagination
had
played
me
false.And
yet
I
wascon
sciousthatthere
Avas
something
aboutthatmarbleheadAvhichIcouldnot
explain.
ItseemeddifferenttoAvhatIhad
seen
it
on
the
pedlar's
basket.
 
Itseemedto
Aveara
differentexpression.
Looking
closely
at
it,
I
began
totrace
some
resemblancebetween
it
andthe
pedlar,though
thelatterhad
a
thickbeai'd.Ididnotlikethe
thing
so
Avell
as
Ihaddoneatfirst
Avhy
Icouldnot
tell.
Next
day
Ilooked
atit
again,
andthistimeI
got
a
very
effective
shock;
for,insteadof
being
marble,
Ifoundthat
it
was
;
a
very
palpable
bronze.There
wasno
imagination
about
it
thistime.Itookthe
bust,
and
placed
it
in
a
box,whichIvery
carefully
locked.AnhourafterIAventtolookat
it,
but
it
Avas
notthere.Ithad
disappeared.
The
thing
Avas
a
mystery,
andI
puzzled
over'it
formonthsafter
Avards,
butAvithout
being
abletoformany
plausibletheory
onit.
I
spent
a
good
dealoftime
looking
forthe
pedlar,
but
during
allthosemonthsI
nevercameacross
hm.Somemonths
afterwards
I
was
in
Sydney,
and
Avas
invited
by
a
friend
to
visithis
country
home.I
consen
ted
readilyenough,
andfoundthe
place
tobe
one
of
the
roughest,
rockiest,and
picturesquespot
it
hasbeen
my
lotto
see.
It
Avasno
good
for
anything
butscenery,butthere
Avas
plenty
ofthat.There
wasa
good
dealoflimestone
about
the
place,
andthebills
contained
allsortsofqueer
little
caves.'Oneof
these,
near
the
house,
pleased
mo
so
muchthatI
spent
a.
good
dealoftimein
ii:,
andthere
it
Avas
that
Ione
dayagain
saAV
my
Jong-looked-for
pedlar.
His
beard
was
longer,
hisface
more
haggard
than
when:
I
saw
himin
Melbourne,
and
indeed
Iwonderedatthe
change
forthe
worse
which
a
fewmonthshadmadeiuhim.Ihailed
him;
he
an
swered
me,
and
soon
was
sitting
with
me
intho
little
cave.
"Ihave
seen
youin
Melbourne,
I
believe,"
Iremarked."InMelbourne?"ho
repeated.

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