Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), Sunday 22 December 1895, page 11

PAESON'S I had come up from Gippsland, was Bfcopping with a friend at Blacktown, enioying a short holiday and attending to a little business at
the same time which I had in the district, and which occasionally took to Langton, a mo email township some 15 miles distant. I was later than usual in setting out on my return journey, but with a good horse, a clear starlight night, and good going, I looked for ward to an In the exhilarating gallop home. strictest truth I may say I had had but one drink that day, and that only on persuasion client, who was a of my connoisseur of the for the callings most approved type, for I was I had followed a distinctly abstemious to man, ?which in no small degree I owed my superb health and splendid physical development. ) a For mile or two I took it leisurely, and just about to let the horse hare his head, was when I became aware unconsciously as we do at odd moments of somebody's presence, and saw that a horseman had noise come lessly up, and was riding olosely alongside me. The night, although moonless, was clear, sufficiently so to see a good few lengths ahead, and I was aroused from my'roilective mood by the thought of a canter in company with the no He Btranger. returned answer to my greeting, which I repeated in a louder tone, and, again getting no response, thinking he have been meditatively blind, looked may closely, though not scrutinisingly, at him. He seemed to me to be above the middle age, air long and lean, with a generally and drawn bis over cress, a sort telt hat was half averted, and he wore a eyes, his face was beard, whilst his hands rested list scraggy the withers of an lessly on animal almost as omaciated as himself. Used to tho rough hospitality of the bush and its scant courtesies, I concluded he was not in the humor for conversation or com a panionship, and. made movement to press ahead ; but although I quickened my horse's neighbor's, without pace, my apparent call from his rider, kept upon terms. even My attention, moreover, distracted for a few was moments by my own mount, which became restive, but when I glanced over my shoulder there was the same inert and dejected form of and taciturn fellow-traveller. my unwelcome A strange feeling of uneasiness came over 'We had come me. a about mile together, when I suddenly drew rein and bent over to touch him with my he whip, thinking now have fallen asleep. I could feel nothing. may It was I rubbed no' illusion. and my eyes so stared at him completely did the figure fascinate me but not the slightest movement did horse or maq make. My tongue refused speech, the perspiration poured down my face, and I was absolutely nerveless and with fear. paralysed it For a few moments seemed like more I remained in this awed state, then re hours covering my numbed horse sense, struck my Bharply and dashed headlong forward. 1 galloped as if the devil were in pursuit for
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1 galloped as if the devil were in pursuit for a village half-way on my road, only turning as a welcome light or two appeared to find my I dismounted companion had gone. at the hotel, as such designated, and reeled rather than walked into the parlor, where the landlord, old Whitton, who knew me, was seated with a customer. the exercise Although had steadied my regained my self nerves, I had not quite possesion, and saw that both looked curiously at me, thinking, perhaps, from my appear I had been imbibing. ance We drank together, and although I did not than a minute or intend to stop more it two or occurred to me that either one both might be able to afford a clue to the elucidation of the_ mystery, so I recounted briefly my ex

I at once had them interested. They told that from my description it must have been me ' Parsons' which Ghost, had haunted the locality for years past, and had been seen at lengthy intervals by several persons who had known Parsons, a selector, that had at one time disappeared mysteriously from the dis trict, and supposed by many to have been I had not looked for such ready murdered. corroboration, and was now anxious to get anxious, too, for a close acquaintance away, with my spectral friend to satisfy myself it delusion. no was with I shook hands both men, and rode briskly away past the few scattered houses, and out into open country. At some distance the road took a sharp turn, and descended abruptly, a thick fringo of trees on either side making it very dark and necessitating a little care. Again that strange feeling held me 1 was not alone ; my borae, usually so quiet, betrayed of intense excitement. So I set symptoms him going and cast a look round, to find the figure was again beside me.

We were,going at a good pace,' his move-, so per ments in perfect unison with my own— fect that the hoof-be.ats of one horse only were audible. a Not an inch' did I: gain, nor was word to be drawn from the my side, but I leant forward to get a better look at the face of the dreadfully-impassive figure;' a About mile from Blacktown a light wooden bridge spans a small creek, at the time water less. The devil of recklessness had its .grip I bored him to the side to .prevent on me. his passage, ready to check any counter on his part, and riding so closely that I had to lift leg to prevent collision with the railing, my ; He had finished his run turning slowly round, he gave a horrible grating laugh, lifted his horse, which flew over the rail and disap peared with him from view. I pulled up on the other side,, and peered over, but not a sound broke the stillness of the night. I was trembling with the fierce excite of the last few moments, and my horse ment showed signs of the terrible pace at which we had been travelling,


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had been travelling, told, Over my friend's table the Btory was so and discussed far into the night. So much did I succeed in impressing my hearers that it was decided to conduct a thorough search of the creek-bed at the bridge. The tale was supported by the fact of a skeleton being found, to which a few shreds of clothing hung, half embedded in silt, and covered with river growth, a chain of circum stances which aroused tho country side to a recital of the doings of the strange horseman. It


to say




been tho result of foul play, Tho skull was of of one smashed, but from a malformation the leg bones the identification of Parsons was established. The inhabitants have placed it on imperishable record, and require but little persuasion to tell a stranger of the history of Parsons' Ghost. H.G.L.

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