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The Ghost in the Cap’n Brown House
by [?]

“Folks got to kind o’ respectin’ Quassia. She come to meetin’ Sunday regular, and sot all fixed up in red and yaller and green, with glass beads and what not, lookin’ for all the world like one o’ them ugly Indian idols; but she was well-behaved as any Christian. She was a master hand at cookin’. Her bread and biscuits couldn’t be beat, and no couldn’t her pies, and there wa’n’t no such pound-cake as she made nowhere. Wal, this ‘ere story I’m a goin’ to tell you was told me by Cinthy Pendleton. There ain’t a more respectable gal, old or young, than Cinthy nowheres. She lives over to Sherburne now, and I hear tell she’s sot up a manty-makin’ business; but then she used to do tailorin’ in Oldtown. She was a member o’ the church, and a good Christian as ever was. Wal, ye see, Quassia she got Cinthy to come up and spend a week to the Cap’n Brown house, a doin’ tailorin’ and a fixin’ over his close: ’twas along toward the fust o’ March. Cinthy she sot by the fire in the front parlor with her goose and her press-board and her work: for there wa’n’t no company callin’, and the snow was drifted four feet deep right across the front door; so there wa’n’t much danger o’ any body comin’ in. And the cap’n he was a perlite man to wimmen; and Cinthy she liked it jest as well not to have company, ’cause the cap’n he’d make himself entertainin’ tellin’ on her sea-stories, and all about his adventures among the Ammonites, and Perresites, and Jebusites, and all sorts o’ heathen people he’d been among.

“Wal, that ‘are week there come on the master snow-storm. Of all the snow-storms that hed ben, that ‘are was the beater; and I tell you the wind blew as if ’twas the last chance it was ever goin’ to hev. Wal, it’s kind o’ scary like to be shet up in a lone house with all natur’ a kind o’ breakin’ out, and goin’ on so, and the snow a comin’ down so thick ye can’t see ‘cross the street, and the wind a pipin’ and a squeelin’ and a rumblin’ and a tumblin’ fust down this chimney and then down that. I tell you, it sort o’ sets a feller thinkin’ o’ the three great things,–death, judgment, and etarnaty; and I don’t care who the folks is, nor how good they be, there’s times when they must be feelin’ putty consid’able solemn.

“Wal, Cinthy she said she kind o’ felt so along, and she hed a sort o’ queer feelin’ come over her as if there was somebody or somethin’ round the house more’n appeared. She said she sort o’ felt it in the air; but it seemed to her silly, and she tried to get over it. But two or three times, she said, when it got to be dusk, she felt somebody go by her up the stairs. The front entry wa’n’t very light in the daytime, and in the storm, come five o’clock, it was so dark that all you could see was jest a gleam o’ some-thin’, and two or three times when she started to go up stairs she see a soft white suthin’ that seemed goin’ up before her, and she stopped with her heart a beatin’ like a trip-hammer, and she sort o’ saw it go up and along the entry to the cap’n’s door, and then it seemed to go right through, ’cause the door didn’t open.

“Wal, Cinthy says she to old Quassia, says she, ‘Is there anybody lives in this house but us?’

“‘Anybody lives here?’ says Quassia: ‘what you mean?’ says she.

“Says Cinthy, ‘I thought somebody went past me on the stairs last night and to-night.’

“Lordy massy! how old Quassia did screech and laugh. ‘Good Lord!’ says she, ‘how foolish white folks is! Somebody went past you? Was’t the capt’in?’