“I’ve been looking for you,” I ses.
“Oh!” he ses, looking me up and down and all over. “Well, you’ve found me now.”
“I want to talk to you about the ghost of pore Sam Bullet,” I ses.
Joe Peel put ’is mug down sudden and looked at me fierce. “Look ’ere! Don’t you come and try to be funny with me,” he ses. “’Cos I won’t ’ave it.”
“I don’t want to be funny,” I ses. “Wot I want to know is, are you in the same mind about that watch and chain as you was the other day?”
He didn’t seem to be able to speak at fust, but arter a time ’e gives a gasp. “Woes the game?” he ses.
“Wot I want to know is, if I give you that watch and chain for fifteen bob, will that keep the ghost from ’anging round my wharf agin?” I ses.
“Why, o’ course,” he ses, staring; “but you ain’t been seeing it agin, ’ave you?”
“I’ve not, and I don’t want to,” I ses. “If it wants you to ’ave the watch and chain, give me the fifteen bob, and it’s yours.”
He looked at me for a moment as if he couldn’t believe ’is eyesight, and then ’e puts his ’and into ’is trowsis-pocket and pulls out one shilling and fourpence, ‘arf a clay-pipe, and a bit o’ lead-pencil.
“That’s all I’ve got with me,” he ses. “I’ll owe you the rest. You ought to ha’ took the fifteen bob when I ’ad it.”
There was no ’elp for it, and arter making ’im swear to give me the rest o’ the money when ’e got it, and that I shouldn’t see the ghost agin, I ’anded the things over to ’im and came away. He came to the door to see me off, and if ever a man looked puzzled, ’e did. Pleased at the same time.
It was a load off of my mind. My con-science told me I’d done right, and arter sending a little boy with a note to Ted Dennis to tell ’im not to come any more, I felt ’appier than I ’ad done for a long time. When I got to the wharf that evening it seemed like a diff’rent place, and I was whistling and smiling over my work quite in my old way, when the young policeman passed.
“Hullo !” he ses. “’Ave you seen the ghost agin?”
“I ’ave not,” I ses, drawing myself up. “’Ave you?”
“No,” he ses.
“We missed it.”
“Missed it?” I ses, staring at ’im.
“Yes,” he ses, nodding. “The day arter you came out screaming, and cuddling me like a frightened baby, it shipped as A.B. on the barque Ocean King, for Valparaiso. We missed it by a few hours. Next time you see a ghost, knock it down fust and go and cuddle the police arterwards.”
July 12, 1915.—Disquieting rumours to the effect that epidemic of Billetitis hitherto confined to the north of King’s Road shows signs of spreading.
July 14.—Report that two Inns of Court men have been seen peeping over my gate.