The Book of Dreams and Ghosts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 242 pages of information about The Book of Dreams and Ghosts.

Admitted to that equal sky,
Our faithful dog may bear us company.

We omit such things as the dripping death wraith of a drowned cat who appeared to a lady, or the illused monkey who died in a Chinese house, after which he haunted it by rapping, secreting objects, and, in short, in the usual way. {155c} We adduce

PETER’S GHOST

A naval officer visited a friend in the country.  Several men were sitting round the smoking-room fire when he arrived, and a fox-terrier was with them.  Presently the heavy, shambling footsteps of an old dog, and the metallic shaking sound of his collar, were heard coming up stairs.

“Here’s old Peter!” said his visitor.

Peter’s dead!” whispered his owner.

The sounds passed through the closed door, heard by all; they pattered into the room; the fox-terrier bristled up, growled, and pursued a viewless object across the carpet; from the hearth-rug sounded a shake, a jingle of a collar and the settling weight of a body collapsing into repose. {156}

This pleasing anecdote rests on what is called nautical evidence, which, for reasons inexplicable to me, was (in these matters) distrusted by Sir Walter Scott.

CHAPTER VIII

More Ghosts with a Purpose.  Ticonderoga.  The Beresford Ghost.  Sources of Evidence.  The Family Version.  A New Old-Fashioned Ghost.  Half-past One o’clock.  Put out the Light!

The ghost in the following famous tale had a purpose.  He was a Highland ghost, a Campbell, and desired vengeance on a Macniven, who murdered him.  The ghost, practically, “cried Cruachan,” and tried to rouse the clan.  Failing in this, owing to Inverawe’s loyalty to his oath, the ghost uttered a prophecy.

The tale is given in the words of Miss Elspeth Campbell, who collected it at Inverawe from a Highland narrator.  She adds a curious supplementary tradition in the Argyle family.

TICONDEROGA

It was one evening in the summer of the year 1755 that Campbell of Inverawe {157} was on Cruachan hill side.  He was startled by seeing a man coming towards him at full speed; a man ragged, bleeding, and evidently suffering agonies of terror.  “The avengers of blood are on my track, Oh, save me!” the poor wretch managed to gasp out.  Inverawe, filled with pity for the miserable man, swore “By the word of an Inverawe which never failed friend or foe yet” to save him.

Inverawe then led the stranger to the secret cave on Cruachan hill side.

None knew of this cave but the laird of Inverawe himself, as the secret was most carefully kept and had been handed down from father to son for many generations.  The entrance was small, and no one passing would for an instant suspect it to be other than a tod’s hole, {158a} but within were fair-sized rooms, one containing a well of the purest spring water.  It is said that Wallace and Bruce had made use of this cave in earlier days.

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The Book of Dreams and Ghosts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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