The Canterville Ghost eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 43 pages of information about The Canterville Ghost.
they found themselves in a little low room, with a vaulted ceiling, and one tiny grated window.  Imbedded in the wall was a huge iron ring, and chained to it was a gaunt skeleton, that was stretched out at full length on the stone floor, and seemed to be trying to grasp with its long fleshless fingers an old-fashioned trencher and ewer, that were placed just out of its reach.  The jug had evidently been once filled with water, as it was covered inside with green mould.  There was nothing on the trencher but a pile of dust.  Virginia knelt down beside the skeleton, and, folding her little hands together, began to pray silently, while the rest of the party looked on in wonder at the terrible tragedy whose secret was now disclosed to them.

[Illustration:  “Chained to it was A gaunt skeleton”]

“Hallo!” suddenly exclaimed one of the twins, who had been looking out of the window to try and discover in what wing of the house the room was situated.  “Hallo! the old withered almond-tree has blossomed.  I can see the flowers quite plainly in the moonlight.”

“God has forgiven him,” said Virginia, gravely, as she rose to her feet, and a beautiful light seemed to illumine her face.

“What an angel you are!” cried the young Duke, and he put his arm round her neck, and kissed her.

VII

[Illustration:  “By the side of the hearse and the coaches walked the servants with lighted torches”]

Four days after these curious incidents, a funeral started from Canterville Chase at about eleven o’clock at night.  The hearse was drawn by eight black horses, each of which carried on its head a great tuft of nodding ostrich-plumes, and the leaden coffin was covered by a rich purple pall, on which was embroidered in gold the Canterville coat-of-arms.  By the side of the hearse and the coaches walked the servants with lighted torches, and the whole procession was wonderfully impressive.  Lord Canterville was the chief mourner, having come up specially from Wales to attend the funeral, and sat in the first carriage along with little Virginia.  Then came the United States Minister and his wife, then Washington and the three boys, and in the last carriage was Mrs. Umney.  It was generally felt that, as she had been frightened by the ghost for more than fifty years of her life, she had a right to see the last of him.  A deep grave had been dug in the corner of the churchyard, just under the old yew-tree, and the service was read in the most impressive manner by the Rev. Augustus Dampier.  When the ceremony was over, the servants, according to an old custom observed in the Canterville family, extinguished their torches, and, as the coffin was being lowered into the grave, Virginia stepped forward, and laid on it a large cross made of white and pink almond-blossoms.  As she did so, the moon came out from behind a cloud, and flooded with its silent silver the little churchyard, and from a distant copse a nightingale began to sing.  She thought of the ghost’s description of the Garden of Death, her eyes became dim with tears, and she hardly spoke a word during the drive home.

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The Canterville Ghost from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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