Famous Modern Ghost Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 346 pages of information about Famous Modern Ghost Stories.

And next day I had a curious confirmation of my theory.  Once more I was lying under my favorite apple-tree, half reading and half watching the Sound, lulled into a dream by the whir of insects and the spices called up from the earth by the hot sun.  As I bent over the page, I suddenly had the startling impression that someone was leaning over my shoulder and reading with me, and that a girl’s long hair was falling over me down on to the page.  The book was the Ronsard I had found in the little bedroom.  I turned, but again there was nothing there.  Yet this time I knew that I had not been dreaming, and I cried out: 

“Poor child! tell me of your grief—­that I may help your sorrowing heart to rest.”

But, of course, there was no answer; yet that night I dreamed a strange dream.  I thought I was in the orchard again in the afternoon and once again heard the strange singing—­but this time, as I looked up, the singer was no longer invisible.  Coming toward me was a young girl with wonderful blue eyes filled with tears and gold hair that fell to her waist.  She wore a straight, white robe that might have been a shroud or a bridal dress.  She appeared not to see me, though she came directly to the tree where I was sitting.  And there she knelt and buried her face in the grass and sobbed as if her heart would break.  Her long hair fell over her like a mantle, and in my dream I stroked it pityingly and murmured words of comfort for a sorrow I did not understand....  Then I woke suddenly as one does from dreams.  The moon was shining brightly into the room.  Rising from my bed, I looked out into the orchard.  It was almost as bright as day.  I could plainly see the tree of which I had been dreaming, and then a fantastic notion possessed me.  Slipping on my clothes, I went out into one of the old barns and found a spade.  Then I went to the tree where I had seen the girl weeping in my dream and dug down at its foot.

I had dug little more than a foot when my spade struck upon some hard substance, and in a few more moments I had uncovered and exhumed a small box, which, on examination, proved to be one of those pretty old-fashioned Chippendale work-boxes used by our grandmothers to keep their thimbles and needles in, their reels of cotton and skeins of silk.  After smoothing down the little grave in which I had found it, I carried the box into the house, and under the lamplight examined its contents.

Then at once I understood why that sad young spirit went to and fro the orchard singing those little French songs—­for the treasure-trove I had found under the apple-tree, the buried treasure of an unquiet, suffering soul, proved to be a number of love-letters written mostly in French in a very picturesque hand—­letters, too, written but some five or six years before.  Perhaps I should not have read them—­yet I read them with such reverence for the beautiful, impassioned love that animated them, and literally made them “smell sweet and blossom in the dust,” that I felt I had the sanction of the dead to make myself the confidant of their story.  Among the letters were little songs, two of which I had heard the strange young voice singing in the orchard, and, of course, there were many withered flowers and such like remembrances of bygone rapture.

Project Gutenberg
Famous Modern Ghost Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook