HOW THE WHOLE PARISH WAS FRIGHTENED
Who does not know Lady Ducklington, or who does not know that she was buried at this parish church? Well, I never saw a grander funeral in all my life; but the money they squandered away would have been better laid out in little books for children, or in meat, drink, and clothes for the poor.
All the country round came to see the burying, and it was late before the corpse was interred. After which, in the night, or rather about two o’clock in the morning, the bells were heard to jingle in the steeple, which frightened the people prodigiously, who all thought it was Lady Ducklington’s ghost dancing among the bell ropes. The people flocked to Will Dobbins, the clerk, and wanted him to go to see what it was; but William said he was sure it was a ghost, and that he would not offer to open the door. At length Mr. Long, the rector, hearing such an uproar in the village, went to the clerk, to know why he did not go into the church, and see who was there. “I go, sir?” says William; “why, the ghost would frighten me out of my wits!” Mrs. Dobbins, too, cried, and laying hold of her husband, said he should not be eat up by the ghost. “A ghost, you blockhead,” says Mr. Long, in a pet; “did either of you ever see a ghost in a church, or know anybody that did?” “Yes,” says the clerk, “my father did once in the shape of a windmill, and it walked all around the church in a trice, with jack boots on, and had a gun by its side, instead of a sword.” “A fine picture of a ghost, truly,” says Mr. Long; “give me the key of the church, you monkey, for I tell you there is no such thing now, whatever may have been formerly.” Then taking the key, he went to the church, all the people following him. As soon as he had opened the door, what sort of a ghost do you think appeared? Why, Little Two-Shoes, who being weary had fallen asleep in one of the pews during the funeral service, and was shut in all night. She immediately asked Mr. Long’s pardon for the trouble she had given him, told him she had been locked into the church, and said she should not have rung the bells, but that she was very cold, and hearing Farmer Boult’s man go whistling by with his horses, she was in hopes he would have gone to the clerk for the key to let her out.
CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF ALL THE SPIRITS OR THINGS SHE SAW IN THE CHURCH
The people were ashamed to ask Little Madge any questions before Mr. Long, but as soon as he was gone, they all got round her to satisfy their curiosity, and desired she would give them a particular account of all that she had heard or seen.