re quest’, a wish that is expressed; desire.
har’bor, a sheltered place where ships can anchor.
lo’cate, place; choose as a place to live.
beach, the shore of the sea.
knack, an easy way of doing any thing.
in dulged’, gave way to, as to appetite.
ban’quet, a very good dinner or other meal.
rheu’ma tism, a painful trouble in the muscles or joints.
* * * * *
“I have not a room in the house; but if you don’t mind going down to the cottage, and coming up here to your meals, I can take you, and would be glad to,” said Mrs. Grant, in answer to my request for board.
“Where is the cottage?” and I looked about me, feeling ready to accept any thing in the way of shelter, after the long, hot journey from Boston to breezy York Harbor.
“Right down there—just a step, you see. It’s all in order; and next week it will be full, for many folks prefer it because of the quiet.”
At the end of a very steep path, which offered every chance for accidents of all sorts, from a sprained ankle to a broken neck, stood the cottage—a little white building, with a pretty vine over the door, gay flowers in the garden, and the blue Atlantic rolling up at the foot of the cliff.
“A regular ‘Cottage by the Sea.’ It will suit me exactly if I can have the upper front room. I don’t mind being alone; so have my trunk taken down, please, and I’ll get ready for tea,” said I, feeling very happy on account of my good luck.
Alas, how little I knew what a night of terror I was to pass in that pretty white cottage!
An hour later, refreshed by my tea and the coolness of the place, I plunged into the pleasures of the season, and accepted two invitations for the evening—one to a, walk on Sunset Hill, the other to a clam-bake on the beach.
The stroll came first, and on the hill-top we met an old gentleman with a spy-glass, who welcomed me with the remark—
“Pretty likely place for a prospect.”
After replying to what he said, I asked the old gentleman if he knew any legend or stories about the old houses all around us.
“Yes, many of them,” he replied; “and it isn’t always the old places that have the most stories about ’em.
“Why, that cottage down yonder isn’t more’n fifty years old, and they do say there’s been a lot of ghosts seen there, owin’ to a man’s killin’ of himself in the back bed-room.”
“What! that house at the end of the lane?” I asked, with sudden interest.
“Just so; nice place, but lonesome and dampish. Ghosts and toadstools are apt to locate in houses of that sort,” was his mild reply.