They all knew none of the neighbors would shelter Esther, because they all feared the ghost. What was to be done? Heaven only knew. It suddenly occurred to Dan that John White would perhaps give her shelter, for he had always taken a deep interest in the manifestations, and had often expressed pity for the unhappy girl. So Dan, after putting on his heavy coat—for it was snowing fast, and the night was intensely cold—went to White’s house. After knocking for some time, the door was opened by John White himself. He looked at Dan a moment in amazement, and then exclaimed in an inquiring tone:
“What’s the matter, Teed? Has the house burned to the ground or has the girl burst all to pieces?”
Dan explained his mission in a few words. When he had finished, White thought a moment, and then said:
“Wait until I ask my wife; if she says yes, all right, you may bring her here to-night.” He asked his wife, and fortunately for the miserable girl, she said “yes,” and that very night Esther Cox changed her home.
The walking of the ghost.
When John White took Esther to his house to reside, he performed a charitable deed, which no man in the village but himself had the heart to do. Both he and his good wife showed, by the kindness with which they treated the poor unhappy girl, that Heaven had at least inspired two hearts with that greatest of all virtues—Charity.
It was now January, 1879,—just four months since the manifestations first commenced. Esther had been at White’s residence for two weeks, and had not seen anything of the ghost. She had improved very much in that short time, her nervousness having almost subsided, and she was contented and happy. Mrs. White, who found her of great assistance in the house, had become much attached to the girl, and treated her with the same kindness that she did her own children.
Towards the end of the third week her old enemy—the ghost—returned.
While Esther was scrubbing the hall at her new home, she was astonished to see her scrubbing brush disappear from her hand. When the ghost told her that he had taken it, she became much alarmed and screamed for Mrs. White, who, with her daughter Mary, searched the hall for it in vain. After they had abandoned their search, to the great astonishment of all, the brush fell from the ceiling—just grazing Esther’s head in its fall. Here was a new manifestation of the ghostly power. He was able to take a solid substance from this material world of ours, and render it invisible by taking it into his mysterious state of existence; and, if he could take one object why not another; if a brush, why not a broom? But why speculate on so great a mystery? The ghost did it, and as we must draw the line somewhere, it is better to draw it here than to allow our minds