“Hush,” said the whisper; “but the day, you assure me, is far off—very far! I go back to the almond and rose of Damascus!—sleep!”
The room swam before my eyes. I became insensible. When I recovered, I found G—— holding my hand and smiling. He said, “You who have always declared yourself proof against mesmerism have succumbed at last to my friend Richards.”
“Where is Mr Richards?”
“Gone, when you passed into a trance—saying quietly to me, ’Your friend will not wake for an hour.’”
I asked, as collectedly as I could, where Mr Richards lodged.
“At the Trafalgar Hotel.”
“Give me your arm,” said I to G——; “let us call on him; I have something to say.”
When we arrived at the hotel, we were told that Mr Richards had returned twenty minutes before, paid his bill, left directions with his servant (a Greek) to pack his effects and proceed to Malta by the steamer that should leave Southampton the next day. Mr Richards had merely said of his own movements that he had visits to pay in the neighbourhood of London, and it was uncertain whether he should be able to reach Southampton in time for that steamer; if not, he should follow in the next one.
The waiter asked me my name. On my informing him, he gave me a note that Mr Richards had left for me, in case I called.
The note was as follows: “I wished you to utter what was in your mind. You obeyed. I have therefore established power over you. For three months from this day you can communicate to no living man what has passed between us—you cannot even show this note to the friend by your side. During three months, silence complete as to me and mine. Do you doubt my power to lay on you this command?—try to disobey me. At the end of the third month, the spell is raised. For the rest I spare you. I shall visit your grave a year and a day after it has received you.”
So ends this strange story, which I ask no one to believe. I write it down exactly three months after I received the above note. I could not write it before, nor could I show to G——, in spite of his urgent request, the note which I read under the gas-lamp by his side.
THE BOTATHEN GHOST
By the Rev. S.R. HAWKER
The legend of Parson Rudall and the Botathen Ghost will be recognised by many Cornish people as a local remembrance of their boyhood.
It appears from the diary of this learned master of the grammar-school—for such was his office, as well as perpetual curate of the parish,—“that a pestilential disease did break forth in our town in the beginning of the year A.D. 1665; yea, and it likewise invaded my school, insomuch that therewithal certain of the chief scholars sickened and died.” “Among others who yielded to the malign influence was Master John Eliot, the eldest son and the worshipful