“Sort’a half dozing—”
“Yes; and Sanford—Mr, Embury, you know, came gliding through my room, and he stopped at my bedside to say good-by—”
“Was he alive?” asked Fibsy, awe-struck at her hushed tones and bright, glittering eyes.
“Oh, no, it was his spirit, you see—his disembodied spirit”
“How could you see it, then?”
“When spirits appear like that, they are visible.”
“Oh, ma’am—I didn’t know.”
“Yes, and I not only saw him but he was evident to all my five senses!”
“What, ma’am? What do you mean?”
Fibsy drew back, a little scared, as Aunt Abby clutched his sleeve in her excitement. He felt uneasy, for it was growing dusk, and the old lady was in such a state of nervous exhilaration that he shrank a little from her proximity.
But Fibsy was game. “Go on, ma’am,” he whispered.
“Yes,” Aunt Abby declared, with an eerie smile of triumph, “I saw him—I heard him—I felt him—I smelled him—and, I tasted him!”
Fibsy nearly shrieked, for at each enumeration of her marvelous experiences, Miss Ames grasped his arm tighter and emphasized her statements by pounding on his shoulder.
She seemed unaware of his personal presence—she talked more as if recounting the matter to herself, but she used him as a general audience and the boy had to make a desperate effort to preserve his poise.
And then it struck him that the old lady was crazy, or else she really had an important story to tell. In either case, it was his duty to let Fleming Stone hear it, at first hand, if possible. But he felt sure that to call in the rest of the household, or to take the narrator out to them would—as he expressed it to himself “upset her applecart and spill the beans!”
THE FIVE SENSES
However he decided quickly, it must be done, so he said, diplomatically, “This is awful int’restin’, Miss Ames, and I’m just dead sure and certain Mr. Stone’d think so, too. Let’s go out and get it off where he c’n hear it. What say?”
The boy had risen and was edging toward the door. Rather than lose her audience, Aunt Abby followed, and in a moment the pair appeared in the living-room, where Fleming Stone was still talking to Eunice and Mr. Elliott.
“Miss Ames, now, she’s got somethin’ worth tellin’,” Fibsy announced. “This yarn of hers is pure gold and a yard wide, Mr. Stone, and you oughter hear it, sir.”
“Gladly,” and Stone gave Aunt Abby a welcoming smile.
Nothing loath to achieve the center of the stage, the old lady seated herself in her favorite arm-chair, and began:
“It was almost morning,” she said, “a faint dawn began to make objects about the room visible, when I opened my eyes and saw a dim, gliding figure—”
Eunice gave an angry exclamation, and rising quickly from her chair, walked into her own room, and closed the door with a slam that left no doubt as to her state of mind.