I do not believe in ghosts. I have a certain respect for them, as they have never offered me any affront, either by appearing to me or otherwise maltreating me. But Marian, who like many of her sex seemed to consort naturally with banshees, bogies, apparitions, and the like, declared to me that at several different times this ghost had presented itself to her, startling her on two occasions. On the second occasion, she fled along the kitchen hall, shrieking piteously.
The phantom was clad all in a livid blue flame from top to toe, she said, and a banner of red sarcenet that streamed out behind like forked lightning. This malevolent spirit had struck her with its blazing hand.
I had not seen, and like the Lady of the house, did not believe. But in the hours still to come we would learn the folly of our doubt . . .