The story of the haunting was now the talk of London. It even aroused the interest of
King Charles. John Aubrey (1626-97) wrote in his book Miscellanies upon Various Subjects:
'The story was so common that King Charles I sent for Caisho Burroughes's father, whom he
examined as to the truth of the matter; who did (together with Colonel Remes) aver the matter of
fact to be true, so that the King thought it worth his while to send to Florence to inquire at what
time this unhappy lady killed herself; it was found to be the same minute that she first appeared to
Caisho in bed with Colonel Remes. This relation I had from my worthy friend Mr. Monson, who
had from Sir John's own mouth, brother of Caisho; he had also the same account from his own
father, who was intimately acquainted with old Sir John Burroughes, and both his sons, and says,
as often as Caisho related this, he wept bitterly.'
Caisho went to pieces and spent the nights with the women of the town and drinking in the
taverns, rather than go back to his lodgings to face his nightly visitor from another world. One
night he became involved in an argument with a stranger who challenged him to a duel, and on
returning to his room in the early hours, hoping to get some rest, for he was in no fit shape to
wield a sword just then, the ghost appeared again, this time telling him that his end was at hand
and that he would die that very day.
Perhaps he did not wish to live, having been thoroughly demoralized by this terrible
campaign of revenge, or perhaps his health did not permit him to fight with his usual sureness and
precision; but whatever it was he appeared to be quite unable to protect himself from his
opponent, whose sword soon found its mark deep in Caisho's heart.
As he died on the grass, the early morning mist seemed to gather around Caisho's body,
and some who witnessed the sight said the mist was more of a wraith, a phantom form bending
over him as he died, and it was believed that his ghost-sweetheart had come to claim in death
what she had lost in life.
Ghosts would be legion if everyone who had suffered and died in consequence of a
treacherous act inflicted by another came back from the nether world to haunt the guilty person.
That a number do come back is generally accepted, for many wrong-doers have experienced
terrifying ordeals which seem to prove that the dead can and do return to exact vengeance.
Engine-driver Brierly was not at heart a dishonorable man, yet through him his best friend, Jim
Robson, had killed his wife and child and then himself, returning from the spirit world to take a
If anyone had ever told Brierly that he would become obsessed with another man's wife
he would not have believed him, for his own wife was a good woman and he loved her and their
little daughter very much indeed. Jim was his best friend and drove the Night Express regularly,
and had got him a job in the same yard as himself as a driver on one of the local trains. John
Brierly was a happy man and when Jim got married he was his best man. The Brierlys were the
first friends to visit the happy couple when they went to live in a cottage on the main line.
It was Jim who first threw them together. The Robsons had been visiting the Brierlys and
Jim asked John to see his wife home for him. Both men were going back on duty and John's
train, being a local, made its first stop at the station near the Robsons' cottage, which was close
enough to the station for John to see her safely to the door.
After that it became a habit for John to call on Jim's wife for a chat every time his local
stopped at the station. At first there was nothing between them, and she did not encourage him,
but Jim was away a lot. Only seeing his wife two or three times a week, and she was lonely.
Brierly saw her at every opportunity, and their friendship soon ripened into something more
John Brierly continued to visit her even when she was expecting Jim's child, and
inevitably there was gossip, which eventually came to the ears of the husband.
Jim was not a church-going man, but he was strict about morals and marital fidelity, and
he could not believe that his wife was carrying on with his best friend.
But when Jim tackled Brierly, he could not deny that he had visited the cottage at every
opportunity. Jim told him never to go there again. He was white to the lips, his grey eyes cold
and hostile as he looked at the man he had thought was his friend.
'You must ask for a transfer, Brierly, or as God is my judge I shall have my revenge on
you.' He turned angrily on his heels and walked away.
The next morning John Brierly asked for the transfer, and was put on a train running to the
Midlands and back on the same day. But he still had to pass the cottage every night and every
day. The cottage was situated on a bend in the line which necessitated slowing down the train to
quarter speed as they approached, and John would blow the whistle and lean out of the cab for a
glimpse of Jim's wife. She was always there standing in the doorway of the cottage waving to
him as he passed by, and every night she put a light in the cottage window for him to see.
But it was torture for him having only a glimpse of her, and Brierly was not content with
this state of affairs for long. He started to write to her, pouring out his heart in wild words of
love, forgetting the danger, thinking only of the woman he was obsessed with, heedless of the fact
that his letters might be found and read by her husband.
A premonition of disaster came one dark Saturday night when for the first time there was
no light in the cottage window. Brierly pulled the whistle as he had always done, so that she
might hear him coming, but there was still no welcoming gleam. The cottage was in pitch