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ghost stories
Scary and exciting Ghost Stories from around the World . . .
 

Ghost Story Title : The Man Who Went Too Far Part-11 By E.F. Benson

 

Ghost Story:

Together they hurried down the stairs, and through the dining-room where an orderly table for breakfast had
already been laid, and out on to the terrace. The rain for the moment had been utterly stayed, as if the tap of
the heavens had been turned off, and under the lowering black sky, not quite dark, since the moon rode
somewhere serene behind the conglomerated thunder-clouds, Darcy stumbled into the garden, followed by the
servant with the candle. The monstrous leaping shadow of himself was cast before him on the lawn; lost and
wandering odors of rose and lily and damp earth were thick about him, but more pungent was some sharp and
acrid smell that suddenly reminded him of a certain chlet in which he had once taken refuge in the Alps. In
the blackness of the hazy light from the sky, and the vague tossing of the candle behind him, he saw that the
hammock in which Frank so often lay was tenanted. A gleam of white shirt was there, as if a man sitting up in
it, but across that there was an obscure dark shadow, and as he approached the acrid odor grew more intense.
He was now only some few yards away, when suddenly the black shadow seemed to jump into the air, then
came down with tappings of hard hoofs on the brick path that ran down the pergola, and with frolicsome
skippings galloped off into the bushes. When that was gone Darcy could see quite clearly that a shirted figure
sat up in the hammock. For one moment, from sheer terror of the unseen, he hung on his step, and the servant
joining him they walked together to the hammock.
It was Frank. He was in shirt and trousers only, and he sat up with braced arms. For one half-second he stared
at them, his face a mask of horrible contorted terror. His upper lip was drawn back so that the gums of the
teeth appeared, and his eyes were focused not on the two who approached him but on something quite close to
him; his nostrils were widely expanded, as if he panted for breath, and terror incarnate and repulsion and
deathly anguish ruled dreadful lines on his smooth cheeks and forehead. Then even as they looked the body
sank backwards, and the ropes of the hammock wheezed and strained.
Darcy lifted him out and carried him indoors. Once he thought there was a faint convulsive stir of the limbs
that lay with so dead a weight in his arms, but when they got inside, there was no trace of life. But the look of
supreme terror and agony of fear had gone from his face, a boy tired with play but still smiling in his sleep
was the burden he laid on the floor. His eyes had closed, and the beautiful mouth lay in smiling curves, even
as when a few mornings ago, in the meadow by the weir, it had quivered to the music of the unheard melody
of Pan's pipes. Then they looked further.
Frank had come back from his bath before dinner that night in his usual costume of shirt and trousers only. He
had not dressed, and during dinner, so Darcy remembered, he had rolled up the sleeves of his shirt to above
the elbow. Later, as they sat and talked after dinner on the close sultriness of the evening, he had unbuttoned
the front of his shirt to let what little breath of wind there was play on his skin. The sleeves were rolled up
now, the front of the shirt was unbuttoned, and on his arms and on the brown skin of his chest were strange
discolorations which grew momently more clear and defined, till they saw that the marks were pointed prints,
as if caused by the hoofs of some monstrous goat that had leaped and stamped upon him.






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