'Those were the very words Eliphalet Duncan used,' said Uncle Larry; 'but he did not need to wait for the
answer. All at once he recalled the traditions about the domiciliary ghost, and he knew that what the titular
ghost said was the fact. He had never thought of the sex of a spook, but there was no doubt whatever that the
house ghost was a woman. No sooner was this firmly fixed in Eliphalet's mind than he saw his way out of the
difficulty. The ghosts must be married!--for then there would be no more interference, no more quarreling, no
more manifestations and materializations, no more dark sances, with their raps and bells and tambourines
and banjos. At first the ghosts would not hear of it. The voice in the corner declared that the Duncan wraith
had never thought of matrimony. But Eliphalet argued with them, and pleaded and persuaded and coaxed, and
dwelt on the advantages of matrimony. He had to confess, of course, that he did not know how to get a
clergyman to marry them; but the voice from the corner gravely told him that there need be no difficulty in
regard to that, as there was no lack of spiritual chaplains. Then, for the first time, the house ghost spoke, in a
low, clear, gentle voice, and with a quaint, old-fashioned New England accent, which contrasted sharply with
the broad Scotch speech of the family ghost. She said that Eliphalet Duncan seemed to have forgotten that she
was married. But this did not upset Eliphalet at all; he remembered the whole case clearly, and he told her she
was not a married ghost, but a widow, since her husband had been hung for murdering her. Then the Duncan
ghost drew attention to the great disparity of their ages, saying that he was nearly four hundred and fifty years
old, while she was barely two hundred. But Eliphalet had not talked to juries for nothing; he just buckled to,
and coaxed those ghosts into matrimony. Afterward he came to the conclusion that they were willing to be
coaxed, but at the time he thought he had pretty hard work to convince them of the advantages of the plan.'
'Did he succeed?' asked Baby Van Rensselaer, with a young lady's interest in matrimony.
'He did,' said Uncle Larry. 'He talked the wraith of the Duncans and the specter of the little old house at
Salem into a matrimonial engagement. And from the time they were engaged he had no more trouble with
them. They were rival ghosts no longer. They were married by their spiritual chaplain the very same day that
Eliphalet Duncan met Kitty Sutton in front of the railing of Grace Church. The ghostly bride and bridegroom
went away at once on their bridal tour, and Lord and Lady Duncan went down to the little old house at Salem
to pass their honeymoon.'
Uncle Larry stopped. His tiny cigar was out again. The tale of the rival ghosts was told. A solemn silence fell
on the little party on the deck of the ocean steamer, broken harshly by the hoarse roar of the fog-horn.