At last it began to occur to him that what had happened seemed to have in it elements of
the supernatural. This his cool-headedness could not accept, so taking up his candle he left the
room and began to search the passages and staircases of the tower for some sign which would
provide an acceptable explanation of the apparition.
When he had searched every corner of the tower and found nothing, he returned to his bed
and passed the remaining hours till dawn sleepless and perplexed.
As soon as he heard Beaumont Fetherstone moving, he called out to him, 'Fetherstone,
I've had a terrible night!'
'What did you say?' Fetherstone called back through the sealed-up door.
Simons repeated that he had had a terrible night.
'That's what I thought you said,' Fetherstone replied. 'May I come round?'
'Of course,' Simons told him.
A minute of two later Fetherstone came into the room, a splendid morning figure in a rich
brocade dressing-gown which swept the floor. For the moment Simons forgot the reason for the
'How very splendid!' he commented.
But clearly Fetherstone was less interested in his dressing-gown than in the experiences of
the night. 'Passed on by an ancient uncle,' he said lightly and briefly, going on quickly, 'Did
your terrible night include a ghost?'
'I suppose you could call it that,' Simons admitted. 'But I've always thought of myself
as a rational man, and ghosts are not submissive to reason.'
'A woman would you say?' Fetherstone asked.
'Well, part...' Simons began.
Fetherstone held up his hand. 'Don't say another word, old chap. I have an idea. We'll
each tell our stories separately to Herbert Wood, and see what happens. Do you agree?'
'Certainly,' Simons replied. 'It will be interesting, but I don't mind telling you that I am
still disinclined to believe in ghosts.'
'Then we're both in the same boat,' Fetherstone said. 'I didn't. Reason tells me now not
to. But...well, I'll go and dress. See you at breakfast.'
Mrs. Wood was already at the table when Simons went into the dining-room. Indicating a
vacant place on her left, she said: 'Herbert and Beaumont have gone to the library. They won't
be long. I understand you had a disturbed night.'
'I'm afraid so,' Simons agreed, and was on the point of telling her when she put her hand
on his arm. 'Later, Mr. Simons, please!' Then in a whisper, 'The servants are very
Presently their host and Fetherstone came to the table. Wood was somewhat withdrawn,
but Fetherstone was in the best of spirits.
At the conclusion of the meal, Wood reminded his men guests that the stalk would
assemble at the main entrance of the castle in half an hour's time. Then looking towards Simon,
he said: 'Edward, Beaumont tells me you would like to speak to me in the library.'
'If you could spare a moment,' Simon replied, now rather wishing that he had nor agreed
to Fetherstone's plan.
'Perhaps you will come too, my dear,' Wood suggested to his wife. 'You, of course,
In the library Wood said: 'It was as I thought, my dear, our guests have had a disturbed
night. Beaumont has told me his story. Edward will tell us his now. I thought it would interest
you to hear it, my dear, in view of what the servants have been claiming recently.'
Succinctly, but careful to leave out no detail, Simons related his experiences, and as he did
so he noticed that Fetherstone was becoming more and more excited, though he did not interrupt;
while Mrs. Wood regarded the speaker with increasing bewilderment. When he had finished,
Fetherstone exclaimed, 'There, Herbert, the same in every detail!'
'In almost every detail,' Wood corrected him.
'In every essential detail,' Fetherstone persisted.
'What exactly happened to you?' Wood asked.
'Well, it was round about two o'clock,' Fetherstone began. 'I had been asleep for quite a
time, when suddenly I woke up and realized that the room was faintly illuminated by a suffused
pink light. At first I thought one of the out-houses had caught fire and the light was coming from
the flames via the windows, until I remembered that I had not drawn back the curtains, which
were still closed when I looked at them.
'It was as I turned from looking at the windows that my glance caught the figure of a
woman standing at the foot of the bed. At first I thought it might be the housekeeper...'
'Mrs. Menzies in a guest's room in the middle of the night!' Mrs. Wood exclaimed. 'My
dear Beaumont, please never let her have the faintest whisper of your suspicions. She would be
'I had no ill opinion of her motives, I assure you,' Fetherstone exclaimed. 'It struck me
that she might be sleep-walking.'
'I'm sorry, Beaumont,' Mrs. Wood smiled. 'I'll not interrupt you again.'
'As I was wondering what I might do for the best, for I have heard or read somewhere that
it can be dangerous to waken a sleep-walker,' Fetherstone went on, 'she began to come round the
side of the bed and as she came level with me started to incline towards me.
'A little alarmed by what I thought she intended to do, I sat up fully, the better to ward her
off; and as I did so, she backed away and then turned and went hurriedly across the room towards
the old powder closet. It was as she passed though the door into the closet that I realized I could
not see her legs. In fact, she seemed to be walking on invisible legs.'
Like Simons, however, though shaken, he lit his candle and when the lady did not emerge
from the closet and not a sound came from that direction, he got out of bed and quietly made his
way across the room. Though, under his night-shirt his flesh was covered with goose-pimples, he
compelled himself to enter the little room.
'There was no one there!' he said. 'The hip-bath and the clothes-horse were there,
untouched, just as you saw them, Edward, and as you know there is no window; no opening, in
fact, except the door into my room, the sealed-up door into Edward's room and the two long
narrow loop-holes in the outside wall, which in any case are so narrow that not even the domestic
cat could squeeze through them.'
Mystified, and still not realizing that he had perhaps seen an apparition, he thought that
while his attention was directed towards lighting the candle, the lady might have slipped out of
the closet and concealed herself in the bedroom. So, before getting back into bed, he had made a
through search of his room, even to the extent of looking under his bed. But all without result.