''First,' he said, 'I wish to tell you a little deception I ventured to practice on you. So many people have been
to that house and seen the ghost that I came to think the story acted on their imaginations, and I wished to
make a better test. So I invented for their benefit another story, with the idea that if you did see anything I
could be sure it was not due merely to an excited imagination.'
''Then what you told me about a woman having been murdered, and all that, was not the true story of the
''It was not. The true story is that a cousin of mine went mad in that house, and killed himself in a fit of
morbid terror following upon years of miserable hypochondriasis. It is his figure that investigators see.'
''That explains, then,' I gasped----
'I thought of that poor struggling soul, longing all these years for escape, and determined to keep my story for
the present to myself.
''Explains, I mean, why I did not see the ghost of the murdered woman,' I concluded.
''Precisely,' said Sir Henry, 'and why, if you had seen anything, it would have had value, inasmuch as it could
not have been caused by the imagination working upon a story you already knew.''
[I] Taken by permission from 'The Listener and Other Stories,'--E.P. Dutton & Co.