One cannot generalize about ghosts any more than one can about the living, for spirits have
various reasons for returning to haunt this earth, and some seem to have a definite purpose. The
following story is of one who sought vengeance against a tardy lover who lived to regret deserting his sweet-heart when he thought his own life was in danger.
Caisho Burroughes was said to be one of the most handsome men in the England of his
day, extremely valiant, though proud and bloodthirsty. Even so, the ghost of his sweetheart was
to reduce him to a trembling wreck of his former self. His father was Sir John Burroughes, Garter
King of Arms during the reign of Charles I, and Keeper of the Records at the Tower of London.
He was sent by King Charles to Germany as English Envoy to the Emperor.
Caisho was the eldest of two sons and two daughters, and Sir John was persuaded to take
Caisho along with him, journeying by way of Italy, where he left the young man in Florence in
order that he should learn the Italian language. If Sir John ha the slightest idea what was going to
be the devastating effect of his son's handsome looks upon a certain beautiful courtesan and the
tragedy which would ensue, he might have had second thoughts about continuing his journey
Caisho, with his good looks and proud family background, was soon received into the
highest social circles, and made many influential friends. He was entertained royally and his
studies took second place, especially when he met the beautiful mistress of the Grand Duke of
Tuscany, with whom he soon became deeply involved, and who fell so passionately in love with
him that she cast caution to the winds and was constantly to be seen in his company.
Their affair became so public that it inevitably came to the ears of the Grand Duke, an
extremely proud and jealous man. He was something of a diplomat and had no desire to offend
King Charles by taking direct measures against this inconvenient young English blade. The most
discreet way out of the awkward situation would be for Caisho to encounter a fatal accident in one
of the less reputable Florentine haunts which he was in the habit of frequenting.
Mutual friends came to hear of the Duke's plan to have Caisho murdered, and warned him
that his life was in danger if he continued to stay in Florence. Caisho did not at first believe that
the Duke would go to such lengths to stop his affair with his mistress; but on the very night of the
warning he was innocently involved in a brawl and an attempt was made to stab him. Fortunately
for him he had two men friends with him, and when the would-be assassin found himself
outnumbered, he made off as fast as his legs could carry him. The three friends laughed at the
sight, but Caisho was now in no doubt of the seriousness of his position. He did not wish to die
just yet, in the full flower of his youth. Life was far too sweet and no woman was worth dying
for-especially another man's mistress. She would be a luxury he could not afford.
He left for England immediately.
Meanwhile his lady love waited and pined for him in vain. He had left Florence in such
haste that he had not even said goodbye to her, nor sent her a message telling of his impending
departure. As for her, she knew nothing of the Duke's design, and she waited as usual for her
lover, miserable and unhappy because he did not come, for all her hopes and desires had been
centered around the handsome young Caisho. She no longer cared for the Grand Duke, nor for
her envied position as his mistress, for she loved Caisho as she had never loved anyone before.
It was the Grand Duke himself who informed her of her lover's flight. He had been
disappointed that his prey had escaped him and he had been robbed of taking his revenge. He
took it out on his mistress instead, deriding her for her treachery and faithlessness, and
reproaching her for choosing so unworthy a young man-a coward who ran away at he slightest
sign of danger, and who did not even wait to say goodbye to her.
The poor girl was heartbroken and bitterly disappointed at the way her lover had deserted
her. She knew that the Grand Duke would never permit her to leave and follow Caisho to
England-and life with the Grand Duke after this would be unbearable. She might as well be dead.
So in despair she took her own life, hopeful perhaps that in death she would find her lover again.
Meanwhile Caisho had returned to London and was sharing a room with a friend, a
Colonel Remes, a member of Parliament. One night they were in bed together when the ghost of
his Florentine sweetheart appeared before them.
At first Caisho thought it was really her, and he asked her how she had known where to
find him and what she was doing in England? Whereupon the beautiful ghost solemnly told him
that she had killed herself because he had deserted him and left her to the vengeance of the Grand
Duke, who after he found out about their love affair had treated her shamefully, making her life
miserable. She had preferred to die than to face life without Caisho.
'You, too, will die soon,' she told her now frightened gallant. 'You will be killed in a
duel. But until that time comes, I shall haunt you and you will regret having left me without so
much as a word. Every day that is left to you, you will regret it.' She thereupon vanished with
her words of doom and foreboding echoing in the wretched Caisho's ears.
If Caisho had been alone he might have dismissed the incident from his mind, putting it
down to a bad dream after over-indulgence in the taverns. But Colonel Remes had seen the
apparition as well, and was very much affected by what they had both seen. They tried to make
jokes about their visitor from the other world, saying the next time she came they would invite her
to join them in bed, but neither of them could shake off the fear of the unknown which the
visitation had given them.
In the morning that were more inclined to dismiss it as a temporary hallucination probably
invoked by a sorceress, who perhaps had been paid to use her witchcraft on them by some of their
devil-may-care friends, who were perhaps at this moment laughing themselves silly after hearing
of their reaction to the bedside apparition.. The following night Caisho made some inquiries
among his friends, but it was obvious that they knew nothing about the incident, and he returned
to his lodgings a little the worse for drink.
Colonel Remes was already asleep and Caisho fell into bed beside him, but he had hardly
closed his eyes when he was vividly and frighteningly aware of a presence in the room. Blearily
he opened his eyes and once more saw the ghost of the woman from Florence.
Terrified, he shrieked at her, waking his friend, and they both saw her sad and beautiful
face, and heard again her words of denunciation and her forecast of death for Caisho.
Caisho, still in his cups, jumped out of bed as though to attack her, but when he reached
out he grasped nothing, and felt only a breath of icy air upon his face as she vanished before his
sight, her words echoing in his ears: 'You, too, will soon die. You will be killed in a duel. But
until that times comes, I will haunt you...haunt you...haunt you.'
'If this sort of thing is going to happen every night,' said Colonel Remes, in the morning,
'I shall be looking for new lodgings.' He was as good as his word, for the ghostly visitations
continued, and Caisho was becoming more and more terror-stricken, crying out as soon as he saw
her. He dared not sleep alone at night and after Remes left he persuaded his younger brother John
to sleep with him, and he too saw and heard the vengeful ghost of Caisho's dead sweetheart.
Caisho was indeed regretting his callous desertion of her. Death in some dark alley in
Florence would have been preferable to this continued assault from the spirit world which was
gradually driving him out of his mind. He would cry out in anguish every time he saw her, his
whole body shaking with fear. 'Oh, God! Here she comes! Here she comes!'