There was a pause: -- there was a footstep -- it sounded distinctly -- it reached the door -- it hesitated, stopped, and
Tom darted across the room, threw open the door, and became aware of Mrs Botherby toddling to her chamber, at the other end of the gallery, after dosing one of the housemaids with an approved, julep from the Countess of Kent's 'Choice Manual.'
'Good night, sir!' said Mrs Botherby.
'Go to the d -- l!' said the disappointed ghost-hunter.
An hour -- two -- rolled on, and still no spectral visitation; nor did aught intervene to make night hideous; and when the turret-clock sounded at length the hour of three, Ingoldsby, whose patience and grog were alike exhausted, sprang from his chair, saying, --
'This is all infernal nonsense, my good fellow. Deuce of any ghost shall we see to-night; it's long past the canonical hour. I'm off to bed; and as to your breeches, I'll insure them for the next twenty-four hours at least, at the price of the buckram.'
'Certainly. -- Oh! thankee; -- to be sure!' stammered Charles, rousing himself from a reverie, which had degenerated into an absolute snooze.
'Good-night, my boy! Bolt the door behind me; and defy the Pope, the Devil and the Pretender! -- '
Seaforth followed his friend's advice, and the next morning came down to breakfast dressed in the habiliments of the preceding day. The charm was broken, the demon defeated; the light greys with the red stripe down the seams were yet in rerum natura, and adorned the person of their lawful proprietor.
Tom felicitated himself and his partner of the watch on the result of their vigilance; but there is a rustic adage, which warns us against self-gratulation before we are quite 'out of the wood.' -- Seaforth was yet within its verge.