Scary Books: Scottish Ghost Stories
Of all the hauntings in Scotland, none has gained such widespread
notoriety as the hauntings of Glamis Castle, the seat of the Earl of
Strathmore and Kinghorne in Forfarshire.
Part of the castle--that part which is the more frequently haunted--is
of ancient though uncertain date, and if there is any truth in the
tradition that Duncan was murdered there by Macbeth, must, at any
rate, have been in existence
at the commencement of the eleventh
century. Of course, extra buildings have, from time to time, been
added, and renovations made; but the original structure remains pretty
nearly the same as it always has been, and is included in a square
tower that occupies a central position, and commands a complete view
of the entire castle.
Within this tower--the walls of which are fifteen feet thick--there
is a room, hidden in some unsuspected quarter, that contains a secret
(the keynote to one, at least, of the hauntings) which is known only
to the Earl, his heir (on the attainment of his twenty-first
birthday), and the factor of the estate.
In all probability, the mystery attached to this room would challenge
but little attention, were it not for the fact that unearthly noises,
which at the time were supposed to proceed from this chamber, have
been heard by various visitors sleeping in the Square Tower.
The following experience is said to have happened to a lady named
Bond. I append it more or less in her own words.
It is a good many years since I stayed at Glamis. I was, in fact, but
little more than a child, and had only just gone through my first
season in town. But though young, I was neither nervous nor
imaginative; I was inclined to be what is termed stolid, that is to
say, extremely matter-of-fact and practical. Indeed, when my friends
exclaimed, You don't mean to say you are going to stay at Glamis!
Don't you know it's haunted? I burst out laughing.
Haunted! I said, how ridiculous! There are no such things as
ghosts. One might as well believe in fairies.
Of course I did not go to Glamis alone--my mother and sister were with
me; but whereas they slept in the more modern part of the castle, I
was, at my own request, apportioned a room in the Square Tower.
I cannot say that my choice had anything to do with the secret
chamber. That, and the alleged mystery, had been dinned into my ears
so often that I had grown thoroughly sick of the whole thing. No, I
wanted to sleep in the Square Tower for quite a different reason, a
reason of my own. I kept an aviary; the tower was old; and I naturally
hoped its walls would be covered with ivy and teeming with birds'
nests, some of which I might be able to reach--and, I am ashamed to
say, plunder--from my window.
Alas, for my expectations! Although the Square Tower was so ancient
that in some places it was actually crumbling away--not the sign of a
leaf, not the vestige of a bird's nest could I see anywhere; the
walls were abominably, brutally bare. However, it was not long before
my disappointment gave way to delight; for the air that blew in
through the open window was so sweet, so richly scented with heather
and honeysuckle, and the view of the broad, sweeping, thickly wooded
grounds so indescribably charming, that, despite my inartistic and
unpoetical nature, I was entranced--entranced as I had never been
before, and never have been since. Ghosts! I said to myself,
ghosts! how absurd! how preposterously absurd! such an adorable spot
as this can only harbour sunshine and flowers.
I well remember, too--for, as I have already said, I was not
poetical--how much I enjoyed my first dinner at Glamis. The long
journey and keen mountain air had made me hungry, and I thought I had
never tasted such delicious food--such ideal salmon (from the Esk) and
such heavenly fruit. But I must tell you that, although I ate
heartily, as a healthy girl should, by the time I went to bed I had
thoroughly digested my meal, and was, in fact, quite ready to partake
of a few oatmeal biscuits I found in my dressing-case, and remembered
having bought at Perth. It was about eleven o'clock when my maid left
me, and I sat for some minutes wrapped in my dressing gown, before the
open window. The night was very still, and save for an occasional
rustle of the wind in the distant tree-tops, the hooting of an owl,
the melancholy cry of a peewit and the hoarse barking of a dog, the
silence was undisturbed.
The interior of my room was, in nearly every particular, modern.
The furniture was not old; there were no grim carvings; no
grotesquely-fashioned tapestries on the walls; no dark cupboards; no
gloomy corners;--all was cosy and cheerful, and when I got into bed no
thought of bogle or mystery entered my mind.
In a few minutes I was asleep, and for some time there was nothing but
a blank--a blank in which all identity was annihilated. Then suddenly
I found myself in an oddly-shaped room with a lofty ceiling, and a
window situated at so great a distance from the black oaken floor as
to be altogether inaccessible from within. Feeble gleams of
phosphorescent light made their way through the narrow panes, and
served to render distinct the more prominent objects around; but my
eyes struggled in vain to reach the remoter angles of the wall, one of
which inspired me with terror such as I had never felt before. The
walls were covered with heavy draperies that were sufficient in
themselves to preclude the possibility of any save the loudest of
sounds penetrating without.
The furniture, if such one could call it, puzzled me. It seemed more
fitted for the cell of a prison or lunatic asylum, or even for a
kennel, than for an ordinary dwelling-room. I could see no chair, only
a coarse deal table, a straw mattress, and a kind of trough. An air of
irredeemable gloom and horror hung over and pervaded everything. As I
stood there, I felt I was waiting for something--something that was
concealed in the corner of the room I dreaded. I tried to reason with
myself, to assure myself that there was nothing there that could hurt
me, nothing that could even terrify me, but my efforts were in
vain--my fears grew. Had I had some definite knowledge as to the cause
of my alarm I should not have suffered so much, but it was my
ignorance of what was there, of what I feared, that made my terror so
poignant. Each second saw the agony of my suspense increase. I dared
not move. I hardly dare breathe, and I dreaded lest the violent
pulsation of my heart should attract the attention of the Unknown
Presence and precipitate its coming out. Yet despite the perturbation
of my mind, I caught myself analysing my feelings. It was not danger I
abhorred so much, as its absolute effect--fright. I shuddered at the
bare thought of what result the most trivial incident--the creaking of
a board, ticking of a beetle, or hooting of an owl--might have on the
intolerable agitation of my soul.
In this unnerved and pitiable condition I felt that the period was
bound to come, sooner or later, when I should have to abandon life and
reason together in the most desperate of struggles with--fear.
At length, something moved. An icy chill ran through my frame, and the
horror of my anticipations immediately reached its culminating point.
The Presence was about to reveal itself.
The gentle rubbing of a soft body on the floor, the crack of a bony
joint, breathing, another crack, and then--was it my own excited
imagination--or the disturbing influence of the atmosphere--or the
uncertain twilight of the chamber that produced before me, in the
stygian darkness of the recess, the vacillating and indistinct outline
of something luminous, and horrid? I would gladly have risked futurity
to have looked elsewhere--I could not. My eyes were fixed--I was
compelled to gaze steadily in front of me.
Slowly, very slowly, the thing, whatever it was, took shape.
Legs--crooked, misshapen, human legs. A body--tawny and hunched.
Arms--long and spidery, with crooked, knotted fingers. A head--large
and bestial, and covered with a tangled mass of grey hair that hung
around its protruding forehead and pointed ears in ghastly mockery of
curls. A face--and herein was the realisation of all my direst
expectations--a face--white and staring, piglike in formation,
malevolent in expression; a hellish combination of all things foul and
animal, and yet withal not without a touch of pathos.
As I stared at it aghast, it reared itself on its haunches after the
manner of an ape, and leered piteously at me. Then, shuffling forward,
it rolled over, and lay sprawled out like some ungainly turtle--and
wallowed, as for warmth, in the cold grey beams of early dawn.
At this juncture the handle of the chamber door turned, some one
entered, there was a loud cry--and I awoke--awoke to find the whole
tower, walls and rafters, ringing with the most appalling screams I
have ever heard,--screams of some thing or of some one--for there was
in them a strong element of what was human as well as animal--in the
Wondering what it meant, and more than ever terrified, I sat up in bed
and listened,--listened whilst a conviction--the result of intuition,
suggestion, or what you will, but a conviction all the same--forced me
to associate the sounds with the thing in my dream. And I associate
It was, I think, in the same year--in the year that the foregoing
account was narrated to me--that I heard another story of the
hauntings at Glamis, a story in connection with a lady whom I will
call Miss Macginney. I append her experience as nearly as possible as
she is stated to have told it.
I seldom talk about my adventure, Miss Maginney announced, because so
many people ridicule the superphysical, and laugh at the mere mention
of ghosts. I own I did the same myself till I stayed at Glamis; but a
week there quite cured me of scepticism, and I came away a confirmed
The incident occurred nearly twenty years ago--shortly after my return
from India, where my father was then stationed.
It was years since I had been to Scotland, indeed I had only once
crossed the border and that when I was a babe; consequently I was
delighted to receive an invitation to spend a few weeks in the land of
my birth. I went to Edinburgh first--I was born in Drumsheugh
Gardens--and thence to Glamis.
It was late in the autumn, the weather was intensely cold, and I
arrived at the castle in a blizzard. Indeed, I do not recollect ever
having been out in such a frightful storm. It was as much as the
horses could do to make headway, and when we reached the castle we
found a crowd of anxious faces eagerly awaiting us in the hall.
Chilled! I was chilled to the bone, and thought I never should thaw.
But the huge fires and bright and cosy atmosphere of the rooms--for
the interior of Glamis was modernised throughout--soon set me right,
and by tea time I felt nicely warm and comfortable.
My bedroom was in the oldest part of the castle--the Square Tower--but
although I had been warned by some of the guests that it might be
haunted, I can assure you that when I went to bed no subject was
farther from my thoughts than the subject of ghosts. I returned to my
room at about half-past eleven. The storm was then at its height--all
was babel and confusion--impenetrable darkness mingled with the
wildest roaring and shrieking; and when I peeped through my casement
window I could see nothing--the panes were shrouded in snow--snow
which was incessantly dashed against them with cyclonic fury. I fixed
a comb in the window-frame so as not to be kept awake by the constant
jarring; and with the caution characteristic of my sex looked into
the wardrobe and under the bed for burglars--though Heaven knows what
I should have done had I found one there--placed a candlestick and
matchbox on the table by my bedside, lest the roof or window should be
blown in during the night or any other catastrophe happen, and after
all these preparations got into bed. At this period of my life I was a
sound sleeper, and, being somewhat unusually tired after my journey, I
was soon in a dreamless slumber. What awoke me I cannot say, but I
came to myself with a violent start, such as might have been
occasioned by a loud noise. Indeed, that was, at first, my impression,
and I strained my ears to try and ascertain the cause of it. All was,
however, silent. The storm had abated, and the castle and grounds were
wrapped in an almost preternatural hush. The sky had cleared, and the
room was partially illuminated by a broad stream of silvery light that
filtered softly in through the white and tightly drawn blinds. A
feeling that there was something unnatural in the air, that the
stillness was but the prelude to some strange and startling event,
gradually came over me. I strove to reason with myself, to argue that
the feeling was wholly due to the novelty of my surroundings, but my
efforts were fruitless. And soon there stole upon me a sensation to
which I had been hitherto an utter stranger--I became afraid. An
irrepressible tremor pervaded my frame, my teeth chattered, my blood
froze. Obeying an impulse--an impulse I could not resist, I lifted
myself up from the pillows, and, peering fearfully into the shadowy
glow that lay directly in front of me--listened. Why I listened I do
not know, saving that an instinctive spirit prompted me. At first I
could hear nothing, and then, from a direction I could not define,
there came a noise, low, distinct, uninterpretative. It was repeated
in rapid succession, and speedily construed itself into the sound of
mailed footsteps racing up the long flight of stairs at the end of the
corridor leading to my room. Dreading to think what it might be, and
seized with a wild sentiment of self-preservation, I made frantic
endeavours to get out of bed and barricade my door. My limbs, however,
refused to move. I was paralysed. Nearer and nearer drew the sounds;
and I could at length distinguish, with a clearness that petrified my
very soul, the banging and clanging of sword scabbards, and the
panting and gasping of men, sore pressed in a wild and desperate race.
And then the meaning of it all came to me with hideous abruptness--it
was a case of pursued and pursuing--the race was for--LIFE. Outside my
door the fugitive halted, and from the noise he made in trying to draw
his breath, I knew he was dead beat. His antagonist, however, gave him
but scant time for recovery. Bounding at him with prodigious leaps, he
struck him a blow that sent him reeling with such tremendous force
against the door, that the panels, although composed of the stoutest
oak, quivered and strained like flimsy matchboard.
The blow was repeated; the cry that rose in the victim's throat was
converted into an abortive gurgling groan; and I heard the ponderous
battle-axe carve its way through helmet, bone, and brain. A moment
later came the sound of slithering armour; and the corpse, slipping
sideways, toppled to the ground with a sonorous clang.
A silence too awful for words now ensued. Having finished his hideous
handiwork, the murderer was quietly deliberating what to do next;
whilst my dread of attracting his attention was so great that I
scarcely dare breathe. This intolerable state of things had already
lasted for what seemed to me a lifetime, when, glancing involuntarily
at the floor, I saw a stream of dark-looking fluid lazily lapping its
way to me from the direction of the door. Another moment and it would
reach my shoes. In my dismay I shrieked aloud. There was a sudden stir
without, a significant clatter of steel, and the next moment--despite
the fact that it was locked--the door slowly opened. The limits of my
endurance had now happily been reached, the over-taxed valves of my
heart could stand no more--I fainted. On my awakening to consciousness
it was morning, and the welcome sun rays revealed no evidences of the
distressing drama. I own I had a hard tussle before I could make up my
mind to spend another night in that room; and my feelings as I shut
the door on my retreating maid, and prepared to get into bed, were not
the most enviable. But nothing happened, nor did I again experience
anything of the sort till the evening before I left. I had lain down
all the afternoon--for I was tired after a long morning's tramp on the
moors, a thing I dearly love--and I was thinking it was about time to
get up, when a dark shadow suddenly fell across my face.
I looked up hastily, and there, standing by my bedside and bending
over me, was a gigantic figure in bright armour.
Its visor was up, and what I saw within the casque is stamped for ever
on my memory. It was the face of the dead--the long since dead--with
the expression--the subtly hellish expression--of the living. As I
gazed helplessly at it, it bent lower. I threw up my hands to ward it
off. There was a loud rap at the door. And as my maid softly entered
to tell me tea was ready--it vanished.
The third account of the Glamis hauntings was told me as long ago as
the summer of 1893. I was travelling by rail from Perth to Glasgow,
and the only other occupant of my compartment was an elderly
gentleman, who, from his general air and appearance, might have been
a dominie, or member of some other learned profession. I can see him
in my mind's eye now--a tall, thin man with a premature stoop. He had
white hair, which was brushed forward on either side of his head in
such a manner as suggested a wig; bushy eyebrows; dark, piercing eyes;
and a stern, though somewhat sad, mouth. His features were fine and
scholarly; he was clean-shaven. There was something about
him--something that marked him from the general horde--something that
attracted me, and I began chatting with him soon after we left Perth.
In the course of a conversation, that was at all events interesting to
me, I adroitly managed to introduce the subject of ghosts--then, as
ever, uppermost in my thoughts.
Well, he said, I can tell you of something rather extraordinary that
my mother used to say happened to a friend of hers at Glamis. I have
no doubt you are well acquainted with the hackneyed stories in
connection with the hauntings at the castle; for example, Earl Beardie
playing cards with the Devil, and The Weeping Woman without Hands or
Tongue. You can read about them in scores of books and magazines. But
what befel my mother's friend, whom I will call Mrs. Gibbons--for I
have forgotten her proper name--was apparently of a novel nature. The
affair happened shortly before Mrs. Gibbons died, and I always thought
that what took place might have been, in some way, connected with her
She had driven over to the castle one day--during the absence of the
owner--to see her cousin, who was in the employ of the Earl and
Countess. Never having been at Glamis before, but having heard so much
about it, Mrs. Gibbons was not a little curious to see that part of
the building, called the Square Tower, that bore the reputation of
Tactfully biding an opportunity, she sounded her relative on the
subject, and was laughingly informed that she might go anywhere about
the place she pleased, saving to one spot, namely, Bluebeard's
Chamber; and there she could certainly never succeed in poking her
nose, as its locality was known only to three people, all of whom were
pledged never to reveal it. At the commencement of her tour of
inspection, Mrs. Gibbons was disappointed--she was disappointed in the
Tower. She had expected to see a gaunt, grim place, crumbling to
pieces with age, full of blood-curdling, spiral staircases, and deep,
dark dungeons; whereas everything was the reverse. The walls were in
an excellent state of preservation--absolutely intact; the rooms
bright and cheerful and equipped in the most modern style; there were
no dungeons, at least none on view, and the passages and staircases
were suggestive of nothing more alarming than--bats! She was
accompanied for some time by her relative, but, on the latter being
called away, Mrs. Gibbons continued her rambles alone. She had
explored the lower premises, and was leisurely examining a handsomely
furnished apartment on the top floor, when, in crossing from one side
of the room to the other, she ran into something. She looked
down--nothing was to be seen. Amazed beyond description, she thrust
out her hands, and they alighted on an object, which she had little
difficulty in identifying. It was an enormous cask or barrel lying in
a horizontal position.
She bent down close to where she felt it, but she could see
nothing--nothing but the well-polished boards of the floor. To make
sure again that the barrel was there, she gave a little kick--and drew
back her foot with a cry of pain. She was not afraid--the sunshine in
the room forbade fear--only exasperated. She was certain a barrel was
there--that it was objective--and she was angry with herself for not
seeing it. She wondered if she were going blind; but the fact that
other objects in the room were plainly visible to her, discountenanced
such an idea. For some minutes she poked and jabbed at the Thing, and
then, seized with a sudden and uncontrollable panic, she turned round
and fled. And as she tore out of the room, along the passage and down
the seemingly interminable flight of stairs, she heard the barrel
behind her in close pursuit-bump--bump--bump!
At the foot of the staircase Mrs. Gibbons met her cousin, and, as she
clutched the latter for support, the barrel shot past her, still
continuing its descent--bump--bump--bump! (though the steps as far as
she could see had ended)--till the sounds gradually dwindled away in
the far distance.
Whilst the manifestations lasted, neither Mrs. Gibbons nor her cousin
spoke; but the latter, as soon as the sounds had ceased, dragged Mrs.
Gibbons away, and, in a voice shaking with terror, cried: Quick,
quick--don't, for Heaven's sake, look round--worse has yet to come.
And, pulling Mrs. Gibbons along in breathless haste, she
unceremoniously hustled her out of the Tower.
That was no barrel! Mrs. Gibbons's cousin subsequently remarked by
way of explanation. I saw it--I have seen it before. Don't ask me to
describe it. I dare not--I dare not even think of it. Whenever it
appears, a certain thing happens shortly afterwards. Don't, don't on
any account say a word about it to any one here. And Mrs. Gibbons, my
mother told me, came away from Glamis a thousand times more curious
than she was when she went.
The last story I have to relate is one I heard many years ago, when I
was staying near Balmoral. A gentleman named Vance, with strong
antiquarian tastes, was staying at an inn near the Strathmore estate,
and, roaming abroad one afternoon, in a fit of absent-mindedness
entered the castle grounds. It so happened--fortunately for him--that
the family were away, and he encountered no one more formidable than a
man he took to be a gardener, an uncouth-looking fellow, with a huge
head covered with a mass of red hair, hawk-like features, and high
cheek-bones, high even for a Scot. Struck with the appearance of the
individual, Mr. Vance spoke, and, finding him wonderfully civil, asked
whether, by any chance, he ever came across any fossils, when digging
in the gardens.
I dinna ken the meaning of fossils, the man replied. What are
Mr. Vance explained, and a look of cunning gradually pervaded the
fellow's features. No! he said, I've never found any of those
things, but if you'll give me your word to say nothing about it, I'll
show you something I once dug up over yonder by the Square Tower.
Do you mean the Haunted Tower?--the Tower that is supposed to contain
the secret room? Mr. Vance exclaimed.
An extraordinary expression--an expression such as Mr. Vance found it
impossible to analyse--came into the man's eyes. Yes! that's it! he
nodded. What people call--and rightly call--the Haunted Tower. I got
it from there. But don't you say naught about it!
Mr. Vance, whose curiosity was roused, promised, and the man, politely
requesting him to follow, led the way to a cottage that stood near by,
in the heart of a gloomy wood. To Mr. Vance's astonishment the
treasure proved to be the skeleton of a hand--a hand with abnormally
large knuckles, and the first joint--of both fingers and thumb--much
shorter than the others. It was the most extraordinarily shaped hand
Mr. Vance had ever seen, and he did not know in the least how to
classify it. It repelled, yet interested him, and he eventually
offered the man a good sum to allow him to keep it. To his
astonishment the money was refused. You may have the thing, and
welcome, the fellow said. Only, I advise you not to look at it late
at night; or just before getting into bed. If you do, you may have bad
I will take my chance of that! Mr. Vance laughed. You see, being a
hard-headed cockney, I am not superstitious. It is only you
Highlanders, and your first cousins the Irish, who believe nowadays in
bogles, omens, and such-like; and, packing the hand carefully in his
knapsack, Mr. Vance bid the strange-looking creature good morning, and
went on his way.
For the rest of the day the hand was uppermost in his
thoughts--nothing had ever fascinated him so much. He sat pondering
over it the whole evening, and bedtime found him still examining
it--examining it upstairs in his room by candlelight. He had a hazy
recollection that some clock had struck twelve, and he was beginning
to feel that it was about time to retire, when, in the mirror opposite
him, he caught sight of the door--it was open.
By Jove! that's odd! he said to himself. I could have sworn I shut
and bolted it. To make sure, he turned round--the door was closed.
An optical delusion, he murmured; I will try again.
He looked into the mirror--the door reflected in it was--open. Utterly
at a loss to know how to explain the phenomenon, he leaned forward in
his seat to examine the glass more carefully, and as he did so he
gave a start. On the threshold of the doorway was a shadow--black and
bulbous. A cold shiver ran down Mr. Vance's spine, and just for a
moment he felt afraid, terribly afraid; but he quickly composed
himself--it was nothing but an illusion--there was no shadow there in
reality--he had only to turn round, and the thing would be gone. It
was amusing--entertaining. He would wait and see what happened.
The shadow moved. It moved slowly through the air like some huge
spider, or odd-shaped bird. He would not acknowledge that there was
anything sinister about it--only something droll--excruciatingly droll.
Yet it did not make him laugh. When it had drawn a little nearer, he
tried to diagnose it, to discover its material counterpart in one of
the objects around him; but he was obliged to acknowledge his attempts
were failures--there was nothing in the room in the least degree like
it. A vague feeling of uneasiness gradually crept over him--was the
thing the shadow of something with which he was familiar, but could not
just then recall to mind--something he feared--something that was
sinister? He struggled against the idea, he dismissed it as absurd; but
it returned--returned, and took deeper root as the shadow drew nearer.
He wished the house was not quite so silent--that he could hear some
indication of life--anything--anything for companionship, and to rid
him of the oppressive, the very oppressive, sense of loneliness and
Again a thrill of terror ran through him.
Look here! he exclaimed aloud, glad to hear the sound of his own
voice. Look here! if this goes on much longer I shall begin to think
I'm going mad. I have had enough, and more than enough, of magic
mirrors for one night--it's high time I got into bed. He strove to
rise from his chair--to move; he was unable to do either; some
strange, tyrannical force held him a prisoner.
A change now took place in the shadow; the blurr dissipated, and the
clearly defined outlines of an object--an object that made Mr. Vance
perfectly sick with apprehension--slowly disclosed themselves. His
suspicions were verified--it was the HAND!--the hand--no longer
skeleton, but covered with green, mouldering flesh--feeling its way
slyly and stealthily towards him--towards the back of his chair! He
noted the murderous twitching of its short, flat finger-tips, the
monstrous muscles of its hideous thumb, and the great, clumsy hollows
of its clammy palm. It closed in upon him; its cold, slimy, detestable
skin touched his coat--his shoulder--his neck--his head! It pressed
him down, squashed, suffocated him! He saw it all in the glass--and
then an extraordinary thing happened. Mr. Vance suddenly became
animated. He got up and peeped furtively round. Chairs, bed, wardrobe,
had all disappeared--so had the bedroom--and he found himself in a
small, bare, comfortless, queerly constructed apartment without a
door, and with only a narrow slit of a window somewhere near the
He had in one of his hands a knife with a long, keen blade, and his
whole mind was bent on murder. Creeping stealthily forward, he
approached a corner of the room, where he now saw, for the first
time--a mattress--a mattress on which lay a huddled-up form. What the
Thing was--whether human or animal--Mr. Vance did not know--did not
care--all he felt was that it was there for him to kill--that he
loathed and hated it--hated it with a hatred such as nothing else
could have produced. Tiptoeing gently up to it, he bent down, and,
lifting his knife high above his head, plunged it into the Thing's
body with all the force he could command.
He recrossed the room, and found himself once more in his apartment at
the inn. He looked for the skeleton hand--it was not where he had left
it--it had vanished. Then he glanced at the mirror, and on its
brilliantly polished surface saw--not his own face--but the face of
the gardener, the man who had given him the hand! Features, colour,
hair--all--all were identical--wonderfully, hideously identical--and
as the eyes met his, they smiled--devilishly.
Early the next day, Mr. Vance set out for the spinney and cottage;
they were not to be found--nobody had ever heard of them. He continued
his travels, and some months later, at a loan collection of pictures
in a gallery in Edinburgh, he came to an abrupt--a very abrupt--halt,
before the portrait of a gentleman in ancient costume. The face
seemed strangely familiar--the huge head with thick, red hair--the
hawk-like features--the thin and tightly compressed lips. Then, in a
trice, it all came back to him: the face he looked at was that of the
uncouth gardener--the man who had given him the hand. And to clinch
the matter, the eyes--leered.