Indian Ghost Stories by S. Mukerji
THE BRIDAL PARTY.
As it neared one o'clock, one of them pointed the revolver at the window. He had decided to pull the trigger as soon as the lamp would go out. But he could not. As soon as the lamp went out this soldier received a sharp cut on his wrist with a cane and the revolver fell clattering on the floor. The invisible hand had left its mark behind which his companions saw after the lamp was alight again.
Many people have subsequently tried to solve the mystery but never succeeded.
The house remained untenanted for a long time and finally it was rented by an Australian horse dealer who however did not venture to occupy the building itself, and contented himself with erecting his stables and offices in the compound where he is not molested by the unearthly visitors.
There is another ghostly house and it is in the United Provinces. The name of the town has been intentionally omitted. Various people saw numerous things in that house but a correct report never came. Once a friend of mine passed a night in that house. He told me what he had seen. Most wonderful! And I have no reason to disbelieve him.
"I went to pass a night in that house and I had only a comfortable chair, a small table and a few magazines besides a loaded revolver. I had taken care to load that revolver myself so that there might be no trick and I had given everybody to understand that.
"I began well. The night was cool and pleasant. The lamp bright--the chair comfortable and the magazine which I took up--interesting.
"But at about midnight I began to feel rather uneasy.
"At one in the morning I should probably have left the place if I had not been afraid of friends whose servants I knew were watching the house and its front door.
"At half past one I heard a peculiar sigh of pain in the next room. 'This is rather interesting,' I thought. To face something tangible is comparatively easy; to wait for the unknown is much more difficult. I took out the revolver from my pocket and examined it. It looked quite all right--this small piece of metal which could have killed six men in half a minute. Then I waited--for what--well.
"A couple of minutes of suspense and the sigh was repeated. I went to the door dividing the two rooms and pushed it open. A long thick ray of light at once penetrated the darkness, and I walked into the other room. It was only partially light. But after a minute I could see all the corners. There was nothing in that room.
"I waited for a minute or two. Then I heard the sigh in the room which I had left. I came back,--stopped--rubbed my eyes--.
"Sitting in the chair which I had vacated not two minutes ago was a young girl calm, fair, beautiful with that painful expression on her face which could be more easily imagined than described. I had heard of her. So many others who had came to pass a night in that house had seen her and described her (and I had disbelieved).
"Well--there she sat, calm, sad, beautiful, in my chair. If I had come in five minutes later I might have found her reading the magazine which I had left open, face downwards. When I was well within the room she stood up facing me and I stopped. The revolver fell from my hand. She smiled a sad sweet smile. How beautiful she was!
"Then she spoke. A modern ghost speaking like Hamlet's father, just think of that!
"'You will probably wonder why I am here--I shall tell you, I was murdered--by my own father.... I was a young widow living in this house which belonged to my father I became unchaste and to save his own name he poisoned me when I was _enceinte_--another week and I should have become a mother; but he poisoned me and my innocent child died too--it would have been such a beautiful baby--and you would probably want to kiss it'
and horror of horrors, she took out the child from her womb and showed it to me. She began to move in my direction with the child in her arms saying--'You will like to kiss it.'
"I don't know whether I shouted--but I fainted.