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Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (M R James) online
_Att._ What did you take it to be?
_S._ I took it to be a woman's dress.
_Att._ Could you make any guess whom it belonged to? Did you know anyone who wore such a dress?
_S._ It was a common stuff, by what I could see. I have seen many women wearing such a stuff in our parish.
_Att._ Was it like Ann Clark's dress?
_S._ She used to wear just such a dress: but I could not say on my oath it was hers.
_Att._ Did you observe anything else about it?
_S_. I did notice that it looked very wet: but it was foul weather outside.
_L.C.J._ Did you feel of it, mistress?
_S._ No, my lord, I did not like to touch it.
_L.C.J._ Not like? Why that? Are you so nice that you scruple to feel of a wet dress?
_S._ Indeed, my lord, I cannot very well tell why: only it had a nasty ugly look about it.
_L.C.J._ Well, go on.
_S_. Then I called again to Thomas Snell, and bid him come to me and catch anyone that come out when I should open the cupboard door, 'for,' says I, 'there is someone hiding within, and I would know what she wants.' And with that Squire Martin gave a sort of a cry or a shout and ran out of the house into the dark, and I felt the cupboard door pushed out against me while I held it, and Thomas Snell helped me: but for all we pressed to keep it shut as hard as we could, it was forced out against us, and we had to fall back.
_L.C.J._ And pray what came out--a mouse?
_S._ No, my lord, it was greater than a mouse, but I could not see what it was: it fleeted very swift over the floor and out at the door.
_L.C.J._ But come; what did it look like? Was it a person?
_S._ My lord, I cannot tell what it was, but it ran very low, and it was of a dark colour. We were both daunted by it, Thomas Snell and I, but we made all the haste we could after it to the door that stood open. And we looked out, but it was dark and we could see nothing.
_L.C.J._ Was there no tracks of it on the floor? What floor have you there?
_S._ It is a flagged floor and sanded, my lord, and there was an appearance of a wet track on the floor, but we could make nothing of it, neither Thomas Snell nor me, and besides, as I said, it was a foul night.
_L.C.J._ Well, for my part, I see not--though to be sure it is an odd tale she tells--what you would do with this evidence.
_Att._ My lord, we bring it to show the suspicious carriage of the prisoner immediately after the disappearance of the murdered person: and we ask the jury's consideration of that; and also to the matter of the voice heard without the house.
Then the prisoner asked some questions not very material, and Thomas Snell was next called, who gave evidence to the same effect as Mrs Arscott, and added the following:
_Att._ Did anything pass between you and the prisoner during the time Mrs Arscott was out of the room?
_Th._ I had a piece of twist in my pocket.
_Att._ Twist of what?
_Th._ Twist of tobacco, sir, and I felt a disposition to take a pipe of tobacco. So I found a pipe on the chimney-piece, and being it was twist, and in regard of me having by an oversight left my knife at my house, and me not having over many teeth to pluck at it, as your lordship or anyone else may have a view by their own eyesight--