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A Strange Visitor

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The following strange story is from " The Ghost of Ten Jfcoek Vander Hejden" in the Oetober numbor of Zippineott'l Magazine : The doctor took bi.s grape-juijo and bcr '■In 1848, 1 liad boon in businrsg a year or so, and waabcgiooing to piek up s:ray capes. One night iu the email houretlie nightbell rang fuintly orer rny hend. I wauted work in those days. and ils clamor was not quite so altogether horriblo as it becamo in after-years ; go I jumped up, and, putting on niy wrapper, opened the wiudow and enlled aloud to know who wantod me. liearing no answer, and the night being utterly dark, I slipped on my clotheg and went do WO to the door. To my surprise tlu-re was no onc visible, and the Btreot was black and fiilcut. Annoyed at the impatience of my visitor, I went pullenly back to bid. Tbc next night, at tlie same hour of two o'clock, the heil rarg again, and, as beforc, faintly, like the ring of a child. The night was cloudless snd the moon briliiaut, but no one was on the steps or near tliom. Instanlly I wa possessed with a strange impression of terror as I clnsed the window and stood a moment thoughtful before going back to bed. I had scircely lallen asleep when the bell rng once more. On tbis occasion I dressed instantly and weut down to the door. As before, there was no one in sight. Still in doubt, I went out and explored in vain the dark eide of the street and the nearer shadown. You may laugli, colonel, but the thing wasn't pleasant. The next night I resolved to sit up and catoh the duturber. Providing myself, tuerefore, with a good stick, I lelt the stieet ■ioor unlocked, so hs to beeasily opened, andAjien üt a cigar and settled down to reacHn my office. Pricisely as the doek ctruck two the door-bell rang. In a moment I l:ad opened it, exclaiming, 'So I've got you at last !' Then I paustd in my wrath. Ou the top step was a wee litlle figure of a child about nino years oíd, as I judged, barefooted, althougk the night was cold, and muffled up in soraething like the torn half of a ragged coverlet. " 'Come in out of the 'cold,' I said, 'and teil me what you want-' "Without saying a word, the child walked into my office. As it faced the light I paw the wanest and wearicst little visage, with great brown eyes. long, tangled yellow hair, and white lips, which said, feebly, - " 'Mammy ie dying. You come along quick, sir.' "I put on my overeoat and went out with her, saying, - " 'Good heuvena, child ! who sent you out in this dress ?" For the little thing seemed to be in short white petticoats and without a gown. "She made me no reply, except to repeat, ''Come quick. sir." Out we went. " ' What's jour name ?' said I. " 'Susy.' " 'Aren't you cold ?' No . " 'Wero you here last night?' I said, on a sudden. " Yes.' "Who ent you?' "Don't know.' "' Why did you run away ?' '"Don't kuow " " Meanwhile the little nakcd feet trottcd on iu front of me swiftly, aud auddenly turning into Crosby iStreet, dived uto a dark court. Here gho opened á door, and I followed herup stairs. We climbed thrce etoiies of a mean, illsmelling etaircase, till she Euddenly stopped before a door in the attic, which she opened in ture, so that we weut togetber into a wretched garrct. The room was deadly cold, and I saw by a flickering tallow candle a fireless stove, bare floor and walls, and every eign of the deopest misery. On a etraw mat tress laj a woman witb features pinehed and haggard, her feet bare, becauso eho ï;ad dmwn tho scanty covering up nbout her chost. " 'What can I do for you ?" I said, arousing her with chfficulty. " 'Notliing,' said a weak voico, husky and brokeo. 'I am starved - that's all.' Then relupsing iutu the delirium ■ from which mj words had called her for a moment, the began to waDder ancw. "Upon this I turned to the child. To my surprise, slie was gone, leaving me alone with tho Jyíng wfman. Kneelino besido her, I called aloud in her ear „and gontly shook lier, wlien again sue grtw partially seDsible. " 'Whereis the child?' I said. 'I want her to cali sonic oni iu the house, so as to get a little help ' 'Child 1' hhe 8aid. 'What child ?' " 'Susy,' saii] I, recalüng her name. 'At tliis the woman suddenly eat up, poinied across the gnrret, and exclaimod, ! "Susy ! She's over yonder - been dead j these tnrec daya. Starved too, I guessj'nndBo siying she feil buck, groanedj struggled an instant, and wus dead. 'ïMiockedat tho liorror of tiio sectie, I s!owly pot up trom my knees, and takiog :lic fuiüng oandle, walked ovrr lo the far corner, wliero a confused licsip laj on the floor cuvcrcd with a torn oouDterpane. I raised the coruer, and bending over saw that the heap was a dead chiid, and that its face was that of tlie Ilttle wandercr who had eummoned me a few mie ule s bcforo. As I looked the candió spurted and went out, and tho oold, pitiless moonliwht fll through tho brokun panes upon thefloor. I got out and went home. That's my story, colonel." J


Old News
Michigan Argus