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Stranger Than Fiction
Being Tales from the Byways of Ghosts and Folk-lore

written by "Lewes, Mary L."
... was quite dark, that Carter was astonished to see a light coming towards him down a passage which ended near the foot of the staircase. Wondering who could be about so late, and thinking it might be one of the servants, he paused on the stairs, and was somewhat surprised to see the tall figure of a woman emerge from the passage, and begin swiftly mounting the stairs. She wore a kind of loose, flowing garment, and as she passed Carter, who had involuntarily drawn back against the wall, he saw that her face was extraordinarily beautiful. He also noticed the candlestick she carried: it was of brilliantly polished silver, and most curiously shaped in the form of a swan. As the lady (for Carter instantly divined that she was no servant) glided by without taking the slightest notice of him, his astonishment became curiosity, and determining to see what became of her, he followed her up the stairs. Never turning her head, or showing by the slightest sign that she was aware of Carter's presence, she reached the landing, where she stopped a moment, then turned down the corridor where the principal bedrooms were situated. Carter, watching, saw her stop at the third door and enter the room, the door closing softly behind her. Rousing himself from his surprise, Carter proceeded to his own room, but the extraordinary appearance of the lady he had seen, joined to her apparent unconsciousness of his presence, the unusual hour, and the fact that he knew of no woman inmate of the house, other than the servants, produced such bewilderment of mind that he found it impossible to sleep. Early next morning he was astir, and happening to meet Captain Seaton in the garden, he could not forbear relating his nocturnal experience to his fellow-guest. When Captain Seaton heard the story he looked very grave and asked, "At which door in the corridor did the lady stop?" Carter replying that it was the third door, Captain Seaton would say no more, remarking that th...

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