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The Best Ghost Stories

"How did that happen—your presence, I mean?"
A part of my purpose, however, was to
study him and his odd, solitary way of life. He seemed a good model for a character in
fiction. I sometimes write stories."
"I sometimes read them."
"Thank you."
"Stories in gen
eral—not yours."
ainst a somber background humor shows high lights.
Soldiers in the intervals of battle laugh easily, and a jest in the death chamber conquers
by surprise.
ircumstances of this man's death," said the coroner. "You may use any notes
or memoranda that you please."
a manuscript from his breast pocket he held it near the
candle and turning the leaves until he found the passage that he wanted began to read.
II
W
HAT MAY HAPPEN IN A FIELD OF WILD OATS
" . . . The sun had hardly risen when we left the house. We were looking for quail, each
at our best ground was beyond a
certain ridge that he pointed out, and we crossed it by a trail through the chaparral. On
the other side was comparatively level ground, thickly covered with wild oats. As we
emerged from the chaparral Morgan was but a few yards in advance. Suddenly we heard,
at a little distance to our right and partly in front, a noise as of some animal thrashing
about in the bushes, which we could see were violently agitated.
"'We've started a deer,' I said. 'I wish we had brought a rifle.'
"Morgan, who had stopped and was intently watching the agitated chaparral, said
ing it in readiness to aim. I
thought him a trifle excited, which surprised me, for he had a reputation for exceptional
coolness, even in moments of sudden and imminent peril.
"'O, come,' I said. 'You are not going to fill up a deer with quail-shot, are you?'
"Still he did not reply; but catching a sight of his face as he turned it slightly toward me I
usiness in
"I was visiting him at this place to shoot and fish.
Some of the jurors laughed. Ag
"Relate the c
The witness understood. Pulling
with a shotgun, but we had only one dog. Morgan said th
nothing, but had cocked both barrels of his gun and was hold
was struck by the intensity of his look. Then I understood that we had serious b
 
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