A Changed Man and Other Tales HTML version
The burgher who lived in the house with the oriel window sat during
a great many hours of the day in that projection, for he was an invalid,
and time hung heavily on his hands unless he maintained a constant in-
terest in proceedings without. Not more than a week after the arrival of
the Hussars his ears were assailed by the shout of one schoolboy to an-
other in the street below.
ÔHave Õee heard this about the Hussars? They are haunted! YesÑa
ghost troubles Õem; he has followed Õem about the world for years.Õ
A haunted regiment: that was a new idea for either invalid or stal-
wart. The listener in the oriel came to the conclusion that there were
some lively characters among the Ñth Hussars.
He made Captain MaumbryÕs acquaintance in an informal manner at
an afternoon tea to which he went in a wheeled chairÑone of the very
rare outings that the state of his health permitted. Maumbry showed
himself to be a handsome man of twenty-eight or thirty, with an attract-
ive hint of wickedness in his manner that was sure to make him adorable
with good young women. The large dark eyes that lit his pale face ex-
pressed this wickedness strongly, though such was the adaptability of
their rays that one could think they might have expressed sadness or ser-
iousness just as readily, if he had had a mind for such.
An old and deaf lady who was present asked Captain Maumbry
bluntly: ÔWhatÕs this we hear about you? They say your regiment is
The CaptainÕs face assumed an aspect of grave, even sad, concern.
ÔYes,Õ he replied, Ôit is too true.Õ
Some younger ladies smiled till they saw how serious he looked, when
they looked serious likewise.
ÔReally?Õ said the old lady.
ÔYes. We naturally donÕt wish to say much about it.Õ
ÔNo, no; of course not. ButÑhow haunted?Õ
ÔWell; theÑthing, as IÕll call it, follows us. In country quarters or town,
abroad or at home, itÕs just the same.Õ
ÔHow do you account for it?Õ
ÔHÕm.Õ Maumbry lowered his voice. ÔSome crime committed by cer-
tain of our regiment in past years, we suppose.Õ
ÔDear me É How very horrid, and singular!Õ
ÔBut, as I said, we donÕt speak of it much.Õ
ÔNo É no.Õ
When the Hussar was gone, a young lady, disclosing a long-sup-
pressed interest, asked if the ghost had been seen by any of the town.