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Chapter 2
The butler wheeled out Mrs. Dane's chair, as her companion did not dine with her
on club nights, and led us to the drawing-room doors. There Sperry threw them,
open, and we saw that the room had been completely metamorphosed.
Mrs. Dane's drawing-room is generally rather painful. Kindly soul that she is, she
has considered it necessary to preserve and exhibit there the many gifts of a long
lifetime. Photographs long outgrown, onyx tables, a clutter of odd chairs and
groups of discordant bric-a-brac usually make the progress of her chair through it
a precarious and perilous matter. We paused in the doorway, startled.
The room had been dismantled. It opened before us, walls and chimney-piece
bare, rugs gone from the floor, even curtains taken from the windows. To
emphasize the change, in the center stood a common pine table, surrounded by
seven plain chairs. All the lights were out save one, a corner bracket, which was
screened with a red-paper shade.
She watched our faces with keen satisfaction. "Such a time I had doing it!" she
said. "The servants, of course, think I have gone mad. All except Clara. I told her.
She's a sensible girl."
Herbert chuckled.
"Very neat," he said, "although a chair or two for the spooks would have been no
more than hospitable. All right Now bring on your ghosts."
My wife, however, looked slightly displeased. "As a church-woman," she said, "I
really feel that it is positively impious to bring back the souls of the departed,
before they are called from on High."