The Haunted Hotel HTML version

Chapter 1
In the year 1860, the reputation of Doctor Wybrow as a London physician reached its
highest point. It was reported on good authority that he was in receipt of one of the
largest incomes derived from the practice of medicine in modern times.
One afternoon, towards the close of the London season, the Doctor had just taken his
luncheon after a specially hard morning's work in his consulting-room, and with a
formidable list of visits to patients at their own houses to fill up the rest of his day-- when
the servant announced that a lady wished to speak to him.
'Who is she?' the Doctor asked. 'A stranger?'
'Yes, sir.'
'I see no strangers out of consulting-hours. Tell her what the hours are, and send her
'I have told her, sir.'
'And she won't go.'
'Won't go?' The Doctor smiled as he repeated the words. He was a humourist in his way;
and there was an absurd side to the situation which rather amused him. 'Has this obstinate
lady given you her name?' he inquired.
'No, sir. She refused to give any name--she said she wouldn't keep you five minutes, and
the matter was too important to wait till to-morrow. There she is in the consulting-room;
and how to get her out again is more than I know.'
Doctor Wybrow considered for a moment. His knowledge of women (professionally
speaking) rested on the ripe experience of more than thirty years; he had met with them in
all their varieties-- especially the variety which knows nothing of the value of time, and
never hesitates at sheltering itself behind the privileges of its sex. A glance at his watch
informed him that he must soon begin his rounds among the patients who were waiting
for him at their own houses. He decided forthwith on taking the only wise course that was
open under the circumstances. In other words, he decided on taking to flight.
'Is the carriage at the door?' he asked.
'Yes, sir.'