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indeed, not a little frightened at this explanation, and her alarm being augmented by hearing the sounds on the following day, she took her departure from Cortachy Castle, and returned to Lord C.'s, stopping on her way to call on some friends, where she related this strange circumstance to the family through whom the information reached me.
“This affair was very generally known in the north,
death of the Countess about five or six months afterwards, at Brighton, sadly verified the prognostic. I have heard that a paper was found on her desk after her death, declaring her conviction that the drum was for her; and it has been suggested, that probably the thing preyed upon her mind and caused the catastrophe; but in the first place, from the mode of her death, that does not appear to be the case; and, in the second, even if it were, the fact of the verification of the prognostic remains unaffected; besides which, those who insist upon taking refuge in this hypothesis, are bound to admit, that before people living in the world, like Lord and Lady Airlie, could attach so much importance to the prognostic as to entail such fatal effects, they must have had very good reasons for believing in it.”
The incidents just narrated took place, it will be recollected, in 1844. Five years later, or, to be more precise, on the evening of the 19th of August 1849, a young English gentleman was on his way to the Tulchan, a shooting-lodge belonging to the Earl of Airlie. He was mounted on a stout pony, having a stalwart High
lander for his guide across the wild Forfars hire moor. For about two hours darkness had fallen upon the scenes, that is to say, it was about half-past eight in the evening, when the welcome lights, issuing from the windows of the Tulchan, met our traveller's anxious gaze. At the same moment a swell of faint music smote suddenly upon his ear. The sound was as that of a distant band accompanied by the drum, and appeared to emanate from the low ridge of ground below the huntinglodge in front of him. As it was wafted in louder accents across the moor, he could not forbear from feeling that it had something of an eerie and unearthly character about it. Astonished at such an unaccountable occurrence in a spot where the Tulchan was the only house within many miles, and where bracken, brown beath, and morass stretched far and wide upon every side of him, the young man called the attention of his guide to the strange burst of music which he had just heard. Muttering that such sounds were “no canny,” and professing that to him they were inaudible, the Highlander urged on his pony to as great a speed as the weary beast could exert after a journey of twenty-five miles, and in a little while the two riders drew rein at the hospitable door of the lodge.
Upon descending from his pony the Englishman learnt that his friend and host, Lord Ogilvie (afterwards tenth Earl of Airlie), had been summoned to London on account of his father's dangerous illness. On the following day the ninth Earl of Airlie breathed his last in Regent Street, London, thus affording another testi
mony to the truth of the old tradition, that weird music and the sound of the drum haunt the dwellings of the Ogilvies prior to the death of a member of the family.
CRESLOW MANOR HOUSE.
CRESLOW, in Buckinghamshire, like so many ancient English manor houses, has its family ghost. According to Dr. Lee, the old residence is haunted by the restless spirit of a lady long since deceased : she frequents a certain sleeping-chamber in the most ancient portion of the building. She has not often been seen, yet has but too frequently been heard, and only too distinctly, by those who have ventured to sleep in or to enter after midnight the room she appears to deem hers. She is said to come up from the old groined crypt, and always appears to enter by the door at the top of the nearest staircase. After entering the chamber she is heard to walk about it, sometimes in a stately manner, with her long silk train sweeping the floor, and at other times with a quick and hurried motion, with her silken dress rustling violently, as if she were engaged in a desperate struggle. The fact that the whole of this time the lady and her accessories are invisible adds in no slight degree to the horror of the affair.
This haunted chamber, although furnished as a bedroom, is rarely used, and it is said that it cannot be entered, even in the day-time, without trepidation and awe. However, some persons have been found bold enough to dare the harmless noises of the mysterious intruder; and many are the traditions current in Buckinghamshire respecting the results to these people of the adventure.
The following will suffice as a specimen, and may, according to Dr. Lee, be depended on as authentic :
"About the year 1850, a gentleman, not many years ago High Sheriff of the county, who resides some few miles distance from Creslow, rode over to a dinner party; and, as the night became exceedingly dark and rainy, he was urged to stay over the night if he had no objection to sleep in the haunted chamber. The offer of a bed in such a room, so far from deterring him, induced him at once to accept the invitation. He was a strong-minded man of a powerful frame and undaunted courage, and, like so many others, entertained a sovereign contempt for all haunted chambers, ghosts and apparitions. The room was prepared for him. He would neither have a fire nor a night-light, but was provided with a box of lucifers that he might light a candle if he wished. Arming himself in jest with a cutlass and a brace of pistols, he took a serio-comic farewell of the family and entered his formidable dormitory.
"In due course morning dawned; the sun rose, and a most beautiful day succeeded a very wet and dismal night. The family and their guests assembled in the breakfast room, and every countenance seemed cheered and brightened by the loveliness of the morning. They drew round the table, when the host remarked that Mr. S- , the tenant of the haunted chamber, was absent. A servant was sent to summon him to breakfast, but he soon returned, saying he had knocked loudly at his door, but received no answer, and that a jug of hot water left there was still standing unused. On hearing this, two or three gentlemen ran up to the room, and, after knocking and receiving no answer, opened it and entered. It was empty. Inquiry was made of the servants ; they had neither seen nor heard anything of him. As he was a county magistrate, some supposed that he had gone to attend the Board which met that morning at an early hour.
“ But his horse was still in the stable, so that could not be. While they were at breakfast, however, he came in, and gave the following account of his last night's experiences :—Having entered my room,' said he, 'I locked and bolted both the doors, carefully examined the whole room, and satisfied myself that there was no living creature in it but myself, nor any entrances but those which I had secured. I got into bed, and, with the conviction that I should sleep soundly as usual till six in the morning, was soon lost in a comfortable slumber. Suddenly I was awakened, and, on raising my head to listen, I certainly heard a sound resembling the light soft tread of a lady's footstep, accompanied with the rustling as of a silk gown. I sprang out of bed, and, having lighted a candle, found that there was nothing either to be seen or heard. I carefully examined the