The Haunted Chamber by "The Duchess"


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Haunted Chamber, by "The Duchess"

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net


Title: The Haunted Chamber
A Novel

Author: "The Duchess"

Release Date: June 13, 2005 [EBook #16053]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE HAUNTED CHAMBER ***




Produced by Bill Tozier, Barbara Tozier, Mary Meehan and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
http://www.pgdp.net









The Haunted Chamber

BY "THE DUCHESS"

1888




CHAPTER I.


The sun has "dropped down," and the "day is dead." The silence and calm
of coming night are over everything. The shadowy twilight lies softly on
sleeping flowers and swaying boughs, on quiet fountains--the marble
basins of which gleam snow-white in the uncertain light--on the glimpse
of the distant ocean seen through the giant elms. A floating mist hangs
in the still warm air, making heaven and earth mingle in one sweet
confusion.

The ivy creeping up the ancient walls of the castle is rustling and
whispering as the evening breeze sweeps over it. High up the tendrils
climb, past mullioned windows and quaint devices, until they reach even
to the old tower, and twine lovingly round it, and push through the long
apertures in the masonry of the walls of the haunted chamber.

It is here that the shadows cast their heaviest gloom. All this corner
of the old tower is wrapped in darkness, as though to obscure the scene
of terrible crimes of past centuries.

Ghosts of dead-and-gone lords and ladies seem to peer out mysteriously
from the openings in this quaint chamber, wherein no servant, male or
female, of the castle has ever yet been known to set foot. It is full of
dire horrors to them, and replete with legends of by-gone days and
grewsome sights ghastly enough to make the stoutest heart quail.

In the days of the Stuarts an old earl had hanged himself in that room,
rather than face the world with dishonor attached to his name; and
earlier still a beauteous dame, fair but frail, had been incarcerated
there, and slowly starved to death by her relentless lord. There was
even in the last century a baronet--the earldom had been lost to the
Dynecourts during the Commonwealth--who, having quarreled with his
friend over a reigning belle, had smitten him across the cheek with his
glove, and then challenged him to mortal combat. The duel had been
fought in the luckless chamber, and had only ended with the death of
both combatants; the blood stains upon the flooring were large and deep,
and to this day the boards bear silent witness to the sanguinary
character of that secret fight.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Fri 24th Nov 2017, 7:30