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  • Chapter 1: Christmas Eve

  • My name is Arthur Kipps.

  • When I was a young man, I worked in London. I was a solicitor.

  • I worked for the same company all my life.

  • Fourteen years ago, I bought this house called Monk's Piece.

  • I live here with my dear wife, Esme.

  • Esme's first husband had died.

  • She was a widow when I married her.

  • I became the father of her four young children.

  • Our years at Monk's Piece have been happy ones.

  • It was Christmas Eve.

  • All the family was at Monk's Piece for the holiday.

  • We were all sitting by the big fire at the end of the day.

  • I was in my armchair, listening to the laughter and the talking.

  • 'Wake up, Father!' someone called.

  • 'We're going to tell ghost stories!'

  • The lights were turned off.

  • Suddenly the room was dark and shadowy.

  • I smiled as I listened to the young people's stories.

  • The stories were full of horror, but they did not frighten me.

  • They were not true.

  • Then I remembered. I remembered terrible things.

  • These memories were terrible - because they were true!

  • 'Tell us a ghost story, Father!' someone cried.

  • 'You must know one story!'

  • I stood up, cold and shaking.

  • 'No, no!' I shouted.

  • 'I have no story to tell!'

  • I hurried from the room, away from them all.

  • I went out into the garden.

  • I stood there in the cold and in the darkness.

  • My heart was beating fast.

  • I was shaking with fear.

  • Will I never forger? Will I never find peace?

  • How can I find peace? There is only one way.

  • I must write clown my terrible story.

  • All the horror. Everything. Then I will find peace.

  • I turned and walked back into the house.

  • Chapter 2: London Fog

  • My story begins in November, many years ago.

  • I was a young man of twenty-three.

  • I worked for a solicitor called Mr Bentley.

  • Sometimes the work was uninteresting, but I worked hard.

  • I wanted to do welt.

  • That November morning, the weather was cold.

  • A thick, yellow fog covered London.

  • The fog filled people's ears and eyes.

  • It got into houses, shops and offices.

  • Mr Bentley called me into his office.

  • 'Sit down, Arthur, sit down,' Mr Bentley said.

  • He pointed to a paper on his desk.

  • This is the will of Mrs Drablow.

  • Mrs Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House in Yorkshire.

  • A strange old lady and a strange house.

  • Have you ever been to Yorkshire, Arthur?'

  • 'No, sir.'

  • Well, my boy, go home and pack your bag.

  • Mrs Drablow is dead.

  • She has no relatives in England.

  • And we are her solicitors.

  • I want you to go to the funeral.'

  • Mr Bentley saw that I was surprised.

  • 'I can't go myself,' Mr Bentley said quickly. I'm too busy.'

  • 'After the funeral,' he went on, I want you to go to Eel Marsh House.

  • I want you to look at the old lady's papers.

  • Bring back anything important.' Mr Bentley stood up.

  • 'The funeral's at eleven o'clock tomorrow morning,' he said.

  • 'Take the afternoon train from King's Cross Station.

  • Here is the key to Eel Marsh House.

  • Mrs Drablow's will and other important papers are in this envelope.'

  • And he held out a large, brown envelope.

  • Written on the front of the envelope was:

  • Mrs Alice Drablow, Eel Marsh House, Nine Lives Causeway, Crythin Gifford, Yorkshire.

  • 'What a strange address!' I said.

  • 'Yes, it's a strange address and it's a strange place,' Mr Bentley said.

  • 'Now off you go, my boy.'

  • There wasn't much time to get ready for the journey.

  • I quickly packed my bag.

  • Then I wrote a note to Stella, my fiancee.

  • Then I set off for King's Cross Station.

  • The fog was thicker now.

  • The smell of fog was everywhere.

  • At last I reached the big, noisy station.

  • I was beginning to feel excited.

  • I was going on a journey.

  • I had an important job to do.

  • I was soon sitting in the train.

  • And then it was moving.

  • Slowly at first and then faster.

  • The fog of London was left behind. Darkness fell.

  • I was on my way north - to Eel Marsh House.

  • I changed trains at Crewe.

  • Then I changed trains again at a small town called Homerby, in Yorkshire.

  • The air was cold.

  • The wind blew rain on my face.

  • The little train I got into at Homerby was old and dirty.

  • I put the brown envelope on the seat beside me.

  • I opened my newspaper and began to read.

  • A few minutes later, a big man with a red face got into the carriage.

  • He sat down as the train began to move out of Homerby.

  • 'It's cold in here,' I said.

  • 'But I've left the fog of London behind me.'

  • 'We don't have fogs here. We have mists.

  • The mists come in from the sea,' the big man said.

  • We sat for a few moments in silence.

  • Then I saw the big man look at the envelope on the seat beside me.

  • 'Drablow,' he said. 'Are you a relative?'

  • 'No, I'm a solicitor,' I said.

  • 'I'm going to the funeral.'

  • 'You'll be the only one there, Mr...?'

  • 'My name's Kipps, Arthur Kipps,' I told him.

  • I'm Samuel Daily,' the big man said.

  • Didn't Mrs Drablow have any friends?' I asked.

  • 'No, she didn't have any friends,' Mr Daily said.

  • 'People become strange when they live in strange places.'

  • I smiled. 'Are you trying to frighten me, Mr Daily?' I asked.

  • He stared at me.

  • 'No, I'm not trying to frighten you,' he said.

  • But there are other people in Crythin Gifford who will try to frighten you.'

  • I suddenly felt very cold.

  • 'Where are you staying tonight?' Mr Daily asked me.

  • 'I'm going to stay at the Gifford Arms.'

  • 'The Gifford Arms is a comfortable inn,' said Mr Daily.

  • 'I go past it on my way home.

  • You can come with me in my car.'

  • Mr Daily's car was waiting at the station.

  • A few minutes later, it stopped outside the inn.

  • Mr Daily gave me his card with his address on it.

  • 'That's where I live,' he said.

  • 'If you need any help, come and see me.'

  • The Gifford Arms was warm and comfortable.

  • After a good supper, I went to bed.

  • I slept well. Thank God I did. I never slept so well again.

  • Chapter 3: The Funeral of Mrs Drablow

  • The next morning was bright and sunny.

  • I had a good breakfast.

  • Then I walked round the little town of Crythin Gifford.

  • It was market-day. The little town was busy.

  • Farmers were buying and selling animals in the market-square.

  • The streets of Crythin Gifford were completely flat.

  • The countryside all round the town was flat too.

  • There were no hills at all.

  • To the east of the town were the marshes - and on the marshes was Eel Marsh House.

  • I walked back to the inn and got ready for the funeral.

  • I put on a dark suit and went downstairs again.

  • Mr Jerome was waiting for me downstairs.

  • Mr Jerome was Mrs Drablow's agent - he looked after her house and land.

  • Mr Jerome was a small man dressed in black.

  • He smiled politely and we left the inn.

  • As we walked through the square, people stared at us.

  • They stopped talking. No one smiled.

  • The church stood in an old graveyard.

  • There were old gravestones on either side of a long path.

  • It was very cold inside the church.

  • Mr Jerome and I were the only people at the funeral.

  • Poor Mrs Drablow, I thought.

  • Didn't she have any friends at all? Then I heard a sound behind me.

  • I turned.

  • A Young woman was standing at the back of the church.

  • She was dressed in old-fashioned black clothes - clothes of sixty years ago.

  • A large, old-fashioned bonnet covered her face.

  • She raised her head and looked at me.

  • The young woman's face was white and very thin.

  • How ill she looked!

  • When we left the church I looked far the woman.

  • But I did not see her.

  • Then in the graveyard, I saw her again.

  • In the sunshine her face was whiter and thinner.

  • I closed my eyes to pray.

  • When I opened them, the woman had gone.

  • Beyond the graveyard I saw the estuary.

  • And beyond the estuary was the open sea.

  • The funeral was over.