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The Canterville Ghost

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Chapter III

The ghost did not appear for the rest of the week. The only strange thing that happened was the blood-stain, which they found on the library-floor every morning. It was also quite strange that the colour of the stain changed from time to time. Some mornings it was red, then brown or purple, or even green. These changes amused the family very much, and bets on the colour were made every evening. The only person who did not enter into the joke was Virginia. For some unexplained reason, she was rather annoyed at the sight of the blood-stain, and nearly cried the morning it was green.

The second appearance of the ghost was on Sunday night. Shortly after the family had gone to bed they heard a fearful crash in the hall. A suit of armour had fallen on the floor and in a chair sat the Canterville ghost and rubbed his knees, which seemed to hurt. When the twins started shooting peas at him with their pea-shooters, the ghost stood up with an angry growl and passed through them like a mist. He also blew out the candle, leaving them all in total darkness. On top of the stairs the ghost turned around and, in order to frighten the Otis boys, laughed his most horrible laugh. Just then, a door opened and Mrs Otis came out of her bedroom. “I am afraid you are not well,” she said, “I have therefore brought you this bottle of medicine.” The ghost looked at her furiously, and then he disappeared.

When he reached his room, he was completely exhausted. This American family was extremely annoying. But what annoyed him most was, that he had not been able to wear the suit of armour. The weight of it had made him fall and hurt his knees.

For some days after this the ghost only left his room to renew the blood-stain. However, on Friday, the 17th of August, he tried to frighten the Otis family again. At half-past ten the family went to bed. For some time the ghost heard the twins laugh, but at a quarter past eleven all was still. So, at midnight he left his secret chamber and glided through the corridors, when suddenly, behind one corner, a horrible ghost stood right in front of him. As the Canterville ghost had never seen another ghost before, he was terribly frightened. He quickly hurried back to his room. But then he thought that he should go and and speak to the other ghost. After all, two ghosts were better than one, and his new friend might help him to frighten the twins. However, when he came back to the spot, he found that this 'other ghost' was not real, but only a white sheet which the twins had hung there to play a trick on him. Very upset the Canterville ghost went back to his chamber.

Chapter IV ►