A rather ghostly extract from "Two Soldiers"...

A ghostly extract from “Two Soldiers”, part of Clare’s unfinished novel “Memoirs of Uncle Barnaby”, which I have now been working on for some while.  Finally published in the early Spring of 2017.

He heard a sharp rap at the front door & he instantley seized his musket & went to open it but nothing was to be seen      he had faced armys & felt little fear but he was rather startled at shadows      yet he went into his chair as a garrison & kept his musket ready cocked in his hand   giving any leave to enter that pleased for he well knew he could trust his musket       but all was still    & in turning to see if his candle wanted trimming    which stood by the side of a large picture that reached to the very floor of the room    to his astonishment he thought he saw it start from the wall    & come a considerable step on the floor     

            he wiped his eyes & would not believe them    but it moved back to the wall & of that he was certain & he went up to the wall to examine it where all was as fast as the foundation of the house       & he laughd to himself as he trimmed the candle which stood on a little table close by it    to throw a better light on the point of attack the door   & at the same time to observe that of the chair in the [dark]     

            He had seen pictures in Holland of all sizes    & in the Louver of all sorts    but he never saw any one of such consummate exellence    as to move from the walls on which they were hung    unless by human assistance       so being well up to the service of attack & defence he tryed a ruse de guere or false [front] to mislead the invisible enemy if such it were       tho the soldier thought t[o] be sure    that it was some curious piece of mech[anical device]               at all events he knew when to make alarms & when [to] be silent     

            'I will go to sleep said he for the girls a[re] only frightened at shadows'    & like a skilful general he masked his batterys under the impression of a morning sleep    tho at the same time he had his eyes wide open    looking over the chair at the picture       which to his surprise moved from the wall a second time & a human hand       nothing else appeared    as if thrust thro the solid wall where the candle was in its reach & the room was suddenly in darkness     

            the soldier shifted his quarters from the chair in an instant & kept a strict eye on the door as the point of attack & a tall figure as it open[ed] showed it self to his sight    when a shrill whistle faint[ly] whispered was heard      he pointed his [musket] when [he heard] a groan & a noise    as if somthing had fallen from the back of a porter  

No comments:

Post a Comment