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thatched roof.

When told about it as

a boy the idea took his fancy and first started his wish to build a quite original house. Many were the plans he had made as a boy, little thinking his dream would ever be realised. Yet after many years his boyish wish was fulfilled and the house actually built, in a delightful situation just outside the town, with a fine view of the sea, and in full sight of the grand old church, which seemed to keep guard over the whole of Heathersea. Many and varied were the names suggested by friends and neighbours, some proposed "pricking for a name. Ethel however ignored them all and said the house should be called “ The Whim.” And “ The Whim" it is called to this day.

CHAPTER VII.

Brambleton Manor.

was

THE Manor House at Brambleton a big rambling old mansion, rich with tapestry and old oak. Weird sounds echoed about the house and through the long passages, while here and there grim old suits of armour seemed to be keeping guard. One could not help imagining that the place was haunted. According to tradition it had been once terribly haunted, until the present owner, Mrs. Bruce, when a mere girl, succeeded in effectually laying the ghosts. As years passed by, the tap-tap of the high-heeled shoes worn by the Little Brown Lady, to whom we were introduced in the first chapter, had been replaced by the clatter of little feet, while merry children's voices had seemed to bring a healthy tone to the place and to silence for ever all uncanny sounds and sights. Now year by year at Christmas time a merry house party came together, and always when the old year was waning they would gather in the big hall waiting to wel. come the New Year, while Mrs. Josephine Bruce told them the sad story of Dorothy Courtenay. It was in all probability this custom which gave rise to the idea prevalent in the village that the Little Brown Lady annually visited the Manor House at that time. Marjory was telling Mrs. Fortescue all about it, when they were resting in the Manor Woods one day early in September, the house being just visible at the end of the long avenue in which they were sitting.

She told her friend how delighted she had been the first time she had heard the story told, though she had been too excited to grasp all the details, Being a great favourite with Mrs. Bruce, she had been invited to join the family party on the two last occasions when the old lady had given her personal experiences of the spirit world. Last year she had missed nothing. “The whole scene,” said Marjory, "made the story so vividly real. The dimly lighted old hall, the blazing Yule log, which seemed to enhance the deep shadows and add to the lustre of the famous rubies which sparkled

at

Mrs. Bruce's neck.

You must know

that this necklace is a connecting link between the present and the past, and a visible proof of the truth of the story. Sixty years ago, such was the reputation of the house because of the curse which rested on it, that no one would willingly approach it after dark.

Traditions of past crimes were rife, weird noises

were often heard while uncanny lights were seen to Alit about the house when it was a certainty that there was no human being living there. Year by year matters became worse, till Josephine Bruce, a girl only 19, had the courage to come and live in the house for one whole month, her only companion being an old woman

who was

very deaf and rather blind."

« But what made her do such a

thing ?” exclaimed Mrs. Fortescue.

“She came here because of an eccentric will," replied Marjory. “The place had

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