He never seemed satisfied with the whole of
a story; never laughed when others laughed; but always put the joke to
the question. He could never enjoy the kernel of the nut, but pestered
himself to get more out of the shell.
"Do you believe in ghosts, then?" said the inquisitive gentleman.
"Faith, but I do," replied the jovial Irishman; "I was brought up in
the fear and belief of them; we had a Benshee in our own family,
"A Benshee - and what's that?" cried the questioner.
"Why an old lady ghost that tends upon your real Milesian families,
and wails at their window to let them know when some of them are to
"A mighty pleasant piece of information," cried an elderly gentleman,
with a knowing look and a flexible nose, to which he could give a
whimsical twist when he wished to be waggish.
"By my soul, but I'd have you know it's a piece of distinction to be
waited upon by a Benshee. It's a proof that one has pure blood in
one's veins. But, egad, now we're talking of ghosts, there never was a
house or a night better fitted than the present for a ghost adventure.
Faith, Sir John, haven't you such a thing as a haunted chamber to put
a guest in?"
"Perhaps," said the Baronet, smiling, "I might accommodate you even on
"Oh, I should like it of all things, my jewel.