"In truth," said an old gentleman at one end of the table, "you put me
in mind of an anecdote - "
"Oh, a ghost story! a ghost story!" was vociferated round the board,
every one edging his chair a little nearer.
The attention of the whole company was now turned upon the speaker. He
was an old gentleman, one side of whose face was no match for the
other. The eyelid drooped and hung down like an unhinged window
shutter. Indeed, the whole side of his head was dilapidated, and
seemed like the wing of a house shut up and haunted. I'll warrant that
side was well stuffed with ghost stories.
There was a universal demand for the tale.
"Nay," said the old gentleman, "it's a mere anecdote - and a very
commonplace one; but such as it is you shall have it. It is a story
that I once heard my uncle tell when I was a boy. But whether as
having happened to himself or to another, I cannot recollect. But no
matter, it's very likely it happened to himself, for he was a man very
apt to meet with strange adventures. I have heard him tell of others
much more singular.