4» BEIiQRAVIA. Mr James Brinsley Richards, author of "Seven Years at Eton," tells a curious story about himself and Mr Angelo, the fencing master at Harrow, Westminster, and other places. It is a very weird incident, and something more than a strange coincidence, and might well 'claim the attention of Mr. Stead or the Psychical Research Society. Let mc tell the story, in Mr Richards's own words:— ' "A curious adventure occurred to mc m connection with Mr .Angelo, which I will mention for the- benefit of those who like ghost stories. In. March, 1869, alighting from a train at Buckingham, I saw Mr Angelo get out of-a compartment next to mine and walk across the platform in company with a couple of young fellows who were very gay and frolicsome. One of them gave the other a push, upon which the latter said, 'Isn't he behaving badly, Mr -Angelo?' "I intended to accost Mr Angelo, but thought I would wait until he had parted with the. two gentlemen, who were strangers to mc. Presently they both; entered a private carriage, .Which had come to the station for them, and drove off, but when I looked round for-Mr Angelo I saw he had disappeared. Imagining he had entered one of the waiting rooms, I lingered about the entrance to the station for a quarter of an hour, but he was not to be seen. I thought this rather strange at the time,'for the Buckingham Station on the arriving side had but one approach, and Mr .Angelo could not hive walked along it without being noticed by mc. . "In the following week I was at Harrow, and lunching at the King's Head with a young relative, of mine, when the conversation fell upon fencing, and the boy casually alluded to his fencing^master' as being the successor of Angelo, who was dead. 'Dead,' I exclaimed, 'now very sudden! Why, I saw him not a week ago!' 'You couldn't have seen Angelo, the fencing master,' answered the boy, 'for/he has been dead some | years.' I really stared. If there had only been the evidence of my eyes as to Mr Angelo's appearance on-the platform of Buck- j ingham Station, I should have concluded at once* that my sight had deceived mc, but I had distinctly heard Mr Angelo addressed by name. I had the plainest recollection of having heard one of the two young men in whose company he was say, Isn't he behaving badly, Mr Angelo?' "On my return to town from Harrow, I had the fact of Mr Angelo's death some,, years previously amply confirmed. Here" 1 the story ends. Nothing ever came-.of the' apparition I had witnessed. It brought mc , no portent; it had not been preceded by any thoughts about Mr Angelo, and it was followed by no circumstanoe' which can throw the faintest light upon it, so that of course I am bound to submit to the inference that I was labouring under an optical and acoustic delusion. Still lam not convinced of this myself in my own mind, and I have always thought of the incident as being one of those mysteries which are perhaps thrown into our lives to make us wecry of scoffing too readily at strange things reported by others." . A Cambridge lawyer once told mc of a queer adventure he had in a railway train on the way to London. On getting into his OFirriage, he saw, as he supposed, a man with whom he was on terms of pretty close intimacy, and accosted him in a familiar manner. Rut the.other rejected all his advances, denied the pleasure of his acqaaintam.ce, and tobk'refuge in his paper. My friend, thinking it a joke, .tried him again, but with no-better result On reaching town, the lawyer, utterly puzzled, and not knowing what to make of it, drove straight to the chambers of- the man whom he , thought he had seen in the train. He found him in, and heard that he had not been far , from home that day. The lawyer, a hardheaded business man of the world, swears that the likeness was complete in every par-ticular—-the one being a facsimile of the other. Here was a pretty plain case of a double, and I have, heard of similar instances, though not so striking. What a mystery, though, might arise out of such an incident, and what misleading evidence might be tendered honestly enough in a court of law, in circumstances of similar mistaken identity! SEQUEL TO A GHOST STORY.As a venerable minister tells this story it would be ungracious and superfluous to adduce further evidence of its truthfulness. "Lwent to a new parish that year," he re- < lates. "In looking about for a house I came upon" a very handsome residence that was charmingly situated. But everything indicated that the place had long been without a tenant, and I made inquiry. The house was haunted, according to neighbourhood tradition, and no ..one would rent it. I saw the landlord, and he was glad to let the place on easy terms. It would be worth much to him if I would exorcise the ghost placed there by popular superstition. We moved in, and I admit that, we had a very creepy experience—one that my wife could not long have endured. When everything had settled down to the quiet of the night we would frequently hear the most distressing moans, and the sound as of someone walking heavily in the attic. I made several visits to that gloomy part of the house, but could find nothing to account for the uncanny, noise. The next night that we were disturbed I went up there with a determination to fathom the mystery. And I, did it. The moans were produced by the soughing of the wind through the district telegraph wires that were numerous on one the roof. The "heavy walking' was accounted for by a loose slate, flapped by, the same winds that did the moaning. Next morning I had the wires removed and the roof repaired." "And that was all?" "Not quite: The landlord at once advanced my rent one hundred per cent."
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Press, Press, Volume LVI, Issue 10333, 29 April 1899
CURIOUS COINCIDENCES. Press, Volume LVI, Issue 10333, 29 April 1899
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