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"I confess, that the subject of psychical research makes no great appeal
to me," Sir William Henry Perkin, the inventor of coal-tar dyes, told
some friends in New York recently. "Personally, in the course of a
fairly long career, I have heard at first hand but one ghost story. Its
hero was a man whom I may as well call Snooks.
"Snooks, visiting at a country house, was put in the haunted chamber for
the night. He said that he did not feel the slightest uneasiness, but
nevertheless, just as a matter of precaution, he took to bed with him a
revolver of the latest American pattern.
"He slept peacefully enough until the clock struck two, when he awoke
with an unpleasant feeling of oppression. He raised his head and peered
about him. The room was wanly illumined by the full moon, and in that
weird, bluish light he thought he discerned a small, white hand clasping
the rail at the foot of the bed.
"'Who's there?' he asked tremulously.
"There was no reply. The small white hand did not move.
"'Who's there?' he repeated. 'Answer me or I'll shoot.'
"Again there was no reply.
"Snooks cautiously raised himself, took careful aim and fired.
"From that night on he's limped. Shot off two of his own toes."
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