"I think so, too," he answered, "but you evidently don't. Now you come along indoors with me, and don't let's have any more of it."
Uncle John came to the door at this point, having been awaked, I suppose, by the altercation; and, at the same moment, Aunt Maria appeared at the window in her nightcap.
I explained the constable's mistake to them, treating the matter as lightly as I could, so as not to get the man into trouble, and I turned for confirmation to the ghost.
He was gone! He had left me without a word--without even saying good-bye!
It struck me as so unkind, his having gone off in that way, that I burst into tears; and Uncle John came out, and led me back into the house.
On reaching my room, I discovered that Jones was right. I had not put on my trousers, after all. They were still hanging over the bed-rail. I suppose, in my anxiety not to keep the ghost waiting, I must have forgotten them.
Such are the plain facts of the case, out of which it must, doubtless, to the healthy, charitable mind appear impossible that calumny could spring.
But it has.
Persons--I say 'persons'--have professed themselves unable to understand the simple circ.u.mstances herein narrated, except in the light of explanations at once misleading and insulting. Slurs have been cast and aspersions made on me by those of my own flesh and blood.
But I bear no ill-feeling. I merely, as I have said, set forth this statement for the purpose of clearing my character from injurious suspicion.
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