فصل 11

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فصل 11

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Chapter eleven

I Leave Eel Marsh House

The next thing I knew, I was lying on a couch in the sitting-room. Mr Daily was leaning over me. I tried to sit up, but I couldn’t. I did not know what had happened to me. ‘The trap - the pony and trap,’ I said.

‘Oh, that was me,’ Samuel Daily said with a smile. ‘I’ve come here in a pony and trap. It’s safer than a car on that’s causeway. What’s the matter? What did you think?’

‘I’ve… I’ve heard another…’ I said.

‘Keckwick, perhaps.’

‘No, not Keckwick,’ I said. ‘But why did you come?’

‘I was worried about you,’ said Daily. ‘It’s a good thing I came. People have drowned in those marshes, you know.’

‘Yes. I was nearly pulled under. And the dog. Then-‘

‘Spider!’ I cried. ‘Where’s Spider? Did she… ‘

‘She’s safe,’ Daily said. ‘She’s here.’

At the sound of her name, the little dog jumped up and wagged her tail.

I remembered.

‘Now I’m taking you home with me,’ said Daily. ‘You can’t stay here.’

For a few moments, I said nothing. I remembered what had happened to me. I knew that the woman in black was a ghost. But why was she here? I knew there was evil here. And sadness too. Why? I wanted to know. And I had to finish my work too.

‘Thank You, Mr Daily,’ I said after a few moments. ‘I want to leave Eel Marsh House. But what about my work? I must look at all Mrs Drablow’s papers. I don’t think there’s anything important. But they must be looked at’

‘I found some letters last night,’ I went on. ‘They looked interesting. I’ll bring them with me.’

Very slowly, I got up. I picked up the packet of letters from the desk. Then I went upstairs to get my things. My fear had gone. I was leaving Eel Marsh House. If I came back, I would not come alone.

I packed my bag and left the room. I decided to have one last look at the child’s bedroom.

The door was open. But I was sure I had closed it.

I could hear Mr Daily downstairs. I was safe. I walked slowly towards the open door.

Then I stopped. Did I want to go in? She had been here. I had seen her.

I pushed open the door.

I could not believe my eyes. Everything in the room was broken and torn. The cupboards were all open. Toys, clothes and books lay on the floor. They had been thrown there by some terrible power. Everything was destroyed.

Everything except the rocking-chair. It had been pushed into the centre of the room. The chair was not moving now. Who or what had done this terrible thing?

Feeling ill and shaking, I got into the trap beside Mr Daily. He knew that something had happened. But he did not ask any questions.

He put Spider on my knees. I held the dog tightly. Then we drove off away from the house, across the Nine Lives Causeway.

Everything was grey and quiet. There was no colour, no sound. I looked back at Eel Marsh House. No one was watching us. The house stood there, grey and terrible.

As we crossed the estuary, I turned my eyes away. I did not want to see that terrible place again.

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