فصل 12

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فصل 12

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Chapter twelve

The Death Certificates

The Dailys invited me to stay with them for a few days. I agreed thankfully. After a few days, I would go straight back to London. Not to Eel Marsh House. I would never go back there again.

But I was angry. I had not finished my work. The woman in black had stopped me.

Then I remembered the papers I had brought with me from Eel Marsh House. The letters told a sad story. I wanted to know how the story ended.

I read the letters again. Poor Jennet! She had loved her child so much. But she was unmarried. She could not keep her boy. She had to give him to her sister, Mrs Drablow. The child had lived at Eel Marsh House. What had happened to him?

I picked up the other papers and looked at them. They were death certificates.

The first was for a boy.

Name: Nathaniel Drablow. Age: six years. Cause of death: drowning.

I looked at the second certificate.

Rosa Judd - nursemaid. Cause of death: drowning.

On both certificates, the date of death was the same.

I held the death certificates tightly in my hand. I felt myself grow cold. I got up and walked about the room.

Then I looked at the last piece of paper. It was another death certificate. This time, the date was twelve years later.

The certificate was for Jennet Humfrye, unmarried. Age: thirty-six years. Cause of death: heart failure.

I sat down in my chair. One thing was clear - the woman in black was jennet Humfrye or her ghost. I did not believe in ghosts, but I had seen her.

And now I knew something else. Long, long ago, a pony and trap had left the causeway. It had sunk down in the mud of the marshes. A child and a nursemaid had been drowned.

Jennet, the boy’s mother, had died twelve years after her son. I knew where they were buried. They were buried in the old graveyard behind Eel Marsh House.

Nathaniel had slept in that bedroom. For sixty years the bedroom had stayed the same. Those clothes, those toys, were his.

Jennet Humfrye was the woman in black. Her hatred had never left her. Her ghost followed anyone who went near Eel Marsh House.

What power did Jennet Humfrye have? Could the dead harm the living? I did not know the answer. I wanted to find out the answer.

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