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October 11, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Comedy, Entertainment, Housing, Politics, Popular Culture. Comments off.

Haunted Short Stories – 11 – ‘John Charrington’s Wedding’ by Edith Nesbit (1891)

Courtesy of Mitsu Matsuoka, Nagoya University

No one ever thought that May Forster would marry John Charrington; but he thought differently, and things which John Charrington intended had a queer way of coming to pass. He asked her to marry him before he went up to Oxford. She laughed and refused him. He asked her again next time he came home. Again she laughed, tossed her dainty blonde head and again refused. A third time he asked her; she said it was becoming a confirmed bad habit, and laughed at him more than ever.

John was not the only man who wanted to marry her: she was the belle of our village coterie, and we were all in love with her more or less; it was a sort of fashion, like masher collars or Inverness capes. Therefore we were as much annoyed as surprised when John Charrington walked into our little local Club — we held it in a loft over the saddler’s, I remember — and invited us all to his wedding.

‘Your wedding?’

‘You don’t mean it?’

‘Who’s the happy pair? When’s it to be?’

John Charrington filled his pipe and lighted it before he replied. Then he said:

‘I’m sorry to deprive you fellows of your only joke — but Miss Forster and I are to be married in September.’

‘You don’t mean it?’

‘He’s got the mitten again, and it’s turned his head.’

‘No,’ I said, rising, ‘I see it’s true. Lend me a pistol, someone — or a first-class fare to the other end of Nowhere. Charrington has bewitched the only pretty girl in our twenty-mile radius. Was it mesmerism, or a love-potion, Jack?’

‘Neither, sir, but a gift you’ll never have — perseverance — and the best luck a man ever had in this world.’

There was something in his voice that silenced me, and all chaff of the other fellows failed to draw him further.

The queer thing about it was that when we congratulated Miss Forster, she blushed and smiled and dimpled, for all the world as though she were in love with him, and had been in love with him all the time. Upon my word, I think she had. Women are strange creatures.

Story continues after the break:

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October 11, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . American Literature, English Literature, Entertainment, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Popular Culture, Supernatural, Suspense. Comments off.

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