The Canterville Ghost (Part 2 )
For five days, the Canterville ghost did not leave his room. The ghost felt defeated and his ambitions for scaring people were shattered. Now, the Canterville ghost did not even bother to paint the bloodstains. “If they do not want it, they do not deserve it,” the ghost decided.
From that point onwards, whenever the ghost left his room he oiled his chains and made sure not to knock over something. Even then the evil twins played tricks on the ghost. The ghost became extremely annoyed with the twins and he decided to teach them a good lesson.
The ghost prepared the stage all day long, after setting everything in place he glided to the twin’s room. The twin’s room’s door was slightly open. To scare the children, he flung the door open with a loud noise. Before the poor ghost could do something to scare them, a jar full of water fell on him. The Otis twins laughed at him. After that, the Canterville ghost disappeared. He was tremendously hurt and sorry.
The Canterville ghost could not scare anyone anymore. The twins did not see the Canterville ghost after that.
Also, read The Canterville Ghost (Part-1).
One day, the twins were laying a trap for the ghost. When Virginia saw the twins planning about their trap, she was annoyed with them. “Just leave the poor ghost alone. Why do you want to hurt him?” she asked them, “He has lived here for centuries. Leave him alone.” The Canterville ghost heard Virginia. After hearing her, he was filled with hope.
One day, when Virginia went to the library she saw someone sitting in the library. She realized it was the Canterville ghost! He was sitting by the window. The ghost was dressed in his best clothes and his gray hair was neatly combed. “I feel sorry for you,” Virginia told the ghost. “Sorry about my brothers. They have not been kind to you. But you did try to frighten them first.”
“Yes, I did. But you see, this is my job,” the ghost replied. “I scare everyone who comes to Canterville Chase.” “Mrs. Umney told us you killed your wife.” said the little girl. “Yes, I did,” the ghost said sadly. “But she was not a kind person. And it wasn’t kind of her brothers to starve me to death either.” Virginia asked if the ghost was hungry. She told him she could get him a sandwich. The ghost declined and said, “You are kind. Unlike your rest of the family, they are rude and nasty.”
That made Virginia angry. “Stop!” she said, “You are no better. You stole my paintbox. I know you used my paint to paint the bloodstains. I won’t tell anyone about it, but I am going to get father.” Virginia turned and started to walk away when the Ghost stopped her. “Please do not go, Miss Virginia,” the ghost said, “I am sad and lonely. I cannot go to sleep.”
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“Sleeping is simple,” Virginia told the ghost, “You go to bed and close your eyes.” “I have not slept for three hundred years,” came the reply, “ever since my wife’s brothers murdered me. I cannot sleep.” “Poor Mr. Ghost,” Virginia said sadly. “How can I help you sleep?” she asked.
“There is one place where I can sleep,” the ghost told the little girl, “far away there is a garden. the grass there grows long and green. A nightingale sings, the song is beautiful and sad. There is no tomorrow and there is no yesterday. The garden is quite peaceful.” “You mean the Garden of Death?” she asked in horror.
“The Garden of Sleep,” the Canterville ghost corrected her. “But I can only enter the garden if you weep for my sins, weep for my soul. Then the Angel of death will have mercy on me and let me enter the garden, where I can rest peacefully. Only love can open the door, for it is stronger than both life and death.”
Virginia promised to help the poor ghost. When the ghost heard that Virginia would help him, he kissed her hand thankfully. The ghost then took her hand and led her across the hall. Suddenly, Virginia could see the library wall disappear and a mist surrounded her. A strong cold wind started to blow. “Quick! Hurry!” the ghost hurried, “or it will be too late.” Virginia and the ghost disappeared and the library was empty.
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A few minutes later, the bell for dinner rang. When Virginia did not show up, Mr. Otis sent one of the servants to her room. The servant returned, “Miss Virginia is not in her room,” the servant told Mr. Otis. They searched for hours and could not find, little Miss Virginia. They looked for her till the sun went down. In the vast garden, around the tree, and even by the pond, but none could find Virginia.
After dinner, Mr. Otis said, “Off to bed, then. Nothing more can be done tonight.” They planned to search for Virginia again in the morning. It was about twelve when all the clocks in the house struck twelve together. Suddenly, a loud thunder shook the house and strange music sounded inside the house. The door at the top of the stairs opened and in the doorway, stood Virginia.
Virginia stood motionless, with a little box in her hands. “Where have you been?” demanded Mr. Otis. “Your mother was worried about you. You gave all of us a scare. Do not do that again, ever!” “Papa,” she said softly, “I have been with the ghost. You must come with me. He was really nasty to all of us, but he felt sorry. But he is dead now, you must come to see him. He gave me this box.”
She gave the box to her father. Mr. Otis opened the tiny box, inside it lay a beautiful necklace made from precious red stones. Virginia led everyone through the secret corridor. They came to an old room. Virginia opened the door and led everyone inside the room. There they found a skeleton.
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“This is Sir Simon De Canterville,” Virginia told everyone, “In 1575, he murdered his wife and then was shut in this room by the brothers of his wife. He was given no food and no water. He starved to death. His ghost wandered in this house but now he has finally found peace.” Everyone was speechless, Virginia knelt down near the skeleton and started praying.
The funeral was Sir Simon De Canterville was held four days later. The Otis family buried him among the trees. A lot of people attended the funeral. Virginia carried flowers to his grave. She heard a bird singing, the song was beautiful and sad. Lord Canterville was there too. “Your precious daughter saved my ancestor’s soul,” he said to Mr. Otis.
Whenever anyone asked her when she had gone with the ghost, she always replied with the same words, “Do not ask me. But thanks to Sir Simon! I know what life is and what death signifies. And most importantly, why love is stronger than all of them.”