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Indian Ghost Stories - S. MUKHERJI

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CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

HIS DEAD WIFE'S PHOTOGRAPH 1 

THE MAJOR'S LEASE 11 

THE OPEN DOOR 31 

WHAT UNCLE SAW 44 

THE BOY WHO WAS CAUGHT 57 

THE STARVING MILLIONAIRE 76 

THE BRIDAL PARTY 102 

A STRANGE INCIDENT 122 

WHAT THE PROFESSOR SAW 141 

THE BOY POSSESSED 156 

THE EXAMINATION PAPER 167 

THE MESSENGER OF DEATH 177 

INDIAN GHOST STORIES. 

HIS DEAD WIFE'S PHOTOGRAPH. 

This story created a sensation when it was first told. It appeared in 

the papers and many big Physicists and Natural Philosophers were, at 

least so they thought, able to explain the phenomenon. I shall narrate 

the event and also tell the reader what explanation was given, and let 

him draw his own conclusions. 

This was what happened. 

* * * * * 

A friend of mine, a clerk in the same office as myself, was an amateur 

photographer; let us call him Jones. 

Jones had a half plate Sanderson camera with a Ross lens and a Thornton 

Picard behind lens shutter, with pneumatic release. The plate in 

question was a Wrattens ordinary, developed with Ilford Pyro Soda 

developer prepared at home. All these particulars I give for the benefit 

of the more technical reader. 

Mr. Smith, another clerk in our office, invited Mr. Jones to take a 

likeness of his wife and sister-in-law. 

This sister-in-law was the wife of Mr. Smith's elder brother, who was 

also a Government servant, then on leave. The idea of the photograph was 

of the sister-in-law. 

Jones was a keen photographer himself. He had photographed every body in 

the office including the peons and sweepers, and had even supplied every 

sitter of his with copies of his handiwork. So he most willingly 

consented, and anxiously waited for the Sunday on which the photograph 

was to be taken. 

Early on Sunday morning, Jones went to the Smiths'. The arrangement of 

light in the verandah was such that a photograph could only be taken 

after midday; and so he stayed there to breakfast. 

At about one in the afternoon all arrangements were complete and the two 

ladies, Mrs. Smiths, were made to sit in two cane chairs and after long 

and careful focussing, and moving the camera about for an hour, Jones 

was satisfied at last and an exposure was made. Mr. Jones was sure that 

the plate was all right; and so, a second plate was not exposed 

although in the usual course of things this should have been done. 

He wrapped up his things and went home promising to develop the plate 

the same night and bring a copy of the photograph the next day to the 

office. 

The next day, which was a Monday, Jones came to the office very early, 

and I was the first person to meet him. 

"Well, Mr. Photographer," I asked "what success?" 

"I got the picture all right," said Jones, unwrapping an unmounted 

picture and handing it over to me "most funny, don't you think so?" "No, 

I don't ... I think it is all right, at any rate I did not expect 

anything better from you ...", I said. 

"No," said Jones "the funny thing is that only two ladies sat ..." 

"Quite right," I said "the third stood in the middle." 

"There was no third lady at all there ...", said Jones. 

"Then you imagined she was there, and there we find her ..." "I tell 

you, there were only two ladies there when I exposed" insisted Jones. 

He was looking awfully worried. 

"Do you want me to believe that there were only two persons when the 

plate was exposed and three when it was developed?" I asked. "That is 

exactly what has happened," said Jones. 

"Then it must be the most wonderful developer you used, or was it that 

this was the second exposure given to the same plate?" 

"The developer is the one which I have been using for the last three 

years, and the plate, the one I charged on Saturday night out of a new 

box that I had purchased only on Saturday afternoon." 

A number of other clerks had come up in the meantime, and were taking 

great interest in the picture and in Jones' statement. 

It is only right that a description of the picture be given here for the 

benefit of the reader. I wish I could reproduce the original picture 

too, but that for certain reasons is impossible. 

When the plate was actually exposed there were only two ladies, both of 

whom were sitting in cane chairs. When the plate was developed it was 

found that there was in the picture a figure, that of a lady, standing 

in the middle. She wore a broad-edged _dhoti_ (the reader should not 

forget that all the characters are Indians), only the upper half of her 

body being visible, the lower being covered up by the low backs of the

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