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Unformatted text preview: cket. When they came to the lifeless body it stirred again, and with one thing and another they brought him round. "The Black Officer was not himself again for long, and they took him home to his own country, and he lay in bed in his house. And every day a red deer would come to the house, and go into his room and sit on a chair beside the bed, speaking to him like a man. "Well, the Black Officer got better again, and went about among his friends; and once he was driving home from a dinner-party, and Shamus was with him. It was just the last night of the hundred. And on the road they met a man, and Shamus knew him--for it was him they had seen by the fire on the march, as I told you at the beginning. The Black Officer got down from his carriage and joined the man, and they walked a bit
24 ANGLING SKETCHES apart; but Shamus--he was so curious--whatever happened he must see them. And he came within hearing just as they were parting, and he heard the stranger say, 'This is the night.' "'No,' said the Black Officer, 'this night next year.' "So he came back, and they drove home. A year went by, and the Black Officer was seeking through the country for the twelve best men he could find to accompany him to some deer-hunt or the like. And he asked Shamus, but he pretended he was ill--Oh, he was very unwell!--and he could not go, but stayed in bed at home. So the Black Officer chose another man, and he and the twelve set out--the thirteen of them. But they were never seen again." "Never seen again? Were they lost in the snow?" "It did come on a heavy fall, sir." "But their bodies were found?" "No, sir--though they searched high and low; they are not found, indeed, till this day. It was thought the Black Officer had sold himself and twelve other men, sir." "To the Devil?" "It would be that." For the narrator never mentions our ghostly foe, which produces a solemn effect. This story was absolutely new to me, a...
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