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Welcome to Stuff You Should Know. A production of NPR radios HowStuffWorks. Hello and welcome to the podcast, I'm Josh scare the pants off for you, Clark, and there's Charles Gastly, Chuck Bryant and Jerry's floating out there somewhere in the ether, which makes this stuff you should know. I thought you were going to say Chuck scared the pants back on you, Bryant. Oh, that's even better.
Maybe we should edit that in and say it again, but with feeling as much feeling as I can muster these days, man, I'm with you, buddy.
I'm with you. But we're not here to talk about anything in the world except scaring the pants off and then back on people with our annual Halloween episode.
Correct, sir. So, Chuck, we come up with a couple of pretty good ones. I would say this year I'm in love with yours. I think these are both really good. And I was surprised to see Philip K. Dick had stuff in the public domain.
Well, we read one of his last year, did we? Yeah.
The hanging man, I think, is what it was called.
And I'm sure it was very scary, very creepy. But I think it was just last year that his stuff first came in, which goes to show you how old we are.
I think it's not an age thing. Right. I think just certain ones were put in the public domain. I feel like if they don't copyrighted after X number of decades, it automatically goes into the public domain. So, yeah, I think it's because we're old.
Well, hats off to Phil Dick for his great work. That's right. Hats off and pants off mikes. Mike's on. So you want to get started with the beyond the door. Yeah, let's do it. OK, I'll take the first part. How about that? Sounds wonderful. Ladies and gentlemen, please dim your lights. Please arouse your sympathetic nervous systems and prepare to hear Beyond the Door by Philip K. Dick. Larry Thomas bought a cuckoo clock for his wife without knowing the price you would have to pay.
That night at the dinner table, he brought it out and set it down beside her plate, Doris stared at her hand to her mouth. My God, what is it? She looked up at him, bright eyed. Well, open it.
Doors tore the ribbon and paper from the square package with her sharp nails, her bosom rising and falling. Larry stood watching her as she lifted the lid. He lit a cigarette and leaned against the wall.
A cuckoo clock doors cried a real old cuckoo clock like my mother had.
She turn the clock over and over, just like my mother had. When Pete was still alive, her eyes sparkled with tears. It's made in Germany, Larry said. After a moment, he added, Carl got it for me wholesale. He knows some guy in the clock business.
Otherwise I wouldn't have stopped. Doris made a funny little sound. I mean, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to afford it. He scowled. What's the matter with you? You got your clock, haven't you? Isn't that what you want? Doris set holding on to the clock, her fingers pressed against the brown wood. Well, Larry said, what's the matter? He watched in amazement as she leaped up and ran from the room. Still clutching the clock.
He shook his head, never satisfied. They're all that way, never good enough. He sat down at the table and finished his meal. So I think we have a pulse on our hands, Chuck. Yeah, and I got to say, I've seen you with humor and you're a wonderful husband, but you played the part of your husband very well. Thank you very much.
I think from time to time, you might say I'm a natural. No, that was that was well done. I wonder what's this guy's problem is already.
I'm guessing he's like a mid 50s average dude. Not a very good gift giver. No. I mean, here's a great gift.
And let me just urinate all over. Hold it still so I don't mess. All right. You ready? I'm ready. All right. Here we go.
The cuckoo clock was not very large. It was handmade, however, and there were countless frets on it. Little indentations and ornaments scored in the soft wood door, sat on the bed, drying her eyes and winding the clock. She set the hands by her wristwatch. Presently, she carefully moved the hands to two minutes of ten. She carried the clock over to the dresser and propped it up. Then she sat waiting, her hands twisted together in her lap, waiting for the cuckoo to come out for the hour to strike.
As she sat, she thought about Larry and what he had said. And what she had said to, for that matter, not that she could be blamed for any of it, after all, she couldn't keep listening to him forever without defending herself. You had to blow your own trumpet in the world. She touched her handkerchief to her eyes suddenly, why did he have to say that about getting it wholesale? Why did he have to spoil it all?
If he felt that way, he needn't have got it in the first place, she clenched her fists.
He was so mean, so dang mean, but she was glad that the little clock sitting there ticking to itself. With its funny grilled edges in the door inside the door, was the coocoo waiting to come out? Was he listening? His head cocked on one side, listening to hear the clock strike so that he would know to come out. Did he sleep between hours? Well, she would soon see him. She could ask him and she would show the clock to Bob.
He would love it. Bob loved old things, even old stamps and buttons. He liked to go with her to the stores. Of course, it was a little awkward, but Larry had been staying at the office so much and that helped.
If only Larry didn't call up sometimes to there was a word the clock shuddered and all at once the door opened. The coocoo came out sliding swiftly. He paused and looked around, solemnly scrutinizing her, the room, the furniture. It was the first time he had seen her, she realized, smiling to herself in pleasure. She stood up, coming toward him shyly. Go on, she said. I'm waiting. The cuckoo opened his bill. He worried and chirped quickly, rhythmically.
Then, after a moment of contemplation, he retired in the door snapshot. She was delighted.
She slapped her hands and spun in a little circle. She five years old again. She's a dead deathy.
I love it. He was marvelous, perfect in the way he had looked around, studying her, sizing her up. He liked her. She was certain of it. And she, of course, loved him at once completely. He was just what she had hoped would come out of the little door. Doris went to the clock. She bent over the little door, her lips close to the woods. Do you hear me? She whispered.
I think you're the most wonderful cuckoo in the world. She paused, embarrassed. I hope you like it here. Then she went downstairs again, slowly, her head high. Very nice, Chuck. That was a great Dorce, I think I know where Dorce is coming from. She's very likable at this point. Sure, she's delighted by simple things, right?
She does little twirls and spins and stuff, which I mean, how can you dislike that?
You know, I know. I love it. OK, I'm picking up again with more.
Larry in the cuckoo clock really never got along well from the start. Said it was because he didn't wind it right and it didn't like being only half wound all the time. Larry turned the job of winding over to her. The cuckoo came out every quarter hour and ran the spring down without remorse. And someone had to be ever after it winding it up again.
Doris did her best, but she forgot a good deal of the time. Then Larry would throw his newspaper down with an elaborate, weary motion and stand up. He would go into the dining room where the clock was mounted on the wall over the fireplace. He would take the clock down and making sure that he had his thumb over the little door, he would wind it up. Why do you put your thumb over the door? Doris asked. Once you're supposed to.
She raised an eyebrow. Are you sure? I wonder if it isn't that you don't want him to come out while you're standing so close. Why not? Maybe you're afraid of him. Larry laughed. He put the clock back on the wall and gingerly removed his thumb. When Doris wasn't looking, he examined his thumb. There was still a trace of the Knick cut out of the soft part of it. Who or what had picked him? Oh, boy, Chuck, I think it's your turn.
It's all right. It's getting eerie. A little eerie. What's in that clock? What's in the clock death? All right, here we go.
OK, one Saturday morning when Larry was down at the office working over some important special accounts, Bob Chambers came to the front porch and rang the bell. Doris is taking a quick shower. She dried herself and slipped into her robe when she opened the door. Bob stepped inside, grinning. Hi, he said, looking around. It's all right. Larry's at the office. Fine. Bob gazed at her slim legs below the hem of the robe. How nice you look today, she laughed.
Be careful. Maybe I shouldn't let you in after all. Let's get naughty, very naughty. They looked at one another, half amused, half frightened. Presently, Bob said, If you want, I'll know for God's sake, she can't hold of his sleeve. Just get out of the doorway so I can close it. Mrs. Peters, across the street, you know, she closed the door. And I want to show you something she said.
You haven't seen it. He was interested in antique or what? She does, of course, what else will it be? She took his arm, leading him toward the dining room. You'll love it, Bobby. She stopped wide eyed. I hope you will. You must you must love it. It means so much to me. He means so much. He Bob frowned. Who is he? Doris laughed. Oh, you're jealous. Come on.
A moment later they stood before the clock looking up at it. He'll come out in a few minutes. Wait until you see him. I know you two will get along just fine. What is Larry think of them? They don't like each other. Sometimes when Larry's here, he won't come out. Larry gets mad if he doesn't come out on time, he says. Says what? Doris, look down. He always says he's been robbed. Even if he did get it wholesale, she brightened.
But I know he won't come out because he doesn't like Larry.
When I'm here alone, he comes right out for me every 15 minutes, even though he really only has to come out on the hour.
She gazed up at the clock. He comes out for me because he wants to we talk. I tell him things. Of course, I'd like to have him upstairs in my room, but it wouldn't be right.
There was a sound of footsteps on the porch.
They looked at each other horrified. Larry pushed the front door open, grunting. He set his briefcase down and took off his hat.
Then he saw Bob for the first time. Chambers. I'll be darned. His eyes narrowed. What are you doing here? He came into the dining room. Doris drew her robe around her, helplessly backing away. I Bob began that. That is why he broke off. Glancing at Doris. Suddenly, the clock began to wear.
The cuckoo came rushing out, bursting into sound. Larry moved toward him. Shut that din off, he said. He raised his fist toward the clock. Cuckoo snapped into silence and retreated. The door closed.
That's better. Larry studied Doris and Bob standing mutely together. I came over to look at the clock, Bob said, Doris told me that it's a rare antique and that nuts.
I bought it myself. Larry walked up to him. Get out of here. He turned adores you to take that dang clock with you. He paused, rubbing his chin. No, leave the clock here. It's mine. I bought it and paid for it.
It is such a classic Larry move, I know, and if I had a dime for every time, you know, one of Emily's boyfriends came over to look at our antique clocks. Right. I'm always actually their new and wholesale. So making sense to you. I think yeah, I know the story well.
In the weeks that followed, after Dore's left, Larry in the cuckoo clock got along even worse than before. For one thing, the coocoo stayed inside most of the time, sometimes even at 12 o'clock when he should have been busiest. And if he did come out at all, usually spoke only once or twice, never the correct number of times. And there was a sullen, uncooperative tone in his voice, a jarring sound that made Larry uneasy and a little angry.
But he kept the clock wound because the house was very still and quiet and it got on his nerves not to hear someone running around talking and dropping things. And even the whirring of a clock sounded good to him. But he didn't like the cuckoo at all. And sometimes he spoke to him. Listen, he said late one night to the closed little door. I know you can hear me. I ought to give you back to the Germans, back to the Black Forest.
He paced back and forth. I wonder what they're doing now. The two of them, young punk with his books in his antics.
A man shouldn't be interested in antiques. That's for women. He said his job isn't that right? The clock said nothing. Larry walked up in front of it. Isn't that right? He demanded.
Don't you have anything to say? He looked at the face of the clock. It was almost eleven. Just a few seconds before the hour.
All right. I'll wait until eleven then. I want to hear what you have to say. You've been pretty quiet the last few weeks since you left. He grinned wryly. Maybe you don't like it here. Since she's gone. He scowled while I paid for you. And you're coming out whether you like it or not. You hear me? Eleven o'clock came far off at the end of town. The great tower clock boomed sleepily to itself, but the little door remained shut.
Nothing moved. The minute hand passed on and the cuckoo did not stir. It was someplace inside the clock, beyond the door, silent and remote. All right. If that's the way you feel, Larry murmured, his lips twisting. But it isn't fair. It's your job to come out. We all have to do things we don't like.
He went unhappily into the kitchen and opened the great gleaming refrigerator. As he poured himself a drink, he thought about the clock. There was no doubt about it. The cuckoo should come out doors. There are no doors. He had always liked her from the very start. They had got along well. The two of them probably. He liked Bob too. Probably he had seen enough of Bob to get to know him. They would be quite happy together.
Bob and Doors and the Cuckoo.
Larry finished his drink.
He opened the drawer at the sink and took out the hammer.
He carried it carefully into the dining room.
The clock was ticking gently to itself. And look, he said, waving the hammer, you know what I have here? You know what I'm going to do with it. I'm going to start on you first. He smiled. Birds of a feather. That's what you are, the three of you. Larry's losing it. I think, Chuck, that she split it, kicked him, he kicked her out with Chambers when he caught them and now he's just alone with his thoughts, drunk in a hammer and the cuckoo clock.
That's really ticking them off like so many Germans.
The room was silent. Are you coming out or do I have to come in and get you the word a little? I hear you in there. You've got a lot of talking to do enough for the last three weeks, as I figure it.
You owe me the door open. The coocoo came out fast, straight, Adam.
There he was looking down his brow, wrinkled and thought he glanced up and the cuckoo caught him squarely in the downy, which hammered share in everything, hitting the floor with a tremendous crash.
For a moment, the coocoo paused, his small body poised rigidly. Then it went back inside its house. The door snapped shut after the man lay on the floor, stretched out grotesquely, his head bent over to one side. Nothing moved or stirred. The room was completely silent, except, of course, for the ticking clock.
Did this kill him? Did you read the story? Well, I mean, no, I like to be surprised.
Well, the way furtherest Chuck, you take it from here.
Do you read them ahead of time? Oh, man, I don't like to go in fresh like Costanza's dog, I see, Doris said her face tight.
Bob put his arm around her, steadying her doctor.
Bob said, Can I ask you something? Of course, the doctor said, is it very easy to break your neck falling from so low a chair? It wasn't very far to fall.
I wonder if it might not have been an accident. Is there any chance it might have been suicide? The doctor rubbed his jaw. I never heard of anyone committing suicide that way. It was an accident. I'm positive. I don't mean suicide, Bob murmured under his breath, looking up at the clock on the wall.
I meant something else, but no one heard. Beautiful shot. Bravo, thank you. You killed that man, it did.
It didn't like that guff. I think the threat with the hammer is what really pushed the cuckoo over the edge.
So straight into the brain, through the orbital socket there, I guess.
Or else it caught him so surprised that he threw himself back off the chair and broke his neck on the floor. Who knows the doctors that we're going to find out. He's clearly lazy. You know, this doctor doesn't care.
The big question is, did Doris do a little twirl when she found out that Larry had died and the cuckoo had killed him?
Oh, I think so. And I think Bob should be afraid to.
Quite honestly, I think Bob's going to be OK because the cuckoo is clearly a demon servant of Doris.
And if Doris is happy with Bob, then for now, Bob's in the clear. Right? Bob needs to stay indoors. Is good cider then. Yeah, he's in trouble if not.
All right. Good pick a nice one too. Oh yeah. That was my pick. Thanks. I appreciate it. And we're going to do your pick, which I've got to say of the two. This is I mean, this is just straight up great horror fiction.
Yeah, this is good stuff. This is from an author named Ah, James. Not Mr. James. No, Anmar James Monroe, James. And it's called Rats. And I hope everyone is joining this every episode per tradition. Yeah, per Halloween.
Scary scare the pants off and then back on to tradition. That's right.
We're not even going to plug our book that's available for preorder. No, I can't see us plugging stuff. You should know Colen an incomplete compendium of most of the interesting things in an ad free episode right now or the audio book since people are listening to us reading.
Yeah, yeah, that makes sense.
But we would never say something along the lines of like it's available for preorder now everywhere you buy books and I'll be out in November.
Right. Uh, OK. I think we killed the spooky mood enough.
Oh, it was dead from the beginning when we were laughing at Larry being such a jerk, you know?
All right. Gather the kids around, everyone.
And here we go with Rats by M.R. James. Uh, shall I start this one? I think so, man.
All right. And if you was to walk through the bedrooms now, you'd see the ragged, moldy bed cloths, a heaving and a heaving like seas, and the heaving and heaving with what he says, why with the rats under him. It's a good start, huh? It is, it's a great start. But was it with the rats, I ask because in another case, it was not I cannot put a date to the story, but I was young when I heard it and the teller was old.
It is an ill proportioned tale, but that is my fault, not his. It happened in Suffolk near the coast. Or however you pronounce Suffolk in a place where the road makes a sudden dip and then a sudden rise as you go northward at the top of the rise stands a house on the left of the road. It is a tall, red brick house, narrow for its height, perhaps it was built about 1770. The top of the front has a low triangular pediment with a round window in the center.
Behind it are stables and offices and such garden as it has is behind them, scraggy scotch firs or near it, an expanse of grass covered land stretches away from it. It commands a view of the distant sea from the upper windows of the front sign on the post stands before the door or did so stand for though it was an inn of repute once, I believe it is so no longer. To this end came my acquaintance Mr. Thompson, when he was a young man on a fine spring day coming from the University of Cambridge and desirous of solitude and tolerable quarters and time for reading.
These, he found for the landlord and his wife had been in service and could make a visitor comfortable and there was no one else staying. In the end, he had a large room in the first floor commanding the road in The View, and if it faced E why, that could not be helped.
The house was well-built and warm. Very nice. Thank you, Mark James knows how to set things, doesn't he? Yeah, OK.
He spent very tranquil and uneventful days working all the morning and afternoon perambulation of the country, round a little conversation with country company or the people of the inn in the evening over the then fashionable drink of brandy and water, a little more reading and writing and bed.
And he would have been content that this should continue for the full month he had at his disposal so well with his work progressing and so fine was the April of that year, which I have reason to believe was that which Orlando Whistle Craft chronicles and his weather record as the charming year, which, by the way, it look that up in that would be 1846.
Yeah, very nice. One of his walks took him along the northern road, which stands high and traverses a wide common called the Heath on the bright afternoon when he first chose his direction, his eye caught a white object some hundreds of yards to the left of the road, and he felt it necessary to make sure what this might be. It was not long before he was standing by it and he found himself looking at a square block of white stone fashioned somewhat like the base of a pillar with a square hole in the upper surface.
Just such another. You might see this day on Thetford.
He, after taking stock of it, he contemplated for a few minutes The View, which offered a church tower to some red roofs of cottages and windows winking in the sun and the expanse of sea, also with an occasional winking gleam upon it, and so pursued his way. You mean keep going, keep going in the desultory evening talk in the bar, he asked why the white stone was there on the common and old fashioned thing. That is, said the landlord, Mr.
Betts, we was none of us alive when that was put there.
That's right. In another, it stands pretty high, said Mr. Thompson. I dare say a C mark was on it some time back. I guess Mr. Betts agreed. I heard they could see it from the boat, but wherever there was, it fell to bits. This long time job to sort of third point. Lucky mark by the old man. You so not looking for the fish. You I mean, just so I ever not, said Thompson.
Well, no more self was the answer. But they had some funny ideas. What I mean peculiar. They're more Japs and I shouldn't wonder what they made away with their selves.
And then Thompson said, Can everyone stop eating beef stew while they're talking?
How do you have beef stew in my in my mouth right now? Oh, boy.
Busted, man. Kind of a funny bunch. Let me finish this one part.
Yeah. It was impossible to get anything clearer than this, I guess, because the beef to the company, never very valuable, fell silent. And when someone spoke, it was a village affairs and crops. Mr. Betts was the speaker. All right, I love this story, man, Mark James draws you into it. I. Plus also that that sounds like a very nice way to spend a month in fine weather reading, writing, walking around the countryside bed.
That just sounds like eating beef stew. Yeah.
Great accent, I've been waiting years for that. I wonder if that was a a subtle one. Sure. Like it did on suffocating.
So lots of folks do not every day did Thompson consult his health by taking a country walk. One very fine afternoon, found him busily writing at three o'clock. Then he stretched himself and rose and walked out of his room into the passage. Facing him was another room, then the stair head, then two more rooms and one looking out to the back, the other to the south. At the south end of the passage was a window to which he went, considering with himself that it was rather a shame to waste such a fine afternoon.
However, work was paramount just at the moment. He thought he would just take five minutes off and go back to it and those five minutes he would employ the Betsey's could not possibly object to looking at the other rooms in the passage which he had never seen. Nobody at all, it seemed, was indoors, probably as it was market day.
They were all gone to the town, except perhaps a maid in the bar. Very still. The house was in the sun shone really hot. Early flies buzzed in the window panes. So he explored. The room facing his own was undistinguished, except for an old print of Bury St Edmunds. The two next to him on his side of the passage were gay and clean with one window apiece, whereas his had to remain to the Southwest room opposite to the last which he had entered.
This was locked, but Thompson was in a mood of quite indefensible curiosity and feeling confident that there could be no damaging secrets in a place so easily got that he proceeded to fetch the key of his own room, and when that did not answer to collect the keys of the other three. Sounds like he's doing a lot of work to get in there. I mean, he really wants to see what's in that room. One of them fitted and he opened the door.
The room had two windows looking south and west. So it was as bright in the sun, as hot upon it is. Could be. Here, there was no carpet but bare boards, no pictures, no washing stand, only a bed and the farther corner, an iron bed with mattress and bolster covered with a bluish check counterpane is featureless, a room, as you can well imagine.
And yet there was something that made Thompson close the door very quickly and yet quietly behind him and lean against the window sill in the passage, actually quivering all over. It was this that under the counterpane someone lay and not only lay, but stirred that it was someone and not something with certain. Because the shape of the head was unmistakable on the bolster, and yet it was all covered and no one lies with covered head but a dead person, and this was not dead, not truly dead for it heaved, shivered.
I know Counterpane, by the way, is a bedspread, so he saw something laying covered under a bedspread on the bed.
Do you guys not have a counterpane or you know that Rudy Counterpane was sure we got Counterpane in all of our beds?
Well, we do, too, but we don't call them Counterpane because they're not 19th century Brits.
Weird puddicombe, bedspreads, blankets that they bedspread. Yeah, bedspread. Interesting. You've never heard bedspread or you don't call them bedspreads. Nemacolin counterfeits.
Yeah. Bedspreads a lot. A lot funner to say because it rhymes bedspread and I guess I'm sorry it spread. Was that counterpane. Do you want me to start. Yeah. Yeah. Go ahead. Where do you leave off.
I left off at shivered, heaved and shivered this dead thing under the counterpane. OK. If he had seen these things in dusk or by the light of a flickering candle, Thompson could have comforted himself and talked of fiancee on this bright day that was impossible. What was to be done first? Lock the door at all costs. Yet very gingerly, he approached it and bending down, listened, holding his breath. Perhaps there might be a sound of heavy breathing and a prosaic explanation.
There was absolute silence. But as with a rather tremulous hand, he put the key into the hole and turned it, it rattled in on the instant, a stumbling padding trade was heard coming toward the door.
Thompson fled like a rabbit to his room and locked himself in a futile enough. He knew it was with doors and locks be any obstacle to what he suspected, but it was all he could think of at the moment. And in fact, nothing happened. Only there was a time of acute suspense, followed by a misery of doubt as to what to do.
The impulse, of course, was to slip away as soon as possible from a house which contained such an inmate. But only the day before he had said he should be staying for at least a week or more. And how, if he changed his plans, could he avoid the suspicion of having pried into places where he certainly had no business? Moreover, either the Betsey's knew all about the inmate and yet did not leave the house or knew nothing, which equally meant that there was nothing to be afraid of or knew just enough to make them shut up the room, but not enough to weigh on their spirits.
In any of these cases, it seemed that not much was to be feared, and certainly so far as he had no sort of ugly experience. On the whole, the line of least resistance was to stay.
You know, all this guy had to do is go downstairs and say, you know, what a change of plans. I'm going to be moving on. Great house. Yeah.
So long. Three stories of memories. Yeah. Three starts or maybe two now. Yeah.
Or he could have just run right out of the place and down to the sea and swam away. Yeah, that's a good point. Do you want to keep going or shall I pick up. I think it's your turn.
All right. Well, he stayed out his week. Because he was so dumb, he couldn't think of a good excuse to leave.
Nothing took him past that door and often he would pause in a quiet hour of the day or night in the passage and listen and listen.
No sound whatsoever issued from that direction. You might have thought that Thompson would have made some attempt at ferreting out stories connected with the end, partly, perhaps from bets, but from the passing of the parish or old people in the village or the stew eaters at the bar. But no, the reticence which commonly falls on people who have strange experiences and believe in them, was upon him.
Nevertheless, as the end of his day drew near his yearning after some kind of explanation grew more and more acute on a solitary walks, he persisted in planting out some way, the least obtrusive of getting another daylight glimpse into that room and eventually arrived at the scheme. He would leave by an afternoon train about four o'clock when his fly was waiting in his luggage on it. You would make one last expedition upstairs to look around his own room and see if anything was left unpacked.
And then with that key which he had contrived to oil as if that made any difference, the door should once more be opened for a moment and shut. So it worked out the bill was paid. The consequent small talk gone through while the fly was loaded. And it flies like an Uber, is that right, basically, or lift, sure. Or a black taxi? Sure, a black car all driven by legal employees, regardless of how you feel about them.
Yes, well compensated legal employees. Pleasant part of the country, been very comfortable, thanks to you and Miss Betts hope to come back soon, some time on one side, on the other. Very glad you found satisfaction, sir. Done our best. Always glad to have your good word very much favored. We've been with the weather, to be sure.
This access all over the place, though, is maybe a little Irish and everything, and I'm not sure what happened. I think he just slipped into Oscar Wilde.
Then I'll just take a look upstairs in case I've left a book or something out. No, don't trouble. I'll be back in a minute.
And as noiselessly as possible, he stole to the door and opened it. The shattering of the illusion. He almost laughed out loud. He eleveld nearly. Propped, or you might say sitting on the edge of the bed was nothing in the round world but a scarecrow, a scarecrow out of the garden, of course, dumped into the deserted room. Yes. But here, amusement ceased his scarecrow's bare bony feet. Do their heads load onto their shoulders?
Have they iron collars and links of chain about their necks?
Can they get up and move if never so stiffly across the floor with whacking head and arms close at their sides and shiver? All right, bring it home, the answer to that is no. By the way, Scarecrow can't do that. There'll be a haunted scarecrow, but still, you don't want to mess with one of those either. Nope.
The slam of the door, the dash to the stair hit the leap down stairs were followed by a thing awaked. Thompson saw Bat standing over him with the brandy bottle and a very reproachful face.
You so really you shouldn't. Any kind of way to act by persons has done the best they could for you.
Mr. Thompson heard words of this kind, but he said in reply he did not know Mr. Betts. And perhaps even more, Mrs. Betts found it hard to accept his apologies and his assurances that he would say no word that could damage the good name of the house. However, they were accepted, since the train could not now be caught.
It was arranged that Thompson should be driven to the town to sleep there, which personally I find a highly sensible plan to or should have done it a week ago.
Before he went, the bettors told them what little they knew. They say it was a landlord here a long time back and was in with the highway men that had their beat around the ethe. That's how he came by his end, hung in chains, they say, Upwey, you see that stone where the gallows stood in? Yes. The fisherman made away with that, I believe, because they see it out at sea and it keep the fish off according to their idea.
Yes, we had the account from the people that had the house. Before we come, you keep that room shut up, they says, but don't move the bed out and you'll find there won't be no trouble and no more.
There has been not once he haven't come out into the house, though, what he may do now, there ain't no saying anyway. You're the first I know on that. Seen him since we've been here. I never set eyes on it myself. No, I don't want. And ever since we made the servants rooms in the stabling, we had no difficulty that way. Only I do, sir. You'll keep a close tone considering our house you talked about.
With more to this effect and mind that Yelp review, right? That's right. That's what he's saying basically. Pretty much. I think you should take his time. This is your story, right?
The promise of silence was kept for many years, the occasion of my hearing, the story at last was this, that when Mr. Thompson came to stay with my father, it fell to me to show him to his room. And instead of letting me open the door for him, he stepped forward and threw it open himself and then for some moments, stood in the doorway, holding up his candle and looking narrowly into the interior. Then he seemed to recollect himself and said, I beg your pardon, very absurd, but I can't help doing that for a particular reason.
But that reason was I heard some days afterwards. And you have heard now. Beautiful. So this guy scarred for life, he just can't walk into a room anymore like a normal person. Yeah, of course not. He's seen like a long undead former owner of a house he was staying and who's now chained by the neck to a bed and still, I guess, moving around, hiding under bedspreads.
And they bought it knowing this. Right, because they were like, don't worry about it. It's not a problem, basically. Yeah, that's what they're saying, is that the former owner said, you know, as long as you keep the room shut and don't move the bed, you won't have any trouble from the undead former owner who was hung for being a highway robber. Yeah. And for God sakes, don't put a a couple of deadbolt locks on this thing or a padlock.
Yeah, just a little tiny key that anybody can come by.
Low storage stuff. Yeah. And if you like either of these stores, but you hated our accents or whatever, go read them yourself. They're both online. Both are public domain. There's Beyond the Door by Philip K. Dick and Rats by Mark James.
And both of them have a bunch of great little stories, don't they, Chuck? Yeah. And in fact, there are far superior readings on YouTube of these as well.
Oh, if you want to check those out. Yeah. Yeah. They don't have our accents though, I'll tell you that.
Nope. They're still free. Well everybody hopefully the pants have been scared back on to you. So you're decent when trick or treaters come to your house. If we're even doing that this year, who knows. But regardless of how Halloween goes, I have a safe and happy and super great fright for Halloween, right, Chuck? That's right. Happy Halloween, everybody. Stuff you should know is a production of radios HowStuffWorks for more podcasts, My Heart Radio is the radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.