Saturday, August 4, 2012

Let The Stranger Alone IV

The villagers looked at the house with suspicion but were too afraid of the Englishman. The house meanwhile would occasionally erupt in bizarre spectacle. Strong ritualistic happenings added to its already formidable aura of horror. Dogs wouldn’t bark around the house, the goats would stop in their gait stand still in terror. Then one wing of the house burned down completely. The villagers rushed to help with water but the ghostly Englishman came out with gun, fired in air and frightened them off. Thereafter the house was remained completely inert. It is now more than fifty years, nobody knows if the Englishman or his wife is still alive, no one saw any corpse taken out of the house. .. ..

Some villagers reported sighting of a pale and weak Englishman walking through the riverbed a gun slung over his shoulder at the dead of night. Once he disappears, a short exotic woman follows his footstep some distance then disappears. But this could be imagination of these excitable villagers.

This summer E Babu was in the village. He had come here earlier as an immature young man, an immensely gullible fellow. Then stories of mystery house excited him as well as terrified him. Now equipped with his knowledge of the world and as a rational thinker he rejected the mystery about the house with utter scorn. For him it was just an abandoned house; the spic and span condition of house was imagination of the villagers. During the evening gossiping, the matter of the mystery house came up for discussion at which E Babu silenced them with declaration, I will visit the house at the dead of night and settle the mystery once for all”.

Everyone looked at him shocked silence. An old fellow from the village counseled, “teri mat to nahiN maari gai hai!” which E Babu ignored.

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