And I am bound to say it appeared a very pertinent one, from the ordinary point of view. Clearly it was no business of mine; but Mrs Levret was so much in earnest, and had impressed me so strongly with what "had been given to her," that I felt I must persevere, in the young fellow's own interests.
"How about that young man, ma'am? What are you going to do about him?" "What young man?" I said, honestly puzzled. "And what can I do about any young man?" The Halifax incident had so completely faded from my mind that I could not for the moment imagine what she meant. "The young man you told me about yesterday afternoon, ma'am," Mrs Levret answered stoutly. "But I can't do anything about him.
Mrs Levret promised to come, and appeared next morning, having first ascertained that the sceptical husband of my hostess would not be upon the premises. "He does laugh at me so, ma'am," she said apologetically. So she was brought straight up to my bedroom next day, and we had an interesting talk over her own strange adventures. Suddenly she looked up, and said: "À propos des bottes."
As we left the shop my charming hostess, who was equally beloved by those in her own class and those out of it, turned round, and said pleasantly: "We must hurry home now, Mrs Levret, but do come up to-morrow and see Miss Bates. She does not leave me till the evening, and I know you will enjoy having a talk with her."
Having extracted this promise I felt that no more could be done for the time being, and Mrs Levret, who had been sitting in unwonted silence during both interviews, then took her leave.
She was a handsome, fresh-coloured, practical woman, with nothing of the weird and pallid "ghost seer" about her comely face. But she had had some wonderful experiences, and her children also; and these had been already imparted to Mr Frederic Myers. When the business part of our interview was concluded Mrs Levret turned to me, and said: "Well, ma'am, I am glad to see you again in these parts.
But I was aware that Mrs Levret was not speaking of the outer plane, so I agreed to take pencil and paper, and see if I could bring the spirit of Henry Halifax to me, and having done so, whether I could induce him to tell me the truth. He came, but for a long time would say neither YES nor NO. "What business is it of yours?" was the constant reply to my questions.
I was amazed by these words, and still more by the keen interest Mrs Levret showed in the subject. "But what can I do in the matter, even if it be as you say?" was my next question. "Well, ma'am, they give me to understand that the young man must be made to confess. He will never have any peace until he does. It seems to me you might get him to confess."
Have you had any curious experiences since I saw you last?" Now Mrs Levret had so many curious experiences of her own, as to which she was wont to be very voluble, that I had never before known her express curiosity about those of anybody else. This just flashed through my mind as I answered her: "No; nothing particular, Mrs Levret.
So we have never met at all! But I trust the confession may have been as efficacious as Mrs Levret was told that it would be. Anyway, I can testify that the gentleman in question is now happily married, and, therefore, presumably no longer haunted by the revengeful spirit, who has long since, let us trust, found happiness and peace in a higher world than this.