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Knocking At The Tomb


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Knock, knock, knock! The bell has just gone twelve, and there is the
clang again upon the iron door of the tomb. The few people of Lanesboro
who are paying the penance of misdeeds or late suppers, by lying awake at
that dread hour, gather their blankets around their shoulders and mutter
a word of prayer for deliverance against unwholesome visitors of the
night. Why is the old Berkshire town so troubled? Who is it that lies
buried in that tomb, with its ornament of Masonic symbols? Why was the
heavy iron knocker placed on the door? The question is asked, but no one
will answer it, nor will any say who the woman is that so often visits
the cemetery at the stroke of midnight and sounds the call into the
chamber of the dead. Starlight, moonlight, or storm--it makes no
difference to the woman. There she goes, in her black cloak, seen dim in
the night, except where there are snow and moon together, and there she
waits, her hand on the knocker, for the bell to strike to set up her
clangor. Some say that she is crazy, and it is her freak to do this
thing. Is she calling on the corpses to rise and have a dance among the
graves? or has she been asked to call the occupant of that house at a
given hour? Perhaps, weary of life, she is asking for admittance to the
rest and silence of the tomb. She has long been beneath the sod, this
troubler of dreams. Who knows her secret?

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