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The Ash-Tree

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The Ash-Tree

by M.R. James

Genre: Ghost Story
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed

EXCERPT:

‘Well, our Irish peasantry will always have it that it brings the worst of luck to sleep near an ash-tree, and you have a fine growth of ash not two yards from your chamber window. Perhaps,’ the Bishop went on, with a smile, ‘it has given you a touch of its quality already, for you do not seem, if I may say it, so much the fresher for your night’s rest as your friends would like to see you.’

‘That, or something else, it is true, cost me my sleep from twelve to four, my lord. But the tree is to come down tomorrow, so I shall not hear much more from it.’

‘I applaud your determination. It can hardly be wholesome to have the air you breathe strained, as it were, through all that leafage.’

‘Your lordship is right there, I think. But I had not my window open last night. It was rather the noise that went on–no doubt from the twigs sweeping the glass–that kept me open-eyed.’

‘I think that can hardly be, Sir Richard. Here–you see it from this point. None of these nearest branches even can touch your casement unless there were a gale, and there was none of that last night. They miss the panes by a foot.’

‘No, sir, true. What, then, will it be, I wonder, that scratched and rustled so–ay, and covered the dust on my sill with lines and marks?’


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