Father and son were playing chess; the father, whose ideas about the game involved some very unusual moves, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary danger that it even brought comment from the white-haired old lady knitting quietly by the fire.
The old man rose quickly and opening the door, was heard telling the new arrival how sorry he was for his recent loss. The new arrival talked about his sadness, so that Mrs. White said, “Tut, tut!” and coughed gently as her husband entered the room followed by a tall, heavy built, strong-looking man, whose skin had the healthy reddish colour associated with outdoor life and whose eyes showed that he could be a dangerous enemy.
His three listeners leaned forward excitedly. Deep in thought, the visitor put his empty glass to his lips and then set it down again. Mr. White filled it for him again. “To look at it,” said the Sergeant-Major, feeling about in his pocket, “it’s just an ordinary little paw, dried to a mummy.”
Made by Daniel and Sean. B Block
A fine crash from the piano greeted his words, broken by a frightened cry from the old man. His wife and son ran toward him. “It moved,” he cried, with a look of horror at the object as it lay on the floor. “As I wished, it twisted in my hand like a snake.”
Mr. White dropped his wife’s hand, and rising to his feet, stared with a look of horror at his visitor. His dry lips shaped the words, “How much?” “Two hundred pounds,” was the answer.
In the huge new cemetery, some two miles away, the old people buried their dead, and came back to the house which was now full of shadows and silence. It was all over so quickly that at first they could hardly realize it, and remained in a state of waiting for something else to happen – something else which was to lighten this load, too heavy for old hearts to bear.