January 7th to 13th
…”Only Fear shall follow thee, and with a blow that thou canst not see he shall bid thee wait his pleasure. He shall make the ground to open under thy feet, and the creeper to twist about thy neck, and the tree-trunks to grow together about thee higher than thou canst leap, and at the last he shall take thy hide to wrap his cubs when they are cold. Thou hast shown him no mercy, and none will he show thee”…
This is from “How Fear Came” in The Jungle Book
Hathi, the great elephant, is telling the tale of how the First of the Tigers had brought death and shame to the jungle, and how for ever after Fear, in the shape of Man, would haunt the jungle peoples.
…Do you know what Fear is ? Not ordinary fear of insult, injury or death, but abject quivering dread of something that you cannot see – fear that dries the inside of the mouth and half of the throat – fear that makes you sweat in the palms of the hands and gulp in order to keep the uvula at work. This is a fine Fear – a great cowardice, and must be felt to be appreciated…
This is from “My Own True Ghost Story” in Wee Willie Winkie.
The author is staying in an empty ‘dak’ bungalow, and just as he gets off to sleep he hears the unmistakable sound of a billiards game in progress in a room where he knows there is no billiard table. The next morning the butler tells him that twenty years before, it had been a billiard room, and that one night a man had fallen dead across the table…
“…I pulled my Waler, and fell back a little. The ‘rickshaw was directly in the middle of the road: and once more the Arab passed through it, my horse following. “Jack, Jack dear, please forgive me,” rang like a wail in my ears, and, after an interval: “It’s all a mistake, a hideous mistake…”
This from “The Phantom Rickshaw” in Wee Willie Winkie.
Jack Pansay has had a passionate affair with Agnes Wessington, but has tired of her, and is now paying court to another woman. Agnes has died, heart-broken, but now Jack is haunted by the ghost of Agnes, complete with her characteristic ‘rickshaw with its yellow panels. He cannot escape it, and his life is ruined.