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Tue, 13 Jul 2010
"Just Good Fun!" well I wonder. Boy Scouts and Ghosts, hm I wonder who is causing all the fun.?


     Strange tales were afloat in the village - a "Ghost" had been seen, and not once only, but several times.
The first who saw it was old Mrs. Hawkins, as she was crossing the Common one evening after dusk. "My dear," she said to her daughter Lizzie, afterwards, when describing the 'apparition,' "I don't believe I shall ever get over the shock - you could have knocked me down with a feather."
"Nonsense Mother !" said sensible Lizzie who was no believer in ghosts. "I can guess what it is ; It is one of those Boy Scouts up to their pranks again. I will just step round to Mrs Soames, she has two boys in the Scouts and make some inquiries."
wee ghost and
Lizzie was true to her word, but although she questioned  Maggie and Tommy, she was no nearer to getting to the bottom of the mystery.
"I'll tell you what we will do," said Reggie Soames, who was one of the leading Boy Scouts in the village of Westfleet; "we will find the ghost for you and when we catch him we will make him feel pretty sorry for himself - you mark my words!"
   A meeting of the Scouts was called; and a ghost hunt was decided upon. But search as they might, no ghost could they find, although now fully half a dozen people now declared they had seen the ghost.
  Then something happened which roused every Boy Scout in the village to anger.
Poor little Nellie Simmons, the policeman's daughter was seriously frightened.

wee ghost and
stars        It was a moonlit night, and she had been to post a letter for her mother, ( the pillar-box was situated at a rather lonely corner of the road), when suddenly the ghost appeared to her , all shrouded in white. She gave a loud scream of terror, and rushed homewards as fast as her little trebling legs could carry her.
Police Constable Simmons was very angry, and determined to solve the mystery; but the honour of the 'find' fell to the Boy Scouts.
Said Tommy Soames one evening when the boys were discussing the matter, "I have an idea."
"Well out with it !" cried one of the lads good naturedly "You don't have many, so we'd like to hear what it is."
"I vote we search the woods tonight," replies Tommy, in no wise offended.
"The woods!" cried Phil Weston , who was carrying the lantern; "Why it has never been seen in the woods."
"All the more reason to look there; it doesn't often appear twice in the same place."
The idea presently met with all their approval and forthwith to the woods the lads made their way.
They searched and searched but all in vain; but just as they were giving up in despair, Tommy Soames caught sight of something white in between the trees.
 "I - I - see it! he gasped, his courage sinking down almost into his boots.
"Look - look! There it is !"
Another moment, and each Boy Scout had caught sight of the ghost
"Cover the lantern !" was the order given by the leader in a loud whisper. "Wait till it comes closer, and then make a dash forward!"
wee ghost and
starsThe command was obeyed to the letter. On and on came the unsuspecting ghost, nearer and nearer to the watchful eyes of the Scouts. Then at a word, the lantern was flashed full onto the white shrouded figure, proving the ghost to be nothing more or less than flesh and blood, a boy just like themselves.
   One or two of the Scouts were inclined to treat the matter as a huge joke, not so Reggie Soames.
"Hello Mr. Ghost," he cried "We have you this time! Why, I declare " he added, it is you Willie Barton! I wonder you aren't ashamed of yourself !"
There was a stinging contempt in the tone of Reggies voice. The boy who was a relatively  new-comer to the village, at first had no word to say for himself.
The sheet with which he was covered was roughly dragged from him from him, and when he stood stripped of his ghost like attire, he felt very small indeed.
"You are a coward, Berton - that's what you are!" went on Reggie, "scaring  women and children the way you have done lately."
Then Berton found his voice. "I didn't mean any harm." he faltered. I - I only did it just for fun.
wee ghost and
stars"Oh, so you think it was fun, do you." Cried Reggie, "Fun to frighten little Nellie Simmons nearly into a fit. Perhaps you don't know that she's been ill ever since."
"No. . . really?" Berton looked troubled and uneasy. "I really am most awfully sorry, I only meant it for a practical joke."
"Well it was a very poor sort of joke," said one of the other lads; and Berton presently thought so too.
Shortly after this , the ghost was allowed to take his departure home, and the Boy Scouts returned to the village in triumph to spread their news.

For almost a week following this incident poor Berton had a sorry time, the village folk showing their disapproval of his conduct in very marked fashion.
Then something happened! Little Nellie Simmons, whilst at play with some of her school friends near the mill stream, tumbled into the water, and was in imminent danger of drowning. Young Willie Berton who
happened at that very moment to pass by, jumped in to her rescue, without any thought of personal danger. and being a strong swimmer, he very soon brought the little girl to safety to the banks of the stream.
wee ghost and
starsThe ghost had made amends ! at least such was the villagers verdict, according to the Boy Scouts.
Berton has now joined the gallant company, and is one of whom his comrades are justly proud. Deeds of daring especially appeal to him, but foolish, practical jokes he bars, for he has learnt this lesson and he won't ever forget it.
Posted 16:40

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