A Carriage Journey in Poland.
Hare's journal, April 14.
I met Mademoiselle von Raasloff at Mrs. Terry's. She narrated
to me some facts which had been told to her by the well-known Dr.
An acquaintance of his, a lady, was travelling with some
friends in an out-of-the-way part of Poland. Suddenly, late at
night, their carriage broke down and they were obliged to get
out, and as they knew of no shelter near, they were in great
difficulties. At this juncture a gentleman appeared, who said to
the lady that if she would take the trouble to walk a few steps
farther, she would come to the gate of his house; that he was
unable to accompany her, but that if she would mention his name
she would be received, and would find all she required. She
thanked him and followed his directions. The servant to whom she
spoke at the house seemed very much surprised, but seeing her
plight, brought her in, left her in a library, and went to get
some refreshment. When she was alone, a door in the panelling
opened and the unknown master of the house came in and sat down
by her. As he said nothing, she felt rather awkward, and more so
when the servant, coming in with a tray, seemed to brush up close
to him in a very odd way as he set it down. When the servant left
the room, the unknown said, 'Ne vous étonnez pas, Mademoiselle,
c'est que je suis mort [Don't be surprised, Mademoiselle; but I
am dead];' and he proceeded to say that he was most thankful she
had come, and that he wished her to make him a solemn promise;
that the people who were now in possession of the property were
not the rightful heirs, but that he had made a will, deposited
with a certain lawyer in a certain place, the name of which he
made her write down. She listened as in a trance, but did as she
was bid. The servant, coming in again about this time, walked
straight through the unknown. Presently the carriage, being
mended, was announced to be at the door, upon which the unknown
walked with her to the porch, bowed, and disappeared.
When the lady got to Warsaw, she had an attaque des nerfs, was
very ill, and sent for Dr. Pereira. She told him all she had
seen, and also gave him the paper with the directions she had
written down. Dr. Pereira, finding that person and place
mentioned really existed, inquired into the matter, and the
result was that the will was found, the wrongful possessors
ejected, and the rightful owners set up in their place.