Mrs. Collins was expecting her friend Mrs. Frederick Baxter. She had something she wanted to talk to Shirley about. Last night the strangest thing happened. Mary Collins had know for years that the house was haunted, because there was a window on the second floor that would not stay closed if it wasn't locked. But last night, in the misty dark of twilight, while entering the upstairs guest bedroom, she saw the translucent shape of a young lady, and the apparition looked at her and she felt—
It was Shirley, being shown in by Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins had retired at the end of the Great War, and he had been very helpful during his wife's recent illness.
Mary had the tea things ready, and the tea itself, a nice oolong with a great deal of milk and sugar, occupied their time along with the small talk of doings in the town. Mr. Collins removed himself to his study. He had always played the stock market, and played it well. The War had left him wealthy, still quite young, for munitions had been greatly in demand. The prosperity that the whole nation now experienced made his investments more valuable by the day, while the contacts that he had across the nation gave him insights that perhaps other men didn't have.
Now was the time for Mary to tell the story, for that delightful frisson, in the bright afternoon.
"I'm sure you'll think I'm being silly," Mary said, "but I felt such a feeling of sadness coming from that woman. I was like a palpable wave. I gasped and took a step backward. Then I switched on the light, and she was gone!"
"You're so brave," Shirley said. "I'm sure I would have screamed and run."
"I was too surprised," Mary said. "And it wasn't until the light was on that I realized it wasn't a real woman at all; she was gone. She would have had to come past me to leave the room, you know. I looked under the bed and in the closet, and in the bathroom, but she was gone completely. It was only then that I realized I'd been able to see through her."