The Cursed Relic
Sir Alan Redants was a solidly put togheter man, with a flowing moustache and healthy brown skin obtained from years of hot sun in various deserts and jungles all over the world.
He was not easily frightened, nor did he appear to be frighteded the night he announced he was sending back the souvenir his wife had picked up from a Pharaho´s tomb on their last trip to Egypt. The momento, a piece of bone which had been fashioned into a bracelet, must go back to the tombs, he said, for it´s spirit was endangering the health of his wife, the Lady Lydia.
That night was an experience I shall never forget. Redants had invited five of us to his country home for a little dinner party to send off two of our geologist friends. Things began to happen right after Sir Alan announced that he wanted the bone returned. "My whole household has been in chaos," Sir Alan said, "The servants complain of a ghostly figure wich wanders around at night. Dishes break for no apparent reason, and we´ve had two fires. Lady Lydia says she will take it back herself if it is not returned soon." He went on to explain that they had given the relic away three times, but the new owners had returned it because of the bad luck wich had fallen on them. Back to the tombs seemed the only solution.
Just at that moment a slapping noise sounded and Sir Alan´s head moved to one side in a quick jerk. He put his hand to his cheek. When he took it away there was the unmistakable red print of a hand slap. Standing up, Sir Alan shook his fist in the air. He said, "Now look here, old boy, I´ve taken about all your tommyrot I am going to, I am sending you back, and there´s nothing you can do about it" We all laughed, but before the end of the meal, each guest had received the invisible hand slap!
"Where is this bracelet?" Wetherford, the man who was to be in charge of the expedition asked. "I´m curious to see such an uncanny bit of bone." Without changing expression, Sir Alan said, "Confound it, you can´t see it. Don´t you understad--it doesn´t want to go back so it´s been traveling all over the house-- comes up in the queerest places. Last week I had a strong steel box speceally made. The bracelet is now safe in the box and the box is set into a stone deep in my chamber floor, double chained for safety."
"Such an indestructible spirit should have no difficulty getting at a steel box," I chided, "What about the key? Hasn´t he access to it?"
"That also is chained to my bed," Sir Alan answered. "As for getting it loose, I don´t think so, I´ve got the spirit baffled" He chuckled, "The chains have rattled several times as though someone were trying to loosen it, to no avail. The simple trut, gentlemen, is that the spirit is too much at home in my house. He resents being sent back to his own tomb!"
Everyone laughed again. The whole scene was amusing, but later that night, we had good reason to regret the mockery.
About the middle of the night I heard a nerve wracking scream. My room was just across the hall from Sir Alan´s and it sounded as though it had come from his room. I threw on my dressing robe hurriedly and entered the corridor. Blake and Wetherford had beat me to it and were standing there listening. "Sir Alan?" I asked. "I don´t thisn so." Wetherford replied, "it sounded more like a woman´s scream."
At that instant, Sir Alan bolted out of his room, ignoring us an ran to Lady Lydia´s door. He tried to turn the knob, but the door was locked. He put his shoulder to it, but it was solid oak. He beckoned to us to help. By that time the other guests had awakened and we were able to break the door in. Lady Lydia lay crumpled on the floor, Sir Alan picked her up gently and Blake went to fetch a doctor.
Before the doctor arrived, Lady Lydia regained consciousness, but she never regained her senses. She blubbered incoherently about the spirits and the Pharaohs, and for the rest of her life she was confined to her room with a strong woman to watch over her.
Two months later, after a tempestous and tragic journey, the cursed curio was returned to the tombs from the place where it was originally taken. But the next day, the geologist in charge of the assignment and his assistant disappeared. They were found later, at separate times, roving the hot desert, insane.
Two other guest of that ill-fated dinner have met their deaths in a vilent manner. Sir Alan is now lying across the hall from me, groaning with fever. The doctors do not expect him to last through the night.
I am still alive, but I wish I were not. The ghost of the old Pharaoh is gone, but the memory will be with me as long as I live. One moth ago I fell from a high embankment overlooking the channel and freakishly broke both my arms and legs. My back was also broken in such a manner that I am paralized frot the hips down, I will never get up from my bed.