To be Read at Dusk – 1852 – a short story
This was a short story that was first published in Heath’s Keepsake, an annual publication at Christmas.
The Narrator encounters five couriers at the Great St Bernard summit in Switzerland, Though only four are identified a Genoese (Giovanni), a German (Wilhelm), a Neapolitan and a Swiss.
They tell each other tales of mystery:
The Genoese tells of a haunted woman, haunted by a dream. A man comes to dinner who resembles the face that has been haunting her. Her husband hopes his visitor frees his wife from the dream. But she suddenly disappears never to be found.
The German replies with a tale of two English twins both unmarried. One brother, James, is to travel with the guide in Germany, and confides in him that he has just seen the ghost of his brother, John. The man of the other brother arrives to say John is on the point of death. They find him lying in bed, he sits up and says ’James you have seen me before to-night’ and dies.
The narrator looks around and find the five couriers have disappeared.
Baptista, Giovanni, Genoese Courier
James – twin to John
Wilhelm, the German Courier
Swiss Courier, The