AVOIDING the crowd under the colonnades, Francis walked slowly up and down the noble open space of the square, bathed in the light of the rising moon.
Without being aware of it himself, he was a thorough materialist. The strange effect produced on him by the room--following on the other strange effects produced on the other relatives of his dead brother--exercised no perplexing influence over the mind of this sensible man. "Perhaps," he reflected, "my temperament is more imaginative than I supposed it to be--and this is a trick played on me by my own fancy? Or, perhaps, my friend is right; something is physically amiss with me? I don't feel ill, certainly. But that is no safe criterion sometimes. I am not going to sleep in that abominable room to-night--I can well wait till to-morrow to decide whether I shall speak to a doctor or not. In the meantime, the hotel doesn't seem likely to supply me with the subject of a piece. A terrible smell from an invisible ghost is a perfectly new idea. But it has one drawback. If I realize it on the stage, I shall drive the audience out of the theater."
As his strong common sense arrived at this