QUEER SOUNDS AND SIGHTS
ON the night of 25 February 1906, with the exception of the maids on the top floor, I was alone in the house. I had not been well for many days, and felt particularly miserable when I went to bed. I had lain uneasily for some hours, and had finally lapsed into semi-consciousness. At half-past two I was startled by the loud ringing of the front doorbell. Accoutred as I was, I descended, and opened the door. There was no-one. For a few moments, like the man in Poe's poem, I stood, deep into the darkness peering. But the darkness gave no token, and wonderingly I shut the door. I had not got half-way up the stairs, when once again the doorbell rang with violence. It is easy enough to tell this lightly now, but then, alone in the house, and ill, it was worse than mysterious. I ran to the door, and flung it wide open. Not a soul in sight, the street silent and deserted. Then I thought it might after all not have been the doorbell, but the telephone. Accordingly I rang up Central, only to be informed that no-one had called my number. While I was considering this, the doorbell once more reverberated through the empty house. Again I opened the door. No-one.
I decided that someone with a deficient or perverted sense of humour was making me a victim. Accordingly I shut the front door, and crouched directly behind it, with the intention of leaping out and seizing the humorist as soon as he rang again. In a few moments the bell rang loudly; I jerked back the door and sprang outside. But