Content Smee The Judge's House The Stranger in the Mist The Confession of Charles Linkworth The Ghost Coach Fullcircle
Smee by A. M. Burrage retold by RosemaryBorder
No,' said Jackson with a shy little smile. `I'm sorry. I won't play hide and seek.' It was Christmas Eve, and there were fourteen of us in the house. We had had a good dinner, and we wereall in the mood for fun and games − all, that is, except Jackson. When somebody suggested hide and seek, there were loud shouts of agreement. Jackson's refusal was the only one. It was not likeJackson to refuse to play a game. `Aren't you feeling well?' someone asked. `I'm perfectly all right, thank you,' he said. `But,' he added with a smile that softened his refusal but did not change it, `I'mstill not playing hide and seek.' `Why not?' someone asked. He hesitated for a moment before replying. `I sometimes go and stay at a house where a girl was killed. She was playing hide and seek inthe dark. She didn't know the house very well. There was a door that led to the servants' staircase. When she was chased, she thought the door led to a bedroom. She opened the door and jumped − andlanded at the bottom of the stairs. She broke her neck, of course.' We all looked serious. Mrs Fernley said, `How terrible! And were you there when it happened?' Jackson shook his head sadly. `No,' hesaid, `but I was there when something else happened. Something worse.' `What could be worse than that?' `This was,' said Jackson. He hesitated for a moment, then he said, `I wonder if any of you have 1 1Ghost Stories ever played a game called "Smee". It's much better than hide and seek. The name comes from "It's me", of course. Perhaps you'd like to play it instead of hide and seek. Let me tellyou the rules of the game. `Every player is given a sheet of paper. All the sheets except one are blank. On the last sheet of paper is written "Smee". Nobody knows who "Smee" is except "Smee"...