Mr. Hiram B. Otis was a rich America from New York. He had come to live and work in England, but he did not want to live in London. He did not want to live in the city. He wanted to live in the countryside outside London.
Canterville Chase was a large and very old house near London. Lord Canterville, the owner, wanted to sell it. So Mr. Hiram B. Otis visited LordCanterville. ‘I do not live in Canterville Chase,’ Lord Canterville said to Mr Otis. ‘I do not want to live there. The house has a ghost – The Canterville Ghost.’
‘I come from America,’ said Mr Otis. ‘America is a modern country. O don’t believe is ghosts. Have you seen this Canterville Ghost?’
‘No,’ said Lord Canterville, ‘but I have heard it at night.’
‘I don’t believe ghosts,’ Mr. Otissaid again. ‘No one has found a ghost. No one has put a ghost in a museum. And you haven’t seen this ghost either.’
‘but several members of family have seen it,’ said Lord Canterville. ‘My aunt saw the ghost. She was so frightened that she was ill for the rest of her life. Also, the servants have seen it so they will not stay in the house at night. Only the housekeeper, Mrs Umney, lives nCanterville Chase. Mrs. Umney lives there alone.’
‘ I want to buy the house,’ said Mr. Otis. ‘I’ll buy the ghost as well. Will you sell Canterville Chase? Will you sell ghost?
‘Yes, I will,’ said Lord Canterville. ‘but, please remember, I told you about the ghost before you bought the house.’
Mr. Hiram B. Otis bought Canterville Chase. Then his family came to England from America. He had a wifecalled Lucretia, three sons and a daughter.
The eldest son, Washington, was almost twenty years old. He was good-looking and had fair hair. His two young brothers were twins. They were twelve years old.
The daughter, Virginia, was fifteen years old. She had large blue eyes and lovely face.
Mr. Otis took his family to live at Canterville Chase.
The old house was in the countryside west London.
Mr.Otis and his family traveled from London by train.
They then rode to the house in a wagon pulled by two horses.
Canterville Chase was big and old. Trees grew all around the house. The Otis family wanted to stop and look at the outside of the house, but the sky darkened. A thunderstorm was coming. Rain started to fall, so the family went inside the house quickly.
Mr. Umney the housekeeper, waswaiting for them by the from door. She was an old woman and wore a black dress and white apron. She lived at Canterville Chase and looked after the house.
‘Welcome to Canterville Chase,’ said Mr. Umney. ‘Would you like some tea?’
‘Yes, please,’ said Mrs. Otis.
The Otis family followed Mrs. Umney into the library.
There was a big table in the centre of the room and many chairs. Mr. Umney putteacups on the table, and then she brought a pot of tea.
The Otises sat in the library and drank their tea. They looked out of a large window at the rain. The rain was falling heavily and the sky was black. They heard thunder and they saw lightning.
Mr. Otis looked around the room. There were many books on bookshelves. There were paintings on the walls.
There was also a red stain on the floor.The red stain was by the fireplace.-
‘What is this red stain?’ Mr. Otis asked Mr. Umney.
‘It is blood,’ answered the old housekeeper in a quiet voice.
‘I don’t want a blood stain in my library,’ said Mrs. Otis. ‘Please remove the stain. Please clean the floor immediately.’
The old woman smiled. ‘It is the blood of Lady Eleanore de Canterville. She was murdered by her husband, Sir Simon deCanterville, in 1575. The blood stain has been here for over three hundred years. It cannot be removed.’
‘Nonsense,’ said Washington Otis. ‘I have some Pinkerton’s Staid Remover looked like a small black stick. He rubbed the stick on the blood stain. A minute later the floor was clean. The stick had removed the stain quickly and easily.
Mrs. Umney looked at the floor. She was frightened. No one...