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. Hewanted 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 MrOtis. ‘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.Otis said 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 sawthe 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 LordCanterville. ‘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 awife called 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 yearsold.
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...