THE QUINCUNX (1906) by Walter de la Mare

This ghost story is easily told, easily read, cosily creepy, and tells of a narrator invited by a friend called Walter to a house which had been inherited from an aunt recently, the death of whom perhaps created her ghost trying to prevent him from locating the riches that she owned. Turning her own portrait from facing the wall, as Walter left it before he went to bed, to facing the room again during the night! The narrator invited to sit up and thwart the ghost. It is in fact Walter as a trans version of the aunt doing it, while Walter is arguably sleepwalking, the narrator observed. Till the narrator tracks down the quincunx design on paper inside the portrait as a ‘map’ to the ‘treasure’ or, as the narrator sensed, to a secret (a word as a mutant of ‘quim’ plus a near even ruder word that may be part of the aunt’s sexual ‘secret’ with Walter’s father), yes, a secret, not a ‘treasure’, that, in the end, by usage of the fire in the candleflame that the sleepwalker or ‘ghost’ carried, the narrator chivalrously protected! 


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