The stories told in this book happen to be true. Of course I do not for a moment expect the ordinary reader to believe that, and I shall be perfectly satisfied if I succeed in whiling away for him the tedium of a railway journey, or if I can add for him a touch of pleasure to a comfortable evening before the fire or a lazy afternoon on the river.
looking as though it had been but just torn off. One side of the paper was entirely blank -- or at least, if there ever had been any writing upon it, it had disappeared through the influence of time and damp; on the other were some blurred and indistinct characters, so faded as to be scarcely distinguishable, and, in a bold hand-writing in fresh black ink the two letters "Ra".
Since the ink with which these letters were written corresponded exactly with that which I was in the habit of using, I could hardly doubt that they had been written at my table, and were the commencement of some explanation that the spectre had wished, but for some reason found himself unable, to make. Why he should have taken the trouble to bring his own paper with him I could not understand, but I inferred that probably some mystery was hidden beneath those undecipherable yellow marks, so I turned all my attention to them. After patient and long-continued effort, however, I was unable to make anything like sense out of them,