Barbados, nor had any of the existing pupils ever seen the ghost.
But the general faith in him was unshaken. He was described as an elderly
man in a snuff-coloured, square-cut coat, knee-breeches, and silk
stockings rolled up over his knees. He was supposed to be one of the
extinct Mauleverers; harmless and even benevolently disposed; given
to plucking flowers in the garden at dusk; and to gliding along
passages, and loitering on the stairs in a somewhat inane manner. The
bolder-spirited among the girls would have given a twelve-month's
pocket money to see him. Miss Pillby declared that the sight of that
snuff-coloured stranger would be her death.
'I've a weak 'art, you know,' said Miss Pillby, who was not mistress
of her aspirates,--she managed them sometimes, but they often evaded
her,--'the doctor said so when I was quite a little thing.'
'Were you ever a little thing, Pillby?' asked Miss Rylance with superb
disdain, the present Pillby being long and gaunt.
And the group of listeners laughed, with