The Duke’s Spectral Predicament

It was a pleasant Autumnal morning, and Sir Hugo Townsend, the 9th Duke of Knightlow, was miserable.

Sir Hugo was miserable most of the time, to the point that it was something of a personality trait, but he was particularly miserable today.

Miserable because he’d recently turned 82 and therefore was getting old, miserable because in just over a week he’d need to give Wroth Silver that he felt was rightfully his to a Scottish Duke due to some 800-year-old agreement that never really made any sense, and miserable because his house was haunted, and he seemed to be the only person in his household who knew that.

“Do you see now, Nestor?” Hugo said to his long suffering Butler as the two men watched the Duke’s house keeper Doris clean up the shattered remains of yet another vase that had mysteriously fallen.

“I agree that something weird is going on, but that doesn’t mean that the house is haunted; sir.” Nestor calmly responded.

“How else could all the bone China fall to the ground despite not being pushed?” Hugo said.

“The wind is quite strong, sir.” Nestor said. “Strong enough to blow the China off their pedestals.”

Just then, one of the Duke’s prized paintings went askew on the wall.

“Do you think the wind did that, Nestor?” Hugo said.

“Well… maybe not that.” Nestor said.

“The house is haunted, Nestor. Call an exorcist, like you should have done well over a year ago.” Hugo said.

“I have said plenty of times that you might be a victim of some practical jokers. You know how much some people want you to open Knightlow Hall to the public.” Nestor said.

“Oh really? Let’s check the painting for hidden strings, shall we?” Hugo said.

Nestor sighed.

“Fine.” Nestor said, following Hugo to the painting.

“I have not tripped on any strings so far. Have you, Nestor?” Hugo said.

“No, sir.” Nestor said.

The two men then arrived at the painting. Hugo checked for invisible strings.

“No strings here.” Hugo said. “Why don’t you check?”

“Ok, sir.” Nestor said.

Nestor also checked for thin strings, he also did not spot anything.

“There is nothing here.” Nestor said.

“Exactly. Therefore, the house is haunted. Now stop making excuses and call an exorcist. I’m going for a walk in the grounds.” Hugo said, before marching towards the front door.

“These so called ‘paranormal events’ only started to happen after you Brexit party twenty months ago. I’m sure if this house was actually haunted they’d have been reported long before then.”

Hugo turned round to face his butler.

“Ok, then. Look in the family archive.” Hugo said.

“I could. But then again, wouldn’t we have sensed something before your Brexit party?” Nestor said.

“Well, considering you deny what is directly in front of you, clearly not.” Hugo said. “Now, good day.”

Hugo marched towards the grounds.

“How about I get some Paranormal Investigators in? Settle this once and for all. If they discover a ghost, then I’ll call an exorcist immediately.”

“Fine, whatever. Just do something.” Hugo said.

“Ok, sir. I will.” Nestor said.

Hugo harrumphed before making for the front door, leaving the house with a slam.

Nestor sighed, then walked over to the phone.

Sometimes he wonders why he still works for Hugo, he really does.

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