There was a ghost at Cwmlech Manor.
Everybody knew it, although nobody had seen her, not with their own eyes, for years and years.
“Ghosts have to abide by the rules,” I remember Mrs. Bando the housekeeper explaining as she poured us out a cup of tea at the manor’s great oak kitchen table. She’d been parlormaid at the Manor when Mam was a kitchen maid there. Fast friends they were, and fast friends they’d stayed, even when Mam left domestic service to marry. Mrs. Bando was my godmother and we went to her most Sunday afternoons.
I was ten or thereabouts and I was mad for wonders. Da had told me of the new clockwork motor that was going to change everything from the mining of coal to the herding of sheep. Above all things, I liked to hear about horseless carriages and self-powered mechanicals, but I’d settle for ghosts at a pinch.
So, “How do ghosts know the rules?” I asked. “Is there a ghost school, think you, on the other side?”
Mam laughed and said there was never such a child for asking questions that had no answer. She’d wager I’d ask the same of the ghost myself, if I saw her.
“And so I would, Mam. But first I’d ask her where she’d hid the treasure.”
“And she’d likely disappear on the spot,” Mrs. Bando scolded. “That knowledge is for Cwmlech ears only, look you. Not that it’s needed, may the dear Lord be thanked.”