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A Phantom Lover by Vernon Lee
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A PHANTOM LOVER




By
VERNON LEE

1890





To COUNT PETER BOUTOURLINE,
_AT TAGANTCHA_,
GOVERNMENT OF KIEW, RUSSIA.

MY DEAR BOUTOURLINE,

Do you remember my telling you, one afternoon that you sat upon the
hearthstool at Florence, the story of Mrs. Oke of Okehurst?

You thought it a fantastic tale, you lover of fantastic things, and urged
me to write it out at once, although I protested that, in such matters, to
write is to exorcise, to dispel the charm; and that printers' ink chases
away the ghosts that may pleasantly haunt us, as efficaciously as gallons
of holy water.

But if, as I suspect, you will now put down any charm that story may