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Old Fires and Profitable Ghosts by Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
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A Book of Stories



The stories in this book are of _revenants_: persons who either in
spirit or in body revisit old scenes, return upon old selves or old
emotions, or relate a message from a world beyond perception. "Which?"
was suggested by a passage in Hawthorne's Note-books, where he proposes
a story or sketch the scene of which is "to be laid within the light of
a street lantern; the time, when the lamp is near going out; and the
catastrophe to be simultaneous with the last flickering gleam."
"The Lady of the Ship" is very nearly historical. "Prisoners of War"
rests on the actual adventures of two St. Ives men, Thomas Williams and
John Short, in the years 1804-1814. "Frozen Margit" and "The Seventh
Man" have--if not their originals--at least their suggestions in fact.

One of the tales, "Once Aboard the Lugger," is itself a _revenant_.
After writing it in the form here presented, I took advice and gave it
another, under the title of "Ia." Yet some whose opinion I value prefer
the original, and to satisfy them (though I think them wrong) it is
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