Scary Ghost Stories A Suspicious Gift

Scary stories and ghost stories love to send shivers up our spines. The story of “A Suspicious Gift” is no exception. Sit back and enjoy this haunting tale.

A Suspicious Gift

Blake shared his room with two other gentlemen. He considered it his room because he was the one who paid the rent. While the other two tried to come up with money or work they were often without both. They shared the two mattresses in the room between them.

On this particular night Blake’s friends had the good fortune to be invited out to dinner with talk of possible work. This excited Blake for he knew they would bring back food for him too. This also allowed him a quiet night alone to do some work. He was a reporter for a night paper.

On this particular occasion he was deep in a most involved tale of a psychological character, and had just worked his way into a sentence, or set of sentences, that completely baffled and muddled him. Blake scratched his head, and dipped the pen in the inkpot, stared out through the windows, and sighed deeply. His thoughts kept wandering to food, beefsteak and steaming vegetables. The smell of cooking that came from a lower floor was a constant torment to him. He put his head in his hands and began to think hard. He pulled himself together and again attacked the problem.

There came a gentle knock at the door. The knock was repeated louder. The floor above, there lived an Englishman, a foolish, second-rate man, who sometimes came in and made himself offensive with endless and silly chatter. “Come in” he answered to the second knock, and had no friendly sound of welcome in it.

However, the door opened in response, and the man came in. Blake did not turn and the man advanced to the center of the room, but without speaking. Then Blake knew it was not his enemy, the Englishman and turned around.

He saw a man of about forty standing in the middle of the carpet, but standing sideways so that he did not present a full face. He wore an overcoat buttoned up to the neck, and on his hat which he held, fresh rain-drops glistened. In his other hand he carried a small black bag. Blake looked closely at him, and came to the conclusion that he might be a secretary. He was a shabby, but respectable looking person.

“Are you Mr. Blake?” he asked.

“I am.”

“Mr. Arthur Blake?”

“Yes.”

“Mr. Arthur Herbert Blake?” he persisted, with emphasis on the middle name.

“That is my full name,” Blake answered, adding, as he remembered his manners; “but won’t you sit down, first, please?”

The man advanced with a curious sideways motion like a crab and took a seat on the edge of the sofa. He put his hat on the floor at his feet, but still kept the bag in his hand.

“I come to you from a well-wisher,” he went on to say, without lifting his eyes. Blake, in his mind, ran quickly over all the people he knew in New York who might possibly have sent this man, while waiting for him to supply the name. But the man had come to a full stop and was waiting too.

“A man or,” he felt himself blushing, “or a woman?”

“That,” said the man shortly, “I cannot tell you.”

“Then, what have you got for me, please?” he asked bluntly.

“There is $10,000 here,” said the man quietly. “And it is for you.”

Blake simply gasped. “$10,000!” he repeated. “Ten thousand? Are you sure? I mean they are for me?” he stammered.

“If you will give me a receipt I’ll leave the money at once,” he said, with just a vestige of impatience in his tone, as if he were anxious to bring the matter to a conclusion as soon as possible.

“But you say it is quite impossible for you to tell me the name of my well-wisher, or why she sends me such a large sum of money in this extraordinary way?”

“The money is sent to you because you are in need of it,” returned the other, “and it is a present without conditions of any sort attached. You have to give me a receipt only to satisfy the sender that it has reached your hands. The money will never be asked of you again.”

“I will take the money, although I must say it seems to me a very unusual transaction, and I will give you for it such a receipt as I think proper under the circumstances.”

“Perfectly satisfactory,” interrupted the man, his eyes still on the carpet. “Only, it must be dated, and headed with your address here in the correct way.”

The person he had in his mind was a Mr. Barclay, who occupied the room above his own, and was an old gentleman who had retired from business. Blake made an apology and went to get him. As he did, he saw the other side of his visitor’s face, the side that had been always so carefully turned away from him. There was a broad smear of blood down the skin from the ear to the neck.

Blake never knew how he managed to smother the cry on his lips. His main thought, was to escape from the room as if he hadn’t noticed anything, so not to seem suspicious. Barclay must come to his aid. This matter was serious, perhaps horribly serious. Taking the money, or giving a receipt, or having anything at all to do with this became impossibility. Here was crime. He felt certain of it.

When he got to Barclay’s door he was still out, or else sound asleep. Blake opened the door to get more light and then walked quickly up to the bed. He now saw a figure, and noted that it was dressed and laid on the outside of the bed. It struck him, too, that he was sleeping in a very odd, almost an unnatural, position. But it no longer seemed strange when he saw the old man lying huddled up into a ghastly heap on the bed, his throat cut across from ear to ear. And all over the carpet lay new dollar bills, crisp and clean like those he had downstairs, thrown about in little heaps.

His courage returned after being jolted from him by the site, and he fled from the room and dashed downstairs, taking five steps at a time. He reached the bottom by his room; he wanted to seize the man and prevent his escape till help came.

Scattered on the carpet a number of the bills, and beside them, under the sofa where the man had sat, a pair of gloves-thick, leather gloves-and a butcher’s knife. Even from the distance where he stood the blood-stains on both were easily visible.

Blake stood in the middle of the room, overwhelmed and unable to think or move. His hand was covered with blood! He saw that there was a broad red smear across his face and forehead.

If the police were to come in now!” he gasped.

The bell rang. It was the police! “Here it is!” cried a voice he knew. “Third floor back! And the fellow caught red-handed!”

It was the man with the bag leading in the two policemen.

But before he had time to do anything, he felt the heavy hand of the law on both shoulders at once as the two policemen grabbed him. At the same moment a voice of thunder cried in his ear, “Wake up, man! Wake up! Here’s the supper, and good news too!”

Blake turned in his chair and saw his roommates standing beside him, a hand on each shoulder, happily, with a bottle of beer in one hand and a paper package in the other.

He rubbed his eyes, glancing from one to the other, and then got up sleepily to boil water for cooking the eggs, which his roommate was in momentary danger of letting drop upon the floor.

Yes, it was all a dream.