The Mysterious Tale of Mr. Crane Part Two
A few nights later, a boisterous crowd had assembled in the tap room. It was mostly a hard-scrabble lot from up in the backwoods in Belcher and beyond. R.S. happened to overhear Crane's name bantered about the table and came over to give the men a what-for.
"Pray, gentlemen, tell me you are not giving our good neighbor and friend Mr. Crane any more grief than he already has. You know his lot in life. I do not wish to hear him spoken ill of, what with no family or wife to call his own. He is a good soul."
VonBrunt, the boldest of the group, looked up from his pint and burst out, "But R.S., he says he saw a ghost on Callaway Road the night of the last full moon - a headless ghost on horseback, no less! Why he must've gotten into some of old man Irving's moonshine and dreamt up the whole thing!" The table then erupted in laughter as everyone knew Irving's home-distilled imbibements were practically undrinkable.
"He wouldn't have seen a ghost, in fact, he wouldn't have seen anything. He would have went blind drinking that stuff!" shouted another. And with that, another round of guffaws rose from the men. R.S. turned away, worried for Mr. Crane. He knew the men just wanted a bit of harmless sport, but the poor soul was taunted enough in town as it was. He did not wish to see Crane's torment increased. R.S. took a pint from the draught and settled down with his moody thoughts.
Installment No. 3 to be released next week. Stay tuned...