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always outguess a ghost."
"How?" asked Tom.
"Well, it depends where. Take a bedroom, for example. If you use _any_
discretion a ghost can never get you in a bedroom."
"Go on, s'pose you think there's maybe a ghost in your bedroom--what
measures do you take on getting home at night?" demanded Amory,
"Take a stick" answered Alec, with ponderous reverence, "one about the
length of a broom-handle. Now, the first thing to do is to get the room
_cleared_--to do this you rush with your eyes closed into your study
and turn on the lights--next, approaching the closet, carefully run the
stick in the door three or four times. Then, if nothing happens, you can
look in. _Always, always_ run the stick in viciously first--_never_ look
"Of course, that's the ancient Celtic school," said Tom gravely.
"Yes--but they usually pray first. Anyway, you use this method to clear
the closets and also for behind all doors--"
"And the bed," Amory suggested.
"Oh, Amory, no!" cried Alec in horror. "That isn't the way--the bed
requires different tactics--let the bed alone, as you value your
reason--if there is a ghost in the room and that's only about a third of
the time, it is _almost always_ under the bed."
"Well" Amory began.
Alec waved him into silence.
"Of _course_ you never look. You stand in the middle of the floor and
before he knows what you're going to do make a sudden leap for the
bed--never walk near the bed; to a ghost your ankle is your most
vulnerable part--once in bed, you're safe; he may lie around under the
bed all night, but you're safe as daylight. If you still have doubts
pull the blanket over your head."
"All that's very interesting, Tom."
"Isn't it?" Alec beamed proudly. "All my own, too--the Sir Oliver Lodge
of the new world."
Amory was enjoying college immensely again. The sense of going forward
in a direct, determined line had come back; youth was stirring and
shaking out a few new feathers. He had even stored enough surplus energy
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