Tiptoeing down the stairs he felt his usual excitement at being out at night. There was something special about night time; it was so quiet, so still, he had tingles along his skin, the hairs on his arms standing up. He loved that feeling.
When he walked into the lounge he stopped in surprise. Unwin was there. As he looked closer he could see it was not Unwin, but someone who looked a lot like him, much more like him than the portrait hanging in the great hall. He also noted, though without any shock or fear, that he could see the fireplace right through him.
The spectre turned around.
‘Hello my boy, you’re the one called Quentin, am I right?’
‘Yes Sir, it’s a pleasure to meet you.’
Quentin stuck his hand out to shake and the ghost naturally took it and shook it.
This surprised Quentin, not that he had shaken his hand but it was dry and firm. For some reason he had expected it to be wet and soft, like mist.
‘I,’ said the ghost ‘am Cluny.’
‘Yes sir. Do you mind if I put my presents under the tree? I don’t want to disturb you.’
‘Not at all my boy, please go ahead. I must say you are very polite, I would have thought you would have gone running and screaming when you saw me, are you not afraid?’
Quentin tilted his head onto his shoulder and thought about that.
He placed his presents under the tree.
The ghost of Cluny was a little taken aback. He had sent grown men running from the house before and here was this mere boy, seemingly unfazed, that he stood there. Well more floated he thought and rose a little higher.
‘Why are you not afraid?’ asked Cluny, ‘Weren’t you afraid of the crashing door and the jiggling head?’
‘A little,’ he admitted, ‘but I think you were testing us, to see if we were of brave heart.’
Quentin looked at the ghost.
‘You’re not that scary you know,’ he said, ‘should I be scared of you?’
Cluny considered the question finding it most odd to be having a conversation with a young boy.
‘Well no, I suppose not,’ he conceded, ‘what about all those moans and groans and rattling chains last night?’
‘That was not you.’
‘So sure are you?’ challenged the ghost
‘Yes you’re a real ghost; that other stuff was just to scare as off. Whoever that was, is looking for the gold.’
‘Gold you say; gold?’ the Ghost’s features took on a guarded look, ‘and what makes you think there is gold around here?’