One bright evening in the tropics some such stories were going round. The air was delicious, and the moon and stars were just beginning to shine. The first mate, myself, and Mr. Fetherston were the principal talkers, but we had a good many listeners. The first mate began the conversation by telling two or three stories of the type I have mentioned; one of them especially took my fancy. I cannot remember it in detail, but I know that it was provokingly mysterious, and seemed to admit of no solution but a supernatural one. The main incident was something like this. A farmer who lived about twelve miles from Bristol left home one evening with the intention of spending the night in that city in order to transact some business there at an early hour in the morning. He had to stop at a station about half-way to see some one who lived near there, and then to take another train in. He got out all right at the half-way station and walked towards the man's house whom he wanted to see. A stranger met him on the way and drew him into conversation. As they came to certain cross roads the stranger turned, looked him in the face and said very deliberately, "Go home by next train, you will be just in time." Then he walked away quickly down one of the cross roads. The farmer stood like one
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