Lesson 30 The death of a ghost
Listen to the tape then answer the question below.
Why did the two brothers keep the secret?
For years, villagers believed that Endley Farm was hunted.
The farm was owned by two brothers, Joe and Bob Cox.
They employed a few farmhands, but no one was willing to work there long.
Every time a worker gave up his job, he told the same story.
Farm labourers said that they always woke up to find that work had been done overnight.
Hay had been cut and cowsheds had been cleaned.
A farm worker, who stayed up all night claimed to have seen a figure cutting corn in the moonlight.
In time, it became an accepted fact that the Cox brothers employed a conscientious ghost that did most of their work for them.
No one suspected that there might be someone else on the farm who had never been seen.
This was indeed the case.
A short time ago, villagers were astonished to learn that the ghost of Endley had died.
Everyone went to the funeral, for the 'ghost' was none other than Eric Cox, a third brother who was supposed to have died as a young man.
After the funeral, Joe and Bob revealed a secret which they had kept for over fifty years.
Eric had been the eldest son of the family, very much older than his two brothers.
He had been obliged to join the army during the Second World War.
As he hated army life, he decided to desert his regiment.
When he learnt that he would be sent abroad, he returned to the farm and his father hid him until the end of the war.
Fearing the authorities, Eric remained in hiding after the war as well.
His father told everybody that Eric had been killed in action.
The only other people who knew the secret were Joe and Bob.
They did not even tell their wives.
When their father died, they thought it their duty to keep Eric in hiding.
All these years, Eric had lived as a recluse.
He used to sleep during the day and work at night, quite unaware of the fact that he had become the ghost of Endley.
When he died, however, his brothers found it impossible to keep the secret any longer.