I put down my billiard cue and went over to Miss Stonor.
`Look, Miss Stonor,’ I said taking her hand, which was hot and feverish. `I am a doctor and a friend of George. Now tell me all about it, and I will do my best to sort it out.’
She was crying as she spoke. But she managed to tell me that every night since arriving at Woodcote she had been awakened in some mysterious way. She had seen a horrible face looking at her. As soon as she moved, the face would disappear. She believed the apparition only existed in her imagination, and this frightened her even more: she feared she was going mad.
I told her that she had a nervous disorder, and I promised that I would get her a prescription from the village. She told me not to tell anyone, especially George and she went away relieved. But I was not certain that I had made the correct diagnosis of her. You see I had been rather upset myself just hours before. George was away longer than I thought and I was going to go away and find him when I met Mrs Carson.
`Can you spare me a moment?’ she asked. `I want to speak to you, alone.’
`With pleasure, Mrs Carson,’ I replied. `Let’s speak an hour from now.’
`It is good to have a doctor in the house,’ she said with a nervous laugh. `Now I want you to prescribe me a sleeping pill. My nerves are out of order and I am not sleeping well.’
‘Do you see faces…and such things when you wake?’ I asked.
“How do you know?’ she asked quickly.
`We doctors notice and observe these things.’ I said.
‘I know you might think that I am mad but it is making me quite ill. It seems rather real to me. I didn’t want to mention it to Mr Carson or George in case they thought I was mad too.’