Walt Adams of Coudersport came here for a job he had landed.
But his main reason for moving here was to get away from a longtime adversary.
Actually, it wasn’t the adversary he longed to get behind him, but his adversary’s ghost.
Walt had been the cause of death of the fellow who owned this ghost. We don’t know how Walt caused the man’s death, why or when. All we know is that Walt was the cause of the demise of one John Barry.
Apparently, whatever Walt did, it didn’t result in any punishment for him, so it must have been an accident rather than something deliberate.
All that happened hundreds of miles from Coudersport, so the details are all but nonexistent.
Walt came to Coudersport to escape the hassle he was getting from the ghost of John Barry.
Apparently that hassle took the form of that ghost showing up from time to time, at which times he’d suggest to Walt that he commit suicide.
Walt told folks here in town about how that ghost from way back where Walt came from would show up in the middle of the night. That spook would suddenly appear at the foot of his bed and urge him to do himself in.
Or, he’d be listening to the radio and suddenly a voice would come over that thing. It’d be the voice of his old enemy, again urging him to commit suicide. No one else in the room would hear those words, but Walt sure would.
That ghost would do its thing in some really odd ways. When Lew Mattson had his auction after getting out of the trucking business, Walt bid on a box of junk....one of those “quarter takes all” deals.
Walt was digging down through the junk in that box and made a distressing discovery. Under a bunch of junk and screwdrivers, Walt found a rope formed into a noose with a note attached that read.....”You can do it with this, Walt.”
Walt found those kinds of things to be real scary. Somehow that ghost must have been aware that it would be Walt who would make the winning bid on that two-bit box of junk.
Those were only a few of the ways that John’s ghost got its message to Walt, time after time.
A ghost making repeated suggestions that a fellow do himself in is the sort of thing that can eventually get through to a man.
And, it certainly worked in this case. Walt got more and more upset by the whole thing. He got upset enough that he finally fled his old hometown and came here to Coudersport.
If Walt hadn’t shared all of that with others here in town, then the course of subsequent events would have been a complete mystery.
Apparently Walt had reason, for months, to figure that his leaving home had worked for him. A long time went by before anything happened here in town.
But eventually Walt found out that his move here hadn’t worked. It was on the day he found that out that proved to be a black day for Walt Adams.
Look for part two will be in next week’s paper.