【鬼城日報】六月一日星期天� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 1.5美元編輯：克理夫．漢爾� � � � � � 報導您的祕密就是我們的職責 � � � � � � � 早報------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------名作家將於今夏入住鬼城 今年六十四歲的暢銷〈馴鬼人〉系列作家伊格艾生契．B．顧仁願今夏將於鬼城度過。 顧仁願租下古墓路四十三號的房子，當地人都稱為「史艾書宅邸」。（故事詳見下文。） 這棟房子現在為雷斯和戴安．希旺教授所有，正計畫出售。 「在買家出現以前，希旺夫婦提供出租。」宜人房屋的安寧塔．麥女士表示。 顧仁願拒絕接受任何採訪，只是不悅地說：「走開！」 「他正著手進行〈馴鬼人〉新作，不希望接受任何干擾。」安寧塔從加州辦公室接受電話訪問時表示。 「我個人認為，」安寧塔女士繼續說：「他是個老頑固，不過別把這句話登出來。」 （抱歉，安寧塔女士，報導妳的祕密是我們的職責！） 當年對史艾書宅邸寄予的作家大夢，終告破滅 伊格艾生契．B．顧仁願租下史艾書宅邸似乎再恰當不過。畢竟，已故的橄欖．C．史艾書一八七四年興建這棟維多利亞大宅時，就是為了打造一座寫作殿堂。 住在這棟宅邸期間，史艾書完成無數本懸疑小說，並親筆配上插圖。她更曾辦過無數場奢華派對，邀全鎮為完稿大肆慶功。 然而，史艾書卻遍尋不著願意買下手稿的出版商，使她大為挫折。她那圖文並茂的作品，在當時顯然太過前衛。 認識史艾書的人說，在一次次被拒絕後，她逐漸疏離人群。過世前幾年，終生未婚、膝下無子的史艾書幾乎足不出戶。九十七年前她離開人世，死因正是文學大夢幻滅而心碎。 傳奇的是，就在史艾書過世前不久，她曾立誓要讓鬼城永不得寧靜，除非有人出版她的懸疑小說。 「真是鬼話連篇。」「鬼城古董店」負責人麥可．歐布拉表示。多年來，聽說史艾書的身影經常在店裡的一面古鏡中浮現，卻從未有人成功拍下照片為證。 「那些閒人想要裝神弄鬼，那是他們的事。」歐布拉繼續說：「我可不信。」 「鬼城寵物店」老闆貝瑞．埃．利福也不信，雖然只要有人提起史艾書的名字，店裡那隻高齡一九七的老烏龜波先生，嘴角總是揚起狡猾的微笑。 不過，「鬼城烘焙坊」的店長雪莉．優．潔絲特，倒是再也不烤蜜桃派了。 「我聽說那是橄欖最愛的甜點。」潔絲特說：「倒不是說我相信有鬼，只是每次我只要一烤蜜桃派，派就會從冷卻盤上不翼而飛。巧克力脆片瑪芬也是一樣。」 十二年前，在宅邸閒置八十多年後，雷斯和戴安．希旺毅然買下這棟房子時，對它的來龍去脈可是一清二楚。夫妻兩人都是超自然現象界的教授，目標在研究橄欖．C．史艾書的鬼魂，並能清楚偵測到它。 「要是能讓橄欖的鬼魂現身，我們鐵定會大賺一筆。」偕同妻子搬進宅邸時雷斯．希旺表示。 「我們將成為全美超自然現象界最有錢的教授，」戴安．希旺又說：「說不定是全世界！」 然而，在一次次偵測鬼魂的實驗失敗以後，雷斯和戴安．希旺決定將房子出售。今年夏天他們將在歐洲巡迴，在一場名為「只有傻子（和孩子）相信鬼」的演講中，發表他們的實驗結論。 不過，基於專業考量，他們將獨子西摩留在家中。圖書館藏書（又告）失蹤 「鬼城公立圖書館」有一打童書不翼而飛。 「我真是不懂，」總圖書館員巴姆先生說：「只要有圖書證就能免費借書，根本不必用偷的。麻煩偷書的人趕緊歸還。」 這十二本書，恰巧就是伊格艾生契．B．顧仁願寫的〈馴鬼人〉系列。 這已經不是「鬼城公立圖書館」第一次發生竊書案或幽靈事件。 「行行好，別這麼說可以嗎？」巴姆央求。THE GHASTLY TIMESSunday, June 1 ＄1.50 “Your Secrets Are Our Business Cliff Hanger, Editor Morning Edition Famous Author to Live in Ghastly This SummerGrumply is renting local mansion.Ignatius B. Grumply, 64, author of the popular Ghost Tamer series of children’s books, will spend the summer right here in Ghastly. Grumply is renting the house at 43 Old Cemetery Rd., known locally as Spence Mansion. (See story below.) The house, owned by Professors Les and Diane Hope, is for sale. “The Hopes are offering their house for rent until a buyer can be found,” said Anita Sale of Proper Properties.Grumply declined requests for interviews with a gruff “Go away!” “He’s working on a new book in the Ghost Tamer series, and he doesn’t want to be bothered,” explained Sale in a phone interview from her office in California.“Personally,” continued Sale, “I think Ignatius Grumply is an old grouchypants, but don’t print that in the newspaper.” (Sorry, Anita. Your secrets are our business!)Spence Mansion Built on the Hope of a WriterWho Died a FailureIt seems only fitting that Ignatius B. Grumply should rent Spence Mansion. After all, the Victorian house was built in 1874 by the late Olive C. Spence as a place to write. Spence wrote and illustrated dozens of mysteries while living in her three-story house. She threw elaborate parties for the whole town to celebrate the completion of her manuscripts. But much to her frustration, Spence could never find a publisher willing to buy her graphic mysteries, which were undoubtedly ahead of their time. Those who knew Spence say the continual rejection caused her to withdraw from society. In her final years, Spence, who never married or had children, rarely left the mansion. Her death 97 years ago was attributed to a heart broken by her failed literary career.Legend has it that shortly before her death, Spence vowed to haunt her house and the town of Ghastly for eternity or until one of her mysteries was published, whichever came first. “That’s a lot of hogwash,” said Mac Awbrah, owner of Ghastly Antiques. Over the years Spence’s image has reportedly appeared in an old mirror in the antique shop. Attempts to photograph the image have failed.“If people want to believe in ghosts, let’em,” continued Awbrah. “I certainly don’t.”Nor does Barry A. Lyve, owner of Ghastly Pet Store, where a 197-year-old giant tortoise named Mr. Poe curls its mouth into a sly smile whenever anyone mentions Spence’s name. But at the Ghastly Gourmand, owner Shirley U. Jest has given up baking peach pies. “I’m told it was Olive’s favorite dessert,” said Jest. “Now I’m not saying I believe in ghosts. I’m just saying every time I bake a peach pie, the dang thing disappears from the cooling rack. Same with chocolate-chip muffins.” Les and Diane Hope were well aware of the history of SpenceMansion when they purchased the house 12 years ago after it had sat empty for more than eight decades. As professors of the paranormal, the Hopes had hoped to study and document the ghost of Olive C. Spence.“If we can get Olive’s ghost to perform, we’ll make a fortune,” Les Hope said the day he and his wife moved into the house.“We’ll be the richest professors of the paranormal in America,” Diane Hope added. “Maybe the whole world!”But when repeated experiments failed to detect any evidence of ghosts in Spence Mansion, Les and Diane Hope put the house up for sale. They are spending the summer on a tour of Europe, promoting their research conclusions in a lecture entitled “Only Fools (and Children) Believein Ghosts.”The Hopes left their only child, Seymour, behind for professional reasons.