“Because of a misunderstanding

(which he never accepted)

Bernard Ellis gave me notice to leave

after I had been there about three years…”

“I still have the note,

in the familiar green ink.”

‘For a number of reasons, but mainly in your own interests, it has been decided to dispense with your services.’

“I went to see Ernest Bozman,

one of the chief directors.”

E. F. Bozman was an  editor of the Everyman Encyclopedia.

“He immediately found me a position in the publishing office.”

Underwood later publishes with Dents;

a selection of his favourite ghost stories.

Thirteen Famous Ghost Stories (1977), edited by Underwood

An early favourite of his is The Signal-Man (1866),

by Charles Dickens - one of the earliest members

of the Ghost Club.

In the story,

the railway man of the title tells of a ghost

that has been haunting him.

Each spectral appearance

precedes a tragic event

on the railway where he works.

The first accident

involves a terrible collision

between two trains

Dickens was influenced by real events

- the Clayton Tunnel Crash of 1861,

which occured due to a signal failure.

Clayton Tunnel

In 1865

Dickens had been on a train that derailed

at Staplehurst in Kent.

Five years to the day after the accident,

Dickens dies.

While working at the publishing office, Underwood meets his future wife Joyce. Their relationship is soon interrupted,

when there is an urgent telephone call early the following year.