“A friend had relatives near Cambridge,

and he chanced to tell me

that he had visited an abandoned cottage.”

“The story went that a man had commited suicide there

by jumping down the well in the garden,

and leaving his wife an enigmatic note…”

“His wife had lost her reason,

and it was said that the empty cottage rang

with her wails…”

“…while from time to time

the sounds of unexplained gasping and gulping

issued from the garden well…”

“We cycled over 

one beautiful and still

summer’s day.”

“The sun beat down on us

as we sped past Royston Heath

and into Cambridgeshire…”

“We entered the cottage

through an empty window-frame

at the back of the house.”


and with hearts thumping,

we explored every room.”

“It seemed unusually quiet,

particularly in the little bedroom

at the top of the stairway…”

“The cottage had been empty of human beings for a long time, and was now the home of bats,

which I remember thinking might well be responsible for the sounds that were heard

in the garden…”

“We found the well covered with a massive stone for safety.”

“Easing this a little ot one side, we peered into the ominous dark hole and dropped a pebble,

waiting for what seemed an interminable time for the tiny spalsh, which seemed to echo somewhat strangely in that quiet garden...”

“We sat on the well for a few moments,

and began to be aware of a strange air of expectancy

in that isolated and forsaken place.”

“There was not another human habitation within sight,

and we neither saw nor heard a single person or a bird

in the vicinity…”

“As we turned to go, we both heard a kind of groan or heavy sigh

that stopped us in our tracks…”

“But the sound was not repeatet.”

“Years afterwards,

I tried to find the cottage again,

but could find no trace of it.”

“The only spot I could pinpoint as its site

was an odd little plot of waste land that nobody seemed to care about…”

“…and I noticed that no birds sang

at that forsaken place…”