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The Mysterious Head.

SEVERAL traders who were lodging at an inn in Peking, occupied a room which was divided from the adjoining apartment by a partition of boards from which a piece was missing, leaving an aperture about as big as a basin. Suddenly a girl’s head appeared through the opening, with very pretty features and nicely dressed hair; and the next moment an arm, as white as polished jade. The traders were much alarmed, and, thinking it was the work of devils, tried to seize the head, which, however, was quickly drawn in again out of their reach. This happened a second time, and then, as they could see no body belonging to the head, one of them took a knife in his hand and crept up against the partition underneath the hole. In a little while the head reappeared, when he made a chop at it and cut it off, the blood spurting out all over the floor and wall. The traders hurried off to tell the landlord, who immediately reported the matter to the authorities, taking the head with him, and the traders were forthwith arrested and examined; but the magistrate could make nothing of the case, and, as no one appeared for the prosecution, the accused, after about six months’ incarceration, were accordingly released, and orders were given for the girl’s head to be buried.

美人首

諸商寓居京舍。舍與鄰屋相連,中隔板壁;板有松節脫處,穴如琖。忽女子探首入,挽鳳髻,絕美;旋伸一臂,潔白如玉。眾駭其妖,欲捉之,已縮去。少頃,又至,但隔壁不見其身。奔之,則又去之。一商操刀伏壁下。俄首出,暴決之,應手而落,血濺塵土。眾驚告主人。主人懼,以其首首焉。逮諸商

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