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The Resuscitated Corpse.

A CERTAIN old man lived at Ts‘aitien, in the Yanghsin district. The village was some miles from the district city, and he and his son kept a roadside inn where travellers could pass the night. One day, as it was getting dusk, four strangers presented themselves and asked for a night’s lodging; to which the landlord replied that every bed was already occupied. The four men declared it was impossible for them to go back, and urged him to take them in somehow; and at length the landlord said he could give them a place to sleep in if they were not too particular,—which the strangers immediately assured him they were not. The fact was that the old man’s daughter-in-law had just died, and that her body was lying in the women’s quarters, waiting for the coffin, which his son had gone away to buy. So the landlord led them round thither, and walking in, placed a lamp on the table. At the further end of the room lay the corpse, decked out with paper robes, &c., in the usual way; and in the foremost section were sleeping couches for four people. The travellers were tired, and, throwing themselves on the beds, were soon snoring loudly, with the exception of one of them, who was not quite off when suddenly he heard a creaking of the trestles on which the dead body was laid out, and, opening his eyes, he saw by the light of the lamp in front of the corpse that the girl was raising the coverings from her and preparing to get down. In another moment she was on the floor and advancing towards the sleepers. Her face was of a light yellow hue, and she had a silk kerchief round her head; and when she reached the beds she blew on the other three travellers, whereupon the fourth, in a great fright, stealthily drew up the bedclothes over his face, and held his breath to listen. He heard her breathe on him as she had done on the others, and then heard her go back again and get under the paper robes, which rustled distinctly as she did so. He now put out his head to take a peep, and saw that she was lying down as before; whereupon, not daring to make any noise, he stretched forth his foot and kicked his companions, who, however, shewed no signs of moving. He now determined to put on his clothes and make a bolt for it; but he had hardly begun to do so before he heard the creaking sound again, which sent him back under the bedclothes as fast as he could go. Again the girl came to him, and breathing several times on him, went away to lie down as before, as he could tell by the noise of the trestles. He then put his hand very gently out of bed, and, seizing his trousers, got quickly into them, jumped up with a bound, and rushed out of the place as fast as his legs would carry him. The corpse, too, jumped up; but by this time the traveller had already drawn the bolt, and was outside the door, running along and shrieking at the top of his voice, with the corpse following close behind. No one seemed to hear him, and he was afraid to knock at the door of the inn for fear they should not let him in in time; so he made for the highway to the city, and after a while he saw a monastery by the roadside, and, hearing the “wooden fish,” he ran up and thumped with all his might at the gate. The priest, however, did not know what to make of it, and would not open to him; and as the corpse was only a few yards off, he could do nothing but run behind a tree which stood close by, and there shelter himself, dodging to the right as the corpse dodged to the left, and so on. This infuriated the dead girl to madness; and at length, as tired and panting they stood watching each other on opposite sides of the tree, the corpse made a rush forward with one arm on each side in the hope of thus grabbing its victim. The traveller, however, fell backwards and escaped, while the corpse remained rigidly embracing the tree. By-and-by the priest, who had been listening from the inside, hearing no sounds for some time, came out and found the traveller lying senseless on the ground; whereupon he had him carried into the monastery, and by morning they had got him round again. After giving him a little broth to drink, he related the whole story; and then in the early dawn they went out to examine the tree, where they found the girl fixed tightly to the tree. The news being sent to the magistrate, that functionary attended at once in person, and gave orders to remove the body; but this they were at first unable to do, the girl’s fingers having penetrated into the bark so far that her nails were not to be seen. At length they got her away, and then a messenger was despatched to the inn, already in a state of great commotion over the three travellers, who had been found dead in their beds. The old man accordingly sent to fetch his daughter-in-law; and the surviving traveller petitioned the magistrate, saying, “Four of us left home, but only one will go back. Give me something that I may show to my fellow townsmen.” So the magistrate gave him a certificate and sent him home again.

尸變

陽信某翁者,邑之蔡店人。村去城五六里,父子設臨路店,宿行商。有車伕數人,往來負販,輒寓其家。一日昏暮,四人偕來,望門投止,則翁家各客宿邸滿。四人計無復之,堅請容納。翁沉吟思得一所,似恐不當客意。客言:「但求一席廈宇,更不敢有所擇。」時翁有子婦新死,停尸室中,子出購材木未歸。翁以靈所室寂,遂穿衢導客往。入其廬,燈昏案上;案後有搭帳衣,紙衾覆逝者。又觀寢所,則復室中有連榻。四客奔波頗困,甫就枕,鼻息漸粗。惟一客尚朦朧。忽聞靈床上察察有聲,急開目,則靈前燈火,照視甚了:女尸已揭衾起;俄而下,漸入臥室。面淡金色,生絹抹額。俯近榻前,遍吹臥客者三。客大懼,恐將及己,潛引被覆首,閉息忍咽以聽之。未幾,女果來,吹之如諸客。覺出房去,即聞紙衾聲。出首微窺,見僵臥猶初矣。客懼甚,不敢作聲,陰以足踏諸客;而諸客絕無少動。顧念無計,不如著衣以竄。裁起振衣,而察察之聲又作。客懼,復伏,縮首衾中。覺女復來,連續吹數數始去。少間,聞靈床作響,知其復臥。乃從被底漸漸出手得褲,遽就著之,白足奔出。尸亦起,似將逐客。比其離幃,而客已拔關出矣。尸馳從之。客且奔且號,村中人無有警者。欲扣主人之門,又恐遲為所及。遂望邑城路,極力竄去。至東郊,瞥見蘭若,聞木魚聲,乃急撾山門。道人訝其非常,又不即納。旋踵,尸已至,去身盈尺。客窘益甚。門外有白楊,圍四五尺許,因以樹自幛;彼右則左之,彼左則右之。尸益怒。然各浸倦矣。尸頓立。客汗促氣逆,庇樹間。尸暴起,伸兩臂隔樹探扑之。客驚仆。尸捉之不得,抱樹而僵。
  道人竊聽良久,無聲,始漸出,見客臥地上。燭之死,然心下絲絲有動氣。負入,終夜始蘇。飲以湯水而問之,客具以狀對。時晨鐘已盡,曉色迷蒙,道人覘樹上,果見僵女。大駭,報邑宰。宰親詣質驗。使人拔女手,牢不可開。審諦之,則左右四指,並卷如鉤,入木沒甲。又數人力拔,乃得下。視指穴如鑿孔然。遣役探翁家,則以尸亡客斃,紛紛正嘩。役告之故。翁乃從往,舁尸歸。客泣告宰曰:「身四人出,今一人歸,此情何以信鄉里?」宰與之牒,齎送以歸。

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