opened the door and stepped inside, sunlight streamed in through the dirty
windows. Even though the barn had been vacant for years, the air smelled of hay
left, she saw a man shaving. He’d glanced up when Carrie opened the doors, but
returned his gaze to the small mirror tacked to the wooden beam. He was bare
from the waist up. His chest was lean and muscular, with dark brown hair from
mid-chest to his waistline. His arms were powerfully built, and his right hand
was steady as he scraped the white soap from his angular jaw with a razor. His
dark blue uniform pants with gold braid down the side were tucked into
knee-high black leather boots. He stood at least six feet tall, and though
Carrie hadn’t made her living in the carnival, she guessed he was probably
younger than her, likely in his mid to late twenties. He peered at the small
mirror, tilting his chin to swipe away the shaving soap. Carrie waited to speak
until after he’d finished with the ivory-handled straight blade and dipped it
into the basin of soapy water.
was an equal mix of surprise and annoyance. He dropped the razor and grabbed
his shirt off a nearby nail. He turned his back to Carrie and pulled it on.
madam?” he asked, buttoning his shirt and stuffing it into his pants.
believe I have the advantage. I’m dead. You are not.” He turned and glared at
her. His eyebrows furrowed as though he wasn’t quite sure how they’d arrived at
the point of introductions.
intrude. I’m Carrie. Carrie Hansen.” She extended her hand.
shake her hand, but his fingers passed through hers. They both jerked back.
really didn’t mean to intrude,” she said.
me. That’s all. We seldom receive visitors, especially living ones who can see
us.” He put on his blue uniform coat and fastened the long row of brass
buttons. “I’m Major Thomas Gentry, at your service.” He bowed.
startled you. I sometimes forget ghosts aren’t accustomed to being seen.”
narrowed and he frowned. “How may I be of service to you, Miss Hansen?”
find Colonel Stratton? I need to speak with him.”
eyes showed his increasing puzzlement. “The living do not go looking for
Colonel Stratton. What business have you with him?”
house, and I intend to live here.”
speak with the colonel.”
shook his head as though to sort through the details. “Please forgive me. You
bought Stratton House, you intend to live here, and you wish to speak with the
home’s proprietor, Colonel Stratton?”
covered that,” she said. “You don’t get many visitors, do you?”
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