Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/114

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rated his room from the main apartment ; and he saw, by the light of the lantern, five recumbent bodies — without heads !

For one instant he stood bewildered,—imagining a crime. But in another moment he perceived that there was no blood, and that the headless necks did not look as if they had been cut. Then he thought to himself:—"Either this is an illusion made by goblins, or I have been lured into the dwelling of a Rokuro-Kubi. . . . In the book Sōshinki it is written that if one find the body of a Rokuro-Kubi without its head, and remove the body to another place, the head will never be able to join itself again to the neck. And the book further says that when the head comes back and finds that its body has been moved, it will strike itself upon the floor three times,—bounding like a ball,—and will pant as in great fear, and presently die. Now, if these be Rokuro-Kubi, they mean me no good;—so I shall be justified in following the instructions of the book.". . .

He seized the body of the aruji by the feet, pulled it to the window, and pushed it out. Then he went to the back-door, which he found barred ; and he surmised that the heads had made their exit through the smoke-hole in the roof, which had been left open. Gently un- barring the door, he made his way to the gar-