Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/58

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

a soft, clear voice of which the sweetness sad- dened him with a sadness of other days.

Then, in great wonder, he questioned her, saying : —

“Elder Sister, so much do you look like a person whom I knew long ago, that I was startled when you first entered this room. Pardon me, therefore, for asking what is your native place, and what is your name?”

Immediately,—and in the unforgotten voice of the dead,— she thus made answer:—

“My name is O-Tei; and you are Nagao Chōsei of Echigo, my promised husband. Seventeen years ago, I died in Niigata: then you made in writing a promise to marry me if ever I could come back to this world in the body of a woman;—and you sealed that written promise with your seal, and put it in the butsudan, beside the tablet inscribed with my name. And therefore I came back.” . . .

As she uttered these last words, she fell unconscious.

Nagao married her; and the marriage was a happy one. But at no time afterwards could she remember what she had told him in answer to his question at Ikao: neither could