Casebook Of Oliver Cyriax - Case 1# The Burning Bush (Part 2)
The smoke from his pipe
rose up like a small cloud.
For a long time afterwards, t
he fire in the barn
was referred to as a ghost fire.
The next ghost fire happened
almost six months later to the day
in the midst of the summer sun.
A passing tramp had rested
for a while in a field
and fell asleep against a tree
as the grass around him suddenly came alive
with flames that burnt close to his feet.
The local Constable was riding passed
saw the flames and dismounted from his bike.
Racing into the field,
he tried to beat out the flames with his jacket.
Still the flames danced around the tramp,
whom was asleep and unaware.
The Constable yelled at him,
but the tramp did not arouse from his slumber.
The Constable looked around
and off to his left noticed a stream.
He ran across to it and filled his helmet with water.
Running back he threw the water over the tramp.
The tramp woke up startled and looked around.
He stood up and asked the Constable,
just what he thought he was doing
throwing water over him.
Watch out for the fire
the Constable shouted back.
The tramp scratched his head
and asked what he was talking about.
The fire, the fire, the Constable replied.
What fire? The tramp asked.
It was only then that the Constable realised
that the fire was no longer there.
He was mystified how it disappeared.
It was about six months after that,
another ghost fire occurred
in the very Inn where I was staying.
The bar was crowded
when suddenly against one of the walls
a fire started and seemed to burn ferociously.
The first thing the customers did
was to start throwing their drinks against the wall
in hope to dampen the flames.
They met with little success
and the fire brigade was called.
The bar was evacuated
and the firemen came in with their hoses,
which like the drinks had no success on the flames.
As with all the other incidents
the fire raged for several hours
before dying away of its own accord.
The investigation that followed
found nothing had been burnt or scorched.
There seemed no earthly reason
for the mysterious fires that engulfed things,
but never harmed any of them.
Then last month the burning bush began.
When it was discovered,
an attempt was made to extinguish it,
but failed like the ones before.
Presently each night ever since
the bush ignites itself and burns for several hours
before disappearing again.
Oliver paused for a few moments,
stroked his chin
and puffed a couple of times on his pipe.
To be continued…
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