The Golden Bone


3 min

Ghost story from France.

Once upon a time there was a rich and distinguished gentleman who was married to a young and beautiful woman. She had once fallen down the long staircase in their large house and broken her leg in seven places. The doctors could not do anything about the injury and had to amputate the leg. But the rich gentleman had a new leg made of gold for his wife. When the gold leg was in place, she could walk and move - yes, even dance - just as well as before.

One day she had bought an expensive and beautiful dress. When she heard her husband coming home, she rushed to the stairs to meet him and show him the dress, but it did no better than the heel of her golden leg caught in the hem of the dress and she fell down the stairs again. This time she broke her neck and died instantly!

The rich lord gave his wife a stately burial and let the unfortunate leg accompany her in the coffin. But in the household there was a greedy servant who made plans. "The lady has no use for that gold bone now," he thought. "I might as well take it."

So one night he went to the graveyard, dug up the fine lady, unscrewed the golden bone and buried her again. Then he returned to his room in the big house and hid the bone in his closet.

But after that night there was no peace in the cemetery anymore. All the while a voice was heard calling:
"Gold, gold! Give me back my gold leg!"

The gravedigger could not bear to hear this lamentation, and went to the fine gentleman to tell of the misery.
"Your wife has no peace in your grave!" he explained. "You guys need to send someone to calm her down."

The fine gentleman himself went to the cemetery and stood by the woman's grave.
"Dear wife, what do you want?" he wondered.
"Gold, gold! Give me back my gold bone!" complained a voice from the grave.
"You have your golden leg," said the man. "I will arrange for someone to say a prayer over your grave, and you will be at peace."

The priest went there and read his prayers, but the voice did not quiet down for that.
"Your wife is still worried," the priest told the rich man.
"You can arrange for another son to speak to her."

So the rich lord sent his wife's maid.
"What does the lady want?" wondered the chambermaid.
"Gold, gold! Give me back my gold leg!"
"Please madam, now you are unreasonable," said the chambermaid. "You have your gold bone with you. I certainly can't calm you down. We'll have to send someone else to talk to you."

The chambermaid went home and told the rich lord how things had gone.
"Then you may go and have a go," said the rich man to his servant.
"No, no, I dare not!" whined the valet.
"Do as I say! Go to the grave and try to calm her down."
"No, I dare not, sir!"
"Now you go or I'll shoot you!" threatened the distinguished man.

With the gun pointed up to his nose, the attendant finally went to the cemetery on trembling legs. There the lone voice was still heard complaining:
"Gold, gold! Give me back my gold bone!"
"Please ma'am," chirped the valet, "I don't know anything about your gold bone. What do you really want?"
"I want you!" hissed the dead woman, rising up in the grave, pulling the servant down below the ground and eating him.

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