Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Lord Dunoran, an Irish peer, was executed after being convicted of murdering a man named Beauclerc in London. His estates were declared forfeit to the crown, and his family was left under a shadow. Eighteen years after his death, his son, who assumed the name Mr. Mervyn, takes his father’s body back to Ireland and buries it in the family vault in the Anglican church in Chapelizod, a suburb of Dublin. After the burial, Mervyn moves into an old house that is reputed to be haunted; several families moved out of it after having seen strange apparitions and heard noises at night. Mervyn hopes that he might pick up some clues in the neighborhood that will lead him to the true murderer of Beauclerc, for the young man still believes his father innocent of the crime for which he paid with his life.
About the same time that young Mervyn takes up residence in the haunted house, another stranger comes to Chapelizod, a man named Paul Dangerfield, who is looking after the affairs of a local nobleman. Dangerfield, a very rich man, soon ingratiates himself with the local people by his apparent good sense and liberality. The villagers are very suspicious of young Mervyn, however, for he keeps to himself and only a few people know his real identity.
The appearance of Dangerfield arouses apprehension in the minds of two men in Chapelizod, Zekiel Irons, the clerk at the Anglican church, and Dr. Barnaby Sturk, a surgeon at the garrison of the Royal Irish...
(The entire section is 1004 words.)
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