Woman in black – susan hill, retold by margaret tarner

A Note About This Story
This story is set in England, many years ago. At this time, London often had bad fogs in
The winter. This fog was a very thick, dirty mist. The fog mixed with the smoke from fires
And factories. It was difficult to see or breathe in these fogs.
Arthur Kipps is the hero in this story. In Chapter 2, Arthur is twenty-three years old.
He is soon to be married. His fiancee, the woman he is going to marry, is called Stella.
Arthur works as a solicitor in London. He helps people with their legal business. For
Example, he writes the documents when land or buildings are bought or sold. He also
Prepares wills. These papers say who people want to give their money or property to when
They die. When someone dies, the solicitor sometimes goes to their funeral. Later, the
Solicitor arranges for their money or property to be given to the dead person’s family.

1. Christmas Eve
My name is

Arthur Kipps. When I was a young man, I worked in London. I was a
Solicitor. I worked for the same company all my life.
Fourteen years ago, I bought this house called Monk’s Piece. I live here with my dear
Wife, Esmй.
Esmй’s first husband had died. She was a widow when I married her. I became the father
Of her four young children. Our years at Monk’s Piece have been happy ones.
It was Christmas Eve. All the family was at Monk’s Piece for the holiday. We were all
Sitting by the big fire at the end of the day.
I was in my armchair, listening to the laughter and the talking.
`Wake up, Father!’ someone called. `We’re going to tell ghost stories!’
The lights were turned off. Suddenly the room was dark and shadowy. I smiled as I
Listened to the young people’s stories. The stories were full of horror, but they did not
Frighten me. They were not true.
Then I remembered. I remembered terrible things. These memories were terrible –
Because they were true!
`Tell us a ghost story, Father!’ someone cried. `You must know one story!’
I stood up, cold and shaking.
`No, no!’ I shouted. `I have no story to tell!’

I hurried from the room, away from them all. I went out into the garden. I stood there in the
Cold and in the darkness. My heart was beating fast. I was shaking with fear. Will I never forger?
Will I never find peace?
How can I find peace? There is only one way. I must write clown my terrible story. All the
Horror. Everything. Then I will find peace.
I turned and walked back into the house.

2. London Fog
My story begins in November, many years ago. I was a young man of twenty-three. I
Worked for a solicitor called Mr Bentley. Sometimes the work was uninteresting, but I worked
Hard. I wanted to do welt.
That November morning, the weather was cold. A thick, yellow fog covered London. The
Fog filled people’s ears and eyes. It got into houses, shops and offices.
Mr Bentley called me into his office.
`Sit down, Arthur, sit down,’ Mr Bentley said. He pointed to a paper on his desk.
`This is the will of Mrs Drablow. Mrs Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House in Yorkshire. A
Strange old lady and a strange house. Have you ever been to Yorkshire, Arthur?’
`No, sir.’
`Well, my boy, go home and pack your bag. Mrs Drablow is dead. She has no relatives in
England. And we are her solicitors. I want you to go to the funeral.’
Mr Bentley saw that I was surprised. `I can’t go myself,’ Mr Bentley said quickly. `I’m too
Busy.’
`After the funeral,’ he went on, `I want you to go to Eel Marsh House. I want you to look at
The old lady’s papers.



Woman in black – susan hill, retold by margaret tarner