But then the father of the clan of the dead girl died of drowning. He apparently raved he saw a ghost washing his bloody clothes in the river and ran up to the riverbank to snatch the clothes away only to fall into the river and drown. Then the other brother died after raving he saw the banshee standing in the street before him. His camel reared up and threw him against the wall and he cracked his skull open and so died. . Another brother died when he claimed he saw the banshee from a window staring up at him. Then he cowered in the family home. But hearing a wail he ran down the stairs. And the stairs of the clan home being rickety, he fell and broke his neck. Another brother raved he saw the banshee and fled to his wife’s home only to die in the kitchen when boiling water fell on him scalding him to death. And uncle died then, falling by accident from the flat roof of his house. Then another uncle died. . Then a cousin. Then a nephew.
Then the so-called husband who had first bought the dead girl, then aged only ten, and raped her over and over and over then raved and raved and raved that her banshee haunted him. He raved her ghost following him relentlessly, staring at him through the windows of his house, standing over his bed as he deflowered another nine year old bride, and tormenting him night and day. Too late he found that the girl he ordered murdered for his Nang Honor, as a Honor Sacrifice, now returned to haunt her murderer: him! She pointed a bony finger at him. And he found there was no place for him to hide where she did not find him!
His nine year old bride was so terrorized she ran away screaming she was being forced to live in a haunted house and she bewailed her family for selling her to a murderer haunted by his murdered victim. Her family’s Nang was besmirched for now Peshawar considered this nine year old quite justified for running away. What family would sell a daughter to a murderer? Had they no Nang honor to sell her to a murderer? Captain Broadfoot and his bibi had to rescue the nine year old girl and send her off to a Sikh orphanage for sexually abused girls.
Then the wicked husband and murderer, exhausted by the relentless haunting by the banshee, decided to flee Peshawar. He mounted his horse and rode furiously out of the main gate of Peshawar. But he fell off his horse on the main road, on a clear day, after his horse reared up, after he reined it violently to swerve to avoid something or someone in the road that no other traveler saw. And his feet were entangled in the stirrups of his pony and it dragged him to his death —– over five miles.
Finally the last surviving grandfather came with his last surviving grandson and he stood before me. “You are Irish. Cast some Irish spell to slay anew this banshee before she slays my grandson. I do not ask for myself but for my grandson. Look at my grandson. He is only eleven.”
“How do you know the banshee has come for him?”
“Because each night before one of my clan died the banshee came and pounded her tiny fists on the front doors of the clan house wailing to be let in to share her damnation with us! And she cries out in her little girl’s voice the name of the next to die! And last night she pounded her little fists on the doors and wailed to be let in! And she cried out the name of my last surviving scion! This little boy! She will not come for me for she wants me to live an aged man alone! Denied heirs! The patriarch of a dead clan!”
After the grandfather and grandson left Captain Broadfoot came. “Son. Do you know any Irish spell to quiet an unquiet grave?”
“I …… confess I buried her because they left her body like garbage. I confess the young man was standing there watching as I buried her. I confess that the devil was in me because I tormented him with ghostly tales of Irish Banshees. But could tales of Irish Banshees bring a banshee to life? There are no banshees in India. Nor I think anyplace in the world but Ireland. Surely you cannot say I brought a banshee to life by merely describing one? We do not even know how the boy died!”
“The young man killed himself” Captain Broadfoot said. “Out of guilt. He told his clan about the banshee he claimed to have seen. Then he told his family how the banshee pounded her tiny fists on the doors of the clan house to be let in – share her damnation with them. Then he told his family their clamming for clan Nang caused him to violate his own Nang by murdering his own sister who now rests in an unquiet grave. So he told his family his besmirched Nang required him to kill himself.”
“But I did not describe a banshee pounding her tiny fists on the doors of the clan house to be let in to share her damnation with them” I protested. “And the reports said his body was found with only some minor scratches where the body fell into wild roses by her unquiet grave.”
“Yes. There was no earthly cause for his death!”
“No clear cause perhaps!” I replied. “But he might have taken poison? Or a viper might have bitten his heel!”
“I saw no bites and no Pathan would take poison! That is most dishonorable!”
“Perhaps he took poison to die so as to appear to have died of Banshee!”
“‘Revenge is a dish best served cold!’ Pathan saying! The boy might have taken my Irish ghost story and served it a dish of revenge on his family for ordering him to slay his sister as a honor killing! He murdered her under duress and was consumed by guilt! I cannot believe even if a banshee has come back from an unquiet grave that she would slay him! Others! But not him! But this way his apparently mysterious death infected his family with contagious terror!”
“I think not Nicholson! I think that poor young man committed suicide by returning to the unquiet grave of the sister he murdered to allow her to murder him!” Captain Broadfoot came up to me then. “You brought a banshee to life by describing it! Describe a banshee back to death then!”
“A banshee is already dead” I replied. “This is all self fulfilling fear!”
“Then describe her gone then!”