The graveyard was three miles away, but Kate was a brawny girl with a fast stride, so she came to the place sooner rather than later. The moon lit the marble tomb at the center; she found the blackthorn with no problem.
But she had barely put her hand on it when a soft voice called from the vault, "Come and open the tomb for me."
Kate began to tremble and was very much afraid. But even as she tried to resist, a force compelled her to unwind the chain that sealed the double doors of the tomb.
Descending a short flight of steps, she found a casket resting upon a marble table.
"Take the lid off," commanded the voice from the casket.
Unable to help herself, she did as she was told. Inside lay the body of a man who had died months before. His eyes were open, but unmoving--yet somehow Kate felt them watching her. His dead lips were drawn slightly apart, and the voice came from between them, though the mouth moved not at all.
"Lift me out of here," the corpse commanded, "and take me on your back."
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