Of course, it wasn’t a fact how Shadie came into possession of the house at Warping Leer, and it was only rumoured he had loaned the previous owner a sum, knowing it couldn’t be paid, and raised the interest by precipitous degrees until the poor man either faced debtors’ prison or relinquish ownership at a knockdown price. He chose the latter and Shadie moved in.
It was a strange house with neither a true right-angle nor a straight line. Its load bearing beams had been acquired from the docks and had once been integral parts of the fleet, and during extremes of weather, the timbers groaned, cracked and creaked, as if the ghosts of the ships they had been were recalling great voyages across the tropics, or a particularly bad storm.
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