A strange thing happened at the coastal cottage that me and H.I. rented for a month in 1823, and I have never told a single soul about it until now.
She had retired to bed around a half an hour before I caught a glimpse of something dark, brown and fleet in the corner of my eye in the single candlelight of the kitchen.
It was too big to be a rat and too smooth to be a cat, so I did not know what to think of it until it reappeared at my feet and began to climb the outside of my right leg.
It had a strong aroma which I can only describe as a rich mix of unburnt tobacco and chocolate, and the not unpleasant stench became stronger the closer it came to my face as it climbed my leg.
It reached my chest and - clinging to me by my shoulders - stared me full in the eyes like a sort of nocturnal lemur. I am ashamed to admit that I began to worry that it would perform some sexual act of gratification against my body, but it did nothing but stare, and stare hard and long.
There came a knock on the door and it scuttled quickly and lithely back into the shadows as I arose to answer.
The night was dark, and the weather was wet and windy outside. When I opened the door, a hooded monk stood at the threshold. I asked him in, but he said that he had only come down from the Mount to tell me that the creature meant me no harm, and that I should show it forbearance. It would be gone by the morning he assured me, and with that he turned and left.
That's the last time I will be booking an Air B & B in Cornwall.
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