A light—clear, ruddy and brilliant, like a huge carbuncle—uprose one evening from the deep, and remained hovering about forty feet above the surface, scattering its rays far and wide, over the Downs to Ramsgate and Deal, along the coast towards Dover, away beyond the North Foreland, across the Goodwin Sands, and far out upon the bosom of the great North Sea.
It was a chill November evening, when this light arose, in the year—well, it matters not what year. We have good reasons, reader, for shrouding this point in mystery. It may have been recently; it may have been “long, long ago.” We don’t intend to tell. It was not the first time of that light’s appearance, and it certainly was not the last. Let it suffice that what we are about to relate did happen, sometime or other within the present century.