This story is about a young graduate named Lucy Beck who has justfinished her ‘O’ levels at Belmont Secretarial College. Being a slow learner herself, she has noconfidence that she will find a job. Fortunately, she is offered a job by Mr. Ross, the Manager ofRoss and Bannister’s. During her first day, she encounters many peculiar incidents. Later, shefinds out that there is a spirit lingering around the office who is adamant in holding on to herposition as the company’s secretary. Towards the end of the story, Lucy tries to get rid of thespirit that has been haunting that place for many years by putting the spirit at peace.
The story revolves around two main settings:
-Lucy’s house which she shares with her motherand her Uncle Bert.
-The office of Ross and Bannister’s where Lucy works as a secretary.
1) Lucy Beck :
She is a young, shy and insecure graduate of secreterial studies. She is dissatisfied with her current life and is determined to improve it. She obtains a position with Ross and Bannister’s, only to find that the position comes with a chilling secret.
2) Ghost of Ms. Broome :
She was the previous employee of Ross and Bannister’s. She is unwilling to let go of her position and continues to defend her post, even after her demise.
3) Lucy’s mother :
A housewife who lives a hard life. She has to support her brother.
4) Uncle Bert :
Depends on his sister for support. He is also a drunkard.
5) Harry Darke :
Ross and Bannister’s handyman. He is an old man who has been working with the company for years.
6) Mr. Ross :
The younger partner of the company.
Despite the supernatural nature by which Ms. Broome badgers and demoralises Lucy, sheshows no signs of giving in to her demand. Instead, she is steadfast in defending her position asthe secretary.
Not even death could part Ms. Broome from what she feels is rightfully hers. She continues tohaunt the office through her electronic typewriter.
As with her possesiveness towards her job, Ms. Broome was also extremely loyal towards Mr.Bannister. Even after she passed on, her spirit continued in its endeavour to serve her employer.
Loneliness can be a strong influence in a person’s life. Ms. Broome had no life outside of heroffice. That made her more possesive of her position in the company; a possesiveness thatwent beyond the grave.
This attribute can be clearly seen in both Lucy and Ms. Broome. Both are extremely committedto their profession.
6) THE SUPERNATURAL:
It is interesting that such an integral character in the story happens to be an ethereal entity. Yet this theme is rather prominent in the story.
This theme holds water especially in the final confrontation between Lucy and Ms. Broome. It isnot through hatred nor coercion that Lucy manages to outsmart Ms. Broome, rather, it wasthrough compassion and understanding of Ms. Broome’s intentions.