A ghost turns up at Ebenezer Scrooge's home one Christmas Eve. It is Jacob Marley, his business partner, who has been dead for seven years. He is dragging heavy chains, and is obviously full of great sorrow and unbearable pain.
While Scrooge is still trying to decide whether the apparition is real or a piece of his imagination, Marley's ghost tells him something that might change his life forever:
'You will be haunted by three spirits. Without their visits, you cannot hope to avoid the path I tread.
'Expect the first tomorrow when the bell tolls one.
'Expect the second on the next night at the same hour.
'The third upon the next night when the last stroke of twelve has stopped vibrating.'
One of the most popular Christmas stories of all time, Dickens's novel remains a great favorite all over the world. A poignant and thought-provoking story, it's a delight to read again and again.