“You're...” Dill struggled to make sense of her. “You're a ghost?”
“'Appen I might be. What's it to you? Walkin' corpses got airs an' graces, 'ave they?”
“No, but...well, I...” Dill's mouth flapped.
“Well then. Best you come along wi' me. An' keep your trap shut. They can't 'ear me but they can certainly 'ear you.”
“Right. Of course.” If Dill's heart had an inclination to beat it would be hammering in his chest right now. He lowered his voice. “Where are we going?”
“I'll take you up t' the roof. There's seating up there away from pryin' eyes an' ears. Master Frederick wants a word with you an' all.”
“Master Frederick? Who's he?”
“Lord o' the manor, that's who.” She stepped out into the shaft by the ladder and hung there for a moment. “Now 'urry up an' follow me.” She began to climb but instead of using the rungs of the ladder, as Dill had done, she used the hand and foot holds in the stone itself, the metal of the ladded a mere umbra where it passed through her body.
Dill swung back onto the ladder and followed, his arm and legs feeling leaden until he remembered to start breathing again, pumping his heart to force oxygen-rich blood around his system. He looked up at the figure climbing above him, the translucent folds of her skirt swaying as it they were physical objects. To his dismay the similarity to the physical ended there. He couldn't see up her skirt at all.
They climbed as high as the ladder allowed. It ended just short of a skylight, through which Dill had a clear view of two chimney pots. The ghost drifted sideways through the wall and disappeared from view. He had a brief moment of panic to find himself left alone in what amounted to a vertical stone coffin until the woman's head appeared through the stone.
“Come on, boy. Be quick.”
“How? I can't drift through the walls.”
“There's a catch. Right there by your hand.”
“Oh.” Dill pulled it and a vertical crack of light appeared. When he pushed, a portion of the chimney swung open. He stepped off the ladder onto the roof of the manor.