For years villagers believed that Endley farm was haunted. The farm was owned by two brothers, Joe and Bob Cox. They employed a few farm hands, but no one was willing to work there long. Every time a worker gave up his job, he told the same story. Farm labourers said that they always woke up to find the work had been done overnight. Hay had been cut and cow sheds had been cleaned. A farm worker, who stayed up all night, claimed to have seen a figure cutting corn in the moonlight. In time, it became an accepted fact that the Cox brothers employed a conscientious ghost that did most of their work for them.
No one suspected that there might be someone else on the farm who had never been seen. This was indeed the case. A short time ago, villagers were astonished to learn that the ghost of Endley had died. Everyone went to the funeral, for the ‘ghost’ was none other than Eric Cox, a third brother who was supposed to have died as a young man. After the funeral, Joe and Bob revealed a secret which they had kept for over fifty years.
Eric had been the eldest son of the family. He had been obliged to join the army during the Second World War. As he hated army life he decided to desert his regiment. When he learnt that he would be sent abroad, he returned to the farm and his farther hid him until the end of the war. Fearing the authorities, Eric remained in hiding after the war as well. His father told everybody that Eric had been killed in action. The only other people who knew the secret were Joe and Bob. They did not even tell their wives. When their father died, they thought it their duty to keep Eric in
hiding. All these years, Eric had lived as a recluse. He used to sleep during the day and work at night, quite unaware of the fact that he had become the ghost of Endley. When he died, however, his brothers found it impossible to keep the secret any longer.
多年来，村民们一直认为恩得利农场在闹鬼。恩得利农场属于乔 .考科斯和鲍勃 .考科斯兄弟俩所有。他 们雇了几个农工，但谁也不愿意在那儿长期工作下去。每次雇工辞职后都叙述着同样的故事。雇工们说， 常常一早起来发现有人在夜里把活干了，干草已切好，牛棚也打扫干净了。有一个彻夜未眠的雇工还声称 他看见一个人影在月光下收割庄稼。随着时间的流逝，考科斯兄弟雇了一个尽心尽责的鬼，他们家的活大 部分都让鬼给干了，这件事成了公认的事实。
谁也没想到农场竟会有一个从未露面的人。但事实上确有此人。不久之前，村民们惊悉恩得利农场的 鬼死了。大家都去参加了葬礼，因为那“鬼”不是别人，正是农场主的兄弟埃里克 .考科斯。人们以为埃里 克年轻时就死了。葬礼之后，乔和鲍勃透露了他们保守了长达 50 多年的秘密。
埃里克是这家长子。年龄比他两个弟弟大很多，第二次世界大战期间被迫参军。他讨厌军旅生活，决 定逃离所在部队。当他了解自己将被派遣出国时，他逃回农场，父亲把他藏了起来，直到战争结束。由于 害怕当局，埃里克战后继续深藏不露。他的父亲告诉大家，埃里克在战争中被打死了。除此之外，只有乔 与鲍知道这个秘密。但他俩连自己的妻子都没告诉。父亲死后，他们兄弟俩认为有责任继续把埃里克藏起 来。这些年来，埃里克过着隐士生活，白天睡觉，夜里出来干活，一点不知道自己已成了恩得利家场的活 鬼。他死后，他的弟弟们才觉得无法再保守这个秘密了。
It is the same old story: too much work and not enough time. 还是那个老问题
It is a long story:
To cut/make a long story short
It is another / a different story. 这是另一码事。