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Weird

r
Tales
Dont Miss This Startling Thrill-Tale

THE GHOSTS oPSTEAMBOAT COULEE


\ Arthiur JeBmrke

t . JK 3B
1

THE DEVIL RAY, a Sti b-scientific Story


by Joel Martin Nichoi xs in This Issue
EjiSl 30=S1CII[S=0E [^ 1=

Unusual Stories
W EIRD TALESlias obtained a wealth of utterly bizarre and original
stories, and the next few issues will offer a superb feast of imagina-

tive reading scientific tales that plumb the future with prophetic insight;
tales of other planets, and the cosmic spaces between the stars; gooseflesh
tales of unutterable horror; uncanny stories of werewolves and black magic;
graveyard tales; ghost-stories such as the Southern negro tells around a
watermelon patch at night; thrill-tales of weird action; tales of the bizarre
and unusual; fascinating orientales; gripping Chinese and Egyptian mystery
tales; stories that take the reader far away from the humdrum environment
of everyday life. Among the gems in the next few issues are:

THE WOMAN OF THE WOOD, By A. Merritt


A forest of trees in actual warfare against their human foes a different
tale,
the author of The Moon Pool and other startling books.

utterly weird, utterly fascinating, utterly thrilling grippingly told by

FETTERED, By Greye La Spina


A serial novel of occult Evil that drew chains about two men and two
its
women in the northern woods a tale of midnight horror and frightful
doom an utterly fascinating story that will hold the reader breathless.
THROUGH THE VORTEX, By Donald Edward Keyhoe
Thrilling novelette about one who was drawn through the whirling vortex
into a strange land inhabited by frightful monsters and fearsome green-
hued men.

I THE DREAMER OF ATLANAAT, By E. Hoffmann Price


An orientale of exquisite beauty and strange a tale of the The
Lord
thrills
D of the World, and the fierce Sultan of Angor-lana, by the author of
Sultans Jest" and The Stranger Prom Kurdistan.

! SI URAG OF THE TAIL, By Oscar Cook


Terrific story of a man-eating orchid in the wilds of Borneo- -a mystery tale
of weird adventures in the jungle wilderness.

THE LIFE SERUM, By Paul S. Powers


startling jiseudo-scientiflc yarn about a great physician who passed the
frontiers of life and c.nme back again a surgeon who thought he had
soived the secret of death.

SPIDER-BITE, By Robert S. Carr


A tale of great white Egyptian tomb-spiders, resurrected mummies, cata-

leptic trances and precious jewels a story of eery thrills.

THE DEVILS GRAVEYARD, By G. G. Pendarves


Giles the Thruster comes back from the Pit to fulfil an ancient curse,
accompairted by the Four Ancients and Gaffarel the Mighty.

'T'HESE are but a few of the many super-excellent stories in store for
A the readers of WEIRD TALES. To make sure of getting your copy each
month, just pin a dollar bill to this coupon.

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In 1919 R. B. Goofc was a bookkeeper*
lu^ding down a one-track job. In 1923
four years later he was sales manager of
the B. A. Radton Company, Chicago; aM
ever since that time has successfully
directed a sales force of more than seventy
aalesmen, many of them with twenty
years' experience. ^ ^ a
*To the casual observer,** writes
Raflton, GeneralManager of theB. A.Rail*
^
ton Company, his rise might seem un*
usually r^id, but we view it as the natiuu
result of his being prepared for the big
opportunity when it came." When a young man can advance
In four years from a routine job to
CHICAGO the position of Sales Manager of
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thm must be
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every resource. assignmentresulted in savings of many
Handicapped by ill health which kept thousands of d<^lar8 for his firm.
him in a hospital daring four years of his
boyhood R. B. Cook, aChscagoman. bridged Send for Salar^Dou&ling Plan
*Woith More Than $10,000** the gap in his education 1^ day and evening You are eager for success. You wish to
HSo write* R. B. Cook, the emploree) study, which gave him a sound foundation enjoy the rewards which come inevitably to
**The advancement 1 have made for LaSalle h<ne study business training. ihe man who fits himself for responsibility.
daring the past Ove years was made Starting as a bookkeeper, in 1919, he en* But before you can reap those rewards, you
possible thro your splendid training rolled for LaSalle training in Modem Busi- must make yourself more profitable to the
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years ago 1 wrote yoo sanng that I
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would not part with the knowledge writes fifr. Cook. I was promoted to CV>Uec- Cocdc's experience elparly shows the way
LaSalie training has brought me tion Manager, with an increase of 60 per cent
for 110.000. Today lean say I would in salary. Later I became Credit Manager
a way illuminated by the careers of thra-
with it for many times sands of LaSalle-trained men. During only
cot of another concern. This move was a very six months* time, for example^ se many aa
that amount. __ _
(Signed) R. B. CX)OE, Chicago.
decid^ promotion. , .
1,248 LaSalle members reported definite
My next advancement was to the position Bdm7-increases totalling $1,399,697, an aver-
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tions 1 was successfuL This fact paved the
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Our Organization The details of the LaSalle satarydouhling
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I was offered a pct as Assistant Cr^it Man- plan will be sent you for the asking. Whether
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**Jn training a half miUira men. ager with my present concern. Within two you adopt the plan or not, the basic informa-
your institution has made a valu- years 1 was made General Sales Manager, tion it will place in your hands, without
able contribution to business. 1 feel which p<ition I now hold." cost, is of very real and definite value.
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Five years of consistent progress that is the Balance the two minutes that it takes t9
record of Mr. Cook, who has recently enrolled fill out the cout>on against the rewards of a
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(Signed) R. A. RAILTON, Chicago. ment. Paragraph by paragraph, line by line. coupon NOW,

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Kindly mention this magazine when answerine advertlsementa 577


RECISTEReO tM U.S. FWTENT OFFICE

Published monthly by the Popular Fiction Publishing Company. 408 Holliday


Building, Indlanapolla Ind. Entered as second-class matter March 20, 1923, at the
postofflce at Indianapolis, Ind., under the act of March 3, 1879. Single copies, 25
cents. Subscription, 82.60 a year in the United States; 83.00 a year in Canada. The
publishers are not responsible lor the loss of unsolicited manuscripts, although every
care will be taken of such material while in their possession. English office: G. M.
Jeffries Agency, Hopeileld House, Hanwell, London, W. 7. The contents of this
magazine are fully protected by copyright and must not be reproduced either wholly
or in part without permission from the publishers. FARNSWORTH WRIGHT, Editor.
Copyright, 1926, by the Popular Fiction Publishing Company

Contents for May, 1926


Cover Design Andrew Bensen
Plane leaped at Hildreth, striking her with his fist. His hand
crooked like a great tdon, and Hildreth uttered a gurgling scream

The Ghosts of Steamboat Coulee Arthur J. Burks 681


Shivery Tale of Dreadful Happenings in a Rockbound Western
Gulch, With the Howling of Bobcats for Chorus

The Devil-Ray (Part 1) Joel Martin Nichols, Jr. 699



Three-part serial Purple Beam of Light Shoots From the Clouds,
Bringing Death to Whatever it Touches

The Dead Hand Seabury Quinn 609



Eery Tale of Jules de Grandin Bodiless Hand Floats Through the
Window and Seizes a MUlionaire by the Throat

The Silent Trees Prank Owen 619


Great Was the Beauty of Lun Pei Lo, Dwarfing Even the Beauty of
that Magnificent House in the Drab City of SUence

(Continued on Next Page)

678 oopnioaTBD IN aaaax Britain


(Continued from Preceding Page)

The Man Who Was Saved B. W. Sliney 626



Out of the Depths of the Pacific it Rose a Vast, Green, Slimy Mon-
ster that Dragged Great Ships to Destruction

Bats Belfry August W. Derleth 631


Gruesome Was the Discovery Sir Harry Barclay Made in the Vaults
of LohrvUle Manor, and Fearful Was the Doom that Overtook Him

Queen of the Vortex P. Williams Sarles 637


Dr. Chaptel Goes Through the Ray of Light Into the Beyond, to
Rescue Paul Duval From Bari and Tasmari

Weird Story Reprints


No. 11. The Werewolf H. B. Marryat 664
Krantz Hunts the White Wolf and Incurs the Implacable Enmity of
the Spirits of the Hartz Mountains

Horreur S3rmpathique Charles Baudelaire 664


Verse, Translated for Weird Tales by Clark Ashton Smith

Across the Gulf Henry S. Whitehead 666


Carringtons Mother Appeared to Him in a Dream and Then the
Very Hand of Death Fell Upon Him

The Moon Dance A. Leslie 671


Verse

Vials of Wrath Edith Lyle Ragsdale 672



Grisly Tale of African Voodoo Rites an Atrocious Murder the
Frightful Revenge Exacted by a White Missionary

The Experiment of Erich Weigert Sewell Peaslee Wright 678


The Seemed Mild and Inoffensive, but in
Little Scientist his Dark
Brain a Fiendish Plan was Evolved

The Confession of a Madman James Cocks 686


A Different Storythe Tale of an Obsession That Took Ten Years
Out of a Mans Life and Shut His Body in an Asylum

The Derelict Mine (Part 2) Frank A. Mochnant 698


Three-part Mystery Serial About an Abandoned Mine in Australia
a Story which Rises to a Ghastly and Thrilling Climax

The Dance of Death Jean Labors 713


The poem which is said to have inspired Stdnt-Saens to compose his

"Danse Macabre English translation by Edward Baxter Perry

The E 3rrie 714


A Chat With the Readers

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580 WEIRD TALES

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extraordinary, unusual, imagina-
Name
tive tales of stark terror and Address
shuddering horror. City State
"Gulping swiftly, swallowing my ter-
rible fear, I flung the door wide open
and ran out of the cabin toward that
eery cry in the darkness.

But I am telling this to explain my


actions in those things which came

later to alibi myself of the charge
of cowardice.
After leaving the train at Palisades
I looked up and down the coulee.
Where to go? I hadnt the slightest
idea. Wenatchee lay far behind me,

A HEARTLESS
covered me and
brakeman
kicked
the train at Palisades. I
didnt care greatly. As well be
dropped here in Moses Coulee like a
me
dis-
off
at the edge of the mighty Columbia
River. I had found this thriving lit-
tle city unsympathetic and not par-
ticularly hospitable. I couldnt, there-
fore, retrace my steps. Besides, J
never have liked to go back over lost
bag of spoiled meal as farther up the ground. I saw the train which had
line. When a man knows he has but dropped me crawl like a snake up the
a short time to live, what matters it? steep incline which led out of the
Had I not been endowed with a large coulee. I hadnt the strength to fol-
modicum of my beloved fathers stub- low. I knew that I could never make
bornness I believe I should, long ere the climb.
this, have crawled away into some
So, wearily, I trudged out to the
hole, like a mongrel cur, to die. There
road and headed farther into the cou-
tvas no chance to cheat the Grim lee, to come, some hours later, to an-
Reaper. That had been settled long other cul-de-sac. It was another (to
ago, when, without a gas mask, I had me impossible) incline, this time a
gone through a certain little town in wagon road. I have since learned that
Flanders. this road leads, via a series of three
My lungs were just about done. huge terraces bridged by steep in-
Dont think I am making a bid for clines, out of Moses Coulee. It is
sympathy. I know a sick man seldom
called The Three Devils dont ask
arouses in the breast Of strangers any me why, for it was named by the
other emotion than disgq^t. Siwash Indians.
681
!

532 WEIRD TALES

At the foot of this road, and some way he put


I didnt exactly like the
half-mile from where it began to it; but that was just about all there
climb, I saw a small farmhouse, from was left for me, and, to date, even

the chimney of which a spiral of blue that had been denied me.
smoke arose lazily into the air. Here I nodded in answer to the question.
were folks, country folks, upon whose The man strode to the door and
hospitality I had long ago learned to pointed.
rely. Grimy with the dust of the trail, See there? he asked. Thats
damp with perspiration, red spots the road you came here on, against
dancing in the air before my eyes be- that two hundred-foot cliff. Opposite
cause of the unaccustomed exertion that cliff, back of my house, is another
to which I had compelled myself, I cliff, thirteen hundred feet high.
turned aside and presently knocked Matter of fact, my place is almost
at the door of the farmhouse. surrounded by cliffs, dont need to
A kindly housewife answered my build fences, except where the coulee
knock and bade me enter. I was opens away toward Columbia River,
shortly told to seat myself at the ta- which is some lot of miles away from
ble to partake of the tasty viands here. Cliffs both sides of it, all the
brought forth by this taciturn woman way down. No other exit, except
of the coulee. When I had finished there!
eating I arose from my place and was As he spoke he swung his extended
about to ask her what I might do in forearm straight toward the cliff to
payment for the meal, when I was the north.
seized with a fit of coughing which See what looks like a great black
left me faint and trembling; and I shadow against the face of the cliff,
had barely composed myself when the right where she turns to form the
womans husband and a half -grown curve of the coulee?
boy entered the house silently and Yes, I see it.

looked at me. Well, that ain t a shadow. That s

How
come a man as sick as you the entrance to another and smaller
isout on the road afoot like this? coulee which opens into this one. It
demanded the man. is called Steamboat Coulee, and if

studied the three carefully be-


I
you look sharp you can see why.
I studied that black shadow as he
fore replying. Nothing squeamish
pointed, carefully, running my eyes
about them. Knew something of the
rough spots of life, all of them. I over the face of the cliff. Then I
knew So I told them my
this at once.
exclaimed suddenly, so unexpectedly
story, and that I had neither friemk
did I discover the reason for the name
nor family, nor abode. While I given the coulee. Right at the base
talked they exchanged glances with of that black shadow was a great pile
one another, and when I had finished of stone, its color all but blending
the husband looked at me steadily for with the mother cliff unless one looked
closely; and this mass of solid rock,'
a long moment.
from where we stood in the doorway
Is there a chance for you to get
of the farmhouse, looked like a great
well? he asked finally.
steamboat slowly emerging from the
lam afraid not. I tried to make cleft in the giant walls
my voice sound cheerful. Good Lord! I exclaimed; if I
Would you like to find a place didnt know better I would swear that
where nobody d bother you ? A place was a boat under steam!
where you could loaf along about as Its fooled lots of folks, re-
you wished until your time came? turned the farmer dryly. Well, that

THE GHOSTS OP STEAMBOAT COULEE 583

coulee entrance is on my land, so I The sun was westering, deepening


guess I have a right to make this the shadow at the mouth of Steam-
proposition to you. Back inside that boat. At the two irregular edges of
coulee about two miles is a log cabin the shadow there hung a weirdly
that could easy be made livable. Just shimmering blue haze.
the place for you, and I could send I blamed morbid fancies to my sick-
in what little food you would need. ness. I began to reason with myself.
Its kind of cool at night, but in the Here was I, a grown man, looking a
daytime the sun makes the coulee as gift horse in the mouth, questioning
hot as an oven, and you could loaf the motives of kindly people who were
all day in the heat. There are plenty but giving me a chance to die under
of big rocks there to flop on and cover like a human being ^near to,
who knows? maybe youd even get if not among, friends.
well!
I swallowed my forebodings and
And nobody owns the house? I turned to the man. Beyond him, over
inquired. his shoulder, I looked into the eyes
Yes,- 1 own it. I used to live in of the woman, .who, arms akimbo, was
it myself. standing in the half-shadow beyond
Why did you move? I felt as a the door, gravely awaiting, my an-
fellow must feel when he looks a gift swer. Confound it! Why
couldnt
horse in the face, but to save me I she say something? Beside her stood
could not forbear asking the question. the boy, also noting me gravely. As
The man hesitated for a good min- my eyes went to the boy his tongue
ute before answering. crept forth from his mouth slowly
Well, he said Anally, all my and described a circle, moistening his
land lies out here in Moses Coulee, lips. My morbid fancy saw something
and when I lived in there I could not sinistereven in this, for I was minded
keep my eye on it. I have large melon of a eat that looks expectantly at a
patches down toward Steamboat, and saucer of cream. I jerked my head
if there isnt someone here when the around to meet the eyes of the man,
Siwashes drift through to their pot- and he, too, was regarding me
latch on Badger Mountain, outside, gravely.
the damn Indians would steal all the I thank you, sir, I said, as po-
melons. So we moved out here. litely as I could; you are very kind.
I accept your offer with great pleas-
explanation sounded reason- iire. May I know to whom I am in-
able enough; but it left me un- debted for this unusually benevolent
I had been moodily gazing

satisfied. service ?

at that black shadow on the cliff Again that queer hesitation before
which was the entrance to Steamboat the answer. When it came the tones
Coulee, and while I stared it had come were strangely harsh, almost a rebuke.
to me that the huge maw looked oddly YThat difference does a name
like a great open mouth that might make? We
dont go much on last
take one in and leave no trace. There names here. That there is Reuben,
was something menacing about it, dis- boy, and this is my wife, Hildreth.
tant though it was. I felt that this My own name is Plone. You can tell
unexplainable aura would become us what to call you, if you wish; but
more depressing as one approached it dont make much difference if you
the coulee. I had begun to distrust dont care to.
these people, too. The woman and My name is Harold Skidmore,
the son talked too little, even for peo- late of the U. S. Army. Once more
ple who lived much alone. allow me to thank you, then I shall go
584 WEIRD TALES
into my new home before it gets so vated for many years. It had been
dark I cant find it. plowed once upon a time, but the
plowing had been almost obliterated
Thats all right. Reuben will
along and show you the place.
^
Hillie, by scattered growths of green sage-
put up a sack of grub for Skidmore. brush which had pushed through and
Enough to last him a couple of days. begun to thrive, while in the open we
Hell probably be too sore from his struggled through regular matted
walk to come out for more before that growths of wild hollyhocks, heavy
and we may be too busy to take any \vith their fiery blooms. Plone s
farm was nothing but a desert on the
in to him.
coulee floor.
The woman dropped her arms to
her side and moved into the kitehen But we were approaching Steam-
to do the bidding of Plone. Plone! boat Coulee entrance, and the nearer
What an odd name for a man! I we strode the less I liked the bargain
studied him as, apparently having I had made, for the entrance looked
forgotten me, he stared moodily down more like a huge mouth than ever.
the haze-filled coulee. I tried to see But those red spots were dancing be-
what his eyes were seeking, but all I fore my eyes again and may have
could tell' was that he watched the helped me to imagine things.
road by which I had come to this When we reached the entrance its

place ^watched it carefully and in mouthlike appearance was not so pro-
silence, as though he expected other nounced, and the rock which had
visitors to come around the bend looked like a steamboat did not re-
which leads to the Three Devils. He semble a steamboat at all. The floor
did not turn back to me again; and of this coulee was a dry stream-bed
when, ten minutes or so later, Reuben which, when the spring freshets came,
touched my arm and started off in the must have been a roaring torrent.
direction of Steamboat, Plone was
still staring down the road. efore entering the coulee behind
I looked back after we had left the B Reuben I looked back at the
house well behind, and he was watch- house of Plone, and shouted in amaze-
ing me now, while his. taciturn wife ment.
stood motionless beside him, with her Reuben! Where is the house? I
arms akimbo. Looking at the two can see all of that end of the coulee,
made me feel strangely uncomfort- and your house is not in sight!
able again, so I turned back and tried We come over a, rise, a high one,
to engage Reuben in conversation. As thats all, he replied carelessly; if
soon as I spoke he quickened his we go back a piece we can see the
stride so that it took all of my breath house. Only we aint got time. I
to keep pace with him. want to show you the cabin and get
But I had a chance to study the back before dark. This coulee aint
territory over which we traveled. nice to get caught in after dark.
Back in my mind I remembered It isnt? I questioned. Why
Plone s remark about his melon not?
patches, and looked about for sight of But Reuben had begun the entrance
them. We were half way to the to Steamboat Coulee and did not an-
Steamboat Coulee entrance, yet I swer. I was very hesitant about fol-
hadnt seen a melon patch or any- lowing him now, for I knew that he
thing that remotely resembled one. had lied to me. We hadnt come over
Though I knew absolutely nothing any rise, and I should have been able
about farming, I would have sworn to see that farmhouse! What had
that this ground hadnt been culti- happened to my eyes? Were they,
THE GHOSTS OP STEAMBOAT COULEE 585

like mylungs, failing me ? I stopped make out the outline of a squatty log
dead-still, there in the bottom of that cabin.
dry stream-bed. Reuben stopped, Ten minutes later I had a fire go-
ahead of me, and looked silently back. ing in the cracked stove which the
He smiled at me insolently, a sort of house boasted, and its light was driv-
challenging smile. Just stood there ing away the shadows in the comers.
smiling. What else could I do? I There was one chair in the house, and
strode on after Reuben.
a rough bed against the wall. The
I liked this coulee less and less as
board floor was well laid no cracks
we went deeper into it. Walls rose through which venturesome rattlers
straight on either hand, and they might smell me out. I made sure of
were so close that they seemed to be this before I would let Reuben get
pressing over upon me. The stream- away, and that the door could be
bed narrowed and deepened. On its closedand bolted.
banks grew thickets of wild willow,
Well, said Reuben, who had
interspersed with clumps of squaw-
stoodby while I put the place rap-
berry bushes laden with pink fruit.
idly to rights, youll be all right
Behind these thickets arose the talus
now. Snug as a bug in a rug ^if you
slope of shell-rock.
aint afraid of ghosts!
I studied the slopes for signs of
His hand had dropped to the door-
pathways which might lead out of
knob as he began to talk, and when
this coulee in case a heavy rain should
he had uttered this last sinister sen-
fill the stream-bed and cut off my re-
tence he opened the door and slipped
treat by the usual way, but saw none.
out before I could stop him. Those
I saw instead something that filled
last sixwords had sent a chill through
me with a sudden feeling of dread, my whole body. In a frenzy of fear
causing a sharp constriction of my
which I could not explain, I rushed
throat. It was just a mottled mass on
to the door and looked out, intending
a large rock ; but as I looked at it the Reuben back.
to call
mass moved, untwisted itself, and a
I swear he hadnt had time to reach
huge snake glided out of sight in the
that stream-bed and drop into it out
rocks.
of sight; but when I looked out he
Reuben, I called, are there
was nowhere and when
to be seen, I
many snakes in this coulee?
shouted his name until the echoes rang
Thousands! he replied without
to right and left through the coulee,
looking back. Rattlers, blue racers
there was no answer! He must have
and bull whips but mostly rattlers.
fairly flown out of that thicket!
Keep your shanty closed at night and
I closed the door and barred it,
stay in the stream-bed in the daytime
and they wont be any danger to placed the chair-back under the door-
you! knob, and sat down upon the edge of
Well, I was terribly tired, else I the bed, gazing into the fire.
would have turned around and quit- What sort of place had I wandered

ted this coulee yes, though I fell into?
For a time the wind
dead from exhaustion ten minutes Iustling of
later. As it was I followed Reuben, through the willows outside the log
who turned aside finally and climbed cabin was my only answer. Then a
out of the dry stream. I followed him gritty grating sound beneath the
and stood upon a trail which led floor, slow and intermittent, told me
down a gloomy aisle into a thicket of that a huge snake, sluggish with the
willows. Heavy shadows hung in this coolness of the evening, was crawling
woody aisle, but through these I could there and was at that moment scrap-
.

586 WEIRD TALES


ing alongsideone of the timbers least onekind of which was venomous
which supported the floor. enough to slay.
I was safe from these, thank God! Dread tugged at my throat. My
The feeling of security which now tongue became dry in my mouth,
descended upon me, together with the cleaving to the palate. I knew before
cheery roaring of the fire in the stove, I opened the door that the coulee was
almost lulled me to sleep as I sat. now as dark as Erebus, and that mov-
My eyes were closing w'earily and my ing about would be like groping in
head was sinking upon my breast. . .
some gigantic pocket. But there was
a feeble child out there on the talus
A cry that the wildest imagination
slope, lost in the darkness, wailing
would never have expected to hear in
for its mother. And I prided myself
this place, came suddenly from some-
where in the darkness outside. upon being at least the semblance of
a man.
It was a cry as of a little baby that
Mentally girding myself, I strode
awakes in the night and begs plain-
to the door and fiung it open. A mi-
tively to be fed. And it came from
asmatic mist came in immediately,
somewhere out there in the shell-rock
cold as the breath from a sunless
of the talus slopes.
marsh, chilling me anew. Instinctive-
ly I closed the door as though to shut
2
out some loathsome presence ^I knew

M eeciful.heaven How did it


!

happen that a wee small child


such as I guessed this to be had wan-
not what. The heat of the fire ab-
sorbed the wisps of vapor that had
entered. I leaned against the door,
dered out into the darkness of the panting with a nameless terror, when,
coulee? Whence had it come? Weie from the talus slope outside, plain
there other inhabitants in Steamboat? through the darkness came again that
But Plone had told me that there eery wailing.
were not. Then how explain that Gulping swiftly, swallowing my
eery cry outside ? A
possible explana- terrible fear, I closed my eyes and
ation, inspii'ed by frayed nerves, came flung the door wide open. Nor did
to me, and froze the marrow in mj* I close it until I stood outside and
bones before I could reason myself opened my eyes against an opaque
out of it. blanket of darkness. When Plone
*If you ain't afraid' of ghosts!" had told me the coulee w'as cold after
What had Reuben of the unknown nightfall, he had not exaggerated. It
surname meant by this remark? And was as cold as the inside of a tomb.
by what means had he so swiftly dis- The crying of the babe came again,
appeared after he had quitted my new from directly behind my cabin. The
home? cliff bulked large there, while above
Just as I a^ed myself the question, its rim, high up, I made out the soft
that wailing cry came again, from twinkling of a pale star or two.
about the same place, as near as I Before my courage should fail me
could judge, on the talus slope in rear and send me back into the cheery
of my cabin. Unmistakably the cry cabin, thrice cheery now that I was
of a lost baby, demanding by every outside it, I ran swiftly around the
means of expression in its power, the cabin, nor stopped until I had begun
attention of its mother. Out there to clamber up the talus slope, guided
alone and frightened in the darkness, by my memory of whence that wailing
in the heart of Steamboat Coulee, cry had come. The shell-rock shifted
which Reuben had told me was in- beneath me, and I could hear the shale
fested by gi*eat numbers of snakes, at go clattering down among the brush

THE GHOSTS OF STEAMBOAT COULEE 587

about the bases of the willows below. dred feet farther up the slope! It
1 kept on climbing. was beyond all reason; weird beyond
Once I almost fell when I stepped the wildest imagination. But un-
upon something round, which writhed doubtedly* the wailing of a babe.
beneath my foot, causing me to jump I did not believe in ghosts. I stud-
straight into the air with a half-sup- ied the spot whence the wail issued,
pressed cry of fear. I was glad now but could see no blotch of white. Only
that the coulee was cold after night- two lambent dots, set close together,
fall, else the snake, were it by chance
glowing like resting fireflies among
a rattler, could have struck me a the shale. I saw them for but a sec-
death-blow. The cold, however, made
ond only. Undoubtedly mating fire-
the vile creature sluggish.
flies, and they had flown.

I began to climb once more, mov-


I thought I had climbed far
^ enough I bent over and tried to ing steadily toward the spot where I
had heard the cry.
pierce the heavy gloom, searching the
talus intently for a glimpse of white I stopped again when the shell-rock
white which should discover to me above me began to flow downward as
though something, or somebody, had
the clothing of the baby which I
sought. Failing in this, I remained started it moving. What, in Gods
quiet, waiting for the cry to come name, was up there at the base of the
again. I waited amid a silence that cliff? Slowly, my heart in my mouth,

could almost be felt, a silence lasting I climbed on.


so long that I began to dread a repeti- There was a rush, as of an unseen
tion of that cry. What if there were body, along the face of the talus. I

no baby ^flesh and blood, that is? could hear the contact of light feet on
Reuben had spoken of ghosts. Utter the shale; but the points of contact
nonsense! No grown man believes were unbelievably far apart. No baby
in ghosts! And if 1 didnt find the in the world could have stepped so
child before long the Uttle tot might
far or jumped. Of course the cry
die of the cold. Where had the cl^d might have come from a half-witted
gone? Why this eery silence? Why grown person ; but I did not believe it.
didnt the child cry again? It was The cry again, sharp and clear; but
almost as though it had found that at least two hundred yards up the
which it sought, there in the darkness. coulee from where I stood, and on
That cry had spoken eloquently of a about a level with me. Should I fol-
desire for sustenance. low or not? Did some nocturnal ani-
If the child did not cry, what was mal carry the babe in its teeth? It
I to believe? Who, or what, was might be ; I had heard of such things,
suckling the baby out on the cold and had read the m3rth of Romulus
talus slope? and Remus. Distorted fantasies? Per-
I became as a man turned to stone haps; but show me a man who can
'when the eery cry came again. It think coolly while standing on the
was not a babys whimper, starting talus slopes of Steamboat after dark,
low and increasing in volume; it was and I will show yon a man without
a full-grown wail as it issued from the
nerves and without a soul.
unseen mouth. And it came from at Once more I took up the chase. I
least a hundred feet higher up on the had almost reached the spot whence
talus ! I, a grown man, had stumbled the cry had come last, when I saw
heavily in the scramble to reach this again those twin balls of lambent
height; yet a baby so ^all that it flame. They seemed to blink at me
wailed for its milk had crept a hun- off and on, off and on.

588 WEIRD TALES


I bent over to pick up a bit of shale and I had gone through a certain
to hurl at the dots, when, almost in town in Flanders without a gas mask.
my ears, that cry came once more; Why the sudden, eery silence? I
but this time the cry ended in a spit- would have welcomed that vast chorus
ting snarl as of a tom-cat when pos- of wailing, had it begun again. But
session of food is disputed! it did not.
With all my might I hurled the bit When I crept back to the bank of
of shale I had lifted, straight at those the stream-bed a pale moon had come
dots of flame. At the same time I up, partly dispelling the shadows in
gave utterance to a yell that set the Steamboat Coulee. The sand in the
echoes rolling the length and breadth stream-bed glistened frostily in the
of the coulee. The echoes had not moonlight, making me think of the
died away when the coulee was filled blinking eyes of a multitude of toads.
until it rang with that eery wailing Where, in Steamboat, was the cabin
as though a hundred babies cried for with its cheery fire? I had closed the
mothers who did not come! door to keep my courage from failing
Then great God!I knew! me, and now there was no light to
Bobcats The coulee was alive with
! guide me.
them! I was alone on the talus, two It is hell to be alone in such a place,
hundred yards from the safe haven of miles from the nearest other human
my cabin, and though I knew that being.
one alone would not attack a man in
the open, I had never heard whether SAT down on the high bank, half
they hunted in groups. For all I I sidewise so that I could watch the
knew they might. At imminent risk shadows among the willows, and tried
of breaking my neck, I hurled myself mentally to retrace my steps, hoping
down the slope and into the thicket of that I could reason out the exact loca-
wiUows at the base. Through these tion of the cabin in the thicket.
and into the dry stream-bed I blun- Sitting as I was, I could see for a
dered, still running. I kept this mad hundred yards or so down the stream-
pace until I had reached the approxi- bed. I studied its almost straight
mate point where the trail led to my course for a moment or two, for no
cabin, climbed the bank of the dry reason that I can assign. I saw a
stream and sought for the aisle black shadow dart across the open
through the willows. space, swift as a breath of wind, and
Though I searched carefully for a disappear in the thicket on the oppo-
hundred yards on each hand I could site side. It was larger than a cat,
not find the path. And I feared to smaller than the average dog. Abob-
enter the willow thicket and beat cat had changed his base hurriedly,
about. The ominous wailing had and in silence.
stopped suddenly, as though at a sig- Silence! That was the thing that
nal, and I believed that the bobcats was now weighing upon me, more
had taken to the trees at the foot of even than thought of my failure to
the talus. I studied the dark shadows locate the little cabin. Why had the
for dots of flame in pairs, but could cats stopped their wailing so sudden-
see none. I knew from reading about ly, as though they waited for some-
them that bobcats have been known thing? This thought deepened the
to drop on solitary travelers from the feeling of dread that was upon me.
limbs of trees. Their sudden silence If the cats were waiting, for what
was weighted with ponderous menace. were they waiting?

I was afraid afraid Scared as I
! Then I breathed a sigh of relief.
had never been in my life before For, coming around a bend in the
THE GHOSTS OP STEAMBOAT COULEE 589

stream-bed, there strode swiftly to- as he hurried forward. As he came


ward me the figure of a man. He was around the bend and saw the first
a big man who looked straight before man who had come into my range of
him. He walked as a country man vision, he bent lower still.
walks when he hurries home to a late As he did so the moonlight glowed
supper. Then there were other peo- dully on something that he carried in
ple in this coulee, after all! Plone, the crook of his arm. I knew instant-
like Reuben, had lied. ly that what he carried was a rifle.
But what puzzled me about this Once more that chill along my spine,
newcomer was his style of dress. He for there was no mistaking liis atti-
was garbed after the manner of the tude.
first pioneers who had come into this He was stalking the first man, fur-
country from the East. From his tively, and there was murder in his
high-topped boots, into which
his heart!
trousers were tucked loosely, to his
It did not take his next action to
broad-brimmed hat, he was dressed prove this to me. I knew it, even as
after the manner of those people who
the second man knelt swiftly in the
had vanished from this country more sand of the watercourse and flung the
than a decade before my
time. An rifle to his shoulder, its muzzle point-
old prospector evidently, who had
ing at the man approaching me.
clung to the habiliments of his
As the kneeling man aimed the
younger days. But he did not walk deadly weapon, his head was drawn
like an old man; rather he strode,
back and the moonlight shone for a
straight-limbed and erect, like a man
moment on his face. I cried out, loud-
in his early thirties. There was a ly and in terrible fear, as much to
homely touch about him, though, pic- warn the unconscious man as in sur-
turesque as he was; for he smoked a
prize at my discovery. For the man
corn-cob pipe, from the bowl of which
with the rifle was my Moses Coulee
a spiral of blue smoke eddied forth
into the chill night air. I knew from
benefactor ^Plone.
Again I cried out, this time with
this did I call to him, his
that,
all the power of my shattered lungs.
greeting in return would be blufSy
And the man ahead, all unconscious
friendly.
of the impending death at his heels,
I waited for him to come closer, paid me absolutely no attention. He
hoping that he would notice me first. was no more than twenty yards from
As he approached I noticed with a me when I shouted, yet he did not
start that two huge revolvers, the turn his head. For all the attention
holsters tied back, swung low upon he paid me I might as well have re-
his hips. People nowadays did not mained silent. It was as thou^ he
carry firearms openly. In an instant were stone-deaf.
I had decided to let this stranger pass, As this thought came to me the first
even though I spent the remainder of man raised his head and looked di-
the night on the bank of the dry rectly into my eyes, and through and
stream. Sight of those savage weap- beyond me as though I had not been
ons had filled me with a new and dif- there. I saw his eyes plainly, and in
ferent kind of dread. them was no sign that he noted my
Then I started as another figure, presence.
also of aman, came around the self- I shouted again, waving my arms
same bend of the watercourse, for wildly. Perhaps he could not see me
there was something oddly familiar because of the shadows at my back.
about that other figure. He moved Still he did not see me. I whirled to
body almost bent double
swiftly, his the kneeling man, just as a sheet of
590 WEIRD TALES
yellow flame leaped from the muzzle Then I dropped into the stream-bed
of his rifle. The first man was right and strode to the fallen man, stooped
in front of me when the bullet struck over him to see that he no longer
him. He stopped, dead in his tracks.
breathed and drew back with a cry
I guessed that the bullet had struck of horror. For what looked up at me
him at the base of the skull. Even was not the face of a man newly
so, he whirled swiftly, and both his slain but the sightless eyes of a grin-
;

guns were out. But he could not ning, aged skull.


raise them to fire. He slumped for-
ward
sand.
limply, and sprawled in the
A s I STARED in unbelief, the per-
spiration starting from every
pore, the skull seemed to fade slowly
I had not heard the report of the
rifle, for simultaneously with that away before my eyes, and in a matter
spurt of flame the bobcats had begun of seconds there was nothing before,
their wailing once more, drowning out me but the shifting sand, upon which
the sound. there was not even a depression where
I, unable to prevent it or give a a body had fallen!
warning, had seen a cold-blooded Add to this uncanny happening the
murder enacted. There before me in myriad-tongued caterwauling of the
the sand was the proof of it. I half
bobcats on the talus crying as of
arose, intending to run to the fallen babies lost in the night
and yon
man to see if he still lived. But when can faintly guess at the state of my
I saw Plone arise leisurely from his nerves. But I could not believe my
knees and come forward I drew back eyes. Something was wrong, said rea-
in the shadow again. Plone was a son. So I stooped again and ran my
killer, and I had seen him make his hand hurriedly over the sand where I
kill. If he knew that his evil deed had seen the body. Surely I could
had been witnessed he would have no not have been mistaken!
compunction about another killing, Frantically, unable to believe it all
and even to me, whose life was des- hallucination, I ran my
fingers deep
tined to be short, life was still sweet. into the sand. At once they brought
I drew back and waited. up against something solid which, for
Plone stopped above the fallen man many minutes, I found myself with-
and looked down. Then he opened out the courage to uncover. I con-
the breech of his rifle and coolly blew quered this fear, finally, and began to
the smoke from the bore. He kicked dig.
the fallen man with the toe of his Soon there lay before me, in a shal-
boot, and I saw his lips move as low grave, a fleshless skeleton. This
though he whispered something. He in itself did not bother me, for I have
took the two pistols, shrugged his seen many such, and in Flanders
shoulders and turned away, walking fields I have slept peacefully with
swiftly back the way he had come, dead buddies all around me. But,
carrying his rifle in the crook of his while digging near the skuU of my
arm. The murdered men he left to find, I had unearthed something else
the creatures of the night. which had been fairly well preserved
Well, the man was dead, no doubt in the dry sand.
about that. But the sand was deep It was a rotting corn-cob pipe, with
and I could bury him. I watched black, corroded bowl!
until Plone reached the turn in the With a great cry, whose echoes
watercourse, where he seemed to van- could be heard in the coulee even
ish as though the earth had opened through the wailing of the bobcats, I
and swallowed him. sprang to my
feet and ran, stagger-
;

THE GHOSTS OF STEJIMBOAT COULEE 591

ing, down
the watercourse, in the di- last nights rambles among the shale,
rection I had come before darkness and could not figure out which way I
with Reuben. should,' go to win free of this coulee.
Long before I had reached it my Then I remembered the direction
poor body failed me and I fell to the Plone had taken, and set out to trace
sandy floor, coughing my lungs away, his footsteps, but there were none I
!

while scarlet stains wetted the Sand could not understand it, for I had
near my mouth. seen Plone quite plainly in the moon-
Then blackness descended. light.

3 I passed around the bend where he


had disappeared and continued on.
"IX^HEN I awoke in the sand the sun When, ten minutes later, I came to
was shining. Some sixth sense the shallow grave, with its aged skele-
told me to remain motionless, warning ton, which had so taken away my
me that was not well. Without
all
nerve last night, I did not know where
moving my head I rolled my eyes un- I was. I had been sure that this grave
til I could see ahead in the direction
was in the opposite direction. But
I had fallen. In falling my right
Plone must have known the way out
hand had been flung out full length,
I knew that he lived on the floor of
fingers extended.
Moses Coulee, into which Steamboat
Imagine my fear and horror when
debouched.
I saw, coiled up within
six inches of
I kept on moving. If, as I now
my hand, a huge rattlesnake! His
head was poised above the coil, while believed, I had been in en-or in the
just behind it, against the other arc location of the grave, then my log
of the vicious circle, the tip of the cabin lay ahead of me. I climbed the
creatures tail, adorned with an inch bank of the dry stream and continued
or more of rattles, hummed its fear- my hike thereon, keeping well away
ful warning. from the thickets for fear of snakes.
With all my power I sprang back With the sun high in the heavens,
and upward. At the same time the turning the coulee into a furnace, the
bullet head, unbelievably swift, snakes came out by hundreds to bask
flashed toward my hand and thank upon the shale, and as I passed, they

God! safely beneath it! Stretched coiled and warned me away with
myriad warnings. I did not trespass
helplessly now to its full length, the
creature s mouth, with its forked upon their holdings.
tongue, had stopped within a scant After I had plodded along for fully
two inches of where my face had been. an hour I knew that I must be quite
Before the rattler could return and close to the rock which gives Steam-
coil again I had stepped upon the bul- boat its name; biit still I had not
let head, grinding it deep into the found the pathway leading to the log
sand, and when the tail whipped cabin. Evidently I had already
frantically against my leg I seized it passed it.
and hurled the reptile with all my Even as I had this thought I came
might, out of the stream-bed into the upon a path leading into the shadows
shell-rock. Even as I did it I won-
of the willow thicket a path that
dered where I had found the courage seemed familiar, even though, from
and what had kept me from moving the stream-bed, I could not see the
while unconscious. Had I moved I cabin. With a sigh, and much sur-
might never again have awakened. prized that I had, last night, trav-
The sun was directly overhead. I eled so far, I turned into this path
had lost my sense of direction during and increased my pace.
592 WEIRD TALES
I came shortly to pause, cliilled lake, clearand pellucid, into which I
even though the sun was shining. For could look, straight down, for what
at the end of the mossy trail there I guessed must have been all of twen-
was no cabin; but a cleared plot of ty feet!
ground adorned with aged mounds Some great shifting of the walls,
and rough-hewn crosses! Rocks were during the night, had blocked the en-
scattered profusely over the mounds trance, entombing me in Steamboat
and, I guessed, had been placed to Coulee with all its nameless horrors!
foil the creatures which otherwise There was no one to see me, so I
would have despoiled the bodies rest- flung myself down at the edge of the
ing there. There was a great over- pool and wept weakly, bemoaning my
hang of the cliff wall, bulging out terrible fate.
over the little graveyard, and from After a time I regained control of
the overhang came a steady drip of my frayed nerves, arose to my knees
moisture. Slimy water lay motionless and bathed my throbbing temples.
in a pool in the center of the plot. Sometime, somehow, I reasoned, Plone
Mossy green were the stones. Mud- would find a way to reach me. There
puppies scurried into the deeps as I was nothing to do now but return and
stopped and stared, turning the water search again for my cabin. Plone had
to a pool of slime. hinted that he would be in after a
How uneasy I felt in this place! day or two with supplies for me if I
Why had such a remote location been
chosen as a cemetery, hidden awaj"-

did not come out for them and I felt
that he would know how to get in by
here from the brightness of Grods some other way. He had lived in the
sunshine? Nothing but shadow-filled coulee and should know his way
silence, except for the dripping of the about.
water from the overhang. Wearily I began the return march.
I hurried back to the stream-bed It never occurred to me to note that
and continued on my way. the sun went ahead of me on its jour-
ney into the west. I can only blame
during my physical condition for not noting
A nother hour passed,
which, my body racked with con- this. Had I done so I would have real-
ized at once that I had gone in the
tinual coughing, I suffered the tor-
ments of the damned. Those red dots wrong direction in the first place, and
were dancing before my eyes again, that straight ahead of me lay freedom.
and nothing looked natural to me. I had gone to the head of the coulee,
The .sunning snakes in the shale straight in from Steamboat Rock, and
seemed to waver grotesquely twist- when I had found the coulee blocked
ing, writhing, coiling. Here, on the at the end had thought the entrance
cliff,was a row of ponderous pali- closed against me.
sades; but they seemed to be ever But I did not note the sun.
buckling and bendipg, as though
shaken by an earthqTiake. STRODE wearily on, and found the
Then, far ahead, I saw the rock at 1 cabin with ridiculous ease.
the entrance. With a sob of joy I Inside, calmly awaiting my coming,
began to runonly to stop when I sat Hildreth, the wife of Plone! She
reached the pile, with a cry of hope- said nothing when I opened the door,
lessness and despair. For the rock, just sat on the only chair in the house
unscalable even to one who possessed and looked at me. I spoke to her,
the strength to climb, now filled the thanking her for the sack of provi-
coulee from lip to lip. while on my sions which I saw on the rickety shelf
side of the pile there nestled a little on the wall beyond the door. Still slie
!

THE GHOSTS OP STEAMBOAT COULEE 593

said nothing. Just stared at me, un- in which slimy mud-puppies played,
blinking. hidden forever from the light of the
I asked her about leaving this place sun.
and she shook her head, as though she I shivered as the picture came back
did not catch my meaning. to me.
For Gods sake, Hildreth! 1 Then I stepped back, to search
cried; cant you speak? about the place for paper, so that,
For it had come to me that had
I with the aid of a pencil which I pos-
never heard her speak. When had
I sessed, she might write what she had
first entered the farmhouse she had to tell me. I found it and turned
placed a meal for me, and had bidden back to the woman, who had watched
me eat of it. But I remembered now me gravely while I searched. Noting
that she had done so by gestures with the paper she shook her head, telling
her hands. me mutely that she could not write.
In answer now to my question she Then Plone, his face as dark as a
opened her mouth and pointed into it thundercloud, stood in the doorway !
with her forefinger. Hildreth, the To me he paid no attention. His
wife of Plone, had no tongue eyes, glowering below heavy brows,
Did you ever hear a tongueless per- burned as he stared at the woman. In
son try to speak? It is terrible. For her eyes I could read fright unutter-
after this all-meaning gesture there able. She gave one frightened croak
came a raucous croak from the mouth and turned to flee. But she could

of Hildreth wordless, gurgling, alto- not go far, for she fled toward the
gether meaningless. bare wall opposite the open door.
I understood no word ; but the eyes Plone leaped after her, while I
of the woman, strangely glowing now, jumped forward to fling him aside ere
were eloquent. She was trying to he could lay hands upon the woman.
warn me of something, and stamped Imagine my horror when Hildreth
her foot impatiently when I did not touched the wall and vanished
understand. I saw her foot move as through it as though there had been

she stamped it ^but failed to notice no wall! I caught a glimpse of the
at the time that the contact of her wall, not a breach in it, before Plone,
foot with the board floor made no too, plunged through and was gone!
noise ! Later I remembered it. To me now came an inkling of what
When I shook my head she arose it all meant. Now I understood, or
from her chair and strode to the door, thought I did, the mystery of the dis-
flinging it wide. Then she pointed up appearing farmhouse. Was this land
the coulee in the direction I had just into which I had stumbled a land of
come. Again that raucous croak, still wraiths and shadows? A land of rest-
meaningless. Once more I shook my less dead people? Why?
head. Trembling in every fiber of my be-
What was there, up that coulee, ing I strode to the wall where Plone
that menaced me? and his wife had gone through, and
I was filled with dread of the un- ran my hand over the rough walls.
known, wished with all my soul that They were as solid, almost, as the day
I could understand what this woman the cabin had been built. To me this
was trying to say to me. What was was a great relief. I should not have
there up the coulee, about which she been surprized had the walls also
strove to tell me? proved to be things of shadow-sub-
AH' I could think of was a hidden stance, letting me through to stand
graveyard, dotted with rotting crosses amazed upon the shell-rock behind the
and, in the center of the plot, a pool cabin.
594 WEIRD TALES
Here was one place in the coulee of began to gesture. Her mouth opened
shadows that was real. and I imagined I again heard that
I went to the door, locked and raucous croak of the tongueless. Again
barred it. Then I returned and her eyes were eloquent, mutely giving
lighted the stove to disperse the un- a warning which I could not under-
natural chill that hovered in the room. stand.
After this I searched out my food Pear seizing me in its terrible grip,
and wolfed some of it ravenously. An- I leaped from my bed and threw wood
other thought came to me : if Reuben, on thefire, hoping to dispel this silent
Plone and Hildreth were nothing but shadow. When the light flared up the
shadows, where had I procured this head shimmered swiftly and began
food, which was real enough and well to fade away but not before I saw a
;

cooked ? Somewhere in my adven- pair of hands come forth from no-


tures since being kicked off the train where and fasten themselves below
at Palisades there was a great gap, that head, about where the neck
bridged only by fantasies and hallu- should have been. Hands that were
cinations. What had happened, real- gnarled and calloused from toil on an
ly, in that blank space ? unproductive farm the work-tom
Having eaten, I stepped to the door hands of the killer, Plone!
and looked out. If I again went forth Then the weird picture vanished
into the stream-bed in an attempt to and I was alone with roy fantasies.
get out of the coulee, I should never I had scarcely returned to my seat
reach it before dark. What would it on the bed, sitting well back against
mean to my tired reason to be caught the wall so that my back was against
in the open, in the midst of this cou- something solid, when the wailing of
lee, for another terrible night? I lost babies broke out again on the
could not do it. talus slopes outside. I had expected
Again I secured the door. Nothing this to happen after nightfall ; but the
real could get in to bother me
and reality left me weak and shivering,
even now I reasoned myself out of even though I knew that the animals
positive belief in ghosts. The hallu- that uttered the mournful wails were
cinations which had so terrified me flesh and blood. The wailing of
had undoubtedly been born of my bobcats, no matter how often it is
sickness. heard, always brings a chill that is
Convinced of this at last I lay down hard to reason away. Nature certain-
on the rough cot and went to sleep. ly prepared weird natural protec-
tions for some of her creatures!
I awoke suddenly in the Then the wailing stopped suddenly
* ^ night, the fire had burned very short off. And the silence was more
low and a heavy the
chill possessed nerve-devastating than the eery wail-
cabin. I had a feeling that I was not ing.
the only occupant of my abode; but, Nothing for many minutes. Then
striving to pierce the gloom in the the rattle of sliding talus, as the shale
cabins comers, I could see nothing. glided into the underbrush.
But stay! "^at was that? This stopped, and a terrible silence
In the farthest comer I saw the pressed down upon me.
pale, ghostly lineaments of a woman! Then my cabin shook with the force
Just the face, shimmering there in the of the wind that suddenly swooped
gloom, oddly, but neither body nor through the coulee. It rattled through
substance. The face of Hildreth, wife the eaves, shook the door on its hinges,
of Plone! Then her hands, no arms while the patter-patter on the roof
visible, came up before her face and told me of showers of sand which the

THE GHOSTS OP STEAMBOAT COULEE . 595

wind had scooped up from the bed of for her very life with her brutal hus-
the dry stream. The wind was ter- band She was groveling on her
I thought; but ever
rific, it increased
!


knees at his feet ^liis hands were
in power and violence. about her throat. As she begged for
The patter on the roof and the rat- mercy I could understand her words.
tle in the eaves began to take on a She had a tongue, after all! Then
new significance for the patter
;
Plone, holding Hildreth with his left
sounded like the scamper of baby feet hand, raised his right and, crooking
above my head, while the wailing it like a fearful talon, poised it above

about the eaves sounded like the the face of Hildreth.


screaming of people who are ton^e- He did a ghastly, unbelievable
less. The door bellied inward against thing. I can not tell it. But when
the chair-back as though many hands his hand came away her words were
were pressed against it from outside, meaningless, gurgling the raucous
seeking entrance. Yet I knew that croaking of a person who has no
there was no one outside. tongue.
Then, faint and feeble through the Forgetting what I had before ex-
roaring of the wind, I caught that perienced, frenzied with horror at
eery cry in the night. It was the de- what Plone had done, I leaped into
spairing voice of a woman, and she the dry stream and ran forward to
was calling aloud, hopelessly, for bring up short in the middle of the
help! I shivered and tried not to sandy open space, staring aghast.
hear. But the cry came again, nearer
For I was all alone ^no Hildreth,
now, as though the woman moved to-
ward me on leaden feet.

the tongueless no Plone with the cal-
loused hands! Once more a hallu-
In Gods name! what woman could cination had betrayed me.
be abroad in such a night? Screaming in fear I sprang out of
The cry again. No man, fear the the stream-bed and rushed to the
shadows as he might, could ignore cabin, crashi^ against the door in
that pitiful plea and call himself a my frenzy, with all my weight.
man again. The door did not open. Rather it
I gritted my teeth and ran to the bellied inward, slightly, as though
door, flinging it open. Averitable someone held against my efforts in-
sea of flying sand swept past me ; but side!
through the increased roar came Who, or what, was inside?
plainly that cry for help. I left the Too late, now, I guessed what the
door open this time, so that the light wraith of Hildreth had tried to tell
would stream out and guide my re- me. Going back in my memory I
'
turn. watched her lips move again. And
On the bank of the dry stream I as they moved I read the words she
stopped. would have uttered. As plain as
I heard the slamming of a door be- though she had spoken I now under-
hind me. I turned back. The door stood the warning:
opened a bit and a face looked out As you value the reason God has
the leering, now malevolent, face of
given you do not leave, this cabin to-
Reuben, the son of Plone! As I saw nigiit!
him he jerked back, closing the door I understood now, as, panting with
again, shutting out the light. my exertions, I pressed my weight
Even as the wailing of the bobcats against the door that would not give
had stopped, so, now, stopped the except slightly.
wind. And before and below me I For from inside the log cabin, faint
saw Hildreth, wife of Plone, fighting as the sighing of a spring zephyr,
! !

596 WEIRD TALES


eame the faintest sound as of someone father had stalked that other unfor-
breathing tunate, stalked the aged man who pre-
4 ceded him. More pungent now the

W HAT was coming to me out of the


night? That against which the
wraith of Hildreth had tried to warn
odor of burning tobacco, though the
stooped stranger was not smoking.
The latter passed a clump of service
berry bushes and paused on the lip
me? of the dry stream. He had scarcely
My eyes must have been very wide, halted when, out of the clump of serv-
had there been anyone to see. My body ice berries, stepped Plone himself,
chilled with fear
afraid to force moving stealthily, like a cat that stalks
in the door and seewhat it was inside a helpless, unsuspecting bird

that breathed expectantly afraid to The older man half turned as
face about and keep my eyes upon though he heard some slight sound,
the stream-bed where I had seen Hil- when Plone, with the silent fury of
dreth battle for her life against her the bobcat making a kill, leaped bod-
spouse. ily upon his back and bore him to
Choosing between the two fears as the ground, where the two of them,
a desperate person chooses between fighting and clawing, rolled into the
two evils, I turned with my back sand below.
against the jamb of the door and Plone was smoking an evil-smelling
stared toward the dry stream. pipe.
At once there came to me the odor Reuben began to run when his
of burning tobacco Someone was
! father closed with the stranger, and
near me, someone who smoked; but I was right at his heels when he
who it was there was no way for me leaped over the edge to stop beside
to learn. The door behind me shook the silent combatants. Then he bent
slightly, so I darted to the comer of to assist his father.
the cabin where I could see both the The end was speedy. For what
dry stream and the door. chance has an aged man, taken by
Expectant silence for many min- surprize, against two determined kill-
utes, during which I would have wel- ers? They slew him there in the sand,
comed the eery wailing of the bobcats while I, my
limbs inert because of my
on the shell-rock. fright, looked on, horror holding me
Then the door of my cabin opened mute when I would have screamed
and out walked a stranger! He was aloud.
dressed very much as had been the Their bloody purpose accomplished,
man whom I had seen
fall before the Reuben and Plone methodically be-
murderous of Plone last night.
rifle gan to turn the pockets of the dead
But he was older, stooped slightly un- man inside out. The contents of these
der the weight of years. I heard him they divided between themselves.
sigh softly, as a man sighs whose This finished, in silence, the murder-
stomach *is comfortably filled with ers, taking each an arm of the dead
food. man, began to drag the body up the
He walked toward the stream-bed, sandy stretch toward the end of the
following the path through the coulee the closed end.
thicket. Still I stood, asone transfixed.
He had almost reached the lip of Then I became conscious of a low,
the dry stream when another figure heart-breaking sobbing at my side.
follow^ him from the cabin and Turning, I saw the figure of Hildreth
that figure was Reuben, the malevo- standing there, tra^dy easily read-
lent son of Plone! Reuben, as his able in her eyes, wringing her hands

THE GHOSTS OF STEAMBOAT COULEE 597

as her eyes followed the figures of Plone, too, was silently watching,
her husband and her son. Then she standing just inside the door, with
extended her hands in a pleading ges- his back toward me. As I watched
ture, calling to the two who dragged him he moved slightly, edging toward
the body. the table.
Then she began to follow them Then Plone was upon the stranger,
along the stream-bed, dodging from a carving knife, snatched from the
thicket to on the bank as
thicket table, in his hand.
though she screened her movements But why continue ? I had seen this
from Plone and Eeuben. I watched same scene, slightly varied, but a few
her until her wraithlike form blended minutes before, in the sand of the dry
with the shadows in the thickets and stream.
disappeared from view. I watched them rifle the clothes of

As I watched her go, and saw the the dead man, stepped aside as they
figures of Plone and Eeuben passing
dragged the body forth and away, up
around a sharp bend in the dry the coulee. For where is the hand
that can halt thb passing of shadows ?
stream, there came back to my mem-
For hours I watched, there beside
ory a mental picture of a graveyard
the cabin, while Eeuben and Plone
located in perpetual shadow, adorned
carried forward their ghastly work.
with rotting crosses upon which no
Many times during those hours did I
names were written. Slimy stones at
see them make their kill. Ever it was
the edge of a muddy pool populated
Plone who commanded, ever it was
by serpentine mud-puppies.
Eeuben who stood at his fathers side
Turning then, I hurried back to the to assist. Ever it was Hildreth who
cabin, whose door now stood open
raised her hand or her voice in pro-
to pause aghast at the threshold, star-
test.
ing into the interior.
Then, suddenly, she was back in
the cabin with Eeuben and Plone.
A TA table in the center of the room
She told the latter something, gestur-
a table loaded with things to ing vehemently as she spoke. These
eat, fresh and steaming from the gestures were simple, easy to under-
stove sat another stranger, this stand. For she pointed back down
time a mandressed after the manner the coulee, in the direction of Steam-
of city folk. His clothing bespoke boat Eock. Somehow I knew that
wealth and refinement, while his man- what she tried to tell him was that
ner of eating told that he was accus- she had gone forth and told the au-
tomed to choicer food than that of thorities what he and Eeuben had
which necessity now compelled him done. Plone s face became black with
to partake. Daintily he picked over wrath. Eeuben s turned to the pasty
the viands, sorting judiciously, while gray of fear which is unbounded.
near the stove stood Hildreth, her Both sprang to the door and stared
eyes wide with fright and wordless down the coulee. Then Plone leaped
entreaty. back to Hildreth, striking her in the
Eeuben stood in a darkened comer face with his fist. She fell to the
and his eyes never left the figure of floor, groveling on her knees at his
the stranger at the table. As he feet. He dragged her forth into the
stared at this one I saw his tongue trail, along it to the dry stream-bed.
come forth from his mouth and de- There, while I watched, was repeat-
scribe a circle, moistening his lips, an- ed that terrible sc'ene I had witnessed
ticipatory, like a eat that watches a once before. The pleading of Hil-
saucer of cream. dreth, the motion before her face of
!

598 WEIRD TALES


Plones hand, crooked like a great Plone and Reuben sprang straight
talon. Then her gurgling scream into the air to an unbelievable height,
which told that her mouth was empty to pause midway to that bare limb,
of the tongue their necks twisted at odd angles,
their bodies writhing grotesquely.

R exiben advanced to the lip of the


dry stream as Plone fought with
Reubens mother. He paid them no
I watched
stopped.
until the wiithing
Until the bodies merely
swayed, as though played upon by
heed, however, but shaded his eyes vagrant breezes sweeping in from the
with his hand as he gazed into the sandy dry stream.
west in the direction of Steamboat Then, for the last time, I heard the
Rock. Then he gestured excitedly to piercing, wordless shriek of a tongue-
Plone, pointing down the coulee. less woman. I swerved to look for
But Plone was all activity at once. Hildreth, and saw a misty, wraithlike
With Reuben at his heels and Hil- shadow disappear among the willows,
dreth stumbling farther in the rear, flashing swiftly out of sight up the
they rushed to the cabin and began to coulee.
throw rough packs together, one each Hildreth had gone, and I was alone,
for Reuben and Plone. swaying weakly, nauseated, staring
But in the midst of their activities cra^y up to two bodies which oscil-
they paused and stared at the door- lated to and fro as though played
way where I stood. Then, slowly, upon by vagrant breezes.
though no one stood there except my- Then the bodies faded slowly away
self, they raised their hands above as my knees began to buckle under
their heads, while Hildreth crouched me. I sank to the ground before the
in a corner, wild-eyed, whimpering. cabin, and darkness descended once
Plone and Reuben suddenly lurched more.
toward me, haltingly, as though pro-
pelled by invisible hands.
hands were at their sides now as
Their

though bound there securely by ropes.


W HEN I regained consciousness
I opened my eyes, expecting to
see those swaying bodies in the air
Outside they came, walldng oddly above me. There were no bodies.
with their hands still at their sides. Then I noted that my wrists were
They stopped beneath a tree which close together, held in place by man-
had one bare limb, high up from the acles of shining steel.

ground a strong limb, white as a From the cabin behind me came the

ghost in the moonlight. Reuben and sound of voices ^voices of men who
Plone looked upward at tliis limb, and
talked as they ate ^noisily. Behind
both their faces were gray. Hildreth the cabin I could hear the impatient
came out and stood near by, also look- stamping of horses.
ing up, wringing her hands, grief I lay there dully, trying to under-
marring her face that might once stand it all.
have been beautiful. Then two men came out of the
Reuben and Plone looked at each cabin toward me. One of them chewed
other and nodded. Then they looked busily upon a bit of wood in lieu of a
mutely at Hildreth, as though asking toothpick. Upon the mottled vest of
her forgiveness. After this they this one glistened a star, emblem of
turned and nodded toward no one the sheriff. The second man I knew
that I could see, as though they ges- to be his deputy.
tured to unseen hangmen. Hes awake, I see, Al, said the
I cried aloud, even though I had first man as he looked at me.
foreseen what was to come, as both (Continued 0 % page 718)
*ltvr&s all over in a moment. That
sinister patch of purple light had
gone directly over the head and
shoulders of the l^ider. There was
not a cry, not even a murmur. The
^ider was gone!

CHAPTER 1. Half-way down the dope a dead


cow lay athwart the yellow lane, and
THE FLYING DEVIL OF around the carcass a group of four
BLENNERHOF. men were gathered. Only one of
T WAS a lane of dead grass per- them, he who talked and gesticulated

haps ten feet wide a straight, so excitedly, was dressed in the na-
I even strip of sere yellow extend- tive costume of the countryside. The
ing for nearly half a mile across the other three, a rather motley trio of
green hillside. Up near the crest of physiques and faces, might have
the slope it terminated as abruptly passed for tourists, and yet this was
and as evenly as it had begun down a territory remote from the beaten
in the valley. Had it not been a lone- paths of travel. In other ways in
some spot in an obscure Austrian cut of clothes, in speech, in faces half
countryside one might have believed concealed by low-pulled cloth caps,
that some huge carpet had lain out they did not seem to fit in with the
there in the sun until the grass be- general scene either as interested
neath it had perished. strangers or cursory wayfarers. One
599
:

600 WEIKD TALES


of them, a tall, wiry individual, whose aroimd with dead coavs. Weve been
cap visor did not wholly conceal a here a week and nothing done. Were
wide sear across his forehead, spoke going to spend another night watch-
impatiently, indicating the muttering ing the castle, and tomorrow well get
peasant. What is he saying, Lefty? busy making our plans to get at that
When Lefty spoke it was in the villa. If we hang around here much
eurionsly clipped phrases of an Amer- longer people Avill begin to ask ques-
ican who had lived for many years in tions.
lower New York. He says that a His comment was made Avell out of

devil done this; a flyin devil that earshot of the peasant as they walked
goes over the country at night. He slowly up the hilL They did not
says hes seen him once or twice and speak again until they reached the
now he finds his cow here dead. crest, when Lefty, looking back, mut-
tered in an undertone, All the same
The third man, a short, thick-set in-
I dont like this place. Ill be glad
dividual, stirred uneasily and began
digging nen-ously with the toe of his
when weve pnll^ this job and get
ont. Theres something queer about
shoe in the turf near the edge of the
this air. It aint healthy.
yellow lane, his efforts sending up a
small cloud of dry dust. The scarred
The short man said nothing, but
man, who was obviously the leader of glanced nervously behind him as he
followed the others over the brow of
the other two, snorted derisively
Nonsense! Its just heart-disease, the hill.

thats aU. Cows are subject to it the


same as human beings. There isnt a CHAPTER 2.

mark or a wound on her that I can CASTLE BLENNERHOP.


find. His speech Avas clipped, terse.
Nothing of Manhattan here.
Its funny, Mr. Ferris
Mister, coming from Lefty, was
the
T he smt^, purplish gloom of an
autumn twili^t had settled over
the Blennersee. The faint breath of
curiously deferential to the younger an autumnal breeze left a parting

man that she should happen to fall ripple on the dull surface of the
right here in this <Jead grass, aint it? lake and rustled its Avay onward
I dont suppose the grass died of through the first frost-nipped leaves
heart-disease, too, did it?
of the season ^leaA^es deep blood-red
Looky here, said the third man, and somber black with none of the
who had been digging in the turf. brilliant yellows and golden broAvns
Heres something else thats had with which nature is wont to brighten
heart-trouble. He stooped and the last hours of a dying summer.
pulled out of the turf an object which In a thick copse of scnibby moun-
appeared to be a rough ball of gray^- tain pine groAA'ing on a small promon-
ish lint. Looking into the ball the toiy OA'erlooking the lake the three
others saw that it was a nest of field men had halted, and now they stood
mice. They were all quite dead. looking over the darkening surface
Just the same, Im glad I wasnt of the water, their gaze absorbed not
bangin around these parts last night, in the purple and saffron glories of
aint you. Lefty? said the short man the sunset on the heights above the
to the digger. water, but rather in the age-black-
You said it, Spider, returned ened turrets of the great castle which
the other. reared itself on a ledgelike island
Perris stirred impatiently. Come near the farther shore.
on, lets get out at this, he snapped. The last rays of the sun on the sum-
We didnt come up here to fiddle mits above them flidmred and died.
THE DEVHi-RAY 601

Simultaneously from a point three All right, said Perris, when he


miles down the lake there came a had taken a look; they wont try
sudden wanning glow. any flying, probably, until after mid-
Thats the villa, said the Spider, night, same as before. We can stay
pointing with stubby forefinger to- here and watch them until then.
ward the light. I bet theyre gettin By this time Lefty was standing
ready to sit down to chow right now. beside them. Its that plane again,
Bet that wummun is wearin bout said the Spider, pointing a shaky
half a ton of dem jools ready for the forefinger toward the castle.
pickins. Lefty shivered. It might have been
Lefty stirred uneasily, but said the wind, which seemed to be grow-
nothing. Ferris either ^d not hear ing rapidly chill with the advancing
the remark or chose to ignore it. He evening.
had taken from his pocket a pair of Gets cold here early, he said,
binoculars, which he directed toward half apologetically.
the turrets rearing into the gloom of There was snort from Perris.
the fast-gathering night. Youre both getting scared, he
I think I see those lights in the snapped, impatiently. Both getting
castle again, he said suddenly. frightened over this fool story from
You try the glass. Spider, and tell a half-baked peasant. Youre both in
me what you see. My eyes may be a blue funk and ready to quit when
deceiving me. weve come half-way around the
The Spider had barely brought the world to get this stuff and weve noth-
glasses, to a focus when he started and ing but a few old men and a girl be-
shrank back into the thicket. The tween us and nearly half a million.
lights again, he muttered. I see I cant pull this job unless I get a
them there in the middle tower win- little co-operation from you spineless
dow. creatures. Why, damn it, men, both
All right, said Perris; stand of you have police records in New
watch there for a time while we get
York ^youve both been in gun fights
something to eat. Keep your eye on and tight places, and here you are, all
that opening in the wall under the scared pie-eyed because you see a lit-
drawbridge and call me if you see tle dead grass and a dead cow. Evil
anything.
spirits ^flying devils!
With the other man he went back The pair opposite him stirred un-
into the thicket, where they built a easily. It was the Spider who finally
small fire. They were not cold, but broke the silence. Evil spirits it
the village inn where they had been was or evil spirits it wasnt. I dunno
staying was far down in one of the as it makes any difference. Anyways
valleys and they felt the lack of its
cheery fireside. Perhaps an hour or
we seen the cow and you cant
away from that. It was that plane
^
two passed in desultory conversation that flew over that field, and those
when a voice from the edge of the guys there in that castle got some-
lake called them back to the promon- thing which aint healthy for you nor
tory. me to deal with.
Its that plane again, Mr. Per- In his own mind Perris had to ad-
ri^ said the Spider. Theyre mit that there appeared to be some-
bringin her out again tonight. thing in what the Spider had said.
Without seeming reason his voice had It was two nights ago, when they had
grown strangely hoarse. He shud- been lying in the copse watching the
dered dightly and his hand trembled castle, he had discovered a faint gleam
as he held out the binoculars. from one of its towers. Soon after-
;

602 WEIRD TALES


ward he had seen an airplane glide their automatics and Perriss flash-
out from under the drawbridge and light strapped to their shoulders.
spin silently away into the night Fortunately the water proved to be
silently because the usual roar of the warmer than the air, and they struck
exhaust had been muffled in some un- out slowly, their white bodies scarcely
canny way. perceptible in the murky waters of
Thereafter the castle had become the Blennersee.
an absorption with him. Their mis-
sion in this remote part of Europe
was not an honest one, and the prize A s FERRIS swam with easy strokes
he pondered on the significance
which they were seeking might lie of the dead cow in the open field and
either in the castle which they, until the airplane in the supposedly de-
now, had supposed uninhabited, or in serted jsastle. Had the two any con-
the villa up the lake. Yet it was the nection? Was the aii^lane from the
castle which fascinated him, and it castle the flying devil the iieasant
was this fascination that was reflected had told of seeing over his fields,
in his less hardy companions (they spraying death to plants and animals
admitted it to themselves) by cold, alike ? If not, why was there all this
stark fear. secrecy with the plane at the castle?
It may be
that Perris feared he was Why this midnight flying? Why the
losing his grip on them, or perhaps it guarded glimmer from these suppos-
was his overweening curiosity that edly deserted towers?
got the better of him ; at any rate he The whole question had a strange
suddenly began to peel off his coat fascination for Ferris, a fascination
and then bent over and began to un- for which even he was at a loss to ac-
lace his shoes. The others eyed him count. He already had formed a
indumb wonderment. theory, a theory which startled and
What you goin to do now, Mr. I>erplexed him because its details
Ferris? ventured the Spider. came to him with such startling clear-
ness. He was a strange combination
Swim to the castle, said Ferris,
intelligent, apparently highly educat-
shortly.
ed, bearing all the earmarks of at
There was a tense silence.
least an outward culture; and yet
What for? there was a sinister twist in his na-
Perris said nothing for several sec- ture which during the past four years
onds, and then, finally; Just to show had made him one of the cleverest op-
you panicky old women what a lot of eratives in the history of American
fools youve been. crime.
The silence became somewhat pain- Four years before he had awakened
ful to the two in the shadow of the one February morning in a Chicago
thicket. There was no sound save the hospital with a gash across his fore-
sharp click of Ferriss shoelaces as he head and a split in his skull. They
whipped them through the eyelets. had to tell him what had happened.
The Spiders voice finally broke the He had been standing in a Chicago
silence. There aint nobody ever hotel two nights before when a pick-
goin' to say that Spider Lang ever pocket, sliding deft fingers into his
was seared of any man, alive or pocket, had removed his wallet. Fer-
dead, he muttered. He too began ris became aware of the theft almost
removing his clothing. as soon as it was consummated and
Ten minutes later, shivering with started after the thief in hot pursuit.
the chill of night, they slid down into The latter, however, had laid out his
the water with their shirts, trousers. course for just such an emergency,
THE DEVIL-RAY 603

for he slipped through a side door. California. On its back were some
This door, in keeping with the cor- meaningless penciled figures. Ordi-
ridor wall wherein it was set, bore a narily Perris would have concluded
heavy glass mirror, and the thief he had picked the thing up somewhere
swung the door viciously back, catch- to make use of as a memorandum. At
ing Perris across the forehead and that time, however, the name of Fen-
knocking him unconscious. Escape shaw was being blazoned from one
after that was easy. end of the country to the other, for
Despite the fact that his papers Prank Penshaw, X-ray expert and
were gone with the wallet, a cardcase electrical scientist at the University
in the victims pocket established his of California,had disappeared from
identity as George Perris. This was his home nine months before under
fortunate because, on his awakening circumstances which indicated a well-
two days later, Perris had lost all planned and well-executed kidnap-
memorj' of who he was or where he ing. Penshaw had not only made
had come from. This, in itself, was many discoveries and improvements
no extraordinary thing, but the case with the X-ray* in connection with
did present one novel aspect to the electro-therapeutics, but had also
surgeons. Perris had been convalesc- been employed by the War Depart-
ing rapidly, regaining everything ex- ment during the World War, perfect-
cept memory, and the ease was con- ing various electrical apparatus of a
sidered for the most part normal, lethal nature. Hence, the govern-
when one day they brought him a ment as well as the police was anxious
mirror in order that he might shave to find the man, but a search of
himself. Scarcely had he glanced months had failed to reveal a single
into the thing, however, when he sud- clue to his whereabouts. Eventu-
denly hurled it from him with a ally the search, virtually abandoned
scream of agony that startled the by the authorities, had been taken up
whole ward. Never after that could by Lindley Penshaw, American flsring
they induce him to glance into any ace in the World War and formerly
mirror. The surgeons, discussing the captain of the football and fencing
matter, concluded that a pathological teams at the University of California,
fear of his image had developed in where his father had occupied the
some quirk of his brain. Color was chair of electrical science. The
lent to this theory when it was re- younger Penshaw, -it was reported,
membered that the moment before had set out incognito, alone and un-
Perris had been hurled into his ab- aided, in the hope of running down
normal state by the impact of the some trace of the missing man. Just
swinging door he must have seen his why, a few months later, George
own image in the mirror before him, Perris should have found in his pos-
and that his mind had connected this session an old envelope addressed to
image in the nerve cells of his brain Lindley Penshaw was as much a mys-
with the pain and shock of the impact. terj' to Ferris as it would have been
There was a second strange angle to the authorities themselves.
to the ease, of which the surgeons That Perris did not turn the clue
were quite unaware. When Perris over to the police but kept it to him-
was discharged from the hospital he self would be best understood in
found tightly rolled up at the bottom light of the fact that Perris, when he
of his cardcase, where it had appar- discovered the letter, had no desire
ently escaped notice, an envelope with to meet the police for any reason
canceled postage addressed to Cap- whatsoever. Soon after he left the
tain Lindley Fenshaw of Berkeley, hospital, quite penniless, he discov-
604 WEIRD TALES
ered in himself an easy propensity the American trio had determined to
for helping himself to other peoples try its hand. So far they had done
chattels. In time h drifted to New but little, merely observing the castle
York, where he hit upon a very profit- and the villa from a distance and try-
able though somewhat precarious ca- ing so far as possible to learn the hab-
reer. It was soon discovered that he its of the inmates. Thus they had
had a pair of marvelously sensitive concluded that aside from the dozen
fingers and a very delicate ear, all of or so servants and guards about the
which could be put to lucrative use place the principals were only three
in twirling a steel dial and listening
to the gentle click of tumblers sup-
the old baron himself, a fiercely be-
mustached Junker by the name of Von
posedly muffled behind many thick- Schaang, and a young woman who ap-
nesses of soft felt and chrome steel.
peared to be the barons ward. It
Mostly he had worked alone, but of
was only the insistence of Perris in
late he had been hired by less
demanding an exhaustive survey of
gifted personages for jobs which
the estate which resulted in their dis-
contained something out of the or-
covering that the castle was some-
dinary. It was in this connection
thing more than the moss-grown pile
that Lefty Fritz and Spider Lang
had prevailed upon him to go to of stones it had seemed to be.
Austria. As Ferris swam he pondered
It was the old story of the Haps- whether the jewels might not be at
burg crowm jewels. The bulk of them the castle rather than at the villa.
had disappeared when the old Ilaps- He had planned skirting the rock on
burg monarchy had been overthrown, which the castle stood, thereby ap-
and it was rumored that some of the proaching it from the side opposite
old die-hard nobility had been en- where the airplane was now visible,
trusted with their care until such its black wings a dark blot against

time as they might be more profitably the gloomy background of the farther
employed in putting the hapless shore. He had purposed lying there
Charles or his heir back upon the in the water, listening to the crews
throne. Lefty, who long years ago conversation, but he was barely half-
had been a Viennese gambler, had way across the lake when he began to
learned through underworld channels hear their voices and the clang of an
that they had been entrusted to old iron wrench. A
moment later, while
Baron Von Blennerhof. The baron, he trod water, there came a splutter-
according to the best subterranean in- ing roar from the darkness. Imme-
formation available, had carted them diately it settled down to a barely
up to his country estates far away perceptible hum. Presently the plane
from the clutching hands of the new glided out from her berth under the
r6gime. This rumor was colored a drawbridge, and like some huge bird
bit by the fact that the baron had of ill omen mounted gradually into
some time before purchased a sizable the night and disappeared into the
Stivers-Leemy wall safe, a somewhat east. Scarcely a sound, save that
rare article to be brought into that deep-throated, muffled hum of her
part of the country. One or two at- engines.
tempts had been made by the Vien- With the plane out of the way Fer-
nese underworld gentry to test the ris shifted hiscourse and struck out
barons hospitality, but as the inevi- for the drawbridge. Afew minutes
table outcome seemed to be broken later they found themselves in a small
heads and no jewels, the project was chamber beneath the structure. At
finally abandoned. Now it was that one end was a tiny dock, and by grop-
! !

THE DEVIL-RAY 605

ing about they found an iron ladder They had started groping their way
leading upward into the castle. about, step by step, when Perris sud-
It had been a long swim, hampered denly halted, laying a resti'aining
as they were with the loads on their hand on the arm of the trembling
shoulders, and for a time they clung Spider. Listen, he whispered.
to the slippery edge of the rock be- The admonition was scarcely neces-
fore venturing into the chill air. As sary.
they rested there, Perriss hand, grop-
They listened intently. At first
ing about for a better purchase on
there came no sound save the pound-
the masonry, came into contact with
ing of their own hearts. And j^et
a row of smooth, cylindrical objects,
Perriss uncanny faculties had not
each about two feet long. By further
gi'oping he knew that they must be deceived him. Gradually they became
carefully wired to the rocks. One by aware that the air about them was
one he traced their smooth, steel bel- filled, not by any peiceptiblc sound,

lies down until he came to the conclu- but by a delicate throbbing, a dis-
sion there must be at least a dozen turbance of the ether which they
there within reach of his hand. sensed rather than Jicard.
After they had drawn themselves A moments hesitation, and Perris
out of the water and put on their pressed on. He had taken the flash-
clothing he took his flashlight and sent light once more from his pocket and
its narrow beam down into the water. was carrying it in his left hand, leav-
It was a small, quick flash and it did ing his right free for the butt of his
not penetrate far but it showed him automatic.
enough to make him whistle softly be- Suddenly in their groping they
tween his teeth. came upon a blank wall. By the
The drawbridge, and perhaps the smoothness of the structure under
whole castle, had been carefully their fingers they knew it must be dif-
mined with cylindrical bombs, pains- ferent from the rough-hewn stone of
takingly wired to the ledges around the castle. A moments further hesi-
itsbase tation and then a small beam of light
shot out from Perriss left hand.
CHAPTER 3 Confronting them was a wall of
THE FACE AT THE BARRED modern brick
WINDOW Guardedly the narrow shaft of light
crept down the wall. At a distance
T hey followed the iron ladder and
crawled up through a narrow
passageway into what Perris believed
of perhaps thirty feet from where
they stood they saw that this' brick
barrier had been mortised to one of
to be the ancient courtyard of the the castle buttresses. Foot by foot the
castle. Here in the Stygian gloom beam went back the other way. Fif-
they waited breathlessly, hoping, and teen paces beyond the point where
yet dreading, to hear some sound that they were standing it showed them
would indicate to them the where- that the wall ended. Still farther
abouts of those they knew would be beyond that, revealed for a brief sec-
their enemies. High above them ond in a kaleidoscopic gleam, was the
towered the great battlements, their ancient portcullis of Blennerhof with
topmost turrets lost in the upper the drawbridge drawn up behind it.
blackness of the night. The lights Perris snapped off the light. Appar-
which they had observed from the ently, then, this modem structure
farther shore had now disappeared. was a sizable brick building built in
They had lost all sense of direction. the center of the courtyard.
606 WEIRD TALES
They crept along to their left, came and had this motor car been brought
to the comer, rounded it cautiously. up into the mountains for their pro-
They listened. Not a sound save that tection? They remembered the as-
peculiar faint throbbing still persist- sertions of others that the safe must
ing in their consciousness. be at the villa. What use could they
Ferris tried the flash again and have had for such a huge affair as a
they saw themselves facing a set of Stivers-Leemy at the villa ? Why had
.slidingdoors made of steel or galvan- they not broxight it to the castle if the
ized iron. Above their heads two jewels were really in the barons cus-
narrow, slitlike windows looked out tody? Very well, he would find out.
into the court. The Spider had begun Perris had grown bolder with his
to recover his lost nerve, and so with flashlight now. By aid of its narrow
a nudge on Perriss elbow he held out shaft he found an open, iron-studded
his locked hands, stirrup-wise for the door at the foot of one of the towers.
latter to mount. It was an old busi- Within was an ancient stone staircase
ness with them. Perris swung up and which they began to ascend. It was
peered through the slit. Finally he a circuitous climb, leading far up into
cautiously.
tried his flash the turret. In their ears still rang
The beam found its way into the that subdued humming, growing
murky interior, lighting up the gleam- slightly louder as they went up. Pres-
ing reflectors, the polished brass and ently they stepped through a narrow
burnished steel of what appeared to arched doorway out upon the open
be a gigantic motor ear. This mod- battlements. Even as they did so the
em structure, then, was nothing more pale arc of the moon, rolling out for
nor less than a garage for this huge, the first time beyond its clouds, threw
steel beetle. Perris breathed easier a fitful gleam over the ancient pile.
and whistled softly through his teeth. Together they peered over the parapet
Small wonder visitors were not wel- into the gloom below. Together they
come to Castle Blennerhof! saw there something that made them
Slowly, as best he could, he shot his
both crouch hastily back within the
narrow beam of light through that shadow of the wall. It was several
narrow aperture. Foot by foot his minutes before they ventured it a sec-
eyes wandered over the car, noting ond time.
the huge, beaklike hood, the slitlike They saw then that the castle was
openings for the eyes of the driver, in reality only a shell. Within the
the heavily armored sides and wheels encircling battlements was a large
and, most of all, the heavy steel cu- interior courtyard, stone-flagged. To
pola on the roof. Plainly it was an one side they made out a huge pile of
armored car, but what puzzled him black, lumpish material at the foot of
most of all was that the cupola con- which the dim outlines of two men
tained neither rifle nor machine-gun were visible. Prom below, their ears
but a high, bulging dome of heavy caught the subdued clang of iron.
greenish glass approximately two feet
Coal or Im a liar! whispered
in diameter. It might be a gigantic the Spider. It was indeed a huge pile
third headlight whose rays could be of anthracite.
directed not only to right and left, to They were aware now that the hum-
the front and behind, but also into ming had become louder. Over in one
the heavens. comer of the courtyard a white, wav-
Perris slipped to the ground and ing plume of steam floated out into
held a whispered consultation with the night, only to be lost long before
the Spider. Could the jewels, then, it reach^ the upper battlements.
be in the castle instead of at the villa, Voices fiwm the two men below them
THE DEVIL-RAY 607

came up in low gutturals. One of of the hour-glass there jutted a


them trundled a wheelbarrow-load of U-shaped bar of a black substance,
coal toward the corner, where he dis- apparently carbon. A similar bar
appeared through a doorw'ay. Pres- was seen under the glass in the lower
ently they heard the clang of an iron half. Betvv'een the two bars there
door and the metallic rattle of a slice oscillated a strange, purplish light.
bar. As they watched they saw it flicker
Perris grunted. Dynamos, he and flare, now forking like a serpents
whispered, half to himself. It was not tongue, now a solid ray of purple.
until then that the Spider recognized Even as they stood there watching,
the now familiar whining hum. the head and shoulders of a man arose
For a time they watched the men through an opening in the floor at the
at work on the coal pile, wonderingly. farther comer. Step by step he
Perris knew that the villa was an up- mounted until, crouching there as
to-date affair, equipped with electric they were, with their eyes just visible
lights and other modern improve- over the window ledge, they could
ments, but he was virtually certain see him plainly-^his upstanding crop
that the power for these was gener- of thick gray hair, his thin gangling
ated by a small gas engine in one of figure, his curiously round and impas-
the outbuildings near the servants sive face with deep-set eyes veiled be-
quarters. Furthermore, he knew that hind thiek-lensed glasses. He turned
the humming in hLs ears indicated as he stepped out upon the floor and
the presence of djTiamos far more stooped to help a second man out of
powerful than would be required for the hole.
the needs of a mountain villa, no The last comer proved to be a
matter how extensive. Then, too, smooth-shaven person with haggard
why was it necessary for these men features and emaciated frame. Even
to work by night? Musing thus, he as his face came into full view be-
crept on about the battlements until neath the glare of the lamp overhead,
at a point ahead of him he saw a re- the Spider felt Ferris stiffen beside
flection of light from one of the small him, heard him gasp as though
embrasures. They peered into it cau- struggling for breath. The tighten-
tiously. What they saw brought an- ing clutch of Ferriss hand on the
other of those low whistles from Per- Spiders sleeve sent cold shivers rac-
ris. ing up and down the latters alieady
trembling spine.

T he chamber within had apparent-


ly been built over the engine room.
To one side was a short iron ladder
Smatter? he growled in alarm.
Ferris said nothing, but continued
to peer in fascination through the
leading up to a row of rheostats and window, raising his head until he
other electrical paraphernalia with must have been fully visible to those
dials and many wheels, attached to a within had they chosen to look up.
solid rubber slab on the wall. At the At times he paused, stepped back into
other side, jutting through the floor, the darkness and passed his hand over
were the glistening backs of two small his eyes. When he pressed his face
djuiamos. Between them stood the again to the window the Spider saw
strangest apparatus of all. It was of that there w^ere great globules of per-
thick, greenish glass, shaped not un- spiration on his forehead, though the
like a huge hour-glass with the upper night was increasing in coolness.
end touching the ceiling and the low- The little man fidgeted nervou^y.
er part countersunk in the stone floor. It was not his custom to question the
Out of the ceiling with the upper half actions of his chief, but he knew they

608 WEIRD TALES


were losing valuable time. Finally Ferris stiffened. His very expres-
he laid his hand on Ferriss arm only sion seemed to change as he turned
to have it flung roughly aside. Here his ear to the night wind. Gad,
again it was strange, for Ferris youre right, he mumbled. Why
turned to the Spider and peered long didnt you say so before? The
and intently into his face, lit up as it Spider swore under his breath.
was by the dim glow from the win-
dow. The Spider was no student of
psychology, but there was m Ferriss
T hey retraced their steps as quiet-
ly as possible and made their way
down through the tower to the court-
eyes something which made him pan-

icky with fear a certain vagueness
yard. More groping for they dared
which was alarming.
not use the light now and they found
the iron ladder leading down under
How long this went on (it seemed the bridge to the little stone dock.
hours) the Spider scarcely knew.
There was no time to remove their
Once he thought all was lost when the clothing now, so they plunged in as
second of the two men, the emaciated they were. By this time the faint
one, suddenly glanced up at the win- zooming from the east had grown to
dow. The Spider could have sworn a deep-throated hum. The plane
that he had seen Ferris, and the little would be upon them before they were
mans hand flew to his automatic, his half-way across the lake. Yet, once
ears attuned for the cry of alarm. out there in the water, they were rea-
Instead (and the Spider could have sonably safe. There was small likeli-
sworn it) the man in the tower seemed hood of the midnight fliers glancing
to stand there for the fraction of a down into the waters where they
second, staring in fascination at the were.
window. Was it a look of recogni-
But what was this? Out of the
tion! Then the man within took a murk to the east came a sudden pur-
step across the floor and the Spider
plish gleam! Only a faint glow at
raised his weapon. One more step
first, it grew brighter with the in-
but the man had stopped. He turned
creasing drone of the engines. In a
away. Ah, the other had spoken to
manner that he had never known be-
him.
fore, Perris felt the fingers of panic
From out of the east came the faint clawing at his vitals. Around him
hum of airplane motors, only a subtle the water grew icily cold. He heard
throb of the ether. The plane was the Spider call out something from
coming back! They must be gone! behind him. There was panic in the
As roughly as he dared, the Spider littlemans voice and it seemed to
pulled Perris from the window, and chain his own limbs. That had been
pinning him with all his strength
against the wall, signaled for him to

a cry of fear fear of the unknown.
Turning his head he gazed into the
listen. east. There it was, its somber wings
Zoom, zoom, zoom. Apparently outlined against the scudding clouds.
they had cut out the silencer. And But now, streaming verticaUy down
they were coming nearer. Had Fer- from the fuselage to the surface of the
ris lost his senses? Would the fool water, was a solid ray of purple light.
understand? Ferris shuddered once The plane roared on, drew nearer.
or twice and rubbed his forehead in Somehow, Perris knew not why, the
a vague, perplexed way. fear that froze his limbs now struck
Its the plane, hissed the Spider. through to his heart. Instinctively
Are you drunk or crazy? We gotta he felt he must avoid at all costs that
get outta here and mighty quick! ( Continued on page 717)
The Dead Hand
SeaJbury
Quinn


That hammer was held in a hand a warn-
ans hand! No arm, no body, just a hand,
that floated through the air as if it were
attached to an invisible body.

**
'M JFORBLEU/ exclaimed Jules face. And now you go to offer your
de Grandin, passing his condolences to her sorrowing hus-
JL W.M. coffee cup across the break- band, yes? May I accompany you?
fast table for its third replenishment, Always, Friend Trowbridge, there is
but it seems, almost, Friend Trow- an opportunity for those who will to
bridge, as if I exercise some sinister learn something.
influence on your patients! Here I
have been your guest but one little dtin tmn, but it is the good
week, and you all but lose that Made- ' Sergeant Costello! de Gran-
moiselle Drigo, while, Jielas, the so din cried delightedly as a heavy^-set
excellent Madame Richards is dead man closed the door of the Richards
altogether entirely. mansion behind him and strode across
I hardly think you can be blamed the wide veranda toward the steps.
for Mrs. Richards death, I replied Fh. bien, my friend, do you not re-
as I handed back his refilled cup. member me ? He stretched both his
The poor lady suffered from mitral slender, carefully groomed hands to-
stenosis for the past two years, and ward the huge Irishman. Surely,
the last time I examined her I was

you have not forgotten
able to detect a diastolic murmur Ill say I havent, the big detec-
without the aid of a stethoscope. No, tive denied with a welcoming grin,
her trouble dated back some time be- shaking hands cordially. You sure
fore your coming, de Grandin. showed me some tricks I didnt Imow
You relieve me, he asserted with was in th book. Dr. de Grandin, when
a serio-comic expression on his alert we was in that Kalmar case. Maybe
609
!

610 WEIRD TALES


you can give me a lift in this one, too. wonderful work for us before, and
Sure, its like a bughouse in there. 99

He jerked an indicative thumb over A French detective! Richards


his shoulder toward the Richards resi-
scoffed.You dont need to get one
dence.
of those foreigners to help you find
Eh, what is it you say? de Gran- a few stolen jewels, do you? Why
din demanded, his little blue eyes 99

dancing with sudden excitement. A


Monsieur!** de Grandins angry
mystery? Corddeu, my friend, you
protest brought the irate financiers
interest me!
expostulation to an abrupt halt; you
Will you help? the big plain-
do forget yourself. I am Jules de
clothes man asked with almost pa-
Grandin, occasionally connected with
thetic eagerness, half turning in his
the Service de Surete, but more in-
tracks.
terested in the solution of my cases
But most certainly, my com- than in material reward.
panion assented. A mystery to me
Oh, an amateur, eh? Richards
is what the love of woman is to
replied with even greater disgust.
weaker men, my friend. Pardieu, how
This is a case for real detective
far I should have traveled in the pro-
work, Costello. Im surprized that
fession of medicine if I had but been
youd bring a dabbler into my private
able to leave the solving of matters
which did not concern me alone
affairs. By George, Ill telephone a
Come, let us go in we will shake the
New York agency and take the en-
tire case out of your hands!
;

facts from this mystery of yours as


a mother shakes stolen cookies from One moment, Mr. Richards, I
her enfant s blouse, cher sergent.^ interposed, relying on my position as
family medical adviser to strengthen

W ILLIS RICHARDS, powcr in Wall


Street and nabob in our little
sub-metropolitan cwnmunity, stood
my argument. This is Dr. Jules de
Grandin, of the Sorbonne, one of Eu-
ropes foremost criminologists and
one of the worlds greatest scientists.
on the hearth-rug before his library
The detection of crime is a phase of
fire, a living testimonial to the truth
his work, just as military service was
of the axiom that death renders all
a phase of George Washingtons; but
mankind equals. For all his mop of you can no more compare him with
white hair, his authoritative voice and professional police officers than you
his imposing embonpoint, the great can compare Washington with profes-
banker was only a bereft and bewil- sional soldiers.
dered old man, borne down by his Mr. Richards looked from de Gran-
new sorrow and unable to realize that din to me, then back again. Im
at last he confronted a condition not sorry, he confessed, extending his
to be remedied by his signature on a hand to the little Frenchman, and
five-figured cheek. I shall be very glad for any assistance
Well, Sergeant, he asked, with a you may care to render, sir.
pitiful attempt at his usual brusk
manner, as he recognized Costello at

To be frank he motioned us to
seats as he began pacing the floor
de Grandins elbow, have you found nervously
Mrs. Richards death

out anything? was not quite so natural as Dr. Trow-


No, sir, the policeman confessed, bridge believes. Though its perfect-
but heres Dr. de Grandin, from ly true she had been suffering from
Paris, Pi'ance, and he can help you heart disease for some time, it was
out if anyone can. Hes done some not heart disease alone which caused
THE DEAD HAND 611

her death. She was scared to death, Quod erat demonstrandum/' de


literally. Grandin replied softly.
I returned from New York, where What say? Mr. Richards de-
Id been attending a banquet given manded testily.
by my alumni association, about 2 I said this is truly a remarkable
oclock this morning, I let myself in case.
with my latch key and went upstairs Well, do you want to look at the
to my room, which adjoined my
room? Richards turned toward the
wifes, and was beginning to undress
door leading to the stairway.
when I heard her call out in terror.
I flung the connecting door open and
But no. Monsieur de Grandin
ran into her bedroom just in time to
blandly refused. The good Ser-
geant Costello has already looked over
see her fall to the floor beside her
the ground. Doubtless he can tell me
bed, clutching at her throat and try-
all I need to know. I shall look else-
ing to say something about a hand.
where for confirmation of a possible
Ah? de Grandin looked at our theory.
host with his sharp cat-stare. And
then? Oh, all right, Richards agreed

And then I saw ^well, I fancied
with a snort of ill-eoneealed con-
tempt; tackle the matter in your

I saw a a something drift across the
own way. Ill give you forty-eight
room, about level with my shoulders,
hours to accomplish something; then
and go out the window. I ran over Ill call up Blynns agency and see
to where my wife lay, and
and when what real detectives can do.
I got there she was dead.
Ah? murmured de Grandin Monsieur is more than generous
in his allowance, de Grandin replied
thoughtfully, inspecting his well-man-
icily.
icured nails with an air of preoccu-
pation, To me, as we left the house, he con-
Richards gave him an annoyed look fided,I should greatly enjoy pulling
as he continued It was not till this
:
that Monsieur Richards nose. Friend

morning that I discovered all my Trowbridge.
wifes jewels and about twenty thou-
^AN you come over to my house
sand dollars worth of unregistered
Liberty bonds had disappeared from ^ right away. Dr. Trowbridge? a
the wall-safe in her room. voice hailed me as de Grandin and
Of course, he concluded, I I entered my office.
didnt really see anything in the air Why, Mr. Kinnan, I answered,
when I ran from my room. Thats as I recognized the caller, whats
impossible. the matter?
Quite obviously, I agreed. Huh! he exploded. What isnt
Sure, Sergeant Costello nodded. the matter? Hells broken loose. My
Not at all, Jules de Grandin de- wife s had hysterics since this morn-
nied, shaking his head vigorously in ing and Im not sure I oughtnt ask
dissent. It is more possible your you to commit me to some asylum for
eyes did not deceive you, Monsievx. the feeble-minded.
"^^at was it that you saw? Pardieu, Monsieur, de Grandin
Richards annoyance deepened into exclaimed, that statement, he is vast-
exasperation. It looked like a ly interesting, but not very instruc-
hand, he snapped. A hand with tive, You will explain, nest-ce-pasf
four or five inches of wrist attached Explain? growled the other.
to it, and no body. SiUy rot, of How am I going to explain some-
course. I didnt see any such thing! thing I know isnt so? At twenty

612 WEIRD TALES


minutes past 5 this morning my wife Ah? de Grandin edged slightly
and I saw something that wasnt forward on his chair.
there, and saw it take the Lafayette And whether you believe me or
cup, to boot! not, that hammer was held in a hand
Sacre nom dun pore! de Gran- a womans handand that was all!
din swore. What is it that you say? No arm, no body, just a handa hand
You saw that which was not there, that smashed that windowpane with
and saw it take a cup of le Marquis a hammer, and floated through the
de Lafayette? Non, non, non; it is I air, as if it were attached to an invisi-
who am of the deranged mind. Friend ble body, and took the Lafayette cup
Trowbridge, look to me. I hear re- from the sideboard, then floated away
marks which this gentleman has not with it!
made! A-a-ah! de Grandin ejaculated
In spite of himself, Kinnan laughed on a rising accent, forgetting to puff
at the little Frenchmans tragic face. at the cigar our caller had given him.
Ill be more explicit, he promised, Oh, I dont expect you to believe
seating himself opposite me and me, Kinnan shot back. Id say
drawing a cigar ease from his pocket. anyone who told me such a story was
Smoke? he asked, proffering the full of dope, or something, myself;
case to each of us in turn. but I tell you I saw it or thought
Now, here goes, and I dont care
I did and so did my wife. Anyhow
whether you believe me or not, for he turned to us with a gesture of

Im not at all sure Im not a liar finality the Lafayette cup is
myself. gone.
The baby was fretful the entire On the contrary, Monsieur, de
early part of the evening, and we
Grandin assured him gravely, I do
believe you, most implicitly. That
didnt get him to sleep till well after
midnight. Along about 5 oclock he
same bodiless hand was seen at Mon-
woke up on another rampage, and my home last night.
sieur Richards

wife and I went into the nursery to


The deuce! This time it was
see what we could do.
Kinnan who looked skeptical. You
say someone else saw that hand?
Ella, the maid, had gone to New
York for the night, and, as usual,
Wh why, they couldn^t!
Nevertheless, my friend, they
there wasnt a drop of milk ready for
did, the Frenchman asserted. Now
the youngster. So Mrs. Kinnan and
tellme, this Lafayette cup, what was
I trotted doAvn to the dining room and
it?
I started to pasteurize some milk in,
Its a silver wine goblet which be-
the chafing dish. I can place the time
longed to my great-grandfather,
exactly, for the library clock has been
Kinnan replied. Intrinsically, I
running erratically lately, and only
dont suppose its worth more than
yesterday Id gotten it so it ran just
twenty-five or thirty dollars; but its
ten minutes fast. Well, that clock
valuable to us as a family heirloom
had just struck half-past 5 when
and because Lafayette, when he made
like an echo of the gong there came
his second visit to this country, drank
a crash at the window, and the pane
out of it at a banquet given in his
was shattered, right before our eyes.
honor. Ive been offered up to a
Ah? observed de Grandin, non- thousand dollars for it by collectors.
committally. Morbleu! De Grandin ground
Kinnan shot him a sidelong glance thefire from his cigar in the ash-tray
as he continued, It had been broken and beat his fingertips together in a
by a hammer. nervous tattoo.


This is a remarkable

THE DEAD HAND 613

burglar we have here, Messieurs, a


most remarkable burglar. He or

she ^has a hand, but no body he en-
T he hammer proved to be
nary one, with a nickeled head
and imitation ebony handle, such as
an ordi-

ter sick ladies bedrooms and fright- could be bought at any notion store
ens away their lives, then steal their for twenty-five cents; but de Gran-
jewelry; he break honest mens win- din pounced on it like a hungry tom-
dows with a hammer, then deprives cat on a mouse or a gold prospector
them of their treasured heirlooms on a two-pound nugget or a Eimber-
while they heat the milk for their ba- ley miner on a twelve-carat diamond.
bies. Cordieu, he will bear investi- But this is wonderful; this is
gating, this one! superb! he almost cooed as he swad-
You dont believe me, Kinnan dled the implement in several layers
declared, half truculently, half shame- of paper and stowed it tenderly away
facedly. in an inside pocket of his great coat.
Have I not said I do? the
Trowbridge, my friend

^lie

Frenchman answered, almost angrily. threw me one of his quick, enigmatic
When you have seen what I have
smiles ^do you attend the good

seen. Monsieur, parbleu, when you Madame Einnan. I have important
have seen one-half as much ^you ! duties to perform elsewhere. If pos-
will learn to believe many things sible, I shall return for dinner, and
which fools declare impossible. if I do, I pray you will have your

This hammer he rose, almost amiable cook prepare for me one of
glaring at Einnan, so intent was his her so delicious apple pies. If I re-

stare where is he? I would see

turn not ^his little blue eyes twin-
him, if you please. kled amoment with frosty laughter
Its over at the house, our visi-
I shall eat all that pie for breakfast,
like a good Yon-kee.
tor answered, lying right where it
fell when the hand dropped it. Nei-
ther my -^fe nor I would touch it for
a farm.
D inner was long since over, and
the requested apple pie had been
reposing untouched on the pantry

Tremendous, gigantic, magnifi-

shelf for several hours when de Gran-
cent! de Grandin ejaculated, nod- din popped from a taxicab like a
ding his head vigorously after each jack-in-the-box from its case and
adjective. Come, mes amis, let us rushed up the front steps, the waxed
hasten, let us fly. Trowbridge, my ends of his little blond mustache
friend, you shall attend the so excel- twitching like the whiskers of an ex-
lent Madame Einnan. I, I shall go on cited tom-cat, his arms filled with
the trail of this bodiless burglar, and
bundles a look of triumphant exhil-
it shall go hard, but I shall find him. aration on his face. Quick, quick,
Morhl&u, Monsieur Fantome, when
le Friend Trowbridge, he ordered as
you kill that Madame Richards with he deposited his packages on my office
fright, that is one thing; when you desk, to the telephone! Call that
steal Monsieur Einnan s cup of le Monsieur Richards, that rich man
Marquis de Lafayette, that is also one who so generously allowed me forty-
thing, but when you think to thumb eight hours to recover his lost treas-
your invisible nose at Jules de Gran- ures, and that Monsieur Einnan,
din, parbleu, that is something else whose so precious cup of the Marquis
again! We ^all see who will make de Lafayette was stolen call them
one sacre singe out of whom, and that both and bid them come here, right
right quickly. away, at once, immediately!
614 WEIRD TALES
Pardieu ** he strode back and But of course, de Grandin
forth across my with a step agreed, deftly withdrawing the stdhes
office
which was half ran, half jig this from Richards reach and restoring
Jules de Grandin, never is the task them to their paper bag. Also, Moti-
imposed too great for him! sieur, I have these. From another
What in the worlds the matter parcel he drew a sheaf of Liberty
with you? I demanded as I rang up bonds, raffling through them as a
the Richards house. gambler might count Ms cards. You
*Non, non, he replied, lighting said twenty thousand dollars worth,
a cigarette, then flinging it away un- I believe? Tres Men, there are just
puffed. Ask me no questions, good twenty one-thousand dollar certifi-
friend, I do beseech you. Wait, only cates here, according to my count.
wait till those others come, then you Monsieur Kinnan, he bowed to
shall hear Jules de Grandin speak. our other visitor, permit that I re-
Morbleu, but he shall speak a great store to you the cup of Monsieur le
riiouthful! Marquis Lafayette. 'The Lafayette
cup was duly extracted from another
T he Richards limousine, impressive
in size, like its owner, and, like its
owner, heavily upholstered, was pant-
package and handed to its owner.
And now, de Grandin lifted an
oblong pasteboard box of the sort
ing before my door in half an hour, used for shoes and held it toward us
and Kinnan drove up in his modest as a prestidigitator might hold the hat
sedan almost as soon. Sergeant Cos- from which he is about to extract a
tello, looking mystified, but conceal- rabbit, I will ask you to give me
ing his wonder with the inborn reti- closest attention. Regardez, s*il vous
cence of a professional policeman, plait. Is tMs not what you gentlemen
came into the office close on Kinnan s saw last night?
heels. As he lifted the box lid we beheld,
Whats all this nonsense, Trow- lying on a bed of crumpled tissue pa-
bridge? Richards demanded testily per, what appeared to be the perfect-
as he sank into a chair. Couldnt ly modeled reproduction of a beauti-
you have come over to my house, in- ful feminine hand and wrist. The
stead of dragging me out at this hour thumb and fingers, tipped with long,
o night? almond-shaped nails, were exquisitely
Tut, tut. Monsieur, de Grandin slender and graceful, and the narrow
cut him short, running the admoni- palm, where it showed above the curl-
tions so close together that they ing digits, was pink and soft-looking
sounded like the exhaust of a minia- as the under side of a La Ebrance rose
ture motorboat. Tut, tut. Monsieur, petal. Only the smear of collodion
is it not worth coming out into the across the severed wrist told us we
cold to recover these? From a gazed on something which once pul-
brown-paper parcel before him he sated with life instead of a marvelous-
produced a purple velvet case which ly exact reproduction.
he snapped open with a dramatic ges- Is this not what you gentlemen
ture, disclosing an array of scintillat- saw last night? de Grandin re-
ing gems. peated, glancing from the lovely hand
'These, I take it, he announced, to Richards and Kinnan in turn.
were once the property of Madame, Each nodded a mute confirmation,
your wife? but forebore to speak, as though the
Great Scott! gasped Richards, sight of the eery, lifeless thing before
reaching out his hands for the jewels, him had placed a seal of silence on
why, you got em! his lips.
: :

THE DEAD HAND 615

Very good; veiy, very good, de He paused a moment, easting a


Grandin nodded vigorously. Now at- pregnant glance at Richards, then
tend me, if you please continued
When Monsieur Kinnan told me Monsieur le Prefet/ I reply, I
of the hammer which broke his win- would that you permit your identifi-
dow night I decided the road by
last cation experts to examine this ham-
which to trace this bodiless burglar mer and teU me, of their kindness,
was mapped out on that hammer's whose fingerprints appear thereon.
handle. Pourquoif Because this Bien, the order was given, and in
hand which scares sick ladies to death good time come the report that the
and breaks windowpanes is one of hammer handle is autographed with
three things.


First he ticked off the fingerprints of one Katherine
on his fingers ^it may be some me- OBrien, otherwise known to the po-
chanical device. In that ease I shall
lice as Catherine Levoy, and also
find no traces. But it may be the known as Catherine Dunstan.
ghost of someone who once lived, in
which case, again, it is one of two
The police of New York have a
dossier for this lady which would do
things: a ghost hand, per se, or the
credit to the Paris Surete. They tell
reanimated fiesh of one who is dead.
Or, perchance, it is the hand of some-
me she was in turn a shoplifter, a
decoy-woman for some badger game
one who can render the rest of him
gentlemen, a forger and the partner
invisible.
of one Professor Mysterio, a theatrical
Now, then, if it is a ghost hand, hypnotist. Indeed, they tell me, she
either true ghost or living-dead flesh,
was married to this professor d Ilta-
it is like other hands, it has ridges
lienne, and with him she traveled the
and valleys and loops and whorls, country, sometimes giving exhibitions,
which can be traced and recognized sometimes indulging in crime, such
by fingerprint experts. Or, if a man as, for instance, burglary and pocket-
can, by some process unknown to me,
picking.
make all of him, save his hand, invisi-
ble, why, then, his hand, too, must
Now, about a year ago, while she
leave finger marks. Hein?
and the professor are exhibiting
Now, Jules de Grandin asked themselves at Coney Island, this lady
died. Her partner gave her a most
Jules de Grandin, is it not highly
remarkable funeral but the cere-
;
probable that one who steal jewels
monies were marred by one untoward
and bonds and the cup of Monsieur
incident ^while her body lay in the
le Marquis de Lafayette, has stolen
undertakers mortuary some thief did
before, perchance been apprehended,
climb in the window and remove one
and fingerprinted? of her hands. In the dead of night
*Parhleu! It is even as you say,
he severed from the beautiful body of
Jules de Grandin answer Jules de that wicked woman the hand which
Grandin. had often extracted property from
Thereupon I take that hammer other peoples pockets, and made off
from Monsieur Kinnan s house and with it; nor could all the policemens
go with it to New York. I see the efforts find out who did so ghoulish
Commissioner of Police. ^Monsieur a deed.
le Prefet/ I say to him, I am Jules Meantime, the professor who was
de Grandin. Do you know me? this _\yomans theatrical partner has
^Morbleu, but I do, reply that so retired from the stage and lives in
excellent gentleman. Who but a fool New Jersey on the fortune he has
has not heard of Jules de Grandin?
amassed.
616 WEIRD TALES
New Jersey, New Jersey, I say points his pistol at the gentleman and
to me. Why, that is the place where says, Put em up, buddee, weve got
my dear Trowbridge lives, and where the deceased wood upon you Mean- !

these so mysterious burglaries have while, I search the house.


taken place.
I Monsieur Richards jewelry
find
So back I come to Sergeant Cos- and his bonds; I find Monsieur Kin-
tello and ask him if any stranger nans cup of Monsieur le Marquis de
whose mode of income is unknown Lafayette. I find much else, includ-
has lately moved into this vicinity.
ing this hand of a dead woman which
I have a picture of this Professor
are not itself dead. Dieu. de Dieu!
Mysterio which the New York police
give me from their archives, and I
When I go to take 'it from its case
it attack me like a living thing, and
show the picture to the good Costello.
"Pardieu (in English) he say,
Sergeant Costello have to promise he
will blow the top from the professors
but I know the gentleman! He live
in the Berryman house, out on the
head before he order it to be quiet.
Andover Road, and do nothing for his And it obeifed Ms voice! Parbleu!
living but smoke a pipe and drink
When I see that, I have the flesh of
whisky. Come, let us gather him in. the geese all over me.

While Sergeant Costello and I Rot! Richards flung the con-


ride out to that house I do much temptuous comment like a missile. I
thinking. Hypnotism is thought, and dont know what kind of hocus-pocus

thought is a thing a thing which made that hand move; but if you
expect to make me believe any such
does not die. Now, if this dead wom-
an had been in the habit of receiving nonsense as this stuff youve been
telling, youve got the wrong pig by
mental commands from Professor
the ear. I shouldnt be surprized if
Mysterio for so long, and had been
accustomed to obey those commands you and this Professor Whats-His-
with all parts of her body as soon as Name were in cahoots in this thing,
they were given, had she not formed
and you got cold feet and left your
confederate holding the bag!
a habit of obedience? Trowbridge,
my friend, you are a physician, you I stared aghast at the man. De
have seen men die, even as I have. Grandin s vanity was as colossal as
You know that the suddenly killed his ability, and though he was gentle
man falls in an attitude which was as a woman in ordinary circum-
characteristic of him in life, is it not stances, like a woman, he was capable
so? of sudden flares of vixenish temper
I nodded agreement. when his regard for human life be-
Very well, then, de Grandin came no greater than his concern for
continued,I ask me if it is not pos- a troublesome fly. If the little French-
hand this professor have
sible that the man had launched himself at his tra-
commanded so many times in life can ducer likea bobcat attacking a hound
not be made to do his bidding after I should have been less surprized than
death? Mon Dieu, the idea is novel, I was at theominous calm with which
but not for that reason impossible! he replaced the cover of the card-
Did not that so superb Monsieur Poe board box containing the hand.
hint at some such thing in his story Friend Trowbridge, he asked,
of the dying man who remained alive the muscles of his jaws standing out
because he was hypnotized? Most as- like whipcords as he strove to prevent
suredly. a telltale quiver from creeping into
So, when we get to the house of his face, will you be good enough to
Professor Mysterio, Sergeant Costello represent meha.'
THE DEAD HAND 617

Witli the he dodged


ejaculation from the nails. He will not suffer un-
suddenly downward, almost falling to necessarily.
the floor in his haste to avoid the Wheeling, he seized the receiver
which dashed at
flashing, white object from my desk telephone and called
his face. authoritatively: Alio, alio, the jail,
Nor was his dodge a split-second if you please. Mademoiselle Central!
too soon. Like the lid of a boiling There was a brief parley, finally he
kettle, the top of the shoe box had received his connection, then: AUo,
lifted, and the slender, quiescent hand Monsieur le Geolier, can you tell me
which lay within had leaped through of Professor Mysterio, please? How
the opening, risen throat-high in the is he; what does he do?
air and hurtled across the interven- A
pause: Ah, do you say so? I
ing space like a quarrel from a cross- thought as much. Many thanks, Mo^i-
bow. With delicate, firm-muscled fin- sieur.
gers outspread, it swooped through He turned to us, a look of satisfac-
the air like a pouncing hawk, missed tion on his face. My friends, he
de Grandins throat by the barest announced solemnly, Professor Mys-
fraction of a secondand fastened terio is no more. Two minutes ago
itself, snapping like a strong-springed the authorities at the city prison
steel-trap, in the puffy flesh sagging heard him call out distinctly in a loud
over the collar of Willis Richards voice, Katie, kill the Frenchman; I
dress shirt. command you. Kill him When !


Ah vlp!* gasped, or, rather, they rushed to his cell to discover the
croaked, the startled financier, falling cause for his cries they were but in
backward in his chair and tearing time to see him dash himself from his
futilely at the eldritch thing which bed, having first bound his waist-belt
sank its long, pointed nails into his firmly to his throat and the top of
purple skin. AhGod, its choking his barred door. The fall broke his
me! neck. He died before they could cut
Costello was at his side, striving
him down.
with all his force to pry those white,
Eh hien, he shook himself like a
slender fingers open. He might as spaniel emerging from a pond,
twas a lucky thing for me I saw
well have tried to wrench apart the
that box top begin to lift and had the
clasp of a chrome-steel handcuff.
sense to dodge those dead fingers.
Non, non, de Grandin shouted, None of you would have thought of
not that way. Sergeant. It is use- the knife, I fear, before the thing had
less!
strangled my life away. As it is, I
Leaping across the room he jerked acted none too soon for Monsieur
open the door of my instrument case, Richards good.
seized an autopsy knife and dashed StiU red in the face, but regaining
his shoulder against the burly detec- his self-possession under my ministra-
tive, almost sending him sprawling. tions, Willis Richards sat up in his
Next instant, with the speed and chair. If youll give me my
prop-
precision of an expert surgeon, he erty, Ill be getting out of this hell-
was dissecting away the deadly white house, he announced gruffly, reach-
fingers fastened in Richards dewlap. ing for the jewels and bonds de Gran-
C'est complet, he announced din had placed on the desk.
matter-of-factly as he finished his Assuredly, Monsieur, de Gran-
grisly task. A restorative, if you din agreed. But first you will com-
please. Friend Trowbridge, and an ply with the law, nest-ce-pasf You
antiseptic dressing for the wounds have offered a reward of five thousand

618 WEIRD TALES


dollars for your propertys return. speed limit, hell see a hold-up that is
Make out two cheeks, if you please, a hold-up. Ill give im every sum-
one for half the amount to the good mons in my book, an holler for

Sergeant Costello, the other, for a more.
similar amount, to me. Tiens, my friends, think of the
Ill be hanged if I do, the bank- swine no more, de Grandin com-
er declared, glaring angrily at de manded. In France, had a man so
Grandin. Why should a man have insulted me, I should have called him
to buy his own stuff back? out and run him through the body.
Sergeant Costello rose ponderously But that one? Pouf! Gold is his
to his feet and gathered the parcels lifes blood.I hurt him far more by
containing Richards belongings into forcing the reward from him than
his capacious hands. Laws law, if I had punctured his fat skin a
he announced decisively. Therell dozen times.
be no bonds or jools returned till Friend Trowbridge
that rewards been paid. Meantime,eyes
^hisi little snapped with the
All right, all right, Richards heat-lightning of his sudden smile
agreed, reaching for his checkbook, there waits in the pantry that so
Ill pay you; but its the damndest delicious apple pie prepared for me
hold-up Ive ever had pulled on me. by your excellent cook. Sergeant
Monsieur Kinnan, will you join us?
TJm, growled Costello as the Wind and weather permitting.
door slammed behind the irate Friend Trowbridge and I purpose
banker, if I ever catch that bird eating ourselves into one glorious ease
parkin by a fireplug or exceedin th of indigestion.

1 HE next adventure of Jules de Grandin will take


him into the gruesome cellars beneath The House
of Horror. Watch for this fascinating story in
WEIRD TALES.
Issues of the magazine containing the previous Jules de Gran-
din stories by Seabury Quinn will be supplied by the publishers,

postpaid, for 25 cents each.

The Horror on the Links October, iq25


The Tenants of Broussac December, iqiy
The Isle of Missing Ships February, iqzb
The Vengeance of India April, iqzb
Softly he bent ovef the fonn of the lovely
girV and the beauty of the great room was
dwarfed by comparison to the loveliness of
Lun Pei Lo "

W
shadows,
ITH the first breath of night
Canton becomes a city of
mystery, a place of lurking
of soft-cadenced, subdued
voices, of lanterns flickering wistfully
somewhat, which emphasized the sim-
ile. He was dressed in a soft black,
shapeless suit, unrelieved by any
touch of color, a suit which seemed
to have been cut from the velvet
"out from the folds of darkness, of a blackness of the Oriental night. His
thousand varied odors, some revolt- face was yellow but so pale that it
ing, others that seem to possess all seemed almost white, and his eyes lay
the allure and incense of the East. in great pits. They glowed with a
That evening as I wandered strange brilliancy like the eyes of a
through the narrow alleys that wind forest animal or of a man who has
through the city like snakes, I no- crossed the threshold of reason. His
ticed a Chinaman standing in the nose was a monstrosity crushed flat
doorway of a tea-house. He was very against his face and his lips were so
tall, like a great reed, and he swayed thin they hardly existed. They
619
620 WEIRD TALES
made no effort to hide his huge yellow On my island, he continued, no
teeth. sound is ever heard. Not* a bird
As I gazed into his face paused,
I sings, not a flower laughs in the wind,
for he was smiling hideously and even the great tree-tops are subdued.
beckoning to me. It is an island of sorrow. All nature
If you will buy me some tea, he is mourning, mourning for little Lun
said in a soft voice which wa beauti- Pei Lo who used to make our island
fully modulated, I will tell you a a floral garden of loveliness by her
tale of adventure and romance 4hat singing. Tou who have heard the
will cause your ennui to slip from you greatest singers of the Occident, have
like a cloak. yet to hear anything comparable to
How did you know I was in the singing of Lun Pei Lo, for when
search of adventxtre? I demanded. she sang even the flowers joined in
That was very simple, said he. the chorus. They blossomed more
When it grows cloudy, one knows beautifully and fragrantly than ever,
that it will rain. One judges the and the trees like great violins softly
weather by gazing on the face of na-
joined in the music. They swayed in
ture. One judges a mans mood like-
perfect rhythm, and made music
wise by gazing into his face.
which even the spheres might envy.
He led the way into the tea-house
as he spoke, and in a few seconds we
He only is a great singer who can
harmonize with nature, and Lun Pei
were seated at a small table in a far
corner. The tea-house was dimly Lo was even greater, for nature har-
lighted and the scattered forms that monized with her. Life is a peculiar
thing. Men wander through the val-
slunk about the room seemed like
ley toward the shadowy death caves
wraiths. Overhead several lanterns
burned dimly, yellow-blue lanterns beyond and always they think of at-
taining wealth, and riches and power.
that caressed the room with a peace-
ful shimmering light. A sleek China-
None of these is of the slightest im*-
portance. The wealth of the world is
man brought us tea and then silently
contained in sweet incense, the aroma
withdrew. My companion closed his
of tea, in beautiful pictures, in music
eyes and breathed deeply of the sweet
aroma that rose sohly to his nostrils. and in the glory of the skies. When
Tea, he said softly, tea is a we arrive at that station in life where
beverage of enchantment. It brings
we can estimate values, there will no
longer be any necessity for dying.
happiness and dreams. It brings for-
Life will be complete. On our island
getfulness. It is a medicine to cure
little Lun Pei Lo sang and all things
all physical and moral ills. He
joined in her songs. But now little
paused for a moment, then he said,
My name is Tuan Tung and I dwell Lun Pei Lo has gone and the trees
are mlent, the flowers are hushed and
not far from here on an island in the
the birds no longer sing. Nothing
Great River. What the island is
called matters little. Where it is mat-
but sadness remains. Even the great
serpent who sleeps beneath the moun-
ters less. Sufficient it is that there
tains mourns for her.
is such an island, for it is an island
like unto none that you have ever If I would not be presuming, I
chanced upon. hazarded, I should like very much
Again he paused for a moment and to visit your island.
breathed deeply of the tea aroma. I He looked up quickly and his eyes
marveled that he made no effort to narrowed until they were little more
lift the dainty green-jade cup to his than slits. I will take you there this
lips. very night, he said emphatically.
!

THE SILENT TREES 621

A
him
fter that
finished
we sat in silence. I
my
tea and waited for
to do likewise, but he made no
The air was so clear that I could
see for miles about, and because of
the immensity of the canvas on which
effort to raise the cup to his lips. He I gazed everything seemed dwarfed
just inhaled the aroma until the tea by comparison. I was in a miniature
had cooled, after which he reluctantly world of loveliness. It was also a
rose to liis feet. Together we ambled soundless world. Not the faintest
through the winding crisscross alleys murmuring rent the solitude. The
of Canton. He held my arm with trees were so still they might have
togers of steel, as though he feared been painted on a white sheet. Even
I might flee. They bit into my flesh the flowers did not move. No bird
like teeth. At last we arrived at the sang, nor could I detect the faintest
waters edge. It was pitch-black. suggestion of a breeze. It was so calm
Tuan Yung clambered into a small and lifeless that it made me shiver.
boat from the bow of which hung a I called aloud for Yuan Yung but
lantern, and I followed after him. my voice died out almost instantly
When we were both seated he extin- without echo. I called again but it
guished the light. The water was was useless. The air refused to take
blacker than a river of jet and I could up my voice. I began to perspire as
not make out the form of my com- though some awful menace were at
panion. The sky was overcast and my heels. I was afraid to look back.
there was no moon. The night air It was ridiculous to succumb to nerves
was cold and cheerless and a sharp on such a perfect day. The sky was
wind blew fitfully over the waters. clear and on every hand I was en-
Soon the boat began to move. I veloped in beauty. It was so beauti-
assumed that Yuan Yung was rowing ful that it was nauseating. I felt as
although I heard no sound of oars. though the very perfectness of the
The boat cut through the water as picture were stifling me, stealing my
though it had no more texture than a breath, binding me with chains. For
phantom. The night was lifeless and awhile I waited by the roadside, then
still. On and on we drifted. As the I commenced to walk. Even my foot-
moments passed I grew drowzy. It falls made no sound. It was an island
was very peaceful. Not a sound, not of dreadful silence.
a sigh. At last I must have fallen On and on I wandered. The road
into a deep sleep, for the next thing I wound over a slight hill and then
knew it was morning. dipped into a forest and I passed
I gazed slowly about me. To my along it as though I were lost in a
surprize I lay beside a marvelous blue dream. All nature was soundless as
lake, a lake bluerthan an April sky. though it had paused for some great
Yuan Yung was nowhere in sight. event, perhaps to listen to the singing
Gone also was the boat in which we of Lun Pei Lo. My mind at that
had come to the island. For awhile I moment was as clear as crystal. All
waited for him to return, drinking in the worthless dross of life had been
the beauty of the panorama that un- washed out. Had life stopped on the
folded about me. Hills covered
all island when Lun Pei Lo vanished?
with verdant trees etched sharply Would the current of existence cease
against a coral-blue sky. The grass to flow onward until her return?
was greener than any grass I had These were mad thoughts but at the
ever seen. And there were wild flow- moment they seemed logical enough.
ers in profusion growing on every Sanity at best is but a relative con-
side, flowers of everj' color and dition. A man slightly mad seems
hue, a perfect riot of beauty normal as compared to a maniac. Pew
622 WEIRD TALES
persons of earth are mentally in abso- for solitude, was now crushed by the
lute balance. Superstitions are slight weight of that velvet silence. It en-
forms of insanity and often one is de- meshed me as it lay about me in folds..
clared insane simply because he has My tongue was parched and dry, my
views which one can not understand. lips blistered and cracked. I drew
There was something awesome my blackened tongue across my lips,
about that soundless road. I was ter- but it was without moisture. The
rified. Many things there were as rasping feel of it made me shudder.
mysterious as the blue lake. I noticed
that the few coral clouds in the sky
did not move. Stationary also was
the sun. It did not even seem to cast
H ow long I wandered helplessly
about I do not know, but the
next thing I remember I was stand-
off heat as it blazed down. Neither ing in front of a house. It was a gray
was the air cold. The climate was house, a forbidding house, not one bit
neutral. I marveled at this but not different from the others. Yet it ar-
nearly as much as at the fact that I rested my attention. Something with-
cast no shadow. I had read that only in me, I know not what, urged me to
the dead east no shadows. It was an enter that house. It was a command
old belief. Ancient also was the say- more subtle than the perfume of pop-
ing that a mans shadow is really his pies, but I acceded to it without ques-
soul. When one casts no shadow one tion. It was an onward urge that
has lost ones soul. I had never given could not be disputed. I paused for
credence to such fantasies, yet now a moment to get my courage some-
that I cast no shadow I shuddered. what into shape, then I entered the
Was I dead? Was I a ghost? I house. At first the halls seemed as
laughed mirthlessly at the bare gloomy as a night fog, an effect
thought, but no sound came from my heightened by my sudden transition
lips. I, too, was voiceless, as sound- from the glaring sunlight to the sub-
less as the silent trees. Now I quick- dued shadows, but as my vision grad-
ened my pace. I sped down the road ually cleared I gasped at the vast
as though pursued by the wrath of splendor that lay before me. It was
the gods. My blood froze in my veins. as though the city had been drained
My heart almost Stopped beating. My of all its grandeur until it was a drab
lips grew cold. The whole island thing in order that all the color and
seemed to be a seething menace, yet beauty might be concentrated into
it was more beautiful than a land- this one house. I knew instinctively
scape by Corot. that all the other houses would be as
Soon I came to a gray city, a de- gray and colorless within as their
serted city, the weirdest place in drab exteriors.
which I had ever walked. It was as All about were rich rugs and tap-
though some horrible plague had estries, rugs and draperies of every
driven the inhabitants from their material and color. There were lamps
homes. I roamed through street after and lanterns of all shapes and sizes,
street of gray houses, all deserted and magnificent vases and smaU idols of
dead. They stood somberly malignant solid gold, set with diamonds and
like bleached bones from which all pearls and precious stones. On the
flesh had been torn by vultures. All floor was a jade-green carpet more
were of peculiar design, built like luxurious than grass.
shelves, each floor with a stone bal- In awe I passed through the rooms.
cony, opening into rooms of yawning Even though everything was as silent
blackness. I, who had always hated as death I walked slowly. It was hard
noise and clamor, who had yearned to realize that I could not make a
THE SILENT TREES 623

sound. All the furnishings of the sleeping girl in open adoration. Never
rooms were in excellent condition so had I been as intense in my reli^ous
itwas strange that I should associate worship as I was in my worship of
the grim building with great age. that girl.
Still the suggestion of age persisted. I tried to picture how gorgeous she
At last I came to a room larger and must be when tliose soft eyes were
higher-vaulted than any of the others. open. My forehead throbbed. I was
The wealth of the house now dimmed, as much a slave as any of the heroes
by comparison to the wealth I found told about in Greek legend. I longed
here. Only Gautier could do justice to rouse Lun Pei Lo from her sleep, to
in description. It was so gorgeous hear her sing, to behold her smile.
that it stunned. There is more in- For the moment I forgot that the
toxication in a truly beautiful picture island was more silent than the heart
than in rare wine. Here the colors of the Great Desert. That moment
were more of one tone, blues of ex- was the turning point in my life. I
quisite harmony, soft velvets and knew that having once seen the love-
silks more fragile than cobwebs. liness of Lun Pei Lo, everything
Through a great window the sun would be changed thereafter.
splashed into the room in wondrous
glory, drenching everything with a
soft yellow light. Nothing, I thought,
could be more beautiful than this.
M y reveries were interrupted by a
sudden dull murmur. It came
like a shock. The house trembled as
And yet almost immediately I though it were about to awake from
changed my mind, for in a far corner a long sleep. It sounded more fright-
I beheld the form of a lovely girl. ful to me than if it had been at drum-
Softly I bent over her, and just as the pitch. At last the menace Avhich I
loveliness of the other rooms had been had felt was about to confront me.
dwarfed by comparison to the wealth I wished to flee, but I could not leave
of this one, so was the beauty of the littleLun Pei Lo to the mercies of un-
great room dwarfed by comparison to knoAvn, invisible terrors. I hesitated
the loveliness of Lun Pei Lo, for I for a moment only, then I seized her
knew that it was she. The same voice in my arms. At once the most awful
that urged me to enter the house now thing happened that man could dream
acquainted me with the name of the of. Her form was as light as air, as
sleeping girl. Her eyes were closed light as though it were but a shell,
but the lids were blue, canopied by and as I drew her to me, she crumpled
lashes of wondrous length which ca- into dust even as mummies ofttimes
ressed her cheeks. Like ivory was her crumble that have been hidden for
skin, ivory which though pale seemed centuries in Egyptian tombs. One
to glow Avith an inward pink coral moment she had lain before me as
light. Her lips Avere very red, softer lovely as any flower, the next she was
and more fragrant than any flower. but dust at my feet. Dully I stood
Lying there she seemed very young, and gazed doAvn upon the spot where
little more than a child. Her body, she had vanished. The lovely face
though perfectly formed, was small was gone, never to return. Mechan-
and fragile, and I longed to crush her ically I stooped and picked up a large
in my arms as though she were indeed blue-purple amethyst which had hung
a flower. from a golden chain about her neck.
At that moment time
ceased to be And now the murmurings in-
for me, even as it had ceased to be for creased to a mighty roar, a roar that
the other things upon the island. I shattered the crystal silence into a
just stood and gazed doAvn on the thousand tinkling fragments. It was
624 WEIRD TALES
the last thing that cut the thread of Who knows? he droned, shrug-
my rationality. Stark, raving mad I ging his shoulders. Perhaps two
rushed from the house. The spell of days, perhaps three. What does it
the canopy of silence was broken. matter, anyway? Since that which
Echo ran rampant throughout the has gone belongs to the past, why
island. The trees began to sway. ponder over it ?
They seemed to be moaning. Pell- drew two gold pieces from my
I
mell I rushed up a white winding pocket. He eyed them greedily as I
road, until I emerged on a shelf of jingled them in my palm. Who
rock overhanging the deep blue lake. brought me here? I persisted.
Not for a moment did I hesitate, but
He twisted his shrunken lips with
leaped into space. Death itself was
his fingers. His eyes narrowed with
preferable to the unseen horrors of
the great effort of thinking, then he
that island. As I plunged into the said, Aman who was tall and thin,
lake it was like plunging into the sky.
so thin that he might have been the
IMercifully at that moment uncon- shadow of a pestilence.
ciousness closed in about me. It was I slid one of the gold pieces across
the end, I thought, and I was glad. the table to him and without prelim-
Perhaps in death I could join the inaries I told him of my adventures
lovely little Lun Pei Lo. on the island of the blue lake.

W HEN I again opened


was blackness about me.
my eyes
I
could not see a foot in any direction.
all
When I had finished,
queerly. Of course you have been
steeped in opium for days, he said,
he eyed

and your story can not be given cre-


me

My head throbbed' dully and a nau- dence ; but at least it is odd, for we of
seating sweet fragrance floated to my China have an old legend about Lun
nostrils. For one wild moment I re- Pei Lo, who lived over two thousand
flected that I must be at the bottom years ago. She was a great singer.
of the blue lake. But I dismissed that It was she who introduced melody
thought almost instantly. My brain into China. According to the legend
was somewhat in balance and I was a wizard fell in love with her and car-
beginning to think sanely again. I ried her away. He was captivated by
felt about me until my hand encoun-
her. He brought her flowers and
tered that which was evidently a cur- jewels and wrought gold in profusion
tain. I pushed it slowly aside and
but failed to make her happy. He
worshiped her as the earth worships
beheld an old Chinaman seated beside
the sun, but to no avail. She pined
a table on which a feeble lamp
for the lover of her childhood. Daily
burned. He was rolling some black
she grew thinner and thinner until
gummy pellets. I watched him in-
her life was almost extinct. In de-
tently for awhile, then I arose and
spair the wizard changed her lover
walked over to his side. My
knees
into a reed which ever after grew be-
were stiff, my legs were as wobbly as
side the Blue Lake. Such is the leg-
though were a hundred.
I
end. Ton must have been thinking
Can you tell me, I asked, how of it when you came to this house and
I happen to be here?
it became entwined in your dreams.
He shook his head. How can I? Perhaps you are right, I said
said he slowly. Though undoubt- slowly, but I did not tell him that at
edly you are here for the same thing that very moment I held in my hand

that all others come for opium. a gorgeous blue-purple amethyst
I was in a quandary. How long which little Lun Pei Lo had once
have I been here? I asked. worn upon her breast.
2

Some rushed for the after cabin, but they were cot off
by a slimy arm that slid across their path. It spread and
luted with terrorizing rapidity.

I escaped. The man He had better be put to bed,


whom they had found adrift the ships doctor said. His neiwes
in the dory hung his head. are all gone. Heat and thirst and

The others the listeners bent exposure, of course. Hallucinations.
nearer to catch his throatily whis- Hell come out of it in time.
pered words the others ... it got So they put him in the hospital,
them that monstrous, cursed where he raved for three days. And
thing! His eyes rolled hack, show- the things he said caused intense in-
ing bloodshot whites his body tensed,
;
terest on board the freighter Pacific
and then he shook as with the ague. Belle; and among the crew lurking
His attempt to say more resulted in fear whispered that some of the
stuttering failure. things he said were true.
W. T. 62S

626 WEIRD TALES


T WAS a week before he came into wondered about it for a long while,
I his right mind again, and then but no thinking or imagining or de-
the fevers and fears which had beset ducing on our part could explain the
him passed. He was able to talk to phenomenon.
the captain, and to tell a coherent
Possibly, Bob Henry said, it
story. will appear again.
There were seven of us, he said And, sure enough, it did. The
with sad recollection, as he glanced next evening at the same hour we
at the ships officers, who had gath- again noted that strange disturbance
ered about him on the poop deck, of the water. We
knew that it could
who set out in a two-topmaster not possibly be a whale, nor any oth-
the Scudder. It belonged to Bob er large sea-creature of which we had
Henry, who was our captain. Just ever heard, for the tumult was too
a sort of lark, you know an idle vast; and the fact that none of us
cruise for the joy of the sea, and the could offer an explanation of the mys-
freedom. tery piqued our curiosity.
I was mate, for next to Bob, I The calm continued. The sea
knew more about handling a ship floated away from us endlessly, equal-
than the others. And so we sailed ly on all sides, caught at the edges of
along the coast, putting into what- the sky, and became one with it.
ever ports we fancied, and living an Once in a while a blackfish went blow-
idle, ideal life. All of us had long ing by, or an occasional whale. The
been friends. waters teemed with life. At night
Then we rashly decided to make the phosphor glow was almost livid,
it across the Pacific, depending on a uncannily brilliant. And each eve-
season of few storms to aid us. We ning that same disturbance of the
were successful. Honolulu was easy; water occurred somewhere in our
and from there we headed southward, neighborhood.
made the Marquesas, and then we It was with the third appearance
sailed from island group to island that the thing became too much for

group you know them all ^until we us. We determined to put out in a
made the Philippines. dory and investigate the next time it
There we turned homeward, appeared. It did not disappoint us.
pointing our course for Guam. But Again, at sunset, while the sky
midway to Apia our luck failed, and glowed extravagantly, flaunting an
we were becalmed for days. We
had enormous batik at the parting day,
a small auxiliary motor, which we the water almost dead ^ead of our
used for a time to make headway, bows broke into a churning fury. We
but it got out of order, and we were piled into the dory, which was ready
forced to remain in virtually the alongside, and made for it, pulling
same spot for nearly a week. We as hard as we could. But before we
did not especially mind, for we were were able to reach the spot, the mael-
in no great hurry, except that it was strom had ceased, and we gazed into
somewhat monotonous with so very the intense indigo of unruffled water
little to do. that was nearly five miles deep.
One evening during our becalmed Following that attempt, we were
period, just toward sunset, Hal more determined than ever to find
Rooney pointed out a great disturb- out the nature of the thing. It was
ance of the water some little distance an amazingly large patch of sea that
from us. It shot up in sprays, and it churned, and, though the unbroken
eddied in a most inexplicable man- immensity of the space we were the
ner, and then it suddenly ceased. We center of gave us little for compari-
!

THE MAN WHO WAS SAVED 627

son, we judged the area to be ap- Presently he went on with his wild-

proximately that of an acre an un- ly impossible yam. His listeners
believably large expanse to show were attentive, but secretly unbeliev-
such agitation in the midst of so ing. In time, it was hoped, he might
glassily calm a sea. regain his mental balance. In the
The next afternoon, just as the meanwhile
sun fell into the sea, splashing all our To say that we were shaken
horizons with myriad tints, a huge would not be half expressing our
whale went lolling by, sounding and state of mind. It was so inexplicable,
coming up with great jets of water so wildly preposterous! I was for
cascading over it. I watched with getting away as soon as possible, and
the glasses as it drove powerfully so were several of the others. But
through the water, peacefully taking the rest were keen to learn what the
its time. Suddenly, however, it thing was. And, to settle any argu-
changed. It displayed signs of con- ment, the calm held unbroken and the
fusion, of alarm. First it turned one motor continued in disrepair, despite
way, then another, cutting about our efforts over it.

sharply and then I very distinctly For three days, then, the thing
heard it give a groan of anguish. It did not come to the surface. We had

was a heart-breaking sound the cry decided that it was some sort of deep-
of a great, helpless animal in mortal sea creature, some gargantuan mon-
distress. Immediately afterward the ster that came out of the vast depths
water surrounding it broke into its of the ocean to feed. But we had
daily wild disorder, and the leviathan never heard of such a thing, save in
seemed gripped by a force it could stories of early navigators supersti-
not escape. It struggled violently, tions. We hesitated to beleve the
throwing its huge bulk about with fu-
tile effort. Greater and greater the

thing we had seen we were afraid to
believe it
melee became, and then, suddenly, the It was now that fear came to us.
whale was still. Hitherto we had been curious, idly
We looked at one another, fright speculative, and inclined to laugh.
in our eyes. It was tremendous, aw- Now our thoughts were interrupted
ful. And then, as we looked again by premonitions of disaster. Flying
out there, the whale lost all shape fish, as they flashed from the surface
and the water became red with gore and splashed into the water about us,
and blood as it was crushed to a pulp. startled and porpoises blundering
;
In but a few minutes it was gone, ut- into our vicinity brought us all on
terly vanished from view
even the deck. At night, a lost puff of breeze,

bloodiness of the water cleared the slatting the rigging against the sails,
whirling and splashing ceased, and startled us into alarmed awakening.
the sun went down on a still sea. All And though the same subj''et of pos-
of us were speechless. It was the sibledanger from the unknown out
most dreadful thing any of us had of the deep occupied the mind of
ever seen. each of us, it was never spoken of.
But there was in the air a chilling
T he speaker paused in his narra-
tive, shaken by the memory of
what he had related. The captain
presence of dread.
I believe we would have left that
place had we been abe. For the
and his officers looked at one another memory of the fate of the whale was
with veiled skepticism. The doctor ever vivid in our minds. Following
raised an eyebrow. There seemed no the death of the whale, the monster
doubt of it; the man was insane. did not rise, however, for three days,
;

623 WEIRD TALES


as I have said. This gave us some that crawled over us. When we
sense of relief, but it was on that thought our lungs would burst for the
third day that the great tragedy oc- want of fresh air, light came under
curred. the dory once more, and gradually the
I was occupied with fitting a new slithering, churning, swishing of that
seat to the dory, which was swung thing which had boarded us ceased.
up on deck, and the othei-s were For a long while, however, we were
idling, making bets as to the quarter too frightened to move, but finally
in which the creature would next ap- our concern for the fate of our com-
pear, or if we should see it again. panions compelled us to lift the dory.
I was startled by a scream from The sky glowed with the last rays
one of the men, and immediately after of the setting sun, and the sea slept
followed the sound of churning water beneath it, undisturbed. But the deeto
a sound wliieh sent the very essence of the Scudder w'ere wet with a yel-
of dread all through roe and cowed low-green, malodorous slime, and si-
my soul. Somehow I knew we were lence hung like a pall over the ship.
in the midst of the monsters rise to We called. There was no answer
the surface. I stood and looked over
the side. There was a horrible mass
not even the mockery of an echo.
With consternation seizing us we
of pulsating green matter a revolt- rushed into the afterhouse, but it was
ing substance that had no definite without a person in it. In a panic we

form, and yet was solid a writhing, ran to the forecastle, and it, too, was
heaving island of the stuff. suggestively deserted. And nowhere
Even as I looked it suited up on that ship did we find a soul.
from the water and rolled over the Every man, except ourselvesL had dis-
side of the schooner, turning over on appeared. That thinghis voice
itself, idithering and cascading on broke, and again into his face came
the dock. Everj' one of us was fran-
that haunting pain that thing had
tic. Some rushed for the after cabin, got them all!
but they were cut off by a slimy arm For a while he paused, making
that slid across their path. It spread strong effort to overcome his rising
and lifted with terrorizing rapidity. emotion, and the fear that memcwy
Two of the men tried to climb a mast brought him. The listeners looked
Bob Henry raced toward the bow and away and were silent; and presently
fell. An instant later he was covered they heard Ms voice, firmly continu-
with the gruesome matter, even be- ing the tale.
fore he had a chance to cry out, and You can not conceive of the ter-
was hidden from sight. Hardly ror which descended on us after that
knowing what I did, I turned the frightful discovery. Aimlessly, dazed-
dory over on myself, dragging Mark ly we searched the vessel through and
Whittmore, the nearest man to me, through, but we were the only men
under with me. Fortunately I had aboard the Scudder. It was a fact
removed all the seats, and there was that we had to face, but could not
just room for the two of us as we bring ourselves to believe.
lay prone. Night came quickly, and the moon
Then came darkness and an in- and stars stared coldly down on us.
conceivably foul odor of decay as the We decided at length that to remain
monster mass pushed itself over the on the ship would be suicidal, for the
dory a suffocating, interminable calm still hung over the water like a
darkness, while we were cramped un- dead thing, and the thought of the
der that flat-bottomed boat, scarce unspeakable thing that lived some-
daring to think, even, of the horror where beneath us was appalling. So
THE MAN WHO WAS SAVED 629

we the dory with water and


fitted Investigation corroborated the
food, and rowed away in the night statements the stranger had made.
from that ill-fated ship. Furthermore, the Scvdder*s papers
Then there came interminable proved beyond doubt that the man
days of torture under a malignant they had aboard came from her. And
sun, and nights of terror of what since there was nothing to indicate
might lurk in the waters around us. that anything else could have possi-
And one morning I awoke to find my- bly driven the men from the ship,
self alone in the dory. The day be- their strange passengers story as-
fore Mark had talked of insanity, and sumed a verity that even the officers
I believe that he could not face the reluctantly admitted.
possibility. A short consultation decided the
Now I attained the utmost in de- fate of the Scudder. Left as she was,
spair. I was, I believe, too shocked derelict, she would have become a
might h^ve
to think clearly, or I, too, serious menace to shipping, and pos-
gone over the side. Prom the morn- sible salvage value did not warrant
ing of that discovery, until you the long tow into port. Dynamite
picked me up, I was in a coma. Of was placed amidships and set off.
the passage of time I do not recall. With a splintering crash the Scud-
*And such is mystory, gentlemen. der heaved upward and outward, and
You may find it hard to believe. I plunged into the deeps of the ocean.
find it difficult, myself, and wonder, The Pacific Belle continued on her
sometimes, if it is not an insane con- way.
ception of diseased imagination. I Later in the day the captain stud-
wish it were. But I am tormented ied his charts. Do you think, he
with the reality. asked the mate, at length, that there
is really anything in the fellows

Pacific Belle held her west- story?


ward course for Manila. The The mate shrugged. Such things,
story of the man who had been saved he answered readily, dont happen.
spread among the crew, where it was Hes off, thats all. All the men were
hotly debated, and quite generally ac- gone from the Scudder, yes, but Id
cepted. The officers of the ship, how- hate to accept such an explanation
ever, avoided the subject, and par- for it.
ticularly before the stranger it was The water in this part of the
never mentioned. ocean, mister,the captain slowly
But one moming, just at dawn, a said, is five miles
deep as deep as
the tallest mountain is high. Its
derelict schooner was sighted. The
barely possible that theres a lot about
captain, awakened, ordered the Pa-
tilings out here that we dont know,
cific Belle hove to while investigation
or even remotely suspect. How-
was made. With closer inspection and
ever
increasing light it was made out to be
the Scudder, of San Francisco. The
man who had been saved was called.
Yes! he cried. Yes! Thats
T hat night, after the swollen moon
went down, and after all slept,
save the watches and the man who

the boat our schooner. But
had come aboard from out of the
He drooped, swayed. The mate ocean, the Pacific_ Belle plunged into
caught him and called one of the stark, brief terror.
crew. The stranger, affected by again see-
Take him to his cabin, he said, ing the Scudder, had been unable to
and keep him there. sleep. After hours of restlessness, he

630 WEIRD TALES


had gone to the bows, where he stared glow of phosphorescent green lighted
dully across the water. As he stood the water in a vast area, suddenly
there, slowly, almost imperceptibly, bursting into a lurid brilliance which
he felt himself to be afraid. caught the vessel out of the night and
An odor had come to him, an odor revealed its helplessness to the stars.

which brought to his mind the hor- The glowing green mass surged
ror of his last day aboard the Sc%id- sweepingly toward the vessel, piled

der the sickening, decay-laden odor against it, rolled over it, clinging to
of the monster from the deep. Then its sides, flooding its decks. Men who
he listened with super-intent ears, had come out to investigate the shout-
and above the vessels vibration he ing and confusion frantically rushed
caught a sound of chuming, swirling beloAV deck, barricading ports and
water. He screamed with a loudness doors behind them. On his bridge
that awoke everyone on the Pacific the captain sent useless messages to
Belle as he recognized these things the engine room. The ship could not
a scream that brought everyone to move.
his feet, anticipating calamity. Then, slowly, inexorably, as the
brilliance of the phosphoi-escent light
He turned from the prow and ran
lessened, the great mass which was its
in stumbling haste across the deck
source began to sink. Gradually it
and up the ladder to the bridge. The
settled, carrying the Pacific Bette,
mate was there, alarmed at the cry
of horror.
fair-sized steamer though she was,
down with it. The waves closed over
Mister, he gasped, his mouth
the ships main deck, touched and
dry with panic, mister! The thing
^the monster! Stop the ship! Re-
submerged the bridge, poured down
the funnels, sending clouds of steam
verse her, for Gods sake!
hissing into the air, and finally even
The mate laughed with relief as he the tops of the masts disappeared.
recognized the man. He had been in There had been no time for a wire-
dread of something terrible, and it less message, but a message would
was only another fit. have been futile.
Come, now, old boy! he said in Again the waters calmed, but after
an effort to comfort. Better quiet a half-hour they were torn for a few
down a bit, dont minutes by a great rush of bubbles
With another terrible scream the to the top, following the caving in,
fellow was gone from the bridge. from depth pressure, of the Pacific
Jerking a preseiwer from the rail, he Belles bulkheads. But after that
leaped free of the Pacific Belle. the surface was never more disturbed
Man overboard The mate had

!

by the Pacific Belle.
seen him disappear and gave the Microeosmic in a terrifying vast-
alarm as he ran to the bridge controls. ness of water, a man floated on a
But before he reached them the speed presenter, in the path of a liner that
of the Pacific Belle slackened abrupt- later picked him up. And, as he
ly,as though it had fouled the meshes slowly realized the irony of his second
of a gigantic net; and then it lost escape, he sobbed with futile pity for
headway altogether. A
bright, eery himself.

Bats Beirry~-by

"The rock gATf \ty, and I foond


myself in a vault a-ith about a
score of skeletons.*

T he f<(^lawmg letter was found


among the papers of the late
Sir Harrg Everett Barclay of
Charing Cross, London.
ested, and that it is in wizardry that I
delight. The thought that this quiet
little building in the heart of Eng-
lands peaceful moors should be the
home of a multitude of evil spirits
June 10, 1925. seems very foolish to me. However,
My dear Mare :
the surroundings are exceedingly
Having received no answer to my healthful and the house itself is part-
card, I can only surmise that it did ly an antique, which arouses my in-
not reach you. I am writing from my terest in archeology. So you see there
summer home here on the moor, a is enough to divert my attention from
very secluded place. I am fondling these foolish rumors. Leon, my valet,
the hope that you will give me a is here with me and so is old Morti-
pleasant surprize by dropping in on mer. You remember Mortimer, who
me soon (as you hinted you might), always prepared such excellent bach-
for this is just the kind of house that elor dinners for us ?
would intrigue you. It is very simi- I have been here just twelve days,
lar to the Baskerville home which Sir and I have explored this old house
Arthur Conan Doyle describes in his from cellar to garret. In the latter
Hound of the BaskervUles. Vague I brought to light an aged trank,
rumors have it that the place is the which I searched, and in which I
abode of evil spirits, which idea I found nine old books, several of whose
promptly and emphatically pooh- title pages were torn away. One of
poohed. You know that in the spir- the books, which I took to the small
itual world I am but slightly inter- garret window, I finally distinguished
a

632 WEIRD TALES


as Dracvla by Bram Stoker, and this nated by Poe, Orfilo, Strindburg, and
I at once decided was one of the first
De Rochas four different types of
editions of the book ever printed. authors. Fog or no fog, I determined
Atthe cessation of the first three to find out. There is not another
days a typical English fog descended dwelling near here and the nearest
with a vengeance upon the moor. At source of information is a village
the first indication of this prank of some miles away. This is rather odd,
the elements, which threatened com- for this moor does not seem an unde-
pletely to obscure the beautiful sirable place for a summer home. I
weather of the past, I had hauled out stored the books away, and after in-
aU the discoveries I had made in the forming my valet of my intentions to
garret of this building. Bram Stok- walk some miles to the village, I start-
ers Dracvla I have already men- ed out. I had not gone far, when
tioned. There is also a hook on the Leon decided to accompany me, leav-
Black Art by De Rochas. Three ing Mortimer alone in the fog-sur-
hooks, by Orfilo, Swedenborg, and rounded house.
Cagliostro, I have laid temporarily Leon and I established very little
aside. Then there are also Strind- in the town. After a conversation
hui^s The Inferno, Blavatskys /Se- with one of the grocers in the .village,
cret Doctrine, Poes Eureka, and the only communicative person that
Flammarions Atmosphere. You, my we accosted, we found that the man
dear friend, may well imagine with who had last occupied the house was
what excitement these books filled me, a Baronet Lohrville. It seemed that
for you know I am inclined toward the people held the late baronet in
sorcery. Orfilo, you know, was but a awe, for they hesitated to speak of
chemist and physiologist Sweden-
; him. This grocer related a tale con-
borg and Strindburg, two who might cerning the disappearance of four
be called mystics; Poe, whose Eureka girls one dark night some years ago.
did not aid me much in the path of Popular belief had and still has it
witchcraft, nevertheless fascinated that the baronet kidnaped them. This
me; but the remaining five were as idea seems utterly ludicrous to me,
gold to me. Cagliostro, court magi- for the superstitious villagers can not
cian of Prance; Madame Blavatsky, substantiate their suspicions. By the
the priestess of Isis* and of the Occult way, this merchant also informed us
Doctrine; Dracula, with all its vam- that the Lohrville home is called the
pires; Plammarions Atmosphere, Bats Belfry. Personally I can
with diagnosis of the Gods of peo-
its see no connection between the resi-
ples; and De Rochas, of whom all I dence and the ascribed title, as I have
can say is to quote from August not noticed any bats around during
Strindburg s The Inferno, the follow- my sojourn here.
ing: I do not excuse myself, and My meditations on this matter were
only ask the reader to remember this rudely interrupted by Mortimer, who
fact, in ease he should ever feel in- complained of bats in the cellar
clined to practise magic, especially rather queer coincidence. He said
those forms of it called wizardry, or that he continually felt them brush-
more properly witchcraft: that its
ing against his cheeks and that he
reality has been placed beyond all feared they would become entangled
doubt by De Rochas. in his hair. Of course, Leon and I
Truly, my friend, I wondered, for went down to look for them, but we
I had good reason to do so, what man- could not see any of them. However,
ner of man had resided here before Leon stated that one struck him,
my coming, who should be so fasci- which I doubt. It is just possible that
BATS BEI/PRY 633

sudden drafts of air may have been draft. No one else noticed this draft.
the cause of the delusions. It was just as if someone directly op-
This incident, Marc, was just the posite me had blown forcibly at the
forerunner of the odd things that lamp, or as if the wing of a powerful
have been occurring since then. I am bird had passed by it.

about to enumerate the most impor- There can be no doubt there is


tant of these incidents to you, and I something radically wrong, in this
hope you will be able to explain them. house, and I am determined to find
Three days ago activities started in out what it is, regardless of conse-
earnest. At that date Mortimer came quences.
to me and breathlessly informed me (Here the letter terminates abrupt-
that no light could be kept in the cel- ly, as if it were to he completed at a
lar. Leon and I investigated and letter date.)
found that under no circumstances
could a lamp or match be kept lit in
the cellar, just as Mortimer had said.
My only explanation of this is that it
T he two
doctors bending over the
body of Sir Harry Barclay in
Lohrville Manor at last ceased their
is due to the air currents in the cellar, examinations.
which seem disturbed. It is true a I can not account for this as-
flashlight could be kept alight, but tounding loss of blood. Dr. Mor-
even that seemed dimmed. I can not daunt.

attempt to explain the later fact.


Neither canI, Dr. Greene. He
Yesterday, Leon, who is a devout
isso devoid of blood that some super-
Catholic, took a few drops from a
natural agency must have kept him
flask of holy water, which he contin-
alive! He laughed lightly.
ually carries with him, and descended
into the cellar with the firm intention
About this loss of blood I was
figuring on internal hemorrhages as
of driving out, if there were therein
the cause, but there are absolutely no
ensconced, any evil spirits. On the
signs of anything of the sort. Ac-
bottom of the steps I noticed, some
cording to the expression of his fea-
time ago, a large stone tablet. As
tures, which is too horrible for even
Leon came down the steps, a large
drop of the blessed fluid fell on this me to gaze at

tablet. The drop of water actually And me.


sizzled while Leon muttered some in- he died from some terrible
cantations, in the midst of which he fear of something, or else he wit-
suddenly stopped and fled precipi- nessed some horrifying scene.
tantly, mumbling that the cellar was Most likely the latter.
incontestably the very entrance to I think we had better pronounce
hell,guarded by the fiend incarnate, death due to internal hemorrhage and
himself! I confess to you, my dear apoplexy.
Marc, that I was astounded at this I agree.
remarkable occurrence. Then we shall do so.
Last n'ght, while the three of us The physicians bent over the open
sat together in the spacious drawing book on the table. Suddenly Dr.
room of this building, the lamp was Greene straightened up and his hand
blown out. I say blown out be- delved into his pocket and came out
cause there is no doubt that it was, with a match.
and by some superhuman agency. Here is a match. Dr. Mordaunt.
There was not a breath of air stirring Scratch it and apply the flame to that
outside, yet I, who was sitting just book and say nothing to anyone.
across from the lamp, felt a cool It is for the best.
634 WEIRD TALES

E xcerpts from the journal of Sir


Harry E. Barclay, found beside
side during the life of the last of the

Lohrvilles; not that they should be
his body in LohrvtUe Manor on July connected, but it seems the ignorant
17, 1925. people ascribe their vanishing to the


June 25 Last night I had a curi-
baronet.

June 30 ^Leon claims he did not
ous nightmare, I dreamed that I met
a beautiful girl in the wood around have the dream (which, by the way,
my father s castle in Lancaster. With- revisited melast night), because of

out knowing why, we embraced, our the potent effect of the holy water.
lips meeting and remaining in that
July 1 Mortimer has left. He
position for at least half, an hour! says he can not live in the same house
Queer dream that! I must have had with the devil. It seems he must have
another nightmare of a different na- actually seen the ghost of old Lohr-
ture, although I can not recall it for,
; ville, although Leon scoffs at the idea.
upon looking in the mirror this morn-
,

ing, I found my face devoid of all


Jvf/y 4 I had the same dream
again last night. I felt very ill this

color rather drawn.
morning, but was able to dispel the

Later Leon has told me that he feeling easily during the day. Leon
had a similar dream, and as he is a has used all the holy water, but as to-
confirmed misogynist, I can not inter- morrow is Sunday he will get some at
pret it. Strange that it should be so
the village parish when he attends
parallel to mine in every way.
mass.
June 29 Mortimer came to me
July 5 I tried to procure the serv-
early this morning and said he would
ices of another chef this morning in
not stay another instantj for he had
the village, but I am all at sea. No
certainly seen a ghost last night. A one in the town will enter the house,
handsome old man, he said. He seemed
horrified that the old man had Idssed not even for one hundred pounds a
him. He must have dreamed it. week, they declare ! I shall be forced
I
persuaded him to stay on these to get along without one or send to
grounds and solemnly told him to say London.
nothing about. it Leon remarked Leon experienced a misfortune to-
that the dream had returned in every day. Riding home after mass, his
particular to him the preceding night, holy water spilled almost all from the
and that he was not feeling well. I bottle, and later the bottle, containing
advised him to see a doctor, but he the remainder of it, fell to the ground
roundly refused to do so. He said, and broke. Leon, nonplussed, re-
referring to the horrible nightmare marked that he would get another as
(as he temed it), that tonight he soon as possible from the parish
would sprinkle a few drops of holy priest.
water on himself and that (he stated)
would drive away any evil influence,

July 6 Both of us had the dream
again last night. I feel rather weak,
if there were any, connected with his
and Leon does, too. Leon went to a
dreams. Strange that he should at- doctor, who asked him whether he had
tribute everything to evil entities!
been cut, or severely injured so as to

Later I made some inquiries to- cause a heavy loss of blood, or if he
day and I find that the description of had suffered from internal hemor-
the Baronet Lohrville fits to every de- rhages. Leon said no, and the doctor
tail the "ghost of Mortimers dream. prescribed raw onions and some other
I also learned that several small chil- things for Leon to eat. Leon forgot
dren disappeared from the country- his holy water.
!

BAT'S BELFRY 635

July 9 The dream again. Leon <yZ7LY iffI have it! The Book of
had a different nightmare
old man, who, he said, bit him.
about an
I
J Thoth! It was below the stone
tablet as I thought. The spirits guard-
asked him to show me where the man ing it evidently did not wish me to
had bitten him in his dream, and disturb its resting place, for they
when he loosened his collar to show roused the air currents to a sem-
me, sure enough, there were two tiny blance of a gale while I worked to get
punctures on his throat. He and I the stone away. The book is secured
are both feeling miserably weak. by a heavy lock of antique pattern.

July 15 Leon left me today. I am I had the dream again last night,
but in addition I could almost swear
firmly convinced that he went sud-
denly mad, for this morning he that I saw the ghosts of old Lohrville
evinced an intense desire to invade and four beautiful girls. What a co-
the cellar again. He said that some- incidence! I am very weak today,
thing seemed to draw him. I did not hardly able to walk around. There
stop him, and some time later, as I is no doubt that this house is infested

was engrossed in a volume of 'WeUs, not by bats, but by vampires Lamais


1

he came shrieking up the cellar steps If I could only find their corpses I
and dashed madly through the room would drive sharp stakes through
in which I sat. I ran after him and, them.
cornering him in his room, forcibly
Later I made a new and shocking
detained him. I asked for an expla- discovery today. I went down to the
nation and all he could do was moan place where the tablet lay, and an-
over and over. other rock below the cavity wherein
Mon Dieu, Monsieur, leave this the Book of Thoth had lain gave way
accursed place at once. Leave it. below me and I found myself in a
Monsieur, I beg of you. Le diahle vault with about a score of skeletons
le diahle! At this he dashed all of little children
! If this house
is inhabited by vampires, it is only
aWay from me and ran at top speed
from the house, I after him. In the too obvious that these skeletons are
road I shouted after him and all I those of their unfortunate victims.
could catch of the words wafted back However, I firmly believe that there
is another cavern somewhere below,
to me by the wind, were: Lamais
le diahle Mon Dieu tahlet wherein the bodies of the vampires
Book of Thoth. All very signif- are hidden.
icant words, Le diahle and Mon
Later I have been looking over the
Dieuthe devil and my God book by He Rochas and I have hit
paid
I attention
little But La-
to. upon an excellent plan to discover
mais was a species of female vampire the bodies of the vampires! I shall
known intimately to a few select sor- use the Book of Thoth to summon the
cerers only, and the Book of Thoth vampires before me and force them to
was the Egyptian book of magic. For reveal the hiding place for their vo-
a few minutes I entertained the rath- luptuous bodies !He Rochas says that
er wild fancy that the Book of Thoth it can be done.

was ensconced somewhere in this Nine


o* clock As the conditions are
building, and as I racked my brains excellent at this time 1 am going to
for a suitable connection between start to summon the vampires. Some-
tablet and Book of Thoth I at last one is passing and I hope he or she
became convinced that the book lay does not interrupt me in my work or
beneath the tablet at the foot of the tell anyone in the town to look in
cellar steps. I am going down to in- here. The book, as I mentioned be-
vestigate. fore, is secured by a heavy seal, and
636 WEIRD TALES

I had trouble last I


to loosen it. At that I can not pray .... I am hyp-
succeeded in breaking it and I opened notized by the malefic leer disfiguring
the book to find the place I need in the countenance of the baronet. There
mj- work of conjuring up the vam- is a sinister gleam in the eyes of the
pires. I found it and I am beginning four beautiful ghouls. They glide to-
my incantations. The atmosphere in ward me, arms outstretched. Their
the room is changing slowly and it is sinuous, obnoxious forms are before
becoming intolerably dark. The air me; their crimson lips curved in a
currents in the room are swirling an- diabolically triumphant smile. I can
grily, and the lamp has gone out .... not bear to see the soft caress of their
I am confident that the vampires will tongues on their red lips. I am re-
appear soon. sisting with all the power of my will,
I am correct. There are some but what is one mere will against an
^des materializing in the room. infernal horde of ghouls?
They are becoming more distinct .... God! Their foul presence taints
there are five of them, four females my very soul The baronet is moving
!

and one male. Their features are very forward. His mordaeious propinqui-
distinct. . They are casting covert
. . ty casts a reviling sensation of ob-
glances in my direction. Now . . . scenity about me. If I can not appeal
they are glaring malevolently at me. to God I must implore Satan to grant
Good God! I have forgotten to me time to construct the magic circle.
place myself in a magic circle and I I can not tolerate their virulence
greatly fear the vampires will attack .... I endeavored to rise but I could
me I am only too correct. They are
! not do so. ... I am no longer master
moving in my direction. God! My of my own will! The vampires are
.... But stay! They are halting! leering demoniacally at me. ... I am
The old baronet is gazing at me with doomed to die .... and yet to live
his glittering eyes fiery w'ith hate. The forever in the ranks of the Undead.
four female vampires smile voluptu- Their faces are approaching closer
ously upon me. to mine and soon I shall sink into ob-
Now, if ever, is my chance to break livion .... but anything is better
Prttyerf But I can
their evil spell. than this .... to see the malignant
not pray! I am
iorever banished Undead around me. ... A
sharp
from the sight of God for calling stinging sensation in my throat. . . .
upon Satan to aid me. But even for My God! .... it is ....
^
HAD mourned Paul Duval as to be in its proper position. Then,
dead until there came that mys- as I let the cover drop, the tubes be-
I terious voice from out of the in- gan to glow with a brilliancy which
infinite. grew until it exceeded that of the elec-
In my study is a radio receiver of tric lights in the room.
more than ordinary workmanship. Something shorted, I thought
Not a set for amusement only, but as my hand approached the instru-
a scientifically accurate instrument. ment with the intention of shutting
Like most fans I liked to amuse off the batteries. Then something
myself by picking up distant stations. happened which caused me to draw
One night, as I idly turned the dials, back my hand as though it had been
I noticed the tubes grow brighter as stung.
certain markings on the dial were I must have sensed that no earthly
passed. I opened the cabinet and station was coming through. Perhaps
peered into it. Everything seemed it was because the' first word called
1537
638 WEIRD TALES
was my name; was because
perhaps it Before the man could collect his wits,
the tones that cried out from the Duval had somehow managed to es-
ether were filled with a quality of cape. The guard could not be blamed,
sound which could come from no for the patient had never shown any
earthly source. Paint, vibrant, but signs of violence, and was consequent-
clear came a voice: ly rated as harmlessly insane.
Harry! help! help! Harry! for What are you doing about it?

am
Gods sake help me, I We have a party of attendants
The words cut volume of
off in a looking for him and have notified the
sound, unearthly squeals and cries. police. As soon as we hear anything,
My hand darted to the dial, but as I well let you know.
touched it the lights resumed their
former brilliancy and I could hear
nothing. A "WORD of explanation is due those
who are not familiar with the
weird experiment which Duval suc-
Unnerved and exhausted, I sank
back into my chair. The voice had cessfully performed. He had discov-
been that of Paul Duval from the ered a ray which made the disem-
Other Side. He had called on me, his bodied spirit bodies visible. Into the
best friend, to help him, and God influence of this ray had come Mar-
in heaven!
I was helpless! guerite, a girl he had loved, but who
How long I sat I do not know. had died. Seeing her there, beautiful,
Dimly, I remember I heard the tele- angel-like in the light of the beam,
phone ring and heard Janisch, my he had become possessed of an irre-
man, answer it. sistible longing to be with her. She
The first part of the conversation had stretched her arms out to him.
made no impression on me. Then he Down the path of the ray he had
said, Well, yes, reluctantly, Dr. gone to meet her. He reached the
Chaptel is here, but he has left in- phantom shape. Into her arms he
structions not to be called. A pause. had been clasped. She kissed him,
Oh! this is Bairds Sanitarium? and Duvals body slumped to the
Very well. Ill see if hell speak to floor. A
moment later I saw his soul
you. arise from his body, and walk, arm
Janisch did not call me, though. in arm, through the screen by which
Hardly were the last words out of his Marguerite had come, into the Great
mouth when I snatched the receiver Beyond.
from his hand. Bairds was where But Duval was not dead! When I
Duvals body was confined. had shut off the power and rushed to
Yes! Yes! What is it? I de- his side, I found his body alive. The
manded impatiently. soul, the intelligent part of his being,
Is this Dr. Ghaptel? came a had gone from his body, but that
voice. body continued to breathe and other-
It What do you want?
is. wise perform the functions of life.
Dr. Baird asked me to tell you What remained was mere unintelli-
Paul Duval has overpowered his gent clay, animated by the spark of
guard and escaped, life. It was Duvals body, Wt not
Are you sure? I queried faintly. Duval. The part that was the real
The reply left no doubt. The at- Paul did not inhabit its fleshly dwell-
tendant had heard a persistent tap- ing. That dwelling, that part which
ping in Duvals cell. After a time, was left, was what men term an idiot.
thinking it strange, he had opened the Do you wonder at my surprize that
door to investigate, only to have the this body had suddenly become ani-
body bear him down in a moment. mated; that it should attack a man,
!

QUEEN OF THE VORTEX 639

when for several years it had even vals. But how changed from the
to be fed ? For five years I had con- old Duval! I noticed the creature,
fined it in Bairds Sanitarium, diag- even as it held me, seemed trying to
nosed as having a progressively de-
say something ^to reassure me. But
teriorating dementia. And now the vocal cords refused to form the
words and the result was an xmintelli-
mumble.
E xpecting a sleepless night, I final-
ly went to bed. In spite of ex-
gible
Duval seemed to realize, at last,
pectations, however, sleep overtook that I could not understand. An
me;. broken by dreams vague but ter- awful despair came into his face. The
rible. Perhaps Duvals escape, com- fingers tightened until it seemed my
ing so closely upon the voice, had wrist bones would shatter under the
filled my mind with half -formed hor- pressure. Then the features relaxed,
rors. Or it may have been my sub- and I was drawn to my feet.
conscious reactions to the presenti- Powerless to resist, I was half car-
ments which weighed upon my con- ried, half dragged to the living room.
scious mind. Perhaps, without know- He threw me heavily into a chair and
ing it, I was being prepared for what turned away. As an automaton, he
was to follow. approached my radio and threw in
I awoke with a start. I knew I the switch. The tubes grew bright.
had been dreaming, but I knew it He carefully fixed the dials in a cer-
had not been a dream which awak- tain position. Without a word or ges-
ened me. For a moment I did not ture of warning, he dropped to the
know what it was. Moonlight was floor. Instantly, the light in the
flooding the room. Nothing seemed tubes grew brighter and a voice came
amiss. from the set.
Then I saw it. Perhaps a slight Its all right, Harry, Duvals
creaking of the door had disturbed voice again; I had to get in com-
my slumbers. It was slowly swinging munication with you some way, and
inward. I watched it, fascinated. It couldnt chance waiting for you ac-
opened wider. A head was thrust into cidentally to set the dials again.
the room. The hair on it was wildly But
but, where are you? I
awry. There was a bloody scratch asked inanely.
down one cheek. The eyes had a On the Other Side, he answered
fixed, a set look, like those in the head with a tinge of bitterness in his voice.
of a dead man. But they were not Well, why are you
how did
sightless, for they rested on me for ? I began, a hundred questions
a moment with a gaze that sent quiv- at once swirling in my brain, clamor-
ering fright through my body. Then ing for utterance.
the mouth widened in a terrible leer. Dont make me explain now, old
"With this, the fetters which bound man. I am in danger, subject at any
me fellaway, and I started to my moment to attack from a force of
feet. With the suddenness of a mis- which you have not the faintest con-
silelaunched from a catapult, the ception. I want to return to life, to
body followed the head into the room get back to my body, which, God help
with a terrific leap which sprawled me, I left, but powerful influences
me back on the bed. I tried to fight are at work to keep me back. Harry
the Thing off with my hands, but fin- I can get back only with your help.
gers of dreadful power caught my Will you give it ?
wrists, holding them fast.
But but why dont you rejoin
As the grotesquely twisted face was your body? You were in it just
thrust into mine, I saw it was Du- now.

640 WEIRD TALES


Not ih it, Hariy. Just animating to the floor just as the hands would
it with a very imperfect control. have touched the instrument. Janisch
But dont waste not in
time. I am came in answer to my frantic cries,
rapport with the Second Cycle now, and together we succeeded in over-
but may be at any moment. In other coming the man, who did not seem to
words, I ain not observed now. When have the strength he had when I was
I am I shall have to stop, This last attacked.
significantly. As soon as we had subdued it the
Go ahead," then. I was begin- body relaxed and was again the su-
ning to recover my mental stability pine, inert mass of flesh which for five
somewhat by now. Had I known years had been the only earthly part
what was in store, I should not have of Duval.
told him to go ahead so boldly, Then the warning. From the set
Listen then! Get the old appa- came a new voice, beautiful in its con-
ratus. Set it up the best you can. tralto cadences, sinister in its blood-
You may do this from my notes, if chilling tones.
3'ou can unscramble them. Set it up Do not meddle in this, mortal.
in this room. I can get you through Beware what you do. I, Tasmari,
this set, if jmu need anything ex- Queen of the Vortex, sister of Bari,
plained. Wi^ the ray operating, and who is ruler of the Second Cycle,
with your help, I believe I can get have spoken.
back.
Get this carefully. Success may EVERAL days passed. Yet no voice
depend on it. Communication through S came from the radio. Duvals
the radio must not be disturbed, so body remained inert, and I passed the
do not touch it. A slight movement time in feverish anxiety. Not daring
will throw it out of tune. And what- to leave the set unguarded, for fear
ever you do- some malignant entity might control
The voice stopped, was drowned the body of Duval and wreck the in-
out by an infernal screeching from strument beyond all hope of further
the receiver. Then his voice again. communication, I had watched it con-
Dont Change the dials, Harry. tinually, snatching such sleep as I
Dont change the dials. My God! I could in the room with the set; plac-
believe thej' are taking me to the ing Janisch on guard when physical
Vortex! Dont change the dials, exhaustion drove me to rest.
and watch my body. Dont change But I had not been idle. All of
a-a-a-a-atihh
^
Duvals apparatus had been brought
The despairing words changed to to my studj', and with the aid of his
a heUish scream which drowned old note-books, I liad begun the task
thought. A
sound behind me. I of re-assembling the projectors. I
turned in time to dodge a blow from knew I must get it together. Whether
the again-animated body of Duval. I could or not, I did not know.
He did not attempt it again, but It might be well here to recall the
started toward the radio with the evi- principle which Duval had discov-
dent intention of doing something to ered. Beginning with the known
it. With Duvals last words ringing facts that matter and energy are in-
in my ears, the idea came to me that destructible, he reasoned that intelli-
he, least of all, would wish the set gence was something apart from
interfered with. The thought came to either, a force which could not be de-
me it was not Duval in control this stroyed. In its nature, if the hypoth-
time. With the thought came action. esis it could not be destroyed were
I leaped at the body. I crumpled it correct, it must retain its character as
QUEEN OP THE VORTEX 641

intelligence, and hence have a definite Gradually the ray gained in inten-
entity. sity. The luminous screen seemed to
Experiments had led him to believe spring into greater brightness. My
the soul was of a definite composition, eyes strained for the first sight of the
too tenuous for the eye of man to be- little pinpoints of light which would

hold. He reasoned further, that could herald the materialization of spirits.


he but make all the known rays of My ears were attuned for the first
light visible to the eye, the total re- faint bell-like sound, such as had an-
flection from this unknown substance nounced the advent of Marguerite.
would render the soul perceptible. The screen was a riotous thing of
His experiments had carried him and shadow.
color, light
farther and farther until at last he Then, as a meteor appears piercing
had achieved success. With the aid the atmospheric envelope of the earth,
of his wonderful ray and a screen the first tiny pinpoint appeared. A
against which he projected it, he was
few more then more. It was hap-
able finally to bring actual disem- pening as it had happened that night
bodied entities into view as long as when Duval had materialized Mar-
they remained in the path of the ray guerite. The points of light would
and in front of the screen. arrange themselves into dMte out-
The rest has been recorded. What lines soon, and I would be assured
he had done, what had happened to the first step for Duvals rescue had
him beyond the pale, I had never been successfully taken. I watched
known. Now he was calling on me to eagerly.
bring him back. I wanted to succeed, My God! What was that? The
to help, but I was fearful, fearful little bells seemed ringing as before,
of something. Maybe a prescience of but with a difference. They did not
future terror, maybe of admission we ring in musical cadences. They were
were delving into that of which no harsh, discordant; a horror to the
man should enquire. ears. And, the little points of light!
As fast as they appeared, now, they
day had come. I Idoked upon were extinguished. Those whidi had
the machine, assembled from the come first died, one by one. Died!
notes Duval had left. Time after That is the word. The impression
time I had come upon obstacles which surged over me they were being
it seemed I could not surmount. killed. I felt as though they were
Again and again I had called upon living things, being put to death by
Duval to instruct me. I was half mad the agency of some malignant power.
at times. But the voice had not come A strange conflict of some sort was
again, and the silence mocked me. waging.
You may imagine with what feel- Desperately, I switched in more
ings, with what fears, I at last threw power and was rewarded for a mo-
in the switch which controlled the ment by seeing the little lights come
projectors. Janiseh, whom I had faster than they died. But the
taken into my confidence, stood be- ascendancy was only for a moment.
side me. Would disembodied spirits Soon they were all gone. All quenched
be seen once more in the pale light of with the same deadly method.
the ray ? Would Marguerite be there, I was stunned. Failure! I turned
Duval ? A thin trickle of perspira- trembling from the screen and
tion rolled down my forehead on to reached for the controls. A sharp
my cheeks. I found myself clenching exclamation from Janiseh brought my
my fists tightly. My eyes were held eyes back to the screen. The light
to the screen. and shadow played upon it, as before.
:

6i2 WEIRD TALES


Bnt there was something else there; I shouted. In answer came a rip-
something fearful. Janiseh groaned ple of low mocking laughter. Seem-
in fright. ing to come from nowhere, sh^ ap-
Within the beam there had grown peared. It was, distinct now to my

an awful shape awful in the sense sight, the figure I
in the beam.
had vaguely seen
The eyes were no longer
of impressive power it gave. Prom
terrible, though they were cold and
its shadowy face, brilliant eyes bored
chilled as the Arctic snows. They
into my soul. They fastened them-
were set in a forehead of flawless
selves on my brain. I was going. My
very ego was being tom from the
beauty. A
pale and noble forehead;
correctly proportioned and flawless
body it inliabited. Came
a brilliant nose; slightly tinted cheeks and de-
ilash; momentary darkness and the
liciouslycurved lips. Her figure was
sense of being borne through space beautiful and devoid of clothing
immeasurable with the speed of a enough to make the red blood fiow
fleeting comet. swiftly through the veins of any man,
My eyes were tightly closed, until but on me, at that time, she produced
I became aware of a terrific light not the slightest emotion other than
shining in my face. Slowly I unclosed that of admiration for her beauty. In
my lids. What I saw wnuld have un- this plane, fieshly instincts do not
seated my reason, had such a thing exist.
been possible. I was peering through As I gazed at her in wonder, the
a sort of doorway, which had a fa- lips cuiw'ed into a cool smile, and she
miliar appearance to me. I recog- said:
nized it as framework of the
the
screen, but I ivm on the reverse side!
You were told not to meddle,
mortal.
The beam was projected toward me,
while near the controls, to one side of Where am I? I asked, choosing
the machine, I saw Janiseh hysteri- to disregard her statement.
cally working over a prone figure, In the Second Cycle.
which I knew' at once to be mine. And you?
I leaped up, dashed back into the
I am Tasmari, she replied
haughtily.
screen crying
Tasmari, the owner of the warn-
Janiseh, Janiseh, dont turn off
ing voice, went through my mind
the ray. Im coming back. I tried
and I stepped backward somewhat
to act as I had spoken, but a wave of
hastily. She noticed my movement
irresistible force drew me back, and and smiled at me with contempt. That
my last sight was a glimpse of Jan-
smile made me ashamed of myself,
ischs startled face as he looked in my
somehow, and more, it caused a hot
direction.
resentment to pass over me. Who
I gazed wildly about me, but could was she, spirit, angel, or demon, to
see nothing, except the vague, golden assume an air of superiority to me?
light which covered everything. A I was also a free spirit. Pear dropped
feeling of utter helplessness swept from me, and from that time on I
over me. What could I do?
could I go?
Where
do not believe I felt it at least not
fear of the powers of the Second
With an effort I obtained control Cycle, though there is nothing repre-
over myself. I had been let in for hensible in fearing Bari and Tasmari,
something, I knew' not what, and I and the tremendous power they con-
suspected it would not be pleasant, trol.
but better to meet it resolutely than Then, Tasmari, where is Paul Du-
bound in the fetters of fear. val? I shot at her.
QUEEN OF THE VORTEX 643

Where you can not reach him.


Then you are going to tell me U p TO' now, I had had no opportu-
nity to look about me. I east my
eyes around and was disappointed.
where heis and how to reach him,
I angrily cried as I stepped threaten- There was nothing anywhere except-
ingly toward her. the golden light I have mentioned.
Stay where you are! command- No streets of gold. No angel choirs.
ingly. Nothing which we are told may be
expected on the Other Side. Where
Tell me where Duval is, or Ill
were the wonderful mansions ? T
I stopped. Tasmaris face
tried to picture in my mind just what
grew terrible with anger and once
I had expected to see.
again those eyes found mine. I sud-
denly felt weak and ill. I was held In the distance there now appeared
immovable in some power. She a wondrous city. High-walled and
seemed to be receding from me. Pres- many-towered it reared itself in
sure was exerted on me from every splendor before my sight. From out
its gates a resplendent host was pour-
direction. Strange sensations pulsed
ing, while from the direction of the
over mein waves. Then her lips
parted once more in a mocking smile city came the sound of beautiful mu-
and the pain left me. She seemed sic,angel voices. As the rays of the
near me again, in her former position. setting sun send streamers of light
Know, Harry Chaptel, that sueh_ upward into the clouds, so did the
as you may not threaten the Queen walls and towers shoot a glory of
of the Vortex. That was but a small radiance interminably into the vast-
sample of the awful power I wield. ness above the scene. The glory of
Have you learned a lesson? heaven, as I had pictured it, unfolded
itself to me.
I did not reply, but I east my eyes
to the ground, not caring to give her Never believing the stories of ac-
another opportunity to use her weap- cepted belief concerning heaven, I
ons against me. had nevertheless considered them
Ah! You fear me! That is good beautiful. In spite of unbelief, of
and safe, she sneered. agnosticism, there are these pictures
in the mind of every man. They are
No, do not fear you. The an-
I
gry cloud began to form on her face drawn by the imagination, and are
again and I set myself to resist her, a part of us whether we realize it or
but her face cleared. not.
Better that you did. But, remem~ Since Duval had proved the exist-
ber this, Harry Chaptel, I charge you ence of the ego after death, these
to communicate with no other until thoughts had been much plainer. I
you have been before the Council. had often speculated on what the
Beware of speaking to others.
Other Side woiild be like, and ma-
With that she was gone, leaving tured intellect could not banish the
me to stare rather stupidly at the spot pictures placed in my mind during
where she had stood.' I understood my childhood years.
later, in this place where all is Then here was the City of Gold.
thought, that the entities are where Its hosts of angels, archangels, ser-
they will themselves to be. Had I aphim and cherubim, pouring from
known it, I coidd have brought my- its jeweled gates, encircling its ma-
self into the presence of Tasmari jestic towers.
again by the mere act of concentrat- But the angel faces grew suddenly
ing my thought upon her. But I did dim, and the Eternal City vanished
not know it, and besides I had no from before me. A sullen red cloud
wish to see her again. grew in its place, and instead of the

644 WEIRD TALES


singing I now heard the screeehings The circle opened outward, and
of the damned. Brilliant flashes of through it came Marguerite. The
jagged flame rent the cloud and there monsters retired hastily, but did not
burst upon me a hellish horde. depart. Gathered in the distance
They gibbered and screamed with they watched, sullenly.
a hate I could feel. They were evil,
the army of Satan. Shouldering its
way through the horrible throng came
a hideous monster, who looked at me
T hough I should have felt a grate-
fulness toward my rescuer, I
found instead that my being was
with evil triumph. It was the same filled with resentment. Throughout
that had preceded Marguerite in the the years that had passed since the
ray on the first night of Duvals ex- night Duval had left, I had always
periment. It was the soul of a de- cherished within my heart a sort of
generate murderer, she had informed hatred for this woman
a hatred
Duval. As I remembered this, it born of the fact that it was she who
came to me that each of the horrors had tempted Paul beyond the pale.
I was beholding was the soul of some- Now I felt my own troubles were due,
one who had previously existed in in a large measure, to her, I should
life. The evil they had let into their not have treated her as I did, how-
souls had made monsters of them. ever, and I offer no excuses, except
Was this to be my fate? well, I was not entirely free from the
They pressed closer upon me. Sin evil which had just encompassed me.
and evil emanated from them in reek- When I saw the monsters had with-
ing, soul-scorching blasts. I felt my- drawn, I looked into Marguerites
self filled with unholy thoughts, terri- face. She met my eyes with a smile,
ble desires. Only with an effort did and I returned it with a look of sul-
I withstand the almost irresistible len hatred.
temptation to partake of their sinful So you are Marguerite? I be-
debaucheries, to join with them in gan.
sinfulness. They surrounded me on Yes, she replied simply, per-
every side.
plexed at my attitude.
My God! my God! I cried. Is Have you come here to see the fin-
there no one to help* me? ish of the deviltry you began five
At the sound of the Name, they years agof I asked harshly.
fell
their
back as in fear, thrusting out
hands as if to ward off a blow.

To see why, I came here to help
you.
They stayed thus for perhaps a
I laughed unbelievingly.
hearts beat, then came swarming
back to me again. Not to be denied Besides, haughtily, the devil-
this time, they beat me do^vn with the try, as you call it, began with the
evil of their thought. They confused mad desire of Paul to see what should
me with a maelstrom of horrible de- have remained hidden from him.
sires sent from their beings to mine. So that is your excuse, I flared.
I was about to perish. My soul was I suppose you blame him because
to lose itself in the hideousness of sin. you enticed him into this place. She
Penetrating the babel about me made no reply to this, but bowed her
came the sound of tiny bronze bells. head.
The monsters ceased their efforts to- Why dont you answer me? No
ward me and looked uneasily about.
The sound became plainer, and its
reason to ask. You you Satan!
Was

there ever a creature so despi-
music fell upon my tortured soul with cable? At the sound of the name
the divine blessedness of a prayer. of the Prince of Darkness, Marguer-
' :

QUEEN OF THE -VORTEX 645

ite shuddered as if with fear, and the And you free him?
if I do, will
horde came leaping closer. she asked, a questioning smile on her

Stop
she cried,
! there is

.
lips.

I wont stop. You listen to me, I will try.


I flared. I know I cant hurt you And how will you do it? Do you
here, but I can tell you what you are. know where he is?
A flend
out of hell! traitress! A Here she had me. I didnt have
The betrayer of the man who loved the slightest idea as to how to pro-
you! Knowing he loved you, you ceed to free Paul. It suddenly oc-
used your devilish witchery to lure curred to me I might have to have
him here. Having him here you de- help. I looked at her more closely
sert him. You should be cast into the than I had done before. She was
nethermost pit of hell, I screamed* beautiful beyond a doubt.
At each angry word the horde had So, scornfully, he does not
crept closer and closer. know what to do. Yet he would drive
No more, she commanded coldly. away the only being in the Second
Would you engulf yourself again in Cycle who is willing to help.
the power of sin? Hatred has no You help ? I'queried. How can


place here except among these, she you help?
gestured toward the monsters. I am one of the Council.
Seeing them again so close, I That means nothing to me. If
forced myself to be more calm. I did you are willing to help, why havent
not want them howling around me you done so?
again. I have. But for me, Paul could
Just the same, I have spoken my never have gotten through to you. I
thoughts, I averred, unconsciously tried to meet you flrst, but Tasmari
using a term, true in life, but out of interfered, and her power is so much
place in the Second Cycle, where all greater than mine. I can not help
is thought. Paul more, because he has set his
Then I shall say to you the mind against help from me.
truth, she replied. I have never Why? suspiciously.
deserted Paul Duval. You make ac- He loves me.
cusations which you can not know are Paul loved her after what she
still
true, which are not true. How little had done? After she had brought
you know! him, to this plane? If he loved her,
I have helped him, helped though why did he want to return? Seem-
itplaced me in danger of the Vortex. ing to read me, she burst out impetu-
If Bari or Tasmari knew a hundredth ously
part of what I have done, I should Ah! Cant you understand?
not be here. Some day they will Taking Paul through was such a little
burst through my isolation and learn thing, it seemed, when I came here.
the truth. Even now Tasmari seeks Time? It doesnt exist in the Second
the one who tried to meet you at the Cycle. So what matters it, if a being
ray. comes here early or late? It must
Oh! if it were only myself to be come sometime. I did not know his
considered, I would isolate myself coming would not be like mine, leav-
from you with a barrier so strong ing all desires of life behind.
that a thousand wills could not break Paul is unhappy. Knowing he
it. can do so much good in life, to keep
I -wish you would, I retorted. so many from becoming as these,
Leave me to get Paul out of this pointing to the horde, which was
and I dont care what you do. again in the distance, he wants to
646 WEIRD TALES
return. Other souls have wanted to He seemed encompassed in a clear
go back, but they can not. But Paul, amber substance, the nature of which
his body lives on. He has the op- I do not to this day really know. I
portunity.' stretched forth my hand to touch
It suddenly came to me that I him, but the substance prevented it.
should like to return for the same At the same instant Duvals body
reason. I had come to realize my own seemed to be covered with a myriad
lifehad been spent searching in the of tiny golden flames. They flickered
wrong channel; that I should have weirdly over him but did not seem to
used my knowledge to bring about a possess the quality of heat. I with-
better humanity. Sickness and pov- drew my hand and the flames sub-
erty beget evil, and evil made up the sided. I tried it again, and the fin-
horde. gers of fire flared up again, but
brighter and somewhat angrily.
Cant we be friends, and work to-
gether? softly, Oh, dont! Dont try to touch
A feeling of tenderness and love him! cried the girl.
welled up within me. The shutters Why? I asked stupidly.
had fallen from my eyes, and I was Cant you see he is isolated?
at last fit to be with Marguerite, to Isolated?
work with her. Yes. Tasmari isolated him for
Yes I replied. I glanced in tri-
! trying to communicate with you.
umph toward the horde, but they had They (she and Bari) feared he might
disappeared.
get back to the First Cycle, life.
Gone, she volunteered, noticing Why does this Bari want to keep
my look of surprize. They existed him here?
only because your thoughts called That Bari knows best. Paul has
them up. Thought is all in the Sec- been purified by the Thought Coun-
ond Cycle. cil. When that has occurred, the
The Golden City? I asked. soul is subject to Bari, and Bari holds


Your thought also.

what he has.
Then they were not real? This reminded me of what Tasmari
Thought the only reality there
is had commanded. She had told me to
is, she answered enigmatically. speak to no one until I had been puri-
fied by this Thought Council. So

M
I
arguerite and I stood before
Paul Duval. Instructed by her,
had concentrated my thought on
that was her plan? After the Coun-
cil had done its work, I could be held
as was Duval, and neither of us could
him, and had found myself almost at go back. She was afraid I would
once in his presence. He was clothed learn too much.
as I had last seen him, for in the Sec- Tasmari has commanded me to
ond Cycle the beings are dressed as speak to no one, I stated. What
the eye of the beholder consciously, would happen if she found me speak-
or subconsciously, sees them. That he ing to you?
should be clothed as I last saw him She would first force you before
was natural. the Council. After, they would do
He was suspended motionless a lit- with you as they wished, or as he
tle above the plain on which we stood. wished. He is supreme. They might
He did not seem to see me, or to be send you to the Vortex.
aware of my
presence. It was not Duval had shrieked something
until I spoke to him, and he did not about being carried to the Vortex,
answer, that I saw something was when he had talked with me over the
amiss. radio. A sudden idea came to me.
QUEEN OF THE VORTEX 647

Is that the Vortex? motioning Could Tasmari?


to Paul. Only if the Council has the power>
No, thank God, it isnt. The Vor- and then only by its authority.

tex is a horror. It is a maelstrom Here goes for a try, anyhow, I
of punishing thoughts. There is no exclaimed, touching once more tlie
return for the soul cast in. It is a mantle about Paul.
seething whirlpool of tempestuous If you touch him, you will only
sin. It drags you down and down and injure him and warn Tasmari what
at last shatters the very entity which you are about. You must concentrate
is you. It is death. The real death. your thought on him. Entwine your
After that there is nothing. being with his bethinking. You may
There may be a Third Cycle? I be too weak and be drawn in with
hazarded. him. Be careful of

Her face brightened. But I did not hear the rest. I was
That is what some of us think. If already doing as she had instructed.
there were we should not fear Bari I was putting my whole being into
so. the thought that Paul Duval was a
If there were? How like our own free soul, unhampered by any bar-
life Always the fear of the unknown.
! rier; once more by my side.
One veil torn aside, and another be- At first it did not seem as though
fore us, impenetrable. Did things go I were accomplishing anything. Then
on and on, or was there an end, a I saw one of his fingers move. Hope
stopping place? Was there at last a aroused, I set myself more sternly to
heaven, surely a God ? Maybe the in- the task. His eyes opened, and he
scrutable would unwind itself, may- saw me. Then his arm lifted. A feel-
be but why speculate? My work ing of joy surged through me, but
was to get Paul Duval and myself it was short-lived.
back to life again. I was now opposed by some force.
What power holds Paul? Some opposing power was grappling
The only one there is, the power with my will, and at its thrust, I felt
of thought. myself growing weaker. Pauls arm
If that is the ease, why cant we fell to his side once more, and his eyes
get Paul out of there? closed. I was slowly brought nearer
You could. I could, but it would to him. I was being drawn in
mean punishment if I were caught. also.
I have wanted to, so much, but Paul The thought terrified me, and at
made me promise Iwouldnt try, and that instant, I knew myself to be
has focused his thought against help within the barrier. The little flames
from me. He has a strong will. were licking at me now, as they had
Do you fear the Vortex? I licked at Paul when I attempted to
asked, with a shade of scorn, bred of touch him. In the last effort I sent
my ignorance. every erg of will-power remaining in
Yes, candidly. But that would me, crashing against the force which
not stop me from helping him. If I was overpowering me.
.should break down the isolation, there It was of no avail. Things seemed
is no place to go, and he would simply afar off now, and I knew a peace
be put back into it again, and my which was greater than I had ever
usefulness would ,end. thought possible. A gray mist gath-
Could they put me in the Vor- ered before me. Suddenly it was dis-
tex? sipated by a bright flash. The force
I do not know what your status I had been fighting left, and Paul and
is. Maybe they could. I were together.
618 WEIED TALES

I looked for Marguerite, but she tion impregnable by forming the


was not to be seen. Somehow, I felt Thought Council.
it was through her aid I had won. It consists of a carefully selected
number of the strongest wills, favor-
OMPLETE silence Avas around us,
C made more profound by the ces-
able to him and his policies.
exert their conscious will-power in
They

sation of Duvals voice. In some unison wdth that of Bari on the sub-
manner we were being protected from conscious wills of the whole. Thus,
Tasmari. I felt this rather than knew the Council, and therefore Bari, is
it, and Duval had taken advantage absolute, for the conscious will con-
of the respite to tell me of conditions trols the subconscious absolutely by
in the Second Cycle. Speech is not the pow'cr of suggestion. In a meas-
necessary there, but possible, and it ure, the entire spirit body of the Sec-
was more satisfactory to hear the ond Cycle is controlled by Bari, much
sound of our voices. as a hjpnotized pei*son is controlled

It is strange, yet entirely logical,


by the hypnotist. There are points
of difference, to be sure, but unex-
this story of the Second Cycle. As
Duval told it, in a time past it had
plainable to one in life. A
rebel of
the Council is easily Ijeaten down by
been found necessary to form the the subconsciousness of the whole,
egos of the Second Cycle into some which Bari controls in himself. It is
sort of organization. With so many a sort of vicious circle.
entities, each with a freedom and
As each newcomer arrives, he is
power of wdll inconceivable to one
brought before the Comieil and there
yet in life, the Cycle had been a ver- compelled to give allegiance to Bari.
itable chaos.
This means the newly arrived intel-
It was finally decided to give one ligence, before he knows what it is
intelligence supreme power. the How all about, is asked to unite his sub-
selection was made is a mystery but ; consciousness wdth the mass subeon-
the lot had fallen to Bari. He had ciousness of the C.ycle. On rare occa-
once Ijeen the ruler of a civilization sions when this is refused, obedience
mightier than ours and so ancient as is compelled. After Purification, so
to have been lost in the records of called, the new one is a part of it
time, in so far as those living were all, able to do nothing without the
concerned. knowledge of the rest. In other
Conscious and subconscious thought words, each unit is in constant rap-
is a part of each intelligent being, so port with the Cycle. The only relief
to give Bari authority which could be from this is the individual isolation
enforced without the possibility of re- barrier each intelligence is able, de-
sistance, the egos of the Second Cycle pending upon his strength of will, to
concentrated their subconscious build about him. And this can be
thought on Bari. This was possible, broken down, if enough wdll-power is
because in this plane each entity has exerted against it.
full control of the elements which Baris one weakness is real, though
compose his being. The result was a remote. It may happen another in-
force composed of the mass subcon- telligence may become strong enough
sciousness of the whole. to gather others to him. With this
Having obtained the supreme au- nucleus an organization might form
thority, which could have been taken which could hold the old one off long
away from him at any time by the enough to gain strength to attack it.
co-ordinated agreement of the intelli- There are many beings in the Second
gences giving it, Bari made his posi- Cycle who would fly to a new stand-
QUEEN OF THE VOETEX 649

ard should one appear strong enough into commiinieation with me, a for-
to aidthem in again controlling their bidden act.
own subconsciousness. Now, if one Well have to be getting out of
breaks away, he is beaten in detail. this, he stated at last. As soon as
The thing is a sort of divide et im- I come into the thoughts of Bari or
pera. Tasmari they will know I am out of
This is where Duval had fallen out and be down upon us.
isolation,
with Bari. Coming to the Cycle as Wliat shall we do?
he did, there remained a body to Is the ray operating?
which he could return under proper
It was when I left.
conditions. There "was nothing about
It had better be now, he re-
it to unfit it for Duvals future use,
marked dryly. If it isnt, w'e are
since death had never occurred.
both in for it. It had not entered
Death would, of course, make the
into my calculation you would come
body untenable. Therefore, Bari
feared that should Duval return to
over. By the way, as a sudden
thought struck him, why did you
life he might obtain enough followers
come?
to unseat the present ruler, w'hen all
I told him how it had happened.
should have crossed over to the Other Tasmari s doings 1^ he exclaimed.
Side.
Clever, too. Dont you see? By get-
In spite of every obstacle which Bari ting you here, she thinks she can keep
and Tasmari placed before Duval, he both of us. Thinks I need help from
had managed to partly free himself at the life side. Well, I did. We both
times from the Cycle, with the aid of do, if the ray has been shut off. You
Marguerite. This was done by the
'

werent touched by it, were you?


two of them erecting a thought bar- No.
rier against the Cycle. Marguerite Then I am not so sure she can
had risked all inaiding him, and an hold you at all. I think your case is
unsteadiness crept into Duvals voice one similar to suspended animation.
as he mentioned her. Poor, loyal lit- I believe you can return when you
tle soul! His life in the Cycle had will it. In my case, I left by the ray
been happy with her, in a way we do and must return through its agency.
not understand, since sex as we know Just why, I dont know'. It must dis-
it does not exist. There is nothing tend the molecules of my flesh. I
base about it, but it is more the union know I cant will myself into it, for
of positive and negative qualities, I tried. Tasmari took advantage of
soul-satisfying and pure.
your concentration on the ray mo-
As for Tasmari, she was the real mentarily to break your hold on your
-whom he had given
sister of Bari, to body and bring you through.
a great deal of his power. She was How could she do that?
of the Council and Queen of the Vor- Dont w'aste time talking. Men
tex. in the Orient have separated their
Duval could not tell me what the astral bodies from the flesh, for thou-
Vortex was. He had never seen it. sands of years. But come, he com-
The thing was a mystery to those in manded, we havent time to lose.
the Second Cycle, as death is to those Ive taken up too much already tell-
in the First. Duval did not think ing about things, but thought you
there was anything sinful about it, should know what you are up against.
but thought it was merely the way Listen carefully, Harry. Tou
out. He had never seen it, but told must think yourself back at the
me that only through it could the soul screen. At that moment our isolation
die. He had risked it when he got barrier will break down, and well
650 WEIRD TALES
have to work fast to build another The same thought occurred to us
when we get to the screen. But as both at the same instant. We sprang
soon as we are there, believe with all together for the screen. We won
your mind that Bari and Tasmari can through into the room. But only for
not reach us. Do you get the idea? a breath. Something stopped us. It
I nodded. was as though we had flung ourselves
When I say three, be at the into a tremendously heavy gale. We
screen. One, two, three. could attempt forward progress, con-
tinue to move as though forward, but
T SOUNDS almost humorous to relate
instead of gaining ground we were
I this now, but I can assure you
losing it.
there was nothing funny about it
then. At the word three, I found What is it? I yelled at Duval.

myself in exactly the posture I had



Bari he gasped. The difference

!

been, still looking at Duval, but the of the second we had paused to look
projectors were throwing their rays into the room had been our undoing.
toward us. I was furiously concen- Bari had become aware of our escape
trating to raise a barrier against Bari and had instantly launched his fear-
and Tasmari. ful power to draw us back. I glanced
Thank God for the ray, and for the at the place where Janisch struggled
faithfulness of Janisch, who had kept to keep the door closed. My eyes re-
this gateway open to us. We could turned to where Paul had been, but
go back. The Second Cycle had he had vanished. The next instant I
waited too long before striking. was carried back, and before I real-
Then from the room, carried to us ized what had taken place, I found
on the ray, came the sound of a loud myself again by the side of Paul, look-
thumping. Voices were raised. Dim- ing into the face of one whom I knew
ly in the background I could see our instantly to be Bari. His eyes were
bodies, and also that which startled fixed on mine, coldly stem in their
me to the roots of my being. Janisch expression, and it took a mighty ef-
was desperately trying to barricade fort of will on my part to look away
the door of the laboratory, which was from them.
giving inward to violent attacks from Gathered about him, every face
without. turned to his, were at least a thou-
A
voice was calling, Open, in the sand souls, Tasmari among them. I
name of the law! Another voice, knew the throng for what it was, the
which I recognized as Bairds, cried Council of Thought. Theirs were the
out: I tell you there is something wills which had broken down our iso-
wrong in there, oflScer. Break in the lation barrier and drawn us hurtling
door. back into the presence of the Ruler
An instant later, the door was of the Second Cycle. Our situation
quivering again from lusty blows was desperate. Confronted with a
rained on it. Should they get in be- mighty force, the projectors endan-
fore I could recover my body, there gered by Baird, we were indeed in
was no foretelling what might hap- a hopeless position. If we were to
pen. Even though I could get back, get back to the screen before the in-
the projectors might be damaged by vaders broke into the laboratory, we
the intruders, and that would leave should have to act quickly, and action
Duval a captive. Janisch could never seemed impossible.
account for our bodies. Was success I looked questioningly at Paiih hut
to be snatched from us at this last his face gaveme no hope. An expres-
moment? sion of resigned despair had settled
QUEEN OF THE VORTEX 651

there, trtiich deepened when Bari to the laws of the Cycle, and felt he
spoke. was tiying to weaken my
belief, as I
Have done! he ordered. At the was trying to weaken his. And be-
command, the faces of the Council sides . Then it came to me, and
turned away from his and fastened I took a malicious delight in making
on ours. my next statement, for I felt it would
Instantly I felt the lessened tension hurt Tasmari.
and a new hope was born in me, which Still you can not hold me. Even
did not die even- when Bari, seeming if I had received a command in the
to read my thought, said: Bari name of the Council, you could not
alone can hold you now. I had re- hold me, but I have never received
membered what Paul had said about such an order.
my case being similar to that of sus- You dare dispute my word?
pended animation. In that case Bari challenged Tasmari angrily.
and his Council could not prevent my I dare tell the truth. You said
returning, no matter what happened I charge you to communicate with
to Duval. Once on the life side, I no other. You gave it in your own.
might be able to help Paul again. name, not in the name of the Coun-
Bari can not hold me, I ven- cil. Of course, turning to Bari in
tured, desperately determined to bluff mock humility, if Tasmari rules the
it as long as possible. A frown ap- Council, or if the Council

peared on his face, not of anger, but Enough, thundered Bari. We


of perplexity. He was not sure. My admit you have broken no command
hope grew stronger. Doubt in his of the Council. You may return, but
mind was strength in mine. To hold you will forget all you have seen or
me he had to believe he could. If I heard while in the Cycle. Now you,
could shake that belief turning to Duval, have broken our
You have broken the laws of the laws again and again. You are an
Second Cycle, he charged. incorrigible rebel. I sentence you to
I have never been under the law. the Vortex.
No, but as an alien to the Cycle, A
gasp came from Paul. I shall
you are subject to commands given never want to see a spirit shaken as
you by the Council. These you have was his at that moment. His entire
flaunted. being quivered at the words,
The Council has given me no com- Is there no reprieve? he slowly
mands. asked, at last.
You have broken one command, None, and the sentence shall be
deny it if you dare, came
hotly from carried out at once. Stay with us and
Tasmari. Baris face brightened per- see a spirit racked in the Vortex, he
ceptibly. invited me mockingly.
What command, sister? he quer- I groaned inwardly. Not only did
ied softly. I want to be spared the ordeal, but
In thename of the Council, I time was against me. Even now,
commanded him to speak to no one rough hands might be destroying the
until he had been before the Coun- projectors. But there was no hope
cil, she replied, with a triumphant for it. I had to go.
glance at me.
Then I hold you fast, he re- A s BARI spoke the entire scene
joined, and may pass sentence upon changed. We had seemed to be
you. in a stately hall during this period of
I failed to see where the breaking our trial. Now it vanished and a
of this command made me susceptible broad, level plain took its place. It
! :

652 WEIRD TALES


ended abruptly in a sharp precipice. erect before him. Duval was beside
We proceeded to its very edge. Be- me.
low, a gray mist was swirling, which Come, Harry.Its our only
seemed to sigh as it rapidly changed chance, he cried.
in contour. of blue
Little flashes
And leave her ? wondering-
light intermingled with the gray,
ly. I had not thought Paul DuvM
while the entire mass whirled rapidly
capable of deserting one who had
toward a funnel-shaped center. The
helped him, especially when that one
Vortex
was in danger.
Duval looked over the edge. The Yes, you fool !
throng stepped back away from him, But the Vortex?
leaving himalone, the focal point of
Is not for her. She is one of the
all eyes. He turned and flashed a Council.
melancholy smile at me, which he Waiting to hear no more, we again
tried to make seem cheerful.
threw our wills to the screen. And
This is the end, old man. You only just in time. The door of the
did your best to help me.' He laboratory fell in, as I dashed down
sighed. My own fault, anyway. the path of the beam. Locating my
Better hurry back while you may. body, I concentrated every thought
The time has been short and the ray on the one idea that I was in it. The
in aU probability is still opening the next instant I was rewarded by feel-
way. Good-bye. ing it around ma I tried to rise, but
My God, Paul! I cant leave for a moment the gross flesh would
you, I cried. not obey my commands. Then I
There is no hope. Then, as I sta^ered to my feet.
still hesitated, he cried
harshly Duval was within the ray, dancing
Get out of here, you fool!
Get out! about like a madman. He tried to
Here goes, and he crouched for his come into the room, but was able to
spring over the edge. I turned my go no farther than Ae confines of the
head. There was a sound, as a whis- ray. There was the soTind of many
per, which ran through the multitude. feet running across the room. A sick-
I looked back and saw Duval was no ening smash and a cry from Janisch
longer on the edge of the chasm. told me he had been struck down by
No He was running back from it,
! our well-meaning but dangerous
while in front of Bari was the slight friends. Then the beam faded rap-

figure of a woman, ^Marguerite. She idly. Someone had shut off the
was speaking. power.
You shall not send him in, Bari. Paul was fading out with the beam.
By what do you question the sen- I saw him leave, then heard his voice
tence? over the radio, which had not been
By the power of my will. Bari disturbed, thank God. In a voice he
drew back from her in outraged maj- tried to make calm, but which was
esty and surprize. filled with mortal anxiety, he cried:
You dare oppose it to ^to mine?
Turn on the power. Put my body

he stammered. in the beam. Quick, Harry! Quick!


Yes, to yours and the whole Coun- Bari has broken Marguerite. They
cil, she answered defiantly. are beginning to pull me back.
Well, if you must have it, here In one jump I had thrown in the
grated Bari, bending those power, knocking Baird down, as he
eyes, terrible with the power they con- tried to stop me. With a strength I
trolled, upon her. But she did not did not dream of possessing, I carried
wilt, as I expected. She remained Pauls body and threw it. within the
QUEEN OP THE VORTEX 653

path of the ray. He appeared in- more rapidly, and I caught a glimpse
stantly' and fell on his body. For a of a slender arm. It was Tasmari
moment he seemed to lie on top, then who was leaving. Paul had won.
slowly sank into the flesh. Without more ado, I shut off the
His soul had barely disappeared power. As the beam faded, these
when Tasmari raged into sight. With- words came to me in the faintest of
out a seconds hesitation she also fell whispers.
on the body. Duvals intelligence be- You win this time, but in the end
gan to reappear. On his body corus- you must return. The last glow
cations like molten gold showed for an faded and Tasmari was gone.
instant and faded. The figure writhed
as though in torment. Once again the N A few words I explained, or tried
soul of Duval penetrated his flesh. I to explain, the situation to Baird,
Outlining it now, there grew an aura who thought Janisch had murdered
of blinding iridescence, combining both Duval and me. Duval had the
every color of the spectrum. The appearance of one dead, but I knew
weirdness of this struggle of two be- that when three days had passed he
ings for one body appalled me. would regain liis senses. We had
Suddenly it was ended. About the been successful. Still, I was de-
body the aura faded. Succeeding it pressed.
came a myriad of little pinpoint Trying to place what vaguely trou-
lights. They grew in number, and bled me, it came to me.
swarmed away, where they whirled MargueriteHow had she fared at
!

confusedly in the light of the ray. the hands of Bari? Grod bless the
Then they gradually began to assume staunch and loyal little soul! And
the outlines of a figure. Was it Paul Duval ? Had he sacrificed her to save
or Tasmari ? Materialization came himself ?

The previous adventures of Duvaly telling how he invented his strange


machine and how he ventured into the Second Cyclcy were told
in ^^DuvaV s Weird Experiment in the April number of
WEIRD TALES. A later story will describe what
happened to Marguerite at the hands of Bari.
Watch for it in this magazine.
WEIRD STORY REPRINTS
No. 11. The Werewolf
By H. B. MARRYAT

M y father was not born,


or originally a resident, in
the Ilartz Mountains ; he
was the serf of a Hungarian noble-
man, of great possessions, in Tran-
would be allowed as a justification of
his conduct, he hastily collected to-
gether what money he could lay his
hands on, and, as we were then in the
depth of winter, he put his horses to
sylvania; but, although a serf, he the sleigh, and taking his children
was not by any means a poor or illit- with him, he set off in the middle of
erate man. In fact, he was rich, the night, and was far away before
and his intelligence and respectabil- the tragical circumstance had become
ity were such that he had been raised known. Aware that he Avould be pui-
by his lord to the stewardship; but sued, and that he had no chance of
whoever may happen to be bom a escape if he remained in any portion
serf, a serf he must remain, even of his native country (in which the
though he become a wealthy man; authorities could lay hold of him),
such was the condition of my father. he continued his flight without inter-
My father had been married for about mission until he had buried himself
five years; and, by his marriage, had in the intricacies and seclusion of the
three children my eldest brother, Hartz Mountains.
Csesar; myself (Hermann) ;
and a Of course, all that I have now told
sister named IMarcella. you I learned afterward. My oldest
My mother was a very beautiful recollections are knit to a rude, yet
woman, unfoitunately more beautiful comfortable cottage, in which I lived
than virtuous; she was seen and ad- with my father, brother and sister.
mired by the lord of the soil; my It was on the confines of one of those
father was sent away upon some mis- vast forests whieh cover the northern
sion; and, during his absence, my part of Germany; around it were a
mother, flattered by the attentions, fcAv aeies of ground, which, during
and Avon by the assiduities, of this the summer months, my father culti-
nobleman, yielded to his wishes. It vated, and which, though they yield-
so happened that my father returned ed a doAxbtful harvest, were sufficient
very unexpectedly, and discovered for our support. In the winter we
the intrigue. The evidence of my remained much indoors, for, as my
mothers shame was positiv^e; he sur- father followed the chase, we were
prized her in the company of her left alone, and the Avolves, during
seducer! Carried away by the im- that season, incessantly prowled
petuosity of his feelings, he watched about. My father had purchased the
the opportunity of a meeting taking cottage, and land about it, of one of
place between them, and murdered the rude foresters, who gain their
both his wife and her seducer. Con- livelihood partly by hunting, and
scious that, as a serf, not even the partly by burning charcoal, for the
provocation which he had received purpose of smelting the ore from the
054
;

THE WEREWOLF 655

neighboring mines ;
it "was distant longing for the happy hours when the
about two miles from any other habi- snow would melt, and the leaves burst
tation. I can call to mind the whole out, and the birds begin their songs,
landscape now: the tall pines which and when we should again be set at
rose up on the mountain above us, liberty.
and the wide expanse of forest be- Such was our peculiar and savage
neath, on the topmost boughs and sort of life until my
brother Caesar
heads of whose trees we looked down was nine, myself seven, and my
sister
from our cottage, as the mountain be- fiveyears old, when the circumstances
low us rapidly descended into the dis- occurred on which is based the ex-
tant valley. In summertime the pros- traordinary narrative which I am
pect was beautiful; but during the about to relate.
severe winter, a more desolate scene
could not well be imagined.
I said that, in the winter, my father
occupied himself with the chase
O NE evening my father returned
home rather later than usual; he
had been unsuccessful, and, as the
every day he left us, and often would weather was very severe, and many
he lock the door, that we. might not feet of snow were upon the ground,
leave the cottage. He had no one to he was not only very cold, but in a
assist him, or to take care of us in- very bad humor. He had brought in

deed, it was not easy to find a female Avood, and Ave Avere all three of us
servant who would live in such a soli- gladly assisting each other in blowing
tude; but, could he have found one, on the ernbere to create the blaze,
my father would not have received when he caught poor little Marcella
her, for he had imbibed a horror of by the arm and threw her aside; the
the sex, as the difference of his con- child fell, struck her mouth, and bled
duct toward us, his two boys, and my very much. My brother ran to raise
poor little sister, Marcella; evidently her up. Accustomed to ill usage, and
proved. You may suppose we were afraid of my father, she did not dare
sadly neglected; indeed, we suffered to cry, but looked up in his face very
much, for my father, fearful that we piteously. My father drcAv his stool
might come, to some harm, would not nearer to the hearth, muttered some-
allow us fuel, when he left the cottage thing in abuse of Avomen, and busied
and we were obliged, therefore, to himself with the fire, which both my
creep under the heaps of bear-skins, brother and I had deserted when our
and there to keep ourselves as warm sister was so unkindly treated. A
as we could until he returned in the cheerful blaze Avas soon the result of
evening, when a blazing fire was our his exertions; but we did not, as
delight. That my father chose this usual, crowd round it. Marcella, stUl
restless sort of life may appear bleeding, retired to a corner, and my
strange, but the fact was that he brother and I took our seats beside
could not remain quiet whether from
;
her, while my fatherhung over the
remorse for having committed mur- fire gloomily and alone. Such had
der, or from the misery consequent on been our position for about half an
his change of situation, or from both hour, when the howl of a wolf, close
combined, he was never happy unless under the AvindoAv of the cottage, fell
he was in a state of activity. Chil- on our ears. My father started up
dren, however, when left much to and seized his gun; the howl was re-
themselves, acquire a thoughtfulness peated, he examined the priming, and
not common to their age. So it was then hastily left the cottage, shutting
with US; and during the short cold the door after him. We all waited,
days of winter we would sit silent, anxiously listening, for we thought
;

656 WEIRD TALES


that if he succeeded in shooting the And if our father comes home
wolf, he would return in a better after his hunt, Cassar, said Marcella,
humor ; and although he was harsh to he will be pleased to have some sup-
all of us, and particularly so to our per; let us cook it for him and for
little sister, still we loved our father, ourselves.
and loved to see him cheerful and Csesar climbed upon the stool, and
happy, for what else had we to look reached down some meat
I forget
up to? And I may here observe, that now whether it was venison or bears
perhaps there never were three chil- meat; but we cut off the usual quan-
dren who were fonder of each other; tity, and proceeded to dress it, as we
we did not, like other children, fight used to do under our fathers superin-
and dispute together ; and if, by tendence. We were all busied putting
chance, any disagreement did arise it into the platters before the fire, to
between my elder brother and me, lit- await his coming, when we heard the
tle Marcella would run to us, and
kissing us both, seal, through her en-
sound of a horn. We listened there
was a noise outside, and a minute
treaties, the peace between us. Mar- afterward my father entered, usher-
cella was a lovely, amiable child; I ing in a young female and a large
can recall her beautiful features even dark man ip a hunters dress.
now. Alas poor little Marcella.
!

We had better now


waited for some time, but the
report of the gun did not reach us, Perhaps I
what was only knovm to me many
relate

and my elder brother then said, Our years afterward. When my father
father has followed the wolf, and will had left the cottage, he perceived a
not be back for some time. Marcella, large white wolf about thirty yards
let us wash the blood from your from him; as soon as the animal saw
mouth, and then we will leave this my father, it retreated slowly, growl-
comer, and go to the fire and warm ing and snarling. My father followed
ourselves. the animal did not run, but always
We did so, and remained there un- kept at some distance; and my father
til near midnight, every minute won- did not like to fire until he was pretty
dering, as it grew later, why our certain that his ball would take ef-
father did not returft. We
had no fect; thus they went on for some
idea that he was in any danger, but time, the wolf now leaving my father
we thought that he must have chased far behind, and then stopping and
the wolf for a very long time. snarling defiance at him, and then
I will look out and see if Father is again, on his approach, setting off at
coming, said my brother Caesar, go- speed.
ing to the door. Anxious to shoot the animal (for
Take care, said Marcella, the the white wolf is very rare), my
wolves must be about now, and we father continued the pursuit for sev-
can not kill them, brother. eral hours, during which he continu-
My brother opened the door very ally ascended the mountain.
cautiously, and but a few inches; he You must know that there are pe-
peeped out. I see nothing, said culiar spots on those mountains which
he, after a time, and once more he are supposed, and, as my
story will
joined us at the fire. prove, truly supposed, to be inhabited
We have had no supper, said I, by the evil influences; they are well
for my father usually cooked the meat known to the huntsmen, who invari-
as soon as he came home and during
;
ably avoid them. Now, one of these
his absence we had nothing but the spots, an open space in the pine for-
fragments of the preceding day. ests above us, had been pointed out
THE WEREWOLF 657

to my fathe* as dangerous on that find not shelter and refreshment, that


account. ' But, Avhether he disbelieved will avail us little, as we must perish
these wild stories, or whether, in his from hunger and the inclemency of
eager pursuit oi the chase, he disre- the night. My daughter, who rides
garded them, I know not; certain, behind me, is now more dead than
however, it is that he was decoyed by alive
say, can you assist us in our
difficulty?
the white wolf to this open space,
when the anilnal appeared to slacken My cottage is some few miles dis-
her speed. My father approached, tant, replied my father, but I have
came close- iip to her, raised his grin little to offer you besides a shelter
to his shoulder, and was about to fire, from the weather ; to the little I have
when the wolf suddenly disappeared. you are welcome. May I ask whence
He thought that the snow on the you come?
ground must have dazzled his sight, Yes, friend, it is no secret now;
and he let down his gun to look for we have escaped from Transylvania,
the beastbut she was gone; how she where my daughters honor and my
could have escaped oyer the clearance, life were equally in jeopardy!
without his seeing her, was beyond his This information was quite enough
comprehension. Mortified at the ill to raise an interest in my fathers
success of his chase, he was about to heart. He remembered his own es-
retrace his steps, when he heard the cape: he remembered the loss of his
distant sound of a horn. Astonish- wifes honor, and the tragedy by

ment at such a sound at such an hour which it was wound up. He immedi-
in such a wilderness, made him for- ately, and warmly, offered all the as-
get for the inoinent his disappoint- sistance which he could afford them.
ment, and he remained riveted to the There is no time to be lost, then,
spot. In a luinute the horn was blown good sir, observed the horseman;
a second time, and at no great dis- my daughter is chilled with the
tance; my father stood still, and lis- frost, and can not hold out much
tened; a third time it was blown. I longer against the severity of the
forget the term used to express it, weather.
but it was the signal which, my father Follow me, replied my father,
well knew, implied that the party was leading the way toward home.
lost in the woods. In a few minutes I was lured away in pursuit of a
more my father beheld a man on large white wolf, observed my fath-
horseback, with a female seated on er; it came to the very window of
the crupper, enter the cleared space, my hut, or I should not have been out
and ride up to him. At first, my at this time of night.
father called to mind the strange sto- The creature passed by us just as
ries which he had heard of the super- we came out of the wood, said the
natural beings who were said to fre- female in a silvery tone.
quent these mountains but the nearer
; I was nearly discharging my piece
approach of the parties satisfied him at it, observed the hunter; but
that they were mortals like himself. since it did us such good service, I am
As soon as theycame up to him, the glad that I allowed it to escape.
man who guided the horse accosted
him. Friend Hunter, you are out N ABOUT an hour and a half, during
late, the better fortune for us: we I which my father walked at a rapid
have ridden far, and are in fear of pace, the party arrived at the cottage,
our lives, which are eagerly sought and, as I said before, came in.
after. These mountains have enabled We are in good time, apparent-
us to elude our pursuers; but if we ly, observed the dark hunter, catch-
658 WEIED TALES
iug the smell of the roasted meat, as, would remain at the fire, and sit up
he walked to the fire and surveyed my with her father. After some hesita-
brother and sister and myself. You tion on her part, this arrangement
have young cooks here, Mynheer/ he was agreed to, and I and my brother
said. crept into the other bed with Mar-
I am glad that we shall not have cella, for we had as yet always slept

to wait,' replied my father. Come, together.


mistress, seat yourself by the fire; But we could not sleep; there was
you require warmth after your cold something so unusual, not only in see-
ride. ing strange people, but in having
And where can I put my horse. those people sleep at the cottage, that
Mynheer? observed the huntsman. we were bewildered. As for poor lit-
tle Marcella, she was quiet, but I per-
I will take care of him, replied
ceived that she trembled during the
my father, going out of the cottage
door.
whole night, and sometimes I thought
The female must, however, be par- that she was checking a sob. My
father had brought out some spirits,
ticularly described. She was young,
and apparently twenty years of age. which he rarely used, and he and the
strange hunter remained drinking
She was dressed in a traveling dress,
deeply bordered with white fur, and
and talking before the fire. Our ears
were ready to catch the slightest
wore a cap of white ermine on her
head. Her features were very beau-

whisper so much was our curiosity
excited.
tiful, at least I thought so, and so
my father has since declared. Her You said you came from Tran-
hair was flaxen, glossy and shining, sylvania? observed my father.
nnd bright as a mirror and her
;
Even Mynheer/ replied the
so.
mouth, although somewhat large when hunter. I was a serf to the noble
it was open, showed the most brilliant house of my master would in-
;

teeth I have ever beheld. But there sist upon my surrendering up my fair
was something about her eyes, bright girl to his wishes it ended in my ^v-
;

as they were, which made us children ing him a few inches of my hunting
afraid; they were so restle^, so fur- knife. ^
tive; I could not at that time tell We are countrymen, and brothers
why, but I felt as if there was cruelty in misfortune, replied my father,
in her eye; and when she beckoned taking the huntsmans hand, and
us to come to her, we approached her pressing it warmly.
with fear and trembling. Still she Indeed! Are you, then, from that
was beautiful, very beautiful. She country?
spoke kindly to my brother and my- Yes; and I too have fled for my
self, patted our heads, and caressed life. But mine is a melancholy tale.
us but Marcella would not come near
;
Your name? inquired the hunter.
her; on the contrary, she slunk away,
and hid herself in the bed, and would What! Krantz of ? I have
not wait for the supper, which half heard your tale; you need not renew
an hour before she had been so anx- your grief by repeating it now. Wel-
ious for. come, most welcome. Mynheer, and, I
My father, having put the horse may say, my worthy kinsman. I am
into a close shed, soon returned, and your second cousin, Wilfred of Bams-
supper was placed upon the table. dorf, cried the hunter, rising up and
When it was over, my father re- embracing my father.
quested that the young lady would They filled their hom mugs to the
take possession of his bed, and he brim, and drank to one another, after
THE WEREWOLF 659

the German fashion. The conversa- sent to bed, a consultation was held.
tion was then carried on in a low My father had asked Christina in
tone; all that we could collect from marriage, and had obtained both her
it was, that our new relative and his own consent and that of Wilfred;
daughter were to take up their abode after this a conversation took place,
in our cottage, at least for the pres- which was, as nearly as I can recol-
ent. In about an hour they both fell lect, as follows:
back in their chairs, and appeared to You may take my child, M^m-
sleep. heer Krantz, and my blessing with
Marcella, dear, did you hear? her, and I shall then leave you and
said my brother in a low tone. seek some other habitation it mat-
Yes, replied Marcella, in a whis- ters little where.
per; I heard all. Oh! brother, I Why not remain here, Wilfred?
can not bear to look upon that woman No, no, I am called elsewhere; let
I feel so frightened. that suffice, and ask no more ques-
My brother made no reply, and tions. You have my child.

shortly afterward we were all three
I thank you for her, and will duly
fast asleep. value her ;
but there is one diffi-

W HEN we awoke the next


we found that the hunters
daughter had arisen before us.
morning

I
culty.
I know what you would
there is no priest here in this wild
country: true, neither is there any
say;

thought she looked more beautiful law to bind still must some ceremony
;

than ever. She came up to Marcella pass between you, to satisfy a father.
and caressed her the child burst into
;
Will you consent to marry her after
tears, and sobbed as if her heart my fashion? If so, I will marry you
would break. directly.
But, not to detain you with too long I will, replied my father.
a story, the huntsman and his daugh- Then take her by the hand. Now,
ter were accommodated in the cottage. Mynheer, swear.
My father and he went out hunting I swear, repeated my father.
daily, leaving Christina with us. She By all the spirits of the Hartz

performed all the household duties; Mountains
was very kind to us children; and, Nay, why not by heaven? inter-
gradually, the dislike even of little rupted my father.
Marcella wore away. But a great Because not my humor, re-
it is
change took place in my father; he joined Wilfred; if I prefer that
appeared to have conquered his aver- oath, less binding, perhaps, than an-
sion to the sex, and was most atten- other, surely you will not thwart me.
tive to Christina. Often, after her Well, be it so then; have your
father and we were in bed, would he humor. Will you make me swear by
sit up with her, conversing in a low that in which I do not believe?
tone by the fire. I ought to have Yet many do so, who in outward
mentioned that my father and the appearance are Christians, rejoined
huntsman Wilfred slept in another Wilfred; say, will you be married,
portion of the cottage, and that the or shall I take my daughter away
bed which he formerly occupied, and with me?
which was in the same room as ours, Proceed, replied my father, im-
had been given up to the use of Chris- patiently.
tina. These visitors had been about I swear by all the spirits of the
three weeks at the cottage, when, one Hartz Mountains, by all their power
night, after we children had been for good or for evil, that I take Chris-
;

660 WEIRD TALES


tina for my wedded wife that I will;
such bitter wintry weather, with the
ever protect her, cherish her, and love snow deep on the ground, was to us
her; that my hand shall never be incomprehensible; we lay awake, and
rais^ against her to harm her. in about an hour we heard the growl
My father repeated the words after of a wolf, close under the window.
Wilfred. There is a wolf, said Caesar;
And if I fail in this, my vow, she will be torn to pieces.
may all the vengeance of the spirits Oh, no! cried Marcella.
upon me and upon my children;
fall In a few minutes afterward our
may they perish by the vulture, by stepmother appeared; she was in her
the wolf, or other beasts of the forest night-dress, as Marcella had stated.
may their flesh be torn from their She let down the latch of the door,
limbs, and their bones blanch in the so as to make no noise, went to a pail
wilderness; all this I swear. of water, and washed her face and
My father hesitated, as he repeated hands, and then slipped into the bed
the last words; little Marcella could where my father lay.
not restrain herself, and as my father We all three trembled, we hardly
I'epeated the last sentence, she burst knew why, but we resolved to watch
into tears. This sudden interruption
the next night: we did so and not
appeared to discompose the party, only on the ensuing night, but on
particularly my father; he spoke many others, and always at about the
harshly to the child, who controlled same hour would our stepmother rise
her sobs, burying her face under the from her bed and leave the cott^e
bed-clothes. and after she was gone we invariably
Such was the second marriage of heard the growl of a wolf under our
my father. The next morning the window, and always saw her, on her
hunter Wilfred mounted his horse return, wash herself before she re-
and rode away. tired to bed. Weobserved, also, that
My father resumed his bed, which she seldom sat down to meals, and
was in the same room as ours; and that when she did, she appeared to
things went on much as before the eat with dislike; but when the meat
marriage, except that our new step- was taken down, to be prepared for
mother did not shoW any kindness to- dinner, she would often furtively put
ward us; indeed, during my fathers a raw piece into her mouth.
absence she would often beat us, par- My brother Caesar was a courage-
ticularly little Marcella, and her eyes ous boy; he did not like to speak to
would flash fire as she looked eagerly my father until he knew more. He
upon the fair and lovely child. resolved that he would follow her out,
and ascertain what she did. Marcella

OWhat
my
NE night my
brother.
is
sister awoke me and

the matter? said Caesar.


and I endeavored to dissuade him
from this project; but he would not
be controlled, and the very next night
She has gone out, whispered he lay down in his clones, and as
Marcella. soon as our stepmother had left the
Gone out! cottage he jumped up, took down my
Yes, gone out at the door, in her fathers gun, and followed her.
night-clothes, replied the child; I You may imagine in what a state
saw her get out of bed, look at my of suspense Marcella and I remained
father to see if he slept, and then she during his absence. After a few min-
went out at the door. utes we heard the report of a gun. It
What could induce her to leave her did not awaken my father, and we lay
bed, and all undressed to go out, in trembling with anxiety. In a minute

THE WEREWOLF 661

afterward we saw onr stepmother en- of my poor brother he laid it down,


ter the cottage ^her dress was bloody. and covered up
;

his face.
I pnt my hand to Marcellas mouth My
stepmother rose np, and looked
to prevent her crjdng out, although at the body, while Marcella and I
I was myself in great alarm. Our threw ourselves by its side wailing
stepmother approached my fathers and sobbing bitterly.
bed, looked to see if he was asleep, "Go to bed again, children, said
and then went to the chimney, and she sharply. " Husband, continued
blew np the embers into a blaze. she, "your boy must have taken the
"Who is there? said my father, gun do\ni to shoot a wolf, and the
waking up. animal has been too poiverful for him.
"Lie still, dearest, replied my Poor boy! He has paid dearly for
stepmother, "it is only me; I have his rashness.
lighted the fire to warm some water; My father made no reply I wished
I am not quite well. to speak to tell all ;

but Marcella,
My father turned round and was who perceived my intention, held me
soon asleep ; but we watched our step- by the arm, and looked at me so im-
mother. She changed her linen, and ploringly, that I desisted.
threw the garments she had worn into My father, therefore, was left in
the fire: and we then perceived that his error; but Mareella and I, al-
her right leg was bleeding profusely, though we could not comprehend it,
as if from a gunshot wound. She were conscious that our stepmother
bandaged it up, and then dressing was in some way connected with my
herself, remained before the fire until brothers death.
the break of day. That day my father went out and
Poor Marcella, her heart beat
little dug a grave, and when he laid the
quick as site pressed me to her side body in the earth, he piled up stones
so indeed did mine. Where was our over it, so that the woh'es should not
brother, Caesar? How did my step- be able to dig it up. The shock of
mother receive the wound unless from this catastrophe was to my poor
his gun? At last my father rose, and father very severe; for several days
then for the first time I spoke, say- he never went to the chase, although
ing, "Father, where is my brother, at times he would utter bitter ana-
Caesar? themas and vengeance against the
"Your brother! exclaimed he; wolves.
"why, where can he be? But during this time of mourning
"Merciful heaven! I thought as I on his part, my stepmothers noc-
lay very restless last night, observed turnal wanderings continued with the
our stepmother, "that I heal'd some- same regularity as before.
body open the latch of the door and, ; At last, my father took down his
dear me, husband, what has become gun, to repair to the forest; but he
of your gun? soon returned, and appeared much
My father cast his eyes up above annoyed.
the chimney, and perceived that his "Would you believe it, Christina,
gun was missing. For a moment he that the wolves
perdition to the
looked perplexed, then seizing a Avhole race!
have actually contrived
broadax, he went out of the cottage to dig np the body of my poor boy,
Avithout saying another wbrd. and now there is nothing left of him
He did not remain away from us but his bones?
long: in a few minutes he returned, "Indeed! replied my stepmother.
bearing in his arms the mangled body Marcella looked at me, and I saw in
662 WEIRD TALES
her intelligent eye all she would have About an hour afterward we were
uttered. startled by shrieks from the cottage,
A wolf growls under our window evidently the shrieks of little Mar-
every night, father, said I. cella. Marcella has burned herself,
father, said I, throwing down my

Aye, indeed? why did you not
My father threw down his,
tell me, boy ?
wake me the next time spade.
and we both hastened to the cottage.
you hear it.
Before we could gain the door, out
I saw my stepmother turn away;
darted a large white wolf, which fled
her eyes flashed fire, and she gnashed
with the utmost celerity. My father
her teeth.
had no weapon; he rushed into the
My father went out again, and cov- cottage, and there saw poor little
ered up with a larger pile of stones Marcella expiring; her body was
the little remnants of my poor brother dreadfully mangled, and the blood
which the wolves had spared. Such pouring from it had formed a large
was the first act of the tragedy. pool on the cottage floor. My fathers
first intention had been to seize his

T he spring now came on the snow


:

disappeared, and we were permit-


ted to leave the cottage; but never
gun and pursue, but he was checked
by this horrid spectacle he knelt ;

down by his dying child, and burst


would I quit, for one moment, my into tears: Marcella could just look
dear little sister, to whom, since the kindly on us for a few seconds, and
death of my brother, I was more then her eyes were closed in death.
ardently attached than ever; indeed, My father and I were still hanging
I was afraid to leave her alone with over my poor sisters body when my
my stepmother, who appeared to have stepmother came in. At the dreadful
a particular pleasure in ill-treating sight she expressed much concern, but
the child. Myfather was now em- she did not appear to recoil from the
ployed upon his little farm, and I was sight of blood, as most women do.
able to render him some assistance. Poor child! said she; it must
Marcella used to sit by us while we have been that great white wolf which
were at work, leaving, my stepmother passed me just now, and frightened
alone in the cottage. I ought to ob- me so-shes quite dead, Krantz.
serve that, as the spring advanced, so I know it I know it! cried my
did my stepmother decrease her noc- father in agony.
turnal rambles, and we never heard
the growl of the wolf under the win- THOUGHT my father would never
dow after I had spoken of it to my I recover from the effects of this sec-
father. ond tragedy he mourned bitterly over
:

One day, when my father and I the body of his sweet child, and for
were in the field, Marcella being with several days would not consign it to
us, my stepmother came out, saying its grave, although frequently re-
that she was going into the forest to quested by my stepmother to do so.
collect some herbs my father wanted, At last he yielded, and dug a grave
and that Marcella must go to the cot- for her close by that of my poor
tage and watch the dinner. Marcella brother, and took every precaution
went, and my stepmother soon disap- that the wolves should not violate her
peared in the forest, taking a direc- remains.
tion quite contrary to that in which I was no'f? really miserable, as I
the cottage stood, and leaving my lay alone in the bed which I had for-
father and me, as it were, between merly shared with my brother and
her and Marcella. sister. I could not help thinking that
THE WEREWOLF 663

my stepmother was implicated in both time stopped. I picked up the gun


their deaths, although I could not ac- and put it into his hand. Suddenly
count for the manner ; but I no longer he appeared as if concentrated rage
felt afraid of her : my little heart was had restored him to double vigor; he
full of hatred and revenge. leveled his piece, fired, and with a
The night after my sister had beeii loud shriek, down fell the wretch
buried, as I lay awake, I perceived whom he had fostered in his bosom.
my stepmother get up and go out of God of heaven! cried my fath-
the cottage. I waited for some time, er, sinking down upon the earth in a
then dressed myself, and looked out swoon, as soon as ho had discharged
through the door, which I half his giin.
opened. The moon shone bright, an4 I remained some time by his side
I could see the spot where my brother before he recovered. Where am
and my sister had been buried; and I? said he. What has happened?
what was my horror, when I perceived
my stepmother- busily removing the
Oh yes, yes I recollect now.
!

!

Heaven forgive me !

stones from Marcella's grave. He rose and* we walked


up to the
She was in her white night-dress, grave; what again was our astonish-
and the moon shone full upon her. ment and horror to find that instead
She was digging with her hands, and of the dead body of my stepmother,
throwing away the stones behind her as we expected, there was lying over
with all the ferocity of a wild beast. the remains of my poor sister, a large,
It was some time before I could col- white she-wolf.
lect my senses and decide what to do. The white wolf! exclaimed my
At last, I perceived that she had ar-
father; the white wolf which de-
rived at the body, and raised it up to
coyed me into the forest I see it all
the side of tiie grave. I could bear it
no longer; I ran to my father and
now I have dealt with the spirits of
the Hartz Mountains.
awoke him.
For some time my father remained
Father! father! cried I; dress, in silence and deep thought. He then
and get your gun.
yourself,
carefully lifted up the body of my
Whatf cried my father; the sister, replaced it in the grave, and
wolves are there, are they? covered it over as before, having
He jumped out of bed, threw on struck the head of the dead animal
his clothes, and in his anxiety did not
with the heel of his boot, and raving
appear to perceive the absence of his like a madman. He walked back to
wife. As soon as he was ready, I the cottage, shut the door, and threw
opened the door, he went out, and I himself on the bed; I did the same,
followed him. for I was in a stupor of amazement.
Imagine his horror, when (unpre-
pared as he was for such a sight) he TJ'ably in the morning we were both
beheld, as he advanced toward the ' aroused by a loud knocking at
grave, not a wolf, but his wife, in her
the door, and in rushed the hunter
night-dress, on her hands and knees,
Wilfred.
crouching by the body of my sister,
and tearing off large pieces of the
My daughter! man my daugh-
flesh, and devouring them with all the
ter!
where is my daughter? cried
avidity of a wolf. She was too busy he in a rage.
to be aware of our approach. My Where the wretch, the fiend,
father dropped his gun, his hair stood should be, I trust, replied my fath-
on end; .so did mine; he breathed er, starting up and displaying equal
heavily, and then his breath for a choler; where she should be in
;

664 WEIRD TALES


hell ! ^Leave this cottage or you may My father, frantic with rage, seized
fare worse. his ax, and raised it over Wilfreds
Ha-ha! replied the hunter; head to strike.
would you harm a potent spirit of All this I swear, continued the
the Hartz Mountains? Poor moii^l, huntsman, mockingly.
who must needs wed a werewolf.
The ax descended; but it passed
Out, demon

I defy thee and thy
1

power. through the form of the hunter, and


Yet shall you feel it; remember my father lost his balance, and feU

your oath your solemn oath never heavily on the floor.
to raise, your hand against her to Mortal! said the hunter, strid-
harm her.
ing over my fathers body; we have
I made no compact with evil power over those only who have com-
spirits. mitted murder. You have been guilty
You did; and if you failed in
your vow, you were to meet the ven-

of double murder you shall pay the
penalty attached to your marriage
geance of the spirits. Your children vow. Two of your children are gone
were to perish by the vulture, the

the third is yet to follow and follow
wolf them he wiU, for your oath is regis-
Out, out, demon! tered. GrO
were kindness to kill
it

And their bones
wilderness. Ha-ha

!

blanch in the you
live

!
your punishment is ^that you

Horreur Sympathique
BY CHARLES BAUDELAIRE
Translated by Clark Ashton Smith

From this bizarre and livid sky, .

Tormented like your doom and mine


On your void spirit passing by.
What thoughts descend, O libertine?

^Athirst for mortal things unsung,


In shadowy realms of lone surmise,
I will not whine like Ovid, flung
Prom out the Latin paradise.

Skies tom like strands of ocean-stream.


In you is mirrored all my pride!
Your slow, enormous clouds abide

The dolent hearses of my dreams;


Your glimmers mock with fluctuant lights
The hell wherein my heart delights.
The Cxxir
y
Henry S.
Whitehead

Then he thouKht hl
mother replaced the
loosened coTers and
tacked them in about
his shoulder.

or the first year, or there- least mentally, to this superstitious

F abouts, after his Scotch moth-


ers death the successful lawyer
Alan Carrington was conscious, among
with that race from
strain, associated
time immemorial, concrete to his ex-
perience because of this belief of his
his other feelings, of a kind of vague mothers, against which he had al-
dread that she might appear as a ways fought.
character in one of his dreams, as, He carried out dutifully, and with
she had often assured him, her mother a high degree of professional skill, all
had come to her. Being the man he her various expressed desires, and
was, he resented this feeling as an in- continued, after her death, to live in
congruity. Yet, there was a certain their large, comfortable house. Per-
background for the feeling of dread. haps because his mother never did ap-
It had been one of his practical moth- pear in such dreams as he happened
ers convictions that such an appear- to remember, his dread became less
ance of her long-dead mother always and less poignant. At the end of two
preceded a disaster in the family. years or so, occupied with the throng-
Such aversions as he might possess ing interests of a public man in the
against the maternal side of his ances- full power of his early maturity, it
try were all included in his dislike for had almost ceased to be so much as a
kind of thing. When he
belief in this memory.
agreed that the Scotch are a dour In the spring of his forty-fourth
race, he always had reference, at year, Carrington, who had long
665
666 WEIRD TALES
worked at high pressure and virtually desirable Adirondaeks. Being devoid
without vacations, was apprized by of experience in business matters he
certain mental and physical indica- associated with himself a certain
tions which his physician interpreted Thomas Starkey, a young man whom
vigorously, that he must take at least the ravages of the White Plague had
the whole summer off and devote him- snatched away from a sales-manager-
self to recuperation. Rest, said the ship and driven into the quasi-exile
doctor, for his overworked mind and of Saranac, where Dr. MacDonald
under-exercised body, was impera- had met him.
tively indicated. This association proved highly suc-
Carrington was able to set his cessful for the half-dozen years that
nearly innumerable interests and af- ithad lasted. Then Starkey, after a
fairs in order in something like three brave battle for his health, had suc-
weeks by means of highly concen- cumbed, just at a period when his
trated efforts to that end. Then, ex- trained business intelligence would
ceedingly nervous, and not a little de- have been most helpful to the affairs
bilitated physically from this extra of the camp.
strain upon his depleted resources, he Dazed at this blow. Dr. MacDonald
had to meet the problem of where he had desisted from his labors after
was to go and what he was to do. He literary distinction long enough to
was, of course, too deeply set in the write to his cousin Carrington, be-
rut of his routines to find such a de- seeching his legal and financial coun-
cision easy. Fortunately, this prob- sel. When Carrington had read the
lem was solved for him by a letter last of his cousins finished periods,
which he received unexpectedly from he decided at once, and dispatched a
one of his cousins on his mothers telegram announcing his immediate
side, the Reverend Fergus MacDon- setting out for the camp, his inten-
ald, a gentleman with whom he had tion to remain through the summer,
had only slight contacts. and the promise to as-sume full charge
Dr. MacDonald was a middle-aged, of the business management. He
retired clergyman, whom an immi- started for the Adirondaeks the next
nent decline had removed eight or ten afternoon..
years before from ac brilliant, if un- His presence brought immediate
derpaid, career in his own
profession. order out of confusion. Dr. MacDon-
After a few years sojourn in the Adi- ald, on the evening of the second day
rondaeks he had emerged cured, and of his cousins administration of af-
with an already growing reputation fairs, got down on his knees and re-
as a writer of that .somewhat inelastic turned thanks to his Maker for the
literary product emphasized by cer- undeserved beneficence which had
tain American magazines which seem sent this financial angel of light into
to embalm a spinsterish austerity of the midst of his affairs, in this, his
the literary form under the label of hour of dire need! Thereafter the
distinction. reverend doctor immersed himself
Dr. MacDonald had retained a de- more and more deeply in his wonted
veloped pastoral instinct which he task of producing the solid literature
could no longer satisfy in the manage- dear to the hearts of his editors.
ment of a parish. He was, besides, But if Carringtons coming had im-
too little robust to risk assuming, at proved matters at the camp, the bal-
least for some time to come, the wear- ance of indebtedness was far from be-
ing burden of teaching. He compro- ing one-sided. For the first week or
mised the matter by establishing a so the reaction from his accustomed
summer camp for boys in his still- way of life had caused him to feel, if
a

ACROSS THE GULP 667

anything, even staler and more nerve- bed, which stood against the wall of
raeked than before. But that first un- his large, airy room.
pleasantness past, the invigorating In his dream he thought that he
air of the balsam-laden pine woods be- reached out his hand to replace the
gan to show its restorative effects rap- bed clothes, and as he dic^so liis hand
idly. He found that he was sleeping was softly, though firmly, taken, and
like the dead. He could not get his mothers well-remembered voice

enough sleep, it appeared. His appe- said Lie still, laddie I ll tuck you
:

;

tite increased, and he found that he in.
Then he thought his mother re-
was putting on needed weight. The placed the loosened covers and tucked
business management of a boys camp, them in about his shoulder with her
absurdly simple after the complex competent touch. He wanted to thank
her, and as he could not see her be-
matters of Big Business with which
cause of the position in which he was
he had long been occupied, was only
lying, he endeavored to open his eyes
a spice to this new existence among
and turn over, being in that state
the deep shadows and sunny spaces
commonly thought of as between sleep
of the Adirondack country. At the
and waking. With some considerable
end of a month of this, he confidently effort he succeeded in forcing open
declared himself a new man. By the his reluctant eyes; but turning over
first of August, instead of the nervous
was a much more difficult matter, it
wreck who had arrived, sharp-visaged appeared. He had to fight against an
and cadaverous, two months before, overpowering inclination to sink back
Carrington presented the appearance comfortably into the deep sleep, from
of a robust, hard-muscled athlete of which, in his dream, he had awakened
thirty, twenty-two pounds heavier to find his shoulder disagreeably un-
and without a nerve in his body. comfortable. The warmth of the re-
placed covers was an additional in-

O N THE evening of the fourth day


of August, healthily weary after
a long days hike, Carrington retired
ducement to sleep.
At last, with a determined wrench
he overcame his desire to go to sleep
soon after 9 oclock, and fell imme- again and rolled over to his left side
diately into a deep and restful sleep. by dint of a strong effort of his
Toward morning he dreamed of his will, smiling gratefully and about to
mother for the first time since her express his thanks. But at the in-
death more than six years before. His stant of accomplishing this victory of
dream took the form that he was ly- the will, he actually awakened, in
ing here, in his own bed, awake, precisely the position recorded in his
mind in the dream-state.
not altogether uncommon form of

dream, and that he was very chilly Where he had expected to meet his
in the region of the left shoulder. As mothers eyes, he saw nothing, but
is well-known to those skilled in the there remained with him a persistent
scientific phenomena of the dream- impression that he had felt the with-
state, now a very prominent portion drawal of her hand from where, on
of the material used in psychological his shoulder, it had rested caressingly.
study, this kind of sensation in a The grateful warmth of the bed-
dream virtually always is the result clothes in that cool morning remained,
of an actual physical condition, and however, and he observed that they
is reproduced in the dream because of were well tucked in about that
that actual background as a stimulus. shoulder.
Carringtons cold shoulder was to- His dream. had clearly been of the
ward the left-hand, or outside of the type which George Du Maurier
668 WEIRD TALES
speaks of in Peter rhhetson. He had minded of a beloved mother in some
"dreamed true, and it required sev- rather intense fashion.
eral minutes before he could rid him-
self of the impression that his mother,
moved by some strange whimsicality,
had stepped ftut of his sight, perhaps
O N THE evening of the second day
after his dream he was walking
toward the camp garage with some
hidden herself behind the bed! He visitors, a man and woman, parents
was actually about to look back of the of one of the boys at the camp, in-
bed before the utter absurdity of the tending to drive with them to the vil-
idea became fully apparent to him. lage to guide them in some minor pur-
The back of the l^d stood close chases. Just beside the well-worn
against the wall of the room. His trail through the great pine trees,
mother had been dead more than six half-way up the hill to the garage, the
years. woman noticed a clump of lar^e,
He jumped out of bed at the sound brownish mushrooms, and enquired if
of reveille, blown by the camp bu- they were of an edible variety. Car-
gler, and this abnipt action dissi- rington picked one and examined it.
pated his impressions. Their memory To his limited knowledge it seemed
remained, however, very clear-cut in to have several of the marks of an
his mind for the next two days. The edible mushroom. While they were
impression of his mothers nearness standing beside the place where the
in the course of that vivid dream had mushrooms grew, one of the younger
recalled her to his mind with the boys passed them.
greatest clarity. With this revived "Crocker, called Mr. Carrington.
impression of her, too, there marched, Yes, Mr. Carrington, replied
almost of necessity he supposed, in young Crocker, pausing.
his mind the old idea which he had "Crocker, your cabin is the one

dreaded, the idea that she would farthest south, isnt it?
come to him to warn him of some "Yes, sir.
impending danger. "Were you going there just now?
Curiously enough, as he analyzed "Yes, Mr. Carrington; can I do
his sensations, he found that there re- anything for you?
mained none of the old resentment "Well, if it isnt too much trouble,
connected with this speculation, such you might take this mushroom over
as had characterized it during the
to Professor Benjamins you know
period immediately after his mothers where his camp is, just the other side

death. His maturity, the preoccupa- of the wire fence beyond your cabin,
tions of an exceptionally full and ac- and ask him to let us know whether
tive life, and the tenderness which or not this is an edible mushroom.
marked all his memories of his mother Im not quite sure myself.
had served to remove from his mind "Certainly, replied the boy,
all traces of that idea. The possibil- pleased to be allowed "out of bounds
ity of a "warning in his dream of even to the extent of the few rods
his dear mother only caused him to separating the camp property from
smile during those days after the that of the gentleman named by Car-
dream during which the revived im- rington, a university teacher regarded
pression of his mother slowly faded locally as a great expert on mush-
thin, but it was the indulgent, slight- rooms, fungi, and suchlike things.
ly melancholy smile of a revived nos- Carrington called after the ^sap-
talgia, a gentle, faint sense of "home- pearing boy.
, sickness for her, such as might a^^^ect "Oh, Crocker!
any middle-aged man recently re- "Yes, Mr, Carrington?
!

ACROSS THE GULF 669

Throw it away if Dr. Benjamin rooms into three equal portions, each
says its no good; but
if he says its on its camps, which he asked the un-
all right, bring it back, please, and der-cook to keep hot in the oven dur-
leave it on the mantel-shelf in the big ing the brief interval until mess call
living room. Do you mind ?

should bring everybody at camp in to
.^1 right, sir, shouted Crocker breakfast.
over his shoulder, and trotted on. Then with his long fork he speared
several small pieces of mnshroom
R ETUBNtNU from the village an
hour later, Carrington found the
mushroom on the mantel-shelf in the
which had got broken in the pan.
After blowing these cool on the fork,
Carrington, grinning like a boy, put
living room. them into his mouth and b^an to eat
He placed it in a large paper bag, them.
left it in thekitchen in a safe place, Good, suh? enquired the assist-
and, the next morning before break- ant cook.
fast, walked'
up the trail toward the Delicious, mumbled Carrington,
garage and filled his paper bag with enthusiastically, his mouth full of the
mushrooms. succulent bits. After he had swal-
He liked mushrooms, and so, doubt- lowed his mouthful, he remarked:
less, did the people who had noticed But I must have left a bit of the
these. He decided he would prepare hide on one of em. Theres a little
the mushrooms himself. There would trace of bitter.
be just about enough for three gen- Look out for em, suh, enjoined
erous portions. Mu^rooms were not the under-cooh^ suddenly grave,
commonly eaten as a breakfast dfch, Theyre plumb wicked when they
but,
this was camp aint jus right, suh.
Exchanging a pleasant good These are all right, returned
morning with the young colored Carrington, reassuringly. I had
man who served as assistant cook, and Professor Benjamin look them over.
who was engaged in getting breakfast He sauntered out on the veranda,
ready, and- smilingly declining his of- waiting for the bugle call. Prom
fer to prepare the mushrooms, he many directions the boys and a few
peeled them, warmed a generous lump visitors were straggling in toward the
of fresh, country butter in a large mess hall after a morning dip in the
frying pan, and began cooking them. lake and cabin inspection. From their
A deUghtfnlly appetizing odor aris-
.
room in the guest house the people
ing from the pan provoked respectful with whom he had been the evening
banter from the young cook, amused before eame across the broad veranda
at the camp-directors ^orts along toward him. He was jnst turning
the lines of his own profession, and toward them with a smile of pleasant
the two chatted while Carrington greeting when the very hand of death
turned his mnshrooms over and over fell on him.
in the butter with a long fork. When Without warning, a sudden terrible
they were done exactly to a turn, and griping, accompanied by a deadly
dtily peppered and salted, Carrington coldness, and this immediately fol-
left them in the pan, winch he took lowed by a pungent, burning heat,
off the stove, and set about the prep- ran through his body. Great beads
aration of three canapes of fried of sweat sprang out on his forehead.
toast. He was going to serve his His knees began to give under him
mushrooms in style, as the grinning Everything, all this pleasant world
young cook slyly remarked. He about him, of brilliant morning sun-
grinned back, and divided the mush- shine and deep, sharply-defined shad-
;

670 WEIRD TALES


ow, turned greenish and dim. His cook to bum the contents of the three
senses started to slip away from him hot plates in the oven. . . .
in the numbness which closed down He had eaten a large mouthful of
like a relentless hand, crushing out one of the most deadly varieties of
his consciousness. poisonous mushroom, one containing
With an effort which seemed to the swiftly-acting vegetable alkaloids
wrench his soul and tear him with un- which spell certain death. His few
imagined pain, he gathered all his moments respite, as he reasoned the
waning forces, and, sustained only by matter out afterward, had been un-
a mighty effort of his powerful will, doubtedly due to his having cooked
he staggered through the open door- the mushrooms in butter, of which he
way of the mess hall into the kitchen. had been lavish. This, thoroughly
He nearly collapsed as he leaned soaked up by the mushrooms, had, for
against the nearest table, articulating a brief period, resisted digestion.
between fast-paralyzing lips
Very gradually, as he walked up

W
ater,


and mustard Quick.
!
and down, taking in deep breaths of
The mushrooms! the sweet, pine-scented air, his
The head-cook, that moment ar- strength returned to him. After he
rived in the kitchen, happened to be had thoroughly walked off the faint-
quick-minded. The under-cook, too, ness which had followed the violent
had had, of course, some preparation treatment to which he had subjected
for this possibility.
himself, he went up to his room, and,
One of the, men seized a bowl just still terribly shaken by his experience
used for beating eggs and with shak- and narrow escape from death, went
ing hands poured it half -full of warm to bed to rest.
water from a heating kettle on the
Crocker, it appeared, had duly car-
stove. Into this the other emptied
ried out his instructions. Dr. Benja-
nearly half a tin of dry mustard
which he stirred about frantically
min had looked at the specimen and
told the boy that there were several
with his floury hand. This, his eyes
rolling with terror, he held to Car-
mushroom, not easily
varieties of this
ringtons lips, and 'Carrington, con- to be distinguishedfrom one another,
centrating afresh all his remaining of which some were wholesome, and
faculties, forced the nauseous fluid one contained a deadly alkaloid. Be-
through his blue lips, and swallowed, ing otherwise occupied at the time, he
painfully, great saving gulps of the would have to defer his opinion until
powerful emetic. he had had an opportunity for a more
Again and yet again the two ne- thorough examination. He had hand-
groes renewed the dose. ed back the mushroom submitted to
him and the lad had given it to a
One of the counselors, on dinug
counselor, who had put it on the man-
room duty, coming into the kitchen
tel-shelf intending to report to Mr.
sensed something terribly amiss, and
Carrington the following morning.
ran to support Carrington.
Weak still, and very drowzy, Car-
rington lay on his b^ and silently
T en minutes
later, vastly nause-
trembling with weakness,
ated,
but safe, Carrington, leaning heavily
thanked the Powers above for having
preserved his life.

on the young counselor, walked up Abruptly he thought of his mother.


and down behind the mess hall. His The warning!
first words, after he could speak co- At once it was as though she stood
herently, were to order the assistant in the room beside his bed as though
;
.

ACROSS THE GULP 671

their long, close companionship had He dared not raise his eyes, because
not been interrupted by death. now he knew that he was awake. It
A wave of affectionate gratitude seemed to him as though she spoke,
suffused him. Under its influence he though there came to him no sensa-
rose, wearily, and sank to his knees tion of anything that could be com-
beside the bed, his head on his arms, pared to sound.
in the very spot where his mother Ye must be getting back into your
had seemed to stand in his dream. bed, laddie.
Tears welled into his eyes, and fell, And keeping his eyes tightly shut,
unnoticed, as he communed silently lest he disturb this visitation, he awk-
with her who had brought him into wardly fumbled his way back into
the world, whose watchful love and bed. He settled himself on his back,
care not even death could interrupt and an overpowering drowziness, per-
or vitiate. haps begotten of his recent shock and
Silently, fervently, he spoke across its attendant bodily weakness, ran
the gulf to his mother. . . . through him like a benediction and a
He choked with silent sobs as un- refreshing wind.
derstanding of her invincible love As he drifted down over the thresh-
came to him and overwhelmed him. hold of consciousness into the deep
Then, to the accompaniment of a and prolonged sleep of physical ex-
tremulous calmness which seemed to haustion which completely restored
fallupon him abruptly, he had the him, his last remembrance was of the
sense of her, standing close beside lingering caress of his mothers firm
him, as she had stood in his dream. hand resting on his shoulder.

The Moon Dance


By A. LESLIE
Throbbing drums, a cold, dead moon.
And a whispering tropic strand;
A play of shadows fiitting free
Across the tide-washed sand.

A sighing wind that sobs and moans


And ever seems to flee,
A pale ghost wind that hurries on
To a quest in the open sea.
Louder! louder! throb the drums.
The shadows reel and sway,
And the sobbing wind goes shuddering by
On its endless, pathless way.
Slowly the cold moon sinks from sight
Behind the jungles crest;
Softer and softer sound the drums.
And the shadows come to rest.
A Grisly ^ah of African Voodoo Rites

VIALS of WRATH
By EDITH LYLE RAGSDALE
T WAS Carsons back. There consented, so, even though I felt an
could be no doubt about that. I emotion verging upon hysteria steal-
I would have known him any- ing over me, I drove out to the sub-
where. urbs, where, as Maude was on her va-
I pushed my way tlirough the cation, I was keeping bachelor hall.
crowd and, shoving this way and that, I was glad my wife was gone. She
finally overtook my old friend.
is a nervous, high-strung woman.
I hadnt seen Jim Carson for a Not for worlds would I have sub-^
number of years and remembered him jected her to the ordeal of entertain-
as an affable, whole-hearted chap, ing Carson. Man that I am, robust,
with engaging Irish-blue eyes and tar- and disgustingly material in my
black hair. Imagine, then, my sur- views, I have received a shock which
prize when, as I reached him, I saw time alone may eradicate.
that his hair was snow-white, that the
The first hour after our arrival
skin on his face was yellow and wrin-
passed off smoothly. I prepared an
kled like that of a mummy and
appetizing meal for my guest and my-
seemed grown to the bones, that his
self, and after supper we repaired to
eyes, once so merry, were deep-set in
the big, cool porch, and there, over
his cadaverous face, filled with a hor-
cigars, recounted our mutual boyhood
ror, a lurking fear, the eyes of a man
experiences. Under the sedative in-
who sees some hideous vision.
fluence of the weed, Carson seemed to
I tried to dissemble, to suppress my
thaw, to become more human, less a
astonishment at thiff startling change
dead man.
in my old friends appearance. But
I began to feel that I had made a
I might have saved myself the trou-
ble. Carson seemed lost to all minor mountain of a mole hill, that I had
emotions. He looked through me,
overestimated my friends looks and
manners.
past me. The hand he offered was as
cold and clammy as that of a dead I leaned back, puffing contentedly
man. His voice was a hollow echo. at my cigar. Carson was telling me
A sort of chill emanated from the of an experience he had had while
man, a chill which clung about me, coming home on the boat, during the
penetrating my bones until the mar- days of submarine warfare. He was
row ached, and lumping my blood un- in the middle of a thrilling narrative
til knots formed beneath my skin. when the telephone rang.
I wished, subconsciously, that I had I arose and passed into the house.
not met up with him. I actually trem- Maude was on the wire, three hun-
bled, but I tried to make the best of dred miles away, wanting to know
my bad encounter. if I had fed the goldfish and if Bobs
My ear was parked near by and, (her canary) was all right. After
after a few words, I asked him to be reassuring her on all points I re-
my guest while in the city. Carson turned to my guest.
672
VIALS OF WRATH 673

At firstI thought he was asleep, rally from this, but I fear he wont
lying back in his chair. Then some- last long. Three days, perhaps.
thing about the pose struck me as He bared Carsons arm and gave
odd. It was too rigid, too tense, to him a shot of strychnin. I watched,
be natural. fascinated.
I moved over to him, listened for The doctor turned to me: Better
his breathing. There was no sound. call an ambulance and have him taken
I touched him. He was cold. I to St. Marys. He will need expert
thrust my hand into his shirt, next
care and there isnt a nurse here
the skin. The heart seemed stilled. now you can get for love or money.

I was afraid abjectly afraid. Car- I acted upon the suggestion, and
before midnight Carson was resting
son, to all appearances, was dead. I
was alone. All my old fear and re- comfortably in the narrow, white hos-
pugnance of the evening returned. I pital bed, watched over by a serious-
shuddered and my knees shook. I felt eyed nun. I stayed with him as long
the hair at the base of my skull rise, as I could, then left with the promise
like the bristles on the back of a dog that I would return the following
when it sees shades in the dark. morning.
I wondered if the authorities would
arrest me. I cursed myself for run-
ning after and overtaking Carson,
for carrying him out to my heretofore
W
was
HENI again entered Carsons
presence I saw that his mind
There was, also, an inde-
clear.
peaceful and uneventful home. finable change in the poor chaps ap-
Maude, being psychic, might even 5b- pearance. His eyes were free of the
ject to living in a house overshadowed expression of horror. Even his skin
by a mysterious death. And I had looked less drawn. But death sat
been, until now, perfectly happy in perched on the headboard.
the pretty little bungalow with its Carson smiled weakly and pointed
big lawn and prodigality of roses. to a chair.
Then another thought struck me. Sit down, old man, he mur-
What had caused Jims death? When mured. I obeyed, and for a few min-
the telephone rang he had been talk- utes there was no word spoken. Then,
ing with animation. stretching out a lean hand he laid
Just prior to
our coming out on the porch he had hold of my fingers and spoke.
eaten a hearty supper. I guess lam about to pass out,
he began, and I am glad. Every
Again I bent over Carson. I fan-
minute, for seven years, I have longed
cied I could see a change. He looked
for death.
less rigid, more relaxed. I grew hope-
He paused, struggling for breath.
ful. Perhaps there might be a little
When he .spoke again it was with less
life left. I ran to the telephone and
effort, and from the time he began
called our family physician.
telling me of the occurrence that
When the doctor arrived I had Car- turned him into an insatiate demon
son stretched out on a lounge and was he never wavered or paused until the
rubbing him with camphor. It was final word was spoken.
the first thing that occurred to me. You knew Helen, my wife, be-
The doctor produced his stetho- gan You knew her when
Car.son.
scope and began hunting for signs of we three attended the university.
animation. After a bit he looked at You knew how beautiful she was, with
me and remarked reassuringly L He her glorious golden hair and brown
isnt dead. Sort of coma. Has had a eyes, her satin-white skin, fine in tex-
shock, a severe one, I judge. Hell ture as a lily petal, and you surmised
W.T^
674 WEIRD TALES
her beautiful soul, her purity, her the insectsand serpents, manufac-
wonderful personality, but I alone tured goods shipped in from the
knew her. I worshiped her as it is States, and a private telephone line
given to few to worship. Our love connecting my outposts with the mis-
was without a flaw. The years never sion house.
dimmed our affection, and the birth From the first my wifes wonder-
of our daughter, three years after our ful sweetness of manner and her
marriage, cemented all the stronger great beauty acted upon the blacks
the bond between us. like a charm. They gave her a native
You remember my desire to be a name which, translated, means Lily-
missionary. You recall that after white.
graduation I entered the college of My success was phenomenal. Soon
theology. AVhen I received my de- the work was progressing beyond my
gree, when I became a regularly or- most sanguine hopes. The servants
dained minister of the gospel, I felt and laborers employed about the mis-
life held but little more of joy. My sion house were my first converts.
cup of happiness was running over. These men and women forsook their
A month after I received my or- hideous rites; voodooism disappeared
ders we found ourselves on ship- from that particular point and in its
;

board, outward bound for a post on stead came peace, plenty and clean
the African coast. living.
I was a religious fanatic. I could
The early converts became in turn

not see that there was work, plenty missionaries. Wherever they went,
of it, right at home. The command, with whomsoever they talked, they,

Go ye into every land and preach my even though crudely, spread the gos-
gospel, meant, to me, just that. I pel. And I loved my people. True,
wanted to go into every land and their skins were black and their ways
spread the news. were not my ways, but for aU that I
When we reached Africa and I knew they were my brothers, spirit
saw what was before us I thrilled. of my spirit. For more than three
The harvest was indeed ready for the years I preached to them, taught
reaping. I plunged into the work them to read and write and work. I
and for a time failed to see the hard- doctored their bodies as well as their
ships and dangers into which I had souls. And in every way Helen, my
brought my wife. Lily-white, aided me. But this peace-
But, eventually, I began to sense ful existence was but the calm before
these things. The climate failed to the storm.
agree with my darling. She, though
she never told me until long months /^NB day a strapping black placed
afterward, feared the blacks. Her himself in my path. He looked
health grew bad, and not until our worried and harried. A prescience
babys birth did Helen regain her for- of evil swept over me as he began in
mer buoyant strength. But with halting and lame English to tell me
babys advent my wifes sunny smile of Mogo, a powerful medicine man
came back and life again assumed a of the tribe, who was trying to de-
rosy glow. moralize and stampede my converts.
We were, to a certain extent, well From the mans disjointed narra-
situated. The mission house was tive I learned that Mogo was prac-
large, made of heavy logs, with strong tising the most revolting forms of
shuttered doors and windows. We voodooism, that he had instituted a
had, too, some of the ftomforts of civ- revival of ancient heathen sacrifices,
ilization, such as screens to keep out was practising cannibalism, and wag-
VIALS OF WRATH 675

ing war against the spread of civiliza- through the swamps. At the village
tion and religion. I stopped for food and rest and the
I questioned the black, but, once precious solace of a few words over
having told me of the trouble, the fel- the telephone with Helen. The dear
low seemed to withdraw into himself girl, even though her heart was tom
and I could gather nothing further. by fears, spoke bravely and encour-
All our servants were loyal. The agingly. She held our baby to the in-
big black men, three in number, em- strument and let her babble to Dada.
ployed about the place, vied with each I told Helen that, should she
other in their devotion to Helen and want me, she could call me at this
the baby. I never felt a fear for the point, and a black would get the word
safety of my loved ones, even though to me. But Helen laughed away my
at times I was called miles away to
fears. She had our three servants, be-
other villages or even into the inte-
sides the woman who did the cooking
rior.
and housework since baby came,
One day, shortly after the conver- Just before dusk I, with the black
sation with the black, he again inter-
guiding along *before me, set out on
cepted me. The story he had to tell
the last lap of my journey. The
me was exceptionally revolting. Mogo
had gathered around him a following moon was not yet up and the shadows
of degenerate negroes, and the next were black all about us. From tree
night, which happened to be full and bush came eery calls and strange
moon, there was to be a meeting with noises, from the rank grass and vege-
the added attraction of human sacri- tation the hiss and rustle of serpents.
,

fice. The place of meeting was on the By the time the moon was up we
banks of a sluggish little river, not had reached a vantage point, and,
much more than a creek a thick, secreting ourselves, we watched the
oozy stream swarming with croco- preparation for the consummation of
diles. the lustful deed.
I decided to be on hand, even A throne of logs had been erected,
though the danger was great, and to and upon this Mogo, a powerful, vil-
prevent the sacrifice if possible. Be-
lainous-looking giant, sat, directing
cause of the risk, I had to tell some
the arrangements. From our covert I
of the facts to my wife. Naturally,
watched the play of the corded mus-
she was shocked by the disclosures
cles beneath the satin-black skin, the
and entreated me to stay away from
bloodshot whites of the eyes, the cruel
the scene of the crime.
twist of the protruding lips.
But this I could not do. I had
given myself to the work. I would A crowd formed quickly. Like
be a coward, a poltroon, less than a shadows, they slunk from out of the
man, were I to let pass unrebuked an gloom. A big heap of inflammable
orgy such as Mogo planned. material was piled in an open space a
The distance from the mission few yardsfrom the throne, near the
house to the scene of the meeting was river bank.
nearly twenty miles through swamp I could not understand much of
and underbrush and rank vegetation, Mogos harangue. But that he was
past a small town, the last point a sort of spellbinder I could readily
where I could communicate with see. As he talked, his followers, many
Helen by telephone, a hard, soul-sap- of whom had professed the Christian
ping journey for a white man. faith, fell prone before the throne.
1 obtained the service of my in- For an hour the big black talked,
formant as guide and we set out lashing the crowd to fury.
; ! .

676 WEIRD TALES


Suddenly Mogo sprang to his feet, headed, dismembered and thrown into
v/aving his arms, shouting, eyes roll- the pot.
ing, foam flecking his lips.
The negroes seemed to go mad. TT^hen consciousness returned, I
Those that had fallen to the ground
^ ^ was lying on a bed in the vil-
now leapt to their feet and, men and lage hotel. I essayed to rise, but I

women alike, began tearing their gar- could not. I called, and a cowering
black answered. It was my guide, to
ments. Someone set fire to the brush-
whom I owed my life.
heap, and I sickened as I saw the
blacks join hands and dance, naked, I asked him the time, how long I

around the blazing pyre. had been there. His answer was stag-
gering. I had been unconscious three
The dance grew in violence and
days
abandonment. With the stripping off
of their garments, civilization and re-
My first thought was of Helen. I
knew her peril. I had caught enough
ligion were cast aside. They were
just what their ancestors had been. of Mogos harangue to understand . .

They screamed a chant; they leapt I knew, even though God had
into the air; they clawed their flesh kept her safe, that her anxiety over
until blood mingled with the sweat of my absence and silence must be mad-
their glistening bodies. And Mogo dening. I again tried to get up. But
urged them on. my knees were weak and I wabbled
Out over the sluggish water the back, fell upon the bed. And less

blood-red glow of the fire crept. A than ten steps away was the tele-

bull crocodile stuck his repulsive head phone.


above the scum and snapped his jaws. I dozed for a time. I was terri-
A hideous old hag ran to the bly ill; I felt that I was dying. I
shadows just without the brilliant cir- seemed to float between earth and ^y.
cle of firelight and caught up a new- The shrill ringing of the tele-
born child, unwashed and unban- phone bell caught me, jerked me back
daged, and with toothless mouthings to things I knew that it
mimdane.
she laid it in Mogo's hands. was Helen, that she needed me. Even
The medicine man sprang up, before I, with the help of the black,

screamed a sort of prayer or incanta- managed to reach the instrument, a


tion and, before I could divine his in- nameless dread clutched my heart.
tention, flung the wailing child into Mogo had gathered his followers
the open jaws of the crocodile. As about him and, with the craftiness of
the creatures jaws crunched the the devil, had worked upon their
writhing little body, a young and not fears, their superstitions, until they
uncomely woman dashed into the cir- became as wax in his hands. The
cle of light shrieking madl}'. Lily-white must be destroyed. Just
Again Mogo began his chant. A so long as the yellow-haired woman
dozen powerful blacks sprang forward lived, their god, Zombo, would frown
and, as the crocodiles fought for the upon them.
bleeding morsel, and as the waters All this Helen told me. I cried
turned a deeper red than that caused out and beat my hands, for I knew
by the firelight, the young mother was thei'e was more to come. I sensed
seized and dragged, resisting, fighting that danger menaced my darlings.:
every inch of the way, to the throne. Again my beloveds voice came to
I heard Jlogo bellow a command me: They are attacking the house
I saw a huge pot rushed to the fire. As liow, she said and the calmness of
my senses reeled, I saw the woman be- despair held her voice steady. They

VIALS OF WEATH 677

are battering down the front door. scream. I heard a shot, then the con-
Our servants are assisting them. nection was severed and I fell for-
I cursed, cursed, CUESED! In ward, unconscious.
that moment I became a devil. Even For days I was a maniac. When
now, I am amazed at the depths of reason again asserted itself I re-
evil into which this horror plunged turned to the scene of the tragedy.
me. A pile of blackened embers was il
I called to Helen that I was com- that remained of the house. I
ing to her. But her voice never trem- searched the ruins and found a few
bled as she made answer. Do not human bones. These I gave Christian
leave the wire. It will be but a few burial and over them I vowed a vow.
minutes before it is all over. You It has taken me a long time to ful-
could not possibly reach here in time. fil it,
but I have done so.
Let us talk to each other until
Carsons voice had become a mere
She told me, quite calmly, that whisper, but he struggled on, his eyes
she was barricaded in her chamber; fixed on mine.
that, when our servants deserted her, Yes, he repeated, it took a long
she had locked the doors and win-
time, but I accomplished my vow.
dows, taken the baby and repaired to I found the seven who murdered my
the upper story, where the telephone wife and babe, and one by one I cruci-
was located.
Helen, I

fied them ^head down. If you ever
called, Helen, are you visit Africa you can find their rotting
armed? carcasses in a cave, back a short dis-
Her voice came back, clearly, tance from the mission house site. I
Yes. I will wait until I am certain. am the only living person who knows
When I am certain . It is the of the existence of this cave, but

only way. Baby first. Then I (here he produced a roughly sketched
Again a pause, then: They are chart) take this and you will find it

in the house coming up the stair. without difficulty.
I hear our servants. There are four
His eyes flickered and closed. For
more with them . . . They are pound- a moment I thought he had answered
ing on the door ... It is beginning
the last call. But with his ebbing
to crack. Darling, I must save breath he struggled on:
baby!
Frenzied with horror I crouched
From that day I go insane when
there,my ear to the receiver. I could I hear a telephone bell. I live again
the awful agony of that hour. I can
hear blows rained upon the door. I
heard a shot. I screamed, wildly. I see it allall!
knew that mybaby, my bright-eyed I tried to soothe him, but he seemed
darling, was dead. Again I heard past all human help. I sat beside his
Helen speaking: It is almost over, cot, stunned, unable to think clearly.
dear love, she said. I have set fire For a time he slept. Then his eyes
to the room. Mogos cannibals must flew open, he sprang up in bed and

not a look of ecstasy overspread his
Again I heard a babel of sounds, drawn features.
of screams, curses and blows.
Helen he cried. Why, Helen,
!

The fire is burning rapidly, my darling!


came the dear voice. The blacks My eyes involuntarily followed the
know I have outwitted them. But direction of Carsons. When I looked

they are still at the door. I at him again he was lying back on his
'
A rending crash interrupted her. pillows, a smile of serene peace upon
The door caved in. I heard Helen his dead, gray face.
A Startling Tale of Thought
Transmission by Radio

The
Experiment of Erich
Weigert
By SEWELL PEASLEE WRIGHT

T he moment I gazed out over


the audience I saw him. He
was seated far back under the
balcony that overhung the little audi-
torium, but even in the heavy shadow
the meeting I had just addressed.
They moved away as they noted the
strangers obvious intention to speak
to me.
He was a little man, I saw now, not
I could see his eyes eyes that seemed
; more than five feet six inches in
alight with cold brilliance, like a dia- height, but his shoulders were broad
mond in the moonlight. and massive, and his head was larger
Although I was more or less accus- than mine.
tomed to public speaking, and was But it was his face that held my
very much at home with my subject gaze. His eyes, as I had said, seemed
that evening, Radio As It Used To to bum with the same chilly,
coldly,
Be, something about the unfaltering weird blue light of an electric spark.
regard of the man under the balcony They were deep-set eyes, separated
confused me. His eyes were on me with a thin, sharply beaked nose that
constantly every move I made, every
; somehow seemed repulsively cruel.
gesture, every change in expression, His mouth was thin and turned down
those unwinking blue orbs seemed to sharply at the corners, two deep wrin-
register. kles springing from near the base of
I wondered who he was; surely I his nose accenting its contour. Above
had never seen him before, nor he me. a high forehead that bulged strange-
I caught myself addressing myself to ly clung tangled sparse gray locks.
him, and when once his head seemed He smiled ingratiatingly as he drew
to nod slightly as though in approval near, and as he spoke, his voice was
of something I had said, a strange surprizingly pleasant.
thrill of pleasure tingled along my Mr. Saylor, I enjoyed your talk
spine. There was a power in the very much indeed. For a man of your
man; a sort of benign malignancy. I years you have a very keen insight
was glad when I finished and could into radio.
escape from that unwavering regard. He offered his hand as he spoke,
After the meeting broke up he and I took it cordially. For all his
came up toward the stage, where I unprepossessing appearance, there
was chatting with several officers of was a certain appeal about the man;
the radio association responsible for the strength of his personality at-
678

THE EXPERIMENT OF ERICH WEIGERT 679

traded more than his appearance re- loveliness. I say I was struck almost
pelled. dumb; I say that because to talk of
Ive been working with radio for love at first sight is to bring up
fourteen years now, I replied smil- visions of youthful exaggerations. It
ing. Ham, Marconi experi-
op, is true that as Vera Weigert and I
mental work for a manufacturer, de- looked into each others eyes that
signing, all that sort of thing. Bound night, something Avas bom of that
to pick up a little here and there, you union of glances that never died
know. that never will die. Call it what you
Yes, indeed! A great deal of ex- win, for I must on with my story.
perience for a young man. You
I remember but vaguely the trip
seem pardon me! I have neglected
to introduce myself; Erich Weigert,
through the big bare laboratory that
Weigert had made of two adjoining
at your service! He bowed a quick
rooms at one side of the house. Later
little foreign, military bow, heels to-
I became very well acquainted with
gether. If you have nothing else the delicate instruments, the gener-
in mind, Mr. Saylor, and would be
ators and transformers and the im-
interested, I would like to take you mense variety oftubes with wliieh the
through my own little laboratory this laboratory was equipped, but that
evening.
night my mind was too full of Vera
Erich Weigert ! And an invitation Weigert. It was not until after Wei-
to go through his laboratory! It is
gert invited me to a chair in front
no wonder that I gasped. I had heard of the big fireplace in the front room,
of him as a wealthy, somewhat mys- between himself and his Avife, that the
terious recluse with scientific leanings, trend of his conversation Ijegan to
but I had never seen him before that make an impression on my mind.
memorable night.
Your remark this evening that the
mystery had all gone from radio, de-
XI^eigerts machine soon whisked
^ us out to his residence near the spite the fact that radio Avas doing
greater marvels today than ever,
outskirts of the city. Only a few
struck me particularly, Weigert
lights were burning as we turned in
said with a nod of approval, glancing
at the grass-grown drive, but I could first at me, and then at his wife. It
make out the house as a massive, is true, today they hook up eight
square pile, squat and ugly in the tubes and hear from one coast to an-
moonlight, topped with an octagonal other or perhaps one continent listens
cupola, like some uncouth excrudes-
ccnce, its panes glaring bleakly over

to another with the power of the
sending station listed in many thou-
the rather extensive, high-walled sands of Avatts. Ball It is lie kill-
!

grounds that surrounded the place. ing ants Avith a steam-roller! In the
The door was opened by a young days when we caught the buzz and
woman whom a moment later Weigert scratch of spark signals two thousand
introduced as his wife. The affection miles away and more with our
and pride in his voice as he presented crystals, silicon, galena, perikon
me struck me as being the first real then there was mystery, romance, to
feeling that he had evidenced since radio. Today my barbers wife can
I had met him. twiddle the switches and dials of her
He had a very real reason for his setand copy from coast to coast as
pride, for his wife was undeniably change the records
easily as she can
beautiful. The instant she raised her on her phonograph. The scientist,
soft, dark eyes to mine I was struck the man with imagination, has left
almost dumb with their remarkable that phase of radio far behind; it is
680 WEIRD TAJLES

a husk from which all the sweetness very cv-ident that Weigert was wild-

has been sucked ! ly in love with his young wife, and
Tnie, I nodded. I
no in- find with his temperament and personality
terest in radio communications now. but why prolong the debate that
But, sir, the transmission of photo- raged in my mind? You know, if you

graphs by radio and we arc doing have ever been a man, and young,

that now, you knoAV ^fires my imag- how it was decided. I went went
ination. I have been working myself not once but many times.
along those lines, I added some- I think that Erich Weigert grew
what timidly, for Erich Weigert had for me a real affection ; I could follow
a terrific force of personality that him along the lesser-trodden paths of
made me feel very young beside him. radio research and could even lead
Perhaps the day is not so far off him into some of the ramifications of
when we shall be able to broadcast the great science. My ideas, or at
moving pictures as well as the music least many of them, agreed with his
to accompany them! own. And to the man who had cut
Aher! AT)er! That
is but a step! himself off from the rest of the world
broke in Weigert, interrupting me that he might devote himself to his
with sudden and unexpected violence. work, I suppose I was a welcome con-
First code, then speech, then pic- tact point with the outside.
tures. Good! A
start, perhaps, but It was the love that waxed and grew
not more than a start, Mr. Say- between Vera and myself that caused
lor! He dropped his voice until it me the most concern. There was that
was little more than an insinuating between us that made every moment
whisper, and his eyes gleamed wfith near her a bitter paradise a joyous ;

indescribable earnestness. Thought! hell. And that she responded to my


Thats the thing; the transmission of passion with a love as great as my
thought! Through the ages they have ovTi, I had only to look into her eyes
tried it. Some have claimed to have to see.
perfected it, but it was never so. Be- A quick pressure of her hand, a
tween two particular individuals, per- touch on the arm in passing; little
haps; but has never been made a
it things, yet they were all W'e had. And
science. Radio can make it a science, they were enough to drive me to any
Mr. Saylor; radio and // madness.
I think he would have said more,
but his wife deftly changed the sub-
ject, and Weigert allowed himself to
be led by the soft leash of her voice.
O NE night Weigert excused himself
for a moment, to fetch some-
thing from the laboratory. As he
As for me, I was in a sort of uneasy disappeared through the heavy drapes
paradise to be there beside her, to lis-
her eyes met mine, and for a long
ten to her sweet voice, and the rest
moment we sat, drinking deep of the
of the evening flew by far too quickly.
forbidden draft. Then, compelled
For days after two voices ruled my
by a force greater than the will of
brain. One was her soft Good night,
either of us, we rose to our feet and
Mr. Saylor! and the other was Erich
Weigert s cordial invitation to return an instant later I had her in my
arms, my lips crushed on hers.
to talk radio again some other night
very soon. Should I go? Or should I thought that I caught out of the
I heed the warning that my inner sdf corner of my eyes, a movement of the
shrieked in my mental ears? Should drapes across the door, and she de-
I place myself as one side of a tri- tected my sudden start.
angle ? And such a triangle It was ! What dear? she whispered.
is it,
;
;

THE EXPERIMENT OP ERICH WEIGERT 681

Nothing. But I thought the The cold glitter in his eyes and the
drapes moved just then. It startled deepening of the harsh lines that ac-
me for a moment.
cented the habitual sneer on the thin
It might have been him! she lips had told me at first glance that
whispered fiercely. He is a devil! his nerves were near the breaking
point, and as he spoke a vibrant un-
He ^ows everything. Perhaps
But before she could finish we heard dertone of his voice affirmed the truth
his steps coming down the hall, and of my judgment.
we hastened to seat ourselves. The laboratory, as I have said, was
Evidently Weigert had not been composed of two rooms, but tonight
spying on us, for he was his normal Weigert had pulled tightly shut the
self when he entered the room. In- sliding doors between them. Before
tensely jealous though he was, he had I had time to question him, even had
never seemed to see the love that was I felt so inclined, he directed my at-
between his wife and me. tention to a table in the center of the
I should have read the man better
room. On it was a mass of apparatus,
in which I recognized many familiar
should have realized that those cold
instruments, although one or two of
blue eyes missed nothing, and that
such a personality could dissemble un- the devices were utterly foreign to
til ^until
my experience. Four receiving tubes
burned near one edge of the tangle.
HAVE often talked about Sit down in the chair, Saylor,
thought transmission by radio, suggested W
eigert. You re going to

Saylor. You remember? Weigert act as the receiving agent in this lit-
tle test, since you so kindly volun-
was talking to me over the phone, as
teered to help. There; so.
we often chatted of an afternoon,
when both of us had a little time. He placed me in a big, overstuffed
There was a certain tenseness in his chair that stood beside the table and
voice that vaguely excited me. directed his attention to the appa-
ratus.
Yes, I answered quickly. Have
you ? You see, I have reasoned it out
this way, he commented as he
I think I am going to try the
so.
worked thought is a function of the
experiment tonight. Would you care brain.
:


Therefore ^he turned to me
to be on hand and assist me?
with an odd contrivance in his hand,
I certainly deem it an honor to be a piece of apparatus, at-
collarlike
asked! tached to some part of the array on
He chuckled as at some private bit the table by two long, flexible wires
of humor before he replied. receiving of thought must be by
Will you be on hand at 8 sharp, getting in contact with the brain,
then ? I must get to work now either directly or through nerves run-
theres a lot to do before tonight. ning to the brain. Understand?
Remember, 8 oclock sharp! I nodded, only partly understand-
It was exactly three minutes of 8 ing, and yet dominated utterly by
when Erich Weigert admitted me the intense blue light that flared in
that night. I showed him my watch, his agate-hard blue eyes.
laughingly. So Then we place this little col-
!

See how well I obeyed orders? lar of soft chamois around your neck,
Fine! he nodded. We will go buckling it tightly in place, he con-
directly to the laboratory; I am nat- tinued, suiting the action to the word.
urally anxious as to the success of our That cold sensation you feel at the
experiment. back is nothing but a plate of heavy
; !

682 WEIRD TALES


silver foil; its function is to conduct
vor or was it something more? He
to the nerve-cable of your spinal col- scowled as he saw my eyes open.
umn the thought impulses after they Keep your eyes shut! he com-
are sufficiently amplified and ener- manded harshly. How can the ex-
gized by this apparatus.

periment succeed if you disobey or-


For a few minutes he seemed to ders? I closed my eyes and sank
forget me utterly, and he leaned over back into the chair, and again the
the apparatus on the table, inspecting surging heat swept upward into my
it, testing and adjusting. I watched brain. I heard the potentiometer
him curiously, a premonition of evil scrape; more and more ....
settling down over me as a cold ocean
fog rolls down into the lowlands. I T IS put down in black and
hard to
was glad when he finally straightened I white that which sounds so incred-
up and once more spoke. ible that I myself can hardly believe
Everything seems to be all it. But I shall try.
ready, he said. Im not quite sure The pulsation of the warm waves
what current will be needed here, so increased; slowly at first and then
1 ll cut out this potentiometer slowly.
with a sudden rush. Although my

You tell me and he put his face
eyes were tightly shut, the impression
close to mine and glared down into
my what you feel.
eyes
of great red roaring flames swept be-

But
fore me as though my face were
the other subject?
^but I
buried in a very fountain of Are.
ventured. Who is transmitting?
The other subject, he said curt- And then, gradually, a thought was
ly, is in the next room. Keep your born in my mind not a thought as it
mind as free from outside thoughts as springs to the normal, conscious mind,
you can. Close your eyes. Relax. but a thought from without forced it-
In the stillness of the room I could self into my mind and grow there,
hear the slight scrape of the contact swelling from an unrecognizable seed
arm over the wires of the potentio- to a palpitant growth and the
meter, but save for a nervous tickle thought that had been planted in my
up and down my spine I could feel mind, and that grew there so vividly,
nothing. as if before some inner eye, was a
Not enough, eh? questioned thought of ?ove.' Love as boundless as
Weigert, evidently watching my im- space itself; as real and actual as a
passive face. I shook my head. mighty block of granite. Love; love
The potentiometer scraped again, for me! Soundless, formless words,
and I became aware of a soft warm- as intangible and elusive as wisps of
ness in the region directly under the mist, swam through my bursting
metal plate a warmth that crept up- brain Avords of affection, endear-
;
;

ward until it suffused the whole base ment, sacrifice, love.


of my brain. There was a sort of un- I was aware,
too, of another ele-
dulating quality about it that made ment, as though the picture Avas shot
me dizzy, that seemed to make me through with intermittent flashes of
reel and sway even as I sat ensconced red, disrupting light. Pain Agony !

in the broad arms of the chair. Fear Despair These Avere the things
! I

It begins to make itself felt? that were marring the beauty of my


I opened my eyes with a little start inward vision. I could feel my face
his voice seemed to come from some writhe with the beauty and the
outer world. horror of it all, but it held me en-
Weigert was peering down at me, thralled in its mysterious grasp. I
his 'b Vac eyes with scientific 'fer- Avanted to tear the accursed tiring

THE EXPERIMENT OF ERICH WEIGERT 683

from my throat, to leap up, to cry of a rusty hinge. The sending sub-
aloud ject!
Suddenly, totally, the torture He strode forward and tore the
stopped; there were only the warm, sheet from the figure.
throbbing waves of feeling inundat- I felt my
knees tremble beneath
ing my brain. I opened my eyes and me, and I leaned against the wall for
leaped from the chair, cursing. support. There on the table, dressed
What damnable thing is this you in a simple white robe, lay the body
have here? I shouted. I have been of Vera Weigert!
to hell and back again ! I should have My eyes refused to move from the
gone crazy had you not turned it off fearful sight. A
spot above either ear
when you did! had been shaved, and on the scalp
The eager, curious light went from thus exposed a red circle with edges
Erich Weigerts eyes, and in its place ^my God!
came a glint of sardonic amusement, Just as the receiving element
I did not turn it off, he said must work directly upon the nerve
calmly. But I can imagine why you trunk, I heard Weigert saying, the
thought I did. He deftly removed sending must be done, at least with
the band around my neck and tossed the crude apparatus I have, direct
it carelessly onto the table. And from the emanating source. And
nowwould you not like to see the that, of course, is the brain! Hence
other subject; the sender? the trephine that seems to strike you
An icy chill gripped my
every as so interesting.
nerve and sinew there was something
;
This little band passes under the
diabolically sinister in the mans face
head as you see, and presses two silver
and in the soft tones of his voice.
disks directly upon the brain; or,
I nodded dumbly, still dazed from
strictly speaking, upon the dura
the experiment, and stumbled in his
mater, to get the desired contact.
wake to the_ closed double doors. He
slid the doors open and stood aside Faster and faster the man spoke
that I might enter. or did my reeling senses imagine that?
On an operating table near the His voice, fiom a calm, scientific mon-
door lay a figure covered with a long otone, rose almost to a chriek.
white sheet. A faint odor as of an There she is, Saylor! Why dont
anesthetic came to my nostrils, but you caress her hand now ? Why don t
there was something about the abso- you hold her close and press her lips
lute, deathly stillness of the supine now, man ? There she is, and with the
figure that told me I was in the pres- last spark of her energy she sent you
ence of death itself. a message, Saylor! What was the
Trembling, the blood draining from message? You wont tell me? It
my face, I stood and stared at the still must have been wonderful; wonder-
figure and at the instrument-littered ful!
table beside the operating table. I knew the experiment would be
Three small wires from the maze of a success! You two loved each other;
instruments on the table disappeared you were attuned as two human be-
under the edge of the sheet two big ;
ings seldom are attuned. It was an
transmitting tubes glowed yellowly in ideal opportunity to prove that I was
the bright light that flooded the room. right; that thought could be trans-
A dim, horrible idea began to take mitted
and to avenge myself upon a
shape in my
mind. faithless wife and a faithless friend!
See! chuckled Weigert, his voice I tried to speak, but my dry tongue
grating on the silence like the screech refused to move from the roof of my
!

684 WEIRD TALES


mouth. But he saw my throat move, Back! he shrieked. Back! I
and he chuckled again. dont want to kill you; I want you to
You would deny it, eh ? You live
and remember but if you move.
But no matter ! Let me tell you how Ill shoot to maim. I have my plans
I did all laid for my escape, and

it. It will interest you.
I told her what I was going to do. Just then I lunged. The gun
Told her that if she did not submit, roared over my head and the stench
I would take your life as the penalty. of the powder smoke swirled in my

And does this give you pleasure, nostrils. We went down on the floor

Saylor? she consented. together in a whirling, flaying heap.
I gave her scopolamin-morphin The instrument table fell over with a
as
terrific crash, and as I fought I saw
an anesthetic, for I laiew that would
permit her subconscious mind to con- out of the corner of niy eye a flicker
tinue its functioning. Then, careful- of red flame shoot up as the tangled

ly oh, very caiefully, for I did not high-voltage wires hissed their danger
want her to die too soon I trephined !
signal.
It was over in a few minutes. He
the skulk just at the fissure of Syl-
vius, thus locating my electrodes in was a maniac, and fought with a
the sensoty area. Veiy well thought maniacs strength, but I was possessed
out, was it not? of ten thousand devils! I w'renched
I knew the gun from his hand and put it to
that her last thoughts
his head, holding him down with my
would be of you thoughts of love for
body and my left arm in a wrestling
;

her lover. Strong thoughts, you


know; thoughts that would enable my hold I had learned years ago.
unperfected apparatus to work; to His cold blue eyes looked up into
prove that my idea is feasible mine, glinting with sardonic amuse-
Thoughts that w'ould hold over and ment.
run constantly through her subcon- And now for the Great Experi-
scious mind. Thoughts of love, eh, ment! he said, panting. Shoot!
Saylor? And thoughts of fear, too, I glanced up on
at the still figure
perhaps? Ah! I thought I read that the operating table. The flames were
in your face, man anti can you blame
;
beginning to roar, now, and were lick-
her? It is not pleasant to die when ing fiercely at the woodwoi'k. Then I
you are young and very beautiful and placed the gun directly above his ear,
in love! closed my eyes and pulled the trigger.
He paused and drew the tip of his
tongue across his thin, bloodless lips. NEVER looked back. The papers
And oh, this was a joke I had
1 ran a story of a recluse and his
not thought of you thought I
turned it off, did you? You false
!
wife trapped in a night fire. The
bodies were so burned that they could
friend! You fool! You meddler!
not detect the holes both just above

You heard and his voice rose to a the ear.
shriek like that of a maniac in hell But I know! I Imow! Z, who
I tell you, Saylor, you hmrdt her heard, or felt, or lived, a womans
die}** dying thoughts, I know.
I shook off the icy grip that had And
now, just as soon as
tonight
numbed me and leaped for the man, I write the last
word of this I shall
but before I could sink my clutching know more, for then I shall put the
fingers in his throat he stopped me at same gun. to my head carefully just
the point of a gun which he flashed
above the ear, and pull ^the ^trig-
from a pocket. ger
A Story of Real Power

The
Confession of a Madman
By JAMES COCKS

T he curtain
honest,
is
fearless
parted by an
man,
education was just sufficient
to make a good laborious living and
give him command of a coastwise
whose
Only a skilled pilot can guide a sliip
through in safety. Hundreds of ships
and men have been engulfed in its
treacherous quicksands.
The main walk leading from the
ship. He knew nothing of the so- town forms a large circle above the
called cults of the past or present. cliffs, designated by some as the Lov-
Although he was not a scholar, his ers Walk; however, it is used by all
consciousness was thrilled with the alike, for it furnishes a continual re-
knowledge that he was a man. He freshing view. As one traverses this
knew virtually nothing of what other winding path, it brings to view the
men may have thought or written. sand dunes on the opposite side of the
But by virtue of the consciousness of wide channel. Tradition says that
manhood that abided in him, he dared here lies an entire towm buried by a
to think and ask the reason why, and terrific sandstorm.
with equal persistence, search out the
As one travels around the high
answer.
cliffs, is led directly to a command-
he
1 ing fort, containing a few guns which
silently watch the entrance to this
T^or reasons I need not explain here, land-protected port. A little farther
* I spent one week in the quaint around the cliffs is Padstow Cove,
little town of Padstow. It was a snug where the high rolling ground is sud-
little seaport town teeming with in- denly parted as if hewn out by some
dustry, having no less than two ship- titanic force. Anumber of neat little
building yards working at full speed. cottages dot the sloping sides, and a
It lay embedded in a small valley pro- pretty, sandy beach slants gracefully
tected on three sides by high rolling into the channel. Immediately in the
hills a haven in time of storm. center of this beach stands the life-
The entrance to this port is one of boat house.
the most dangerous on the Cornish My advent into Padstow was in
coast: Padstow Points on one side, November; the weather was cold and
Pentire Points on the other, both bris- unsettled. In the early part of my
tling with jagged rocks like the fangs first evening in this quaint old town,
of some huge monster. Some distance I was sitting in the bar parlor smok-
in from the open sea, there is a bar ing a cigar and warming my knees
of sand called the Dunebar. This
lies in the very center of the pas- dull.

by the fire perhaps feeling a little

sageway leading into Padstow, and In a little while a strong wind came
can be seen when the tide is low. up, which soon became a gale. Mine
685
686 WEIRD TALES
4

host came into the room and sat down few minutes the ship was a mass of
opposite me by the fire. He said in floating wreckage.
a very serious tone, I fear, sir, we My attention was directed to a com-
are in for a terrible storm tonight. manding figure standing alone on a
God pity any ship that comes near the jutting piece of rock overhanging the
Points! frightful sea. His sea-cap seemed
In answer to my casual enquiry, glued to his head and shoulders, and
mine host pointed out the many dan- his beard was combed by the cutting
gers that confronted the mariner in wind. Both hands were shading his
time of storm. Before he had got
eyes ^he was scanning the angry sea.
through his rather prolonged descrip- I turned to a man by my
side and
tion, the wind began to whistle asked,

Who is that man out there ?

around the comers and eaves of the The man replied, Why, stranger,
roofs. The town seemed suddenly to thats Tom Edivinn, the lion-hearted
wake up many people were hurrying
on the
;

streets, and excited voices


the bravest man that ever stood in
two shoes.
could be heard every few minutes; This stalwart, dark figure silhouet-
then an old seafaring man burst into ted against the sky, with Pentire
the room, and, looking at mine host, Points frowning in the distance,
shouted, By God, Henry! Theres seemed to fascinate me. Suddenly
a foreigner (ship) on the Dunebar! this figure turned and sprang like a
I sprang to my feet, put on my top- cat from the jutting point and tore
coat and left the room. Following down the sloping hill to the cove.
the crowd, I came to the Lovers Many followed his example, but I
Walk. I do not recall ever seeing was the first to get near him. There
such a change in the weather in so were many men and women at the
short a time. The sea was lashing cove, some bitterly weeping, for they
itself into a fury, and I recalled mine knew only too weU that on the mor-
hosts remark: I would pity any row there would be bodies washed
ship in such a storm! ashore.
I saw the beautiful lifeboat, spick
N A very short time we had reached and span, shining like a thing of life
I a point overlooking the cove. in the semi-gloom ; on each side of her
There was indeed a ship fast going to were the crew. I thought I had never
pieces on the Dunebar! The terrific, seen such giants of manhood before.
monsterlike clouds were parted as if I knew these brave Cornishmen would
by some magic hand, leaving a clear sacrifice their lives without an in-
space over the huge Points and re- stants thought, if need be, to save the
vealing the terrible drama being en- life of their fellow man. Tom, as we
acted before our eyes. Never saw I now shall call him, strode over to this

such a scene and never do I wish to group of silent, determined men. . . .

see it again. The foundering ship


was lifted as if by gigantic hands on yi s I was soon to learn, Tom Edi-
the crest of high waves, bristling in vinn was one of the bravest men
their terrible whiteness then they re-
;
on the Cornish coast. He was a
ceded, leaving the trembling ship to powerful man, six feet three inches
strike the cruel Dunebar with a sick- in height, wide-shouldered and some-
ening crash. Even above the thunder
what gaunt alert, as agile as a eat,
and hiss of the sea we could hear the as strong as an ox, with muscles of
piercing shriek of splitting timber, whiplike steel. He wore a full, well-
and the snapping of bolts that once trimmed beard, and, though kindly-
held the stately ship together. In a looking, was grave in his demeanor.

THE CONFESSION OP A MADMAN 687

As gentle as a lamb, yet he knew not heaven! In a few minutes he was


the meaning of fear. Such were the seen on the crest of a mighty wave
general characteristics of this man
whose figure, silhouetted against the
opposite the mouth of the cove in
another instant, like a feather he was
sky on the jutting rock, had fascina- carried into the cove and dashed upon
ted me. Some who had been with him the beach.
in absolute danger, with death star-
. ing them in the face, said his eyes 2
shone like balls of fire, and flashed T N THE lifeboat house men and wom-
like miniature lightning. An hun- A en ministered to the seaman whom
dred times he had taken his life in
Tom had rescued. The fellow was
his hands to rescue some mariner.
badly shaken up and dazed from
When Tom reached the lifeboats his trying ordeal he was sufficiently
;
crew, he cried out with a loud voice:
recovered, however, to recognize in

Come on, men! theres a man out Tom the one who had saved his life.
there alive! He pointed to the rag-
Soon he was comfortably asleep be-
ing sea. He cant last more than a
tween warm blankets.
few minutes!
The captain of the crew replied: When Tom was himself again he

Tom, its no use! no boat can live came and looked at the man he had
saved. He gave a start, then a shade
in such a sea!
of pallor swept over his features, and
There were now hundreds of people
this was quickly replaced with a look
assembled, and all eyes were centered
of fondest affection. He made no re-
on this group of men.
Tom cried out, No man shall die mark to those standing by, and soon
he joined the others in watching for
with Tom Edivinn looking on!
the floating dead.
His little boat was near at hand,
and the next moment he was gliding A few evenings later I sat chatting
with it over the slanting, slippery with mine host in the bar parlor of
beach. Withthe receding wave he the Cornish Arms. The weather was
launched himself into the seething cold and the fire was very cheering.
sea. A cry rent the air, Brave Tom There seemed iinusual activity in the
has gone to his doom! tavern room, termed by some the tap
Every few minutes Tom was seen room and by others tke kitchen.
on the crest of a wave battling with Soon there came the notes of joyous
the sea, and every time he appeared song, accompanied by the sAveet
to view, a shout of thankfulness went strains of a violin. I sensed a wistful
up to God. He disappeared in a great longing to be among those men of toil,
hollow of the sea with a piece of to share with them their simple'
wreckage to which clung the last life amusement.
of the doomed ship. An instant later Mine host seemed to have antici-
he was seen on the crest of a wave pated my desire.
there were two men in Toms little The boys have a pleasant eve-
will
boat! ning in the tap Ioom tonight, he
Breathlessly the throng , watched remarked. I have seen to it they
him. Could he make the naiTow shall have a cheery fire. It will be a
cove? If he could not, no power on cold night, and marry will have an
earth could save him from certain extra pirrt of ale. If you would care
death. to pass an hour with them, I will in-
Ah! An intense sigh seemed to troduce you to the boys. I can assrrre
ooze from hungering hearts: Hes you, you will hear some good yanrs,
going to make it as sure as songs, and jokes.
!

688 WEIRD TALES

. In a few minutes I was comfortably- friend, Moses Dingle here, that there
seated in their midst. I was surprized is a story youA^ebeen promising to
to learn that there was an organized relate for more than five years. We
rule for the evenings amusement: have a long evening before us, and
they had a regular chairman, who if you feel like telling it tonight, we
sat at the center of a long table, shall be mighty glad to hear you.
somewhat elevated, where he could AYliat do you say?
command a view of the large room.
He knew each one that could sing a A
smile lit up Toms grave features

song, tell a joke, or dance a jig. It


as he replied, Mr. Chairman, there s

was understood that no or-


strictly
a stiff northeaster blowing; I have
ders could be given or filled while a just come in from the cliffs; its
part was being rendered. If the mighty cold outside, and very com-
story was a long one, at given points fortable in here by the fire, so you
there would be an intermission for a are w^elcome to my story to pass the
few minutes, to satisfy the wants of evening away.
the throng. This order of procedure Boys, strange as it may appear to
was only one evening of each week. you, I am more than willing to talk;
If a stranger came, the privilege of in fact, I am eager, for it has fallen
eontribirting to the evenings amuse- to the lot of but few to experience
ment was extended. what I shall relate this evening. You
I was gratified to see Tom Edivinn may Avonder Avhat could have hap-
seated at the end of a large settee pened to make Tom Edivinn eager to
near the fire, immediately opposite talk. This last storm, the loss of life
where I sat, so I had a splendid op- along the coast, the rescue of this
portunity to study him. He was cer- man, whom you call the Grateful One,
tainly a remarkable-looking man, the because of his undisguised gratitude
most powerful I had seen in many a
for saving his life this is the cause
day; he was not fleshy, yet he was It has touched every fiber of my be-
not thin, but bony and sinewy. His ing and set my mind ablaze. As you
full beard was neatly trimmed to a knoAA% Ia'C been scarcely outside of
point a little below his chin. His eyes Padstow tOAvn, yet I have knoAAn this
were large, with hea^7 lashes, and young man, termed the Grateful One,
crowned Avith bushy brows. His liair, for many years. He is noAv being
beard, and broAvs AAore dark broAvn, taken care of by my family.
a fitting background for his expansiA'e Boys, hoAv often AA"e\n said to
forehead and rounded cheeks. He each other, If anyone had ever come
Avore a heav;^, coarse blue shirt, open back after being dead and AA'ould tell
at the throat. His head AA^as capped us about it, Ave Avould believe in the
Avith aheavy, oiled southwester, Avith hereafter. It is as one AAiio has re-

sea-boots reaching above his knees. turned from the dead that I .shall tell
To my sense, he Avas a perfect type my tale.
of the man of the sea, an ideal model Before Im through with my
for an artist. story, you may think I am still af-
fected AAuth my
old complaint. I do
"IXTe H-\d been enjoying a short in- not ask you to believe one Avord Im
^ ^ termission. AA'lien crack crack
going to say it Avould not make any
crack came from the chairmans difference anyAvay. Im going to tell
hammer. . yoiA my story because I feel compelled
Tom. said the chairman, its a to do so. Perhaps, right down in my
long time since you told us a storj-. heart, I Avant to stir you up a bit,
I ha\'e been reminded by your old and make you look a little closer to

THE CONFESSION OF A MADMAN 689

your compass and chart, or think a Boys, I was bom


and raised in
little differently from your custom. this little town; some of you have
Boys, I am going to refer to' a known me since I was a youth, I went
period of my life that I know will with you to the penny-a-'week school.
surprize you. Out of respect to my I passed some of you a little in edu-
feelings you have never whispered of cation; through the kindness of the
it in my presence ; I refer to the ten Honorable Mr. Brune, I spent one
years of my insanity, or more particu- year with his boys under their private
larly that period of my life between tutor. I attended the Sunday school,
the years of twenty-five and thirty- Bible class, and all the preaching
five. services. My boyhood was clean, and

This coming Christmas I shall be


(Ive heard) manly. My young man-
sixty years old. The record of my hood was virtuous, the energies of
life, with the exception of those ten
youth were conserved. I was as
years, is fair, and known to most of sound physically and mentally as any
you. As you know, I am not given to man that ever stood in a pair of shoes.
talking about myself. On this occa- I speak plainly, to show there were
sion, however, I can not help myself, not the gross errors of youth and ig-
as the tale concerns myself only., I norance, whereby my future might
can say honestly and fearlessly, with- have been undermined and weak-
out fear of contradiction, that outside ened.
of those ten years of incarceration in Wlien I reached my twenty-fifth
the Bodmin asylum I never cherished year a point that marked an epoch
an evil thought against my fellow in my my mind was as clear as
life
men. Whyis it that a strong and ro- the noonday sun. The blood in my
bust man, with fifty years of unblem- veins tingled with health; I felt as
ished life to his credit, should have strong as a young bull. Life was
sandwiched into it ten such years and sweet, I loved my fellow man the ap- ;

yet not be conscious of a single act, peal of want hurt me, the cry of help
or a moment of its time? pierced my heart like a knife. I loved
From what I have learned from my wife and children, and they
the testimony of others, I went insane
thank God loved me in return. Work
without a moment s warning, and was a pleasure, and idleness distaste-
when I came out of it I did so just as ful to me. I loved the sea ; its jagged
cliffs fascinated me: when the storm
quickly. At the moment they said
my reason had returned, I felt as if was fiercest I was there, for I could
some indignity had been put upon my not enjoy the genial comfort of my
person. I said to the professor, Why home while the storm was raging. A
is it I have been called to pass great upheaving force ever prompted
through this ordeal? I feel as if Ive me to help my fellow man in distress.
been imposed upon! He replied, Boys, I have walked that Dunebar
My dear sir, you have had a disease, all hours of the night and day, try-
our treatment has rid you of it, you ing to grasp the meaning of its
are now restored to your wonted treacherous depths, w h i e h have
health and strength. sucked down so many precious lives
I
said very quietly to the pro- in its quicksands.
fessor,Im certain that you have had I know youll be surprized that
a terrible time with me, and I am I am blowing my own horn; my only
grateful for the care you have given excuse is that Ive not blown it very
me; but your treatment has had no mueh in the past. Many times, I,
part or place in the return of my rea- Tom Edivinn, your townsman and
son. comrade, have gone out to that Dune-

690 WEIRD TALES


bar and bent my knees over its ghast- vinn. Take a walk for ten minutes
ly depths and unknown dead, asking and enquire about me when you ;

God to accept the strength of my come back, if you dont take back
limbs, and the devotion of mj' heart, your words, Im going to ram them
to consecrate me to the service of my back down your throat. This is a
fellow men in saving them from its new business to me; if I get started
depths and the jagged rocks. I am I aint quite sure when I shall quit!
simple enough to believe that the He came over and glared into my
gigantic force which we call God eyes; our noses almost hit. I said,
heard my prayer and desire. You had better hurrj' along, or I
The longest way around to a sick shall withdraw" the privilege! At
neighbors cottage was my shortest that he smiled and replied. You look
way home. Once only have I felt like pretty good, but I think I can go you
fighting and hurting my fellow man. one better. You had better take off
One morning when I was out on the those sea-boots and your coat; you
cliffs scanning the sea with my tele- cant scrap wdth those things on. I
scope, my attention was drawn to the suppose Ill find out youre the best
Dun<ibar, I saw something sticking man in port, and the bully as well !
Tarnation! I said. Youd bet-
out of the sand, and I knew it was
not the topmast of a ship slowly be- ter hurry along. Im getting impa-

ing sucked down theie was sea-weed
:
tient !
attached to it. I could not make out Well, boys, in about fifteen min-
what it was, so I went out to investi- utes he came back, held out his hand
gate. When I had removed the sea- with a good-natured smile on his face,
weed, I gave a gasp of pain, for there and said, Tom, those wprds dont go;
stood revealed a mans arm sticking Im sorrj^ I said them. Put on your
out of the sand. This is the boots and coat and lets have some
only instance I know of the Dune- home-brew"ed ale.
bar ever giving up its dead. On There nothing on the corpse
w'as
the index finger was a gold ring. to identify except some tattooing
it,

For a moment I was startled on the right forearm; a full-rigged


it looked as if it was being of- ship, an anchor, and the letters C. M.
fered me. I dug out tlie body, placed I gained permission to retain the ring.
it in my boat and brought it in. On the inside was engraved, Prom
Mother, to A. M.
When 1 reached our docks, I came
alongside of a schooner lying there.
This ring I retained up to about
five years ago, wdien I returned it to
She hailed trom Liverpool. Her cap-
the mother of the young man I had
tain, a massive man, looked over the
side and saw the corpse in my boat.
dug out of the sands of the Dunebar.
Ah, you big landlubber, he said,
I want you to remember this incident,
for I shall refer to it again before I
*so thats what you do for a living,
scraping sand for dead bodies! A am through with this storj-.

low-down bodysnatcher Wliy in


!
3
thunder dont you go to work ?
"DOTS how is it
Well, boys, those words made me I asked a while ago,
feel as I had never felt before. I that a strong, robust man with
made my boat fast, and went on the fifty years of unblemished life to his
quay where the schooner lay. I said, cre^t, should have sandwiched into
Capn, step ashore a minute, I want it ten such temble years and yet not
to say a few words to you! He be conscious of a single act or a mo-
jumped on the quay mighty quickly. ment of its time? I feel now" as I
I said, Capn, my name is Tom Edi- felt w'hen my reason I'etumed that

THE CONFESSION OP A MADMAN 691

some indignity had been put upon my with a wealth of rich brown hair fall-
person, that I had been imposed upon. ing to her waist. I took them in my
My whole being welled up in protest. arms and wept. Those were the tears
Here was I, a young man thirty-five of a baffled man.
years of age, in the full vigor of life, When alone in my bedroom, I
with ten years literally stolen out of studied my features in a mirror. I
it, over which I
that is to say, my looked older then, at thirty-five, than

individuality had absolutely no part I do now at sixty. Some diabolical
nor place, not even the consciousness change had taken place. I removed
of one solitary moment of its time. my clothes and examined my person;
If it had not been for the testi- it was covered with scars, bruises and
mony of my loved ones, and the contusions; my limbs and body were
growth and change I could so plain- black, green and blue.
ly see in them, I could not have be- My soul rebelled at what I saw.
lieved that ten years of life hadmy What cruelty, what indignity, shame,
been passed in an insane asylum. and injustice, had been inflicted on
What was I to do? I had reasoning my person ? I, who had devoted every
powers, and was analytically inclined. breath within me to alleviate suffer-
I was confronted with a blank wall ing, and had used my strength to bat-
an impassable gulf. tle with the unreasoning sea to help
Wlien I returned to the bosom of my fellow man, had been dashed un-
my family, my children around me, mercifully on jagged rocks and reefs
my wife placed her arms around my I knew not of. No galley slave had
neck, and with tears streaming down been humiliated like this. Was this
her cheeks said, Oh Tom! It has indeed I, who had been called by some
been such a long wait! the lion-hearted? Every idealistic
I replied, My dear, I do not un- thought within me cried out. I walked
derstand; I know that something has my room in anger. I again felt that
occurred, I know there is a lapse, and I would like to fight, just as I felt
even the sense of lapse is so indistinct, when that captain called me a body-
I can not in any way define it. I sense snatcher.
a seeming haze it has shape, circum-
;

ference, color and form yet I can not


;
A FTER I had become used to my
express or define a single detail. It surroundings and felt settled, I
is something between this moment called on good old Dr. Morely, one of
and yesterday, but you say that my the grandest men Cornwall has pro-
yesterday is to you ten years of lone- duced. put the matter to him, and
I
liness, waiting, anxiety, and untold told him ofmy predicament. He said
suffering. with the compassion in his nature,
all
My wife,
I continued, I can as- My dear Tom, why bother about it?
sure you, to me it has been a very lit- The indisputable fact remains, you
tle while
just a short nap. Perhaps I
can best explain it as a dream, and
have been insane. There has been a
lapse in your memory of ten years.
a pretty dream it must have been, for It is absolutely lost to you. It is im-
I am ^re there was no element of possible for you, while sane, to ap-
nightmare in it. prehend the state of your mind when
Then I saw the lines of care and insane!
sorrow. Her hair was streaked with Boys, this matter was always on
premature gray. My little boy of five my mind, yet I confided in no one,
was standing before me a robust lad for I did not want my problem to be-
of fifteen. My sweet baby girl of two come a theme for idle tongues and
was now a splendid girl of twelve, gossip.

692 WEIRD TALES


Well, I took up my life at thirty- edge of self was not at the Bodmin
five, where I had left it off at twenty- asylum during those ten years of so-
five. My mind was as sound as a called insanity, it was simply some-
bell, but my body was in a fearful whci'e else.
state. My limbs weic like props ren-
der me
the strength of mj'- arms was
;
4
gone, and the elasticity of my mn.seles T)oys, one
beautiful moonlight
missing. I felt as if I owed someone
night I took my boat and fishing

or it a good licking for misusing
tackle and went out to the Dunebar.
my property so.
After setting my lines, I sat down and
I was reminded of old Mother mused on many things, then I gave
Jones, who went to Plymouth to spend
a start when my ten years of oblivion
a month with her daughter. She left
were brought to mind. I sat up
her cottage spick and sjuin, eveiy-
stiff with the thought that my
thing in order, everything in its place.
problems solution was in my own
Tramps took possession in her ab-
sence. When Mother Jones came mind and not in someones else. I be-
back, the bed was in disorder, the car- gan to think about the lecturer that
pets ruffled and the floor dirty dis- paid this town a visit. He told us
about our objective and subjective
order, filth and neglect everywhere.
I felt shocked, just like Mother Jones minds. Now I dont pretend to know
when she realized how her home had much about this, but it was made
been desecrated. It took me a year to plain to my understanding before I
patch up my body and restore it to its had been long at the Dunebar that
previous condition. Thank God, I suc- whatever the objective mind experi-

ceeded ! enced in its daily routine was record-
At this point, crack went the ham- ed somewhere in our own selves call
mer of the chairman, and there was it subjective mind if you Avill it could
;

an intermission of a fcAV minutes. never be lost or annihilated, though


Tom looked at me and said, Stran- we might lose all consciousness of it
ger, I see that you are taking notes of for many years, maybe a lifetime. I
my story! Well, Ill finish my tale: clapped my hands Avith pure joy when
ifyou think it is of sufficient interest, I understood this. Then I tried to
you may publish it to the world. lose aU sense of my surroundings.
The waitresses were busy for a few The gentle swish of the water playing
minutes, then Tom continued. on the edge of the Dunebar became as
Boys, what proof have I that I distant music. After a while I seemed
am in your midst tonight telling you to be looking at a large volume of dis-
my story, my confession? Thats the tant haze, mist, or cloudlike sub-
problem I have had to w'ork out. Ex- stance. This was slowly drawing to-
istence, consciousness, love, harmony, ward me as it drcAv close I could dis-
;

spirit, power, knowledge, are ever- tinguish indistinct forms and color
lastingly existent their laws are
; not unlike a picture out of focus. I
never for one instant inactive. I felt that if it came any nearer I
know that I exist, because the knowl- should be SAvallowed up or enshrouded
edge that I exist is the proof of my in it. A cell-like something opened
existence.
in my mentality instantly my mind
Reasoning along those lines, that became flooded with understanding.
my knowledge of existence had no I was as one in an audience watching
part in what took place at the asy- the projecting on the screen of a story
lum, I was forced to the con- in which I was the principal actor.
clusion that if my identity, my knowl- As each scene was unfolded, I knew
THE CONFESSION OF A MADMAN 693

absolutely what the next scene would couples prayers are about to be an-
be. swered.
I saw a stone cottage with a straw- Now, my boys and friends, con-
thatched roof, having a center en- tinued Tom, I am coming to the
trance for two families. On one side great secret that baffled all my en-
lived a childless couple; their only quiry for years and to me, the most
child had died and was buried in the wonderful expeidenee that could un-
churchyard near by. The mother gath- fold to the consciousness of man.
ei*s some flowers from the little front

garden and visits the flower-kept THE morning of that fateful


grave. She returns to her home, takes day when Padstow Town
out her childs clothes from a bureau mourned for Tom Edivinn their
drawer and kisses them affectionately, tOAvnsman
that is to say, the morn-
while tears roll down her cheeks. She ing of the day I was judged
prays to be blest with another child. insane and committed to the Bod-

On the other side of the cottage


min asylum ^I went out to Gull
Rock. While 'I was there, a ship
a widow with three children, a
lives
signaled for a pilot. I boarded
small boy and girl, and a grown son
her and brought her in. When my
named Heney, a fine, strapping young days work was done, I never felt
man who follows the sea as able sea- better in my life. We have our
man. His ship is docked in the ad- gloomy days as well as our bright
joining port, and they are expecting
days, and this day was exceptionally
him home. The widow looks often bright. I returned to my home with
out of the small, four-paned window,
a song in my heart when the supper ;
and then at the cook-stove. The table
was over and the things cleared away,
is laid for the expected visitor.
my wife came and gave me a kiss and
The little boy and girl at the front said, Tom, the children and I are go-

garden give a cry of delight and rush ing to sing for you, to comfort your
tomeet their big sailor brother. There great big- heart! All right, said I,
is ahappy gathering as they sit sitting back in my easy chair and
around the table. Heney fondles the lighting my pipe.
little ones and produces some pres-
She sat at the organ, and the chil-

ents. The widow, looking very seri- dren stood at each side of her. She
ous, comes to Heney, places her arms
sang a number of songs, then she
around his neck and shoulders and sang Nearer Mij God to Thee. With
says, My son, your father lost his life
its opening strains came a warm mel-
at sea; wont you give it up and stay
low feeling in my bosom. As she con-
home and live with us? Heney re- tinued to sing I felt it stealing
plies earnestly, Mother dear, I, like through my person. I felt the
my dad, am cutfor the sea
oiit I, blood quicken in
entii'e
my
veins my chest
too, expect to find a Avatery grave !
seemed to expand with glorious fire.
Boys, far more quickly than Im A great light seemed suddenly to have
telling you, the action of these
families
two
was unfolded to my appre-
become ignited in me
filled my soul.
joy and love

hension; yet there was no sense of The lamp onthe organ seemed

hurry every incident Was properly magnified a thousandfold; it was a
punctuated with comma, colon, semi- living brilliancy. It enveloped their
colon and period. The mental atmos- persons their forms seemed spiritual-
;

phere and inner workings of these ized and resplendent in their beauty.
homes were fully qnderstood. With I, Tom
Edivinn, big, rough and
the passing of time the childless clumsy, felt like a little child then

694 WEIED TALES


likea lightning bolt out of a clear sky While I was seeing with ob- my
I was seized with a sudden pain in jective sense all that occurred I was
my head and heart. I sprang from realizing the unspeakable joy of an
my my wife. I said
seat to go toward infant. With the shrinking or dimin-
brokenly, Mary, I said, I dont ishing of my six feet three inches of
feel I !
Then I fell, my head form, my gross sinful nature shrank
Then with it, until it became so minute, it
striking the edge of a chair.
came an utter blank. was lost to consciousness ^I was a
pure babe.
Up to this point nothing had been
added to what I already Imew In and of ourselves we can not
though not a single incident or emo- prove we were ever infants, or were
tion had been omitted; I experienced ever born. Memory takes us back to
the entire day over again, yet it was a very early period of our life and
as one apart from it that I witnessed
then ceases liere is a gulf between
what occurred. I saw the fearful the beginning of memory and the
anguish of my
beloved little family birth of our present existence, and w'e
around my prostrate form. Then I are forced to rely on the testimony of
was startled to see the skulking, hid- others. But how different with me,
eous form of a hunchback in a comer your humble townsman! I sensed
of the room, looking with a leer of and enjoyed all that took place dur-
expectancy. Though I knew what ing this period of infancy. There
was about to follow (as a third party, was no sense of time. My family was
apparently), I simply marveled at forgotten, for the four walls of my
what I saw. Prom the top of my home disappeared, my infant form
head, to the soles of my
feet, a some- was surrounded with myriads of other
thing left my body and remained sta- babe forms, some more and some less
tionary just above my head. It was developed than my own, luxuriating
not unlike steam rising from a hot in billows of downy clouds, accom-
cloth. I saw a look of devilish glee panied with the sweetest music mortal
stealing into the horrible features of ever heard; then my infant form was
that thing in the comer. In a few released from its companions.
seconds I saw my complete form sus- Infinitesimally I sensed a feeling
pended in the air, rigid and in line of fatigue, then I lapsed into a state
with my body and then marvel of restful peace, from which I evolved

;

of marvels I saw my great (some to a consciousness of new objects and


call it astral) form contracting with-
surroundings I was a babe at my
in itself, with a slight inward rolling mothers bosom in the straw-thatched
movement, until it assumed the per- cottage.
fect size, shape and form of a babe. 5
I experienced a thrill and emotion, an
exquisite vibration of ecstasy that I At the cottage there is great re-
have not language to express. In- joicing. Heney the sailor is
stantly the hunchback came between home for a visit, and he is fascinated
my infant form and the prostrate with my baby self. He enjoys fond-
body and spread himself over it. As ling the babe, whom he has dubbed
my form had been exhaled, his form Sonny. My parents and his family
was inhaled, or absorbed. He disap- marvel at his great love for the little
peared. As his actions for ten years one. Whenever he is away from
while occupying my body were not a home, every letter enquires for little
part of my consciousness, I was forced Sonny..
to learn from other sources what oc- Naturally, and quickly, I saw the
curred. unfoldment from infancy to child-
:

THE CONFESSION OP A MADMAN 695

hood, then from childhood to boy- planned for Heney when he came
hood. I was thrilled when Heney home for his vacation. A mysterious
wrote that he had bought Sonnys visit had been made to a near-by
first suit of clothes
a velvet sailor town; a gold signet ring had been
suit with gold buttons. I, with his purchased; and on the evening of
young brother and sister, rushed Heney si home-coming, everything was
down the lane to meet him on his mo- ready for the celebration. A jolly lot
mentous visit. He carried a bundle, of villagers were assembled. After
and in it was my first suit of boys the presentation and the drinking of
clothes.
everybodys health, the fiddler start-
ed up, and young and old joined in
He played and romped with us;
the dance.
to mehe was the great big man of the
sea. On
every visit he spent all his One day, Heney and I paid a visit
time with us children. I being the to the old parish churchyard. sat We
smallest, he gave me the most atten- in front of an old moss-covered head-
tion. With childish awe I listened to stone, trying to decipher the sunken
his tales of the sea. Hand in hand letters. We.cleared away the moss
we would wander to the cliffs to view and dirt and discovered a verse.
the passing ships, and watch the Heney prompted me to copy it into
humble fishermen and sea birds.
my schoolbook I also memorized
every word. It read
I was never very robust, though
I was perfectly happy and knew noth- Here lies the remains of Hyrum May,
ing of pain or discomfort ;
this caused Who dug the graves from day to day;
them to be more thoughtful, loving At last he could not dig no more:
For want of breath he died for sure.
and kind.
At this point Tom stopped his nar- His work is finished and well done,
rative for a moment, then looked He liked his ale, and a little rum.
Hes done his best, his whole life through.
around the room and continued. Paid his debts, was honest and true.
Boys, I must cut my story short,
for it would take me a week to tell Then we visited my little broth-
you of the joys, hopes and desires of ers grave, which had not been neg-
those glorious ten years of my life, lected during the past years. I
experiencing again the throbs, im- turned to Heney and said, Heney,
pulses and inspirations of childhood. they have buried my little brothers
From the limitless depths of my sub- body in there. I pointed to the
conscious mind an idea would well grave. Where is he now? Heney
up, my objective mind would grasp it looked at me in surprize and shook
and put it into practise. I built a his head. I then looked him full in
ship that Heney thought was nothing the eyes and said with a smile on my
less than a marvel in detail. When I lips, In a little while, Daddy and
had finished it I rushed to my parents Mommy will put my body in there
crying, I did it! I did it! To my
too but I shall be somewhere else.
young and formative objective sense, Time and again, during my tenth
it was absolutely new and original, year as Sonny, I was dimly conscious
yet every thought expressed in this of my former stature as a man. To
piece of work was learned here in our my immature boyhood mind it ap-
own shipyards. I mention this as one peared to me as a state I would attain
of the thousand things I experienced to, not already realized. Some months
I can only touch upon a few. before my tenth birthday I was con-
When I was between nine and ten scious I should leave my parents and
years old, a birthday party was loving friends through the gateway

696 WEIRD TALES


called death yet death had no
itself 6
terrors. As the months passed, I
^OMBADES, Ive reached the end of
gradually become weaker, though I
my It took me eight
confession.
experienced no shadow of pain.
long yeare to make the discoveiy of
A shadowfell over the two homes my whereabouts during those ten
in the cottage, for I had ceased to years. For nine years the great se-
leave my
room. I sat the time away cret was locked in my bosom I dared :

in a large elbow chair. Within reach not make it known, even to my fam-
were my boats, and other things I ily, for they would surely think I was
prized. The widow and her children losing my reason again but the;

and my parents were present. I knowledge that I was never for a mo-
turned to Heney and said gently, ment insane filled me with an un-
Heney, please play your music, and speakable joy. The widow and her
sing me a song of the sea. Heney, al- '
young children, my parents and
most eholdng with grief, got his con- Heney, were ever bright and burn-
certina, Smiling through his tears ing in consciousness.
he sang the desired song. I saw a When I awoke to my surround-
spiritual halo cover my features and ings in the Bodmin asylum, I was in
the eyes take on additional light as a stupor of thought for some time
my boyish mind formed the powerful then my thoughts became normal. It
body of my former and pi'esent self
seemed as if I had awakened in the
morning following a night of .sleep
standing in thd room then I held out
that the night before I had fallen and
;

my hands to the figure of my imagi- struck my little girls chair and hurt
nation. They said good-night, then the
my head. When my wife said, Oh
cottage was wrapped in darkness. Tom it has been such a long wait I

!

My last birthday came a.s Sonny, it was simply all Latin to me. I did
and the hour of my departure was at not know but that she had been sleep-
hand. I saw myself on soft pillows; ing by my side as usual during the
I looked lovingly into the eyes of my preceding night.
dear ones. I looked lingeringly at my Where the cottage was located I
boats and ships, then my eyes wan- had no means of knowing. Then
dered to ray best piece of work the came the morning of my discoveiy of
ship and stand, set on a small table. I something sticking out of the Dune-
smiled and beckoned Heney to me I ;
bar. Under ordinary* conditions I
whispered to him, I did it
I did it ! !

would not have paid any particular
Heney took my frail body in his arms attention to it, but I was filled with a
and smiled on me through his tears,
burning curiosity I was impelled to
I closed my eyes, with one hand on go and examine that something stick-
my boats. Heney whispered to the
ing out of the sand. When I re-
others, Sonny is going on a long
moved the seaweed, as Ive already

cruise his little boat is going to
stated, I gave a gasp of pain, for
there stood revealed a mans arm
founder ' I felt too tired to open my
!

sticking out of the sand. On the in-


eyes, but I smiled and said, Dear
dex finger was a gold ring. For a
Heney shall not founder they are moment I was startled, for it looked
all waiting for me. Then I fell as if it was being offereid lue. Then I
asleep; my passed: my con-
spirit recognized its peculiarity, it being a
ciousness of another ten years of gold si^et ring. I hastily got my
childhood was sealed in my subcon- cockle-shovel from my boat and dug
scious mind. They called it death.* the body out. From some cause I
I

THE CONFESSION OF A MADMAN 697

know nothing about, the body was in of married and a mother)


thirty,
perfect condition. I got some water came in with her brother ( a fine, man-
and washed the sand and slime from ly boy of thirty-three years, now the
his face, then I stood up and looked sole support of his widowed mother).
the body over. Great God I ! I dared not tell thorn I was Sonny
thought my heart would burst, for I and their childhood companion.
was looking at my childhood friend, I enquired about the family next
my beloved Heneyl I fell almost dooi*. Together we went in to see
fainting to my knees by his side them. Thej were living in the mem-
wept like a child. ^ ory of their two beloved children.
When that Liverpool captain With pride they pointed to the life-
looked over the gunwale of his ship size crayon portrait of Sonny beau-
and saw the corpse in my boat and tifully framed on the wall. They
said, Ah, you big landlubber, so showed me his school books. Here I
thats what you do for a living, scrap- read again the epitaph of Hyrum
ing sand for dead bodies a low-down May, every woi'd of which I had long
!
bodysnatcher had we started to ago committed to memory. Whfin
fight, I am almost sure I should have they- pointed to Sonnys best piece of
killed him. work, a full-rigged ship, my heart
I relieved the parish of the fu- nearly overflowed. I murmured, I
neral expenses. Someone said it was did it ! I did it They were
!

one of my peculiar notions. The thankful that Sonny had come in an-
flowers on his grave are not allowed to swer to prayer and filled a void in
die. As all toow, my family and I their hearts for ten sweet years. I
visit the grave often. longed to tell them all, but my lips
Two years
after the burial of were sealed.
Heney, my boy visited the city of I hadto hasten my departure,
Truro. While there he bought an for,strong man though I am, emotion
album of pictures of the unique spots was tearing my heart apart. On my
of the Cornish coast and villages. In way home I visited the old church-
looking over it, I discovered a good yard. I sat in front of Hyrum Mays
picture of the straw-thatched cottage, headstone and pondered. The follow-
and underneath a description of its ing week they all visited Padstow and
location. It is less than seventy -five Heney s flower-kept grave.
miles from here, not far from Truro. During Tom s story, the silence was
The following week I started out so intense one could almost have
for a visit to the cottage. Great was heard a pin drop. Every eye was
my emotion, when the widow, now a fixed upon him. He stood up and
sweet old lady, opened the door in looked around into the eyes of his
answer to my knock. I spent one' listeners. His great figure seemed to
hour with her; it was taken up in fill and round out; his chest heaved

praising her children. Lingeringly with inward emotion and his eyes
she dwelt on Heney and his great love flashed with joy and inspiration. He
for Sonny. Heney s ship, she said, had said in thunderous tones:
been lost with all hands on board some Boys, he whom you have termed
two years before. the Grateful One, Avhom I rescued
When I told her of the finding from the death-jaws of the Points and
of his body, and presented her with Dunebar, is Heney s brother ^the
his signet ring, she bathed horny my widows only support, and Sonnys
hands with her tears. While she was childhood companion and playmate
yet speaking, her daughter (a woman while at the straw- thatched cottage.
The Derelict Mine
A Mystery Serial
By FRANK A. MOCHNANT
The Story So Far Several of the men involuntarily drew
AMES GERALDTON, whose father is manager of a back into the room.
J mine in the heart of Australia, has an uncle
reported drowned in the sinking of the Titanic- I stooped with the idea of assisting
The uncles death brings prosperity to the family.
James goes to technical school, and is completing him back into the capacious chair
his course at the mine.
The lode in the old mine peters out, the mine is
from which he had evidently fallen,
abandoned and landslips completely close it up. and he said with a sort of gasp or sob
But strange clouds, with an odor as from a zinc
plant, are seen over the old mine by superstitious after each word, He stood there just
miners. Phantom whisperings are heard, and the as though he had been alive.
mine gets the reputation of being haunted. Then
in the fading light of a winter afternoon a group At least four voices blended in an
of miners is terrified by seeing a form which
glides into the ruins and disappears. awe-struck exclamation of the single
word, Ghost.
5 The old clerk shuddered and sank
HAD been on afternoon shift, back into his former position. One
and a few minutes past midnight of the men placed a thick coat under
I had left the cage and was strid- his head and he began to breathe
heavily. He had fallen into a natural
ing out for home, when I became
aware of agitated voices. I turned but exhausted sleep.
my head and saw dim shadows mov- I rang up the nearest cab proprie-
ing to and fro in the vicinity of my tor and requested that a conveyance
fathers office. With a vague sense be sent immediately. Then I turned
of uneasiness I approached the door, again to the men, all of whom still
and first one and then another of a lingered in the office. I hoped to get
scared-looking group made way for a little light on the extraordinary
me. My fathers old clerk lay mo- turn of events that had been responsi-
tionless on the floor. A glance, how- ble for our assembling at all at that
ever, satisfied me that he was not hour and under such strange circum-
dead. Indeed, almost as I entered he stances. They were stout-hearted
began to come round. But he did not fellows, but were utterly dazed. All
recover completely, and terror was they could tell me was that they had
stamped on his waking features. heard a piercing scream from the di-
Suddenly he cried out, What did rection of the room, and had rushed
he come to me for? What did he from different parts of the surface
come to me for? Then he began to works. In fact, like myself they were
rave incoherently. In his delirium just at the end of their shift. One or
fragments of his own concerns became two others on their way to work had
inextricably entangled with ofiSee stopped for a minute or two to see
matters. Full consciousness appeared what was occurring, but could not re-
to return for a moment only, and in main. Several of the men had arrived
that instant he threw himself up in a at the office together only to find Sad-
sitting posture, and with an expres- ler alone and insensible, as I had seen
sion as of concentrated horror peered him, and not in the more natural
past us all toward the open doorway. sleep in which he lay now.
698
THE DERELICT fflNE 699

I glanced over the table to see what again. In consequence of these rumors
had kept the clerk so late and found I went to dig out a plan of the old
that he had been engaged in corre- mine, but it, with the other document,
spondence and other matters that had v/as gone. It was my private safe
accumulated through the absence of and I alone have a key.
one of our juniors who was down with Anything else missing?
typhoid.
Nothing. Even fifty gold sov-
Then came the rumble of wheels, ereigns in the same drawer were left
and one of the men and I conveyed intact. In the whole safe there was
the still sleeping Sadler safely to his nothing to indicate that it had been
home. Itwas with a feeling of im- disturbed.
mense relief that I handed him over When could the papers haVe been
to the care of his capable housekeeper,
stolen?

INCE my search over the old mine Sometime in the last fortnight,
S premises I had been on better
saidmy father promptly. It is just
about two weeks since I opened the
terms with my father, and so over the
drawer and slipped in some gold. I
breakfast table in the morning I re-
recounted the coins at the time, and
lated the seizure that had taken his
I distinctly remember seeing the
clerk. I rose really for the purpose,
papers.
for though I was changing shift that
Its curious, the sovereigns not
day and would not be due at the
being touched, I mused, for any-
mines till the following morping I
one nowadays might be tempted to
should certainly not, after night shift,
pick up a sovereign as a sort of curio.
have risen till close upon lunch time.
However did you manage to collect
It was then I learned that my fifty?
father had been aware of the ghost My father did not heed my query,
rumors. but went on meditatively, taking his
These absurd ghost stories must cue from the first part of my remark.
have affected him, said he. What Yes, it is strange. I could almost
do you make of them j'ourself wish that the coins had gone too. The
There was a trace of anxiety in his funny part is that the plans can be of
voice. I was startled, no use to anybody, and the document,
There is anything but a ghost at except under the impossible circum-
the bottom of it, I replied decisively. stances Ive hinted, might as w'ell be
No, I am afraid it is not a ghost, destroyed. Indeed, Ive intended to
he agreed cryptically. do so.
You are afraid not? Then I expressed the question that
I suppose I looked my astonish- had been clamoring in my head for
ment. My father seemed uneasy, al- some minutes : What would the cir-
most worried, as he answered, Sad- cumstances be?
lers spectral friend paid a former My father laughed uneasily as he
visit to the office and possessed him- replied,Well then, if the only uncle
self of a document which, under you ever had should happen to revisit
very peculiar circumstances certain- the glimpses of the moon, which is,
ly, would spell blue ruin for the lot as Euclid would have it, absurd, see-
of us. ing that he went down with the Ti-
My father paused, and then contin- tanic.
ued reflectively as if communing with Have you informed the police?
himself, It was only by chance that I asked. .

I discovered the loss. The safe had Better not. The thief will find
been opened and carefully locked the document worthless and destroy
700 WEIRD TALES
it, as no doubt he has done before a few minutes. Then with a certain
this. feeling of depression which such
My father seemed to have regained scenes inevitably inspire I passed out
hiscomposure and was calmly smok- into the passage, followed by the
ing his pipe over afinal* cup of coffee housekeeper.
when my mother came in with a gay Poor old chap! said I. He
Excuse me, gentlemen; Im late this must have had a shock. Did he not
morning as usual. come to himself at all, Mrs. Hodson?
Then came in Martha with my He was conscious for awhile this
mothers steaming porridge, and we morning, when he insisted on sending
conversed on general topics. Then, if
I still remember the sequence of plied the woman.

for Mr. Geraldton your father, re-
He is all right
events on that particular morning, now, sir, I hope? she added with
the telephone bell rang. My father seeming irrelevance.
stretched round and caught up a port-
All right? Who? I demanded,
able receiver which rested on a side-
startled.
board.
Hello.
Mr. Geraldton, you know.
t( 99 My father? And in look and
Yes, Mr. Geraldton speaking. tone I must have exhausted all the
ti 99 interrogatives.

What! Dying, you say? Non- Yes, he went in to see Sadler, and
sense 1 Ill come at once. after amoment closed the door, and
Click, the receiver was replaced on itwas half an hour by the clock be-
the instrument, and the whole re- fore hecame out, and when he did he
turned to the sideboard, and my was white as a sheet, and dazed-like.
father stood pale and erect. He spoke I spoke to him, but he did not answer.
with evidence of a strain. Then he put his hand to his head
Poor old Sadlers dying. I am and stumbled toward the front door.
going round now on my way to the I asked him was he ill, but he never
office. seemed to see me, and presently flung
After he had gpne I tumbled back open the door and walked swiftly
into bed and slept till well past noon, into the street. He looked ai^fully
when I dressed, lunched, and set off bad, though. I went back to Sadler,
for Myrtles. but he was dozing off and has not
Slightly out of my way, however, spoken since.
was Sadlers cottage, and as I neared A
few more words with Mrs. Hod-
his street I determined to call and at son, and I was walking reflectively on
least inquire concerning him. His my way. The womans reference to
housekeeper admitted me. She had my father made me uneasy. I de-
always been somewhat solemn in ap- bated within myself for a moment
pearance, but now her whole bearing whether I should return home and
reflected the hopelessness of poor Sad- await his arrival at the evening meal,
lers case. but I concluded that had my father
Hes going fast, was her greet- been seriously ill we should have been
ing. informed of it. It was natural, I
She led the way into the sick man s argued, that the pater should feel the
room, and as my eyes fell upon the passing of a trusted servant of half
bed I saw that the body of the aged a lifetime. Yet for the remainder of
clerk was already sinking into its last the day I fell into fits of abstraction
sleep. I walked round the bed and from which Myrtle more than once
gazed down at the comatose form for laughingly aroused me.
THE DERELICT MINE 701

T WAS not a voice exactly, yet some- mad myself. "With a desperate and
I thing within me seemed to press sudden movement I swept my left
the query, Does a trouble of that hand across my chest and seized the
sort, tragic enough but more or less wrist that moved above it, and. cried
outside, make people turn suddenly in amazement, Father!
ill? Especially people of my fathers In a second the figure was helping
character? Was there possibly a sub- me to my feet, and it was saying,
tler cause for his unwonted display Jim! You? How deuced thin
of feeling? youve grown! Whatever are you
It was 10:30 or thereabouts, and I doing here? Oh, Myrtle, of course.
was striding home under a setting And even at that astounding moment
moon. It may have been that my I could not fail to notice a certain
nerves were not quite up to their bitterness in his tone.
standard. Perhaps the events of the But whatever is the trouble? I
past few weeks had affected me de- urged.
spite myself. Certain it was that I We could scarcely see each other
felt for the first time a vague sense
in the almost negligible light of the
of creepiness as I stepped across the stars, but we moved as by a common
old mine precincts.
impulse to the heap of timbers, and
I observed as I had not done before my father replied in a peculiarly hol-
how grotesque the ruins appeared in low voice, The impossible has hap-
the light of the early but now western pened. Your uncle has returned and
moon. Long shadows trailed in weird is living somewhere on this mine.
shapes behind things. I was reflect- Old Sadler saw him at the office last
ing that a dark night would be pref- night.
erable, when at the moment a heavy
But Sadler may have had an illu-

cloud slid over the diminishing disk. sion or something.


The sudden and prevailing gloom So I thought, and so I hoped, but


synchronizing with my thought gave I sa\^him myself and followed him
me a queer start. Everjdhing now here not an hour ago, said my father
seemed dull and indefinite, and I was emphatically.
nearing the timbers which were still Suddenly he caught me by the arm
stacked by the pathway. Then I again in a grip hardly less fierce than
heard a sound from a little distance the last, and whispered in a sort of
in front of me as of a twig broken awed and suppressed excitement,
by a step. A figure darted from Look!
the neighborhood of the timber and I turned, and there below us was
rushed upon me with terrifying vio- the light I had seen weeks before.
lence. Before I could recover from My father then moved cautiously in
my astonishment I was borne heavily its direction.
to the ground. A hand gripped my Its no good. Father, it would
throat, and another my right arm as vanish before we could reach it.
in a vise. A knee was pressed against However, nothing would satisfy
my stomach. I believed that I was at him but to crawl down the slope and
the mercy of a dangerous maniac and pry among the rains, as I had done,
gave myself up for lost. after that elusive light, and it disap-
You infernal scoundrel, where is peared when we were within a few
that receipt? feet of it, but this time peal on peal
As these words vibrated through of blood-curdling and mocking laugh-
my ears in familiar tones which even ter rang out all aroxind us. I felt my
intense rage could not disguise, I cheek blanch. IMy father tore wildly
thought for a moment that I had gone about, and stumbled now over this
702 WEIRD TALES
piece of debris, now over that, in a Deuced strain running a big concern
frenzy of petulance and anger. It like that, you know.
was long past midnight before he Then, as much as anything to pre-
calmed down a little, and we walked vent her from pressing me further, I
home together. blurted out what I had been trying
As we neared our gate he said, to make up my mind to say for
Its war to the death between him months.
and me, my boy, and in this particu- Say, Mother, why dont you eaU
lar war game he has all the guns.
on Mrs. Clysdale? It is absurd, my
Whatever is it all about? being engaged to Myrtle and your
Youll know all too soon, boy, but not receiving her properly. The pa-
he is an unscrupulous scoundrel, and ter wont have her here, and you
it is ruin, for me if I do not let the never call.
company in.
It is certainly ab.surd your being
Then he squared his shoulders and
engaged to Myrtle, said my mother,
threw his head back and snapped out,
and a faint flush crept over her face.
So you see its ruin. This was a kind of .smartness I had
I was somehow vaguely proud of
not formerly observed in her.
him at that moment. The next we
turned in. Now look here, Slother, what is
this mystery surrounding Myrtle ?
6 Why cant you call on her mother?
Again this peculiar smartness, and
my
F rom that time
covered his wonted buoyancy.
father never re-
it was startling.

Because she has been dead eight-


Within the next few weeks he was
een years.
liimself looking not unlike a ghost,
lie certainly was only the ghost of his But the moment the words were
former self, and his eyes wore a wild, out, my mother looked confused, and,
liaunted expression. I believe, almost literally bit her
My mother did not at first appear tongue. She had obviously been
to notiee it, but one morning at break-
tempted to say more than she in-
fast she exclaimed, Why, Harry, tended.
what have you been doing to your- I considered a moment, then ejacu-
self? You look positively ill. lated, Eighteen years ago! Then
My father merely laughed, but Myrtle was only two?
alas it ! was but a ghost of his robust My mother nodded assent.
laugh. Who is Ml'S. Clysdale?
What is the matter with you? An old widow nurse who adopted

my mother persisted. her.


Oh, I am just run down a bit, My head swam, but I shot out one
he answered wearily. The new more question.
clerk has not got into things yet.


Who isher father ?

^ly mother seemed reassured, but Her father? Why Then


an evening or so later when we were desperately, Oh, hes dead, too.
alone she said, What can be the mat- I paced the room for a few minutes
ter with your father? Is anything and I saiv that my mother was look-
wrong at the mine? ing pale and seared. At last I said
I am no actor, and I fear that my as quietly^ as I could, Does Myrtle
answer was not quite free from trace know about this amiable arrange-
of ray own anxiety. ment?
Oh, no, everything is tip-top, I My mother hardly more than whis-
said. He will be all right directly. pered, No.
THE DERELICT MINE 703

What is Myrtles real name, any- Before could I'eply I heard the
I
way? replacing of the I'eceiver at the other
But my mother just repeated, end of the Avire.
Real name? and then came a half As I moved away from the instru-
hysterical cry: Oh! And she left ment my mother met me at the door
the room weeping, and I was not able with a nerAous, anxious expression on
again to get her to speak of Myrtle. her face.
I went about that day in a sort of Anything the matter? .

bad dream. I could only infer one Oh, no. I am AA-anted at the
thing from my mothers attitude; that mine.
Myrtle was a nameless Avaif. The It AAms Father ringing up. Was
revelation obsessed and haunted me. he all right?
I had inherited rigid ideas, but that Of course hes all right, Mother.
evening as I dressed, I muttered to I donned my greatcoat and AAent
myself, What of it? Myrtle is Myr- out. I was puzzled, nevertheless, for
tle anyway. the Cross Roads AA'ere some distance
From that time my affection for from the tOAA-n. It nlay have been the
her was more ardent than ever. dismal night that affected me, hut I
had not reached the gate before I
M
re-
y father was breaking up. He turned for my heaA'y stick. It oc-
aged \isibly in a few weeks, curred to me that my father would
and now spent most of his evenings propose another visit to the old mine-
alone in his office. His nerves seemed field, which lay not far beyond our
shattered, and I began to entertain appointed rendezvous. I walked
grave fears concerning the issue. briskly and was soon in the vicinity
had just finished tea one evening.
I
of our OAAUi mine, Avhich I had to pass.
It had been a depressing meal. My Then, happening to glance up I saw
that the light in my fathers office
mother and I had exchanged but
had not been switched off, and I con-
feAv words, in a detached way. I have
cluded that he had not yet started to
often Avondered since Avhether we may
meet me. I determined, therefore, to
each have had a sense of impending
make the slight detour that AA'Ould
disaster. I drew up a big chair for
probably save me from a long Avait
my mother before a belated October in the damp and cold.
fire. It was not onl}' a cold night, but When I reached the office I found
it Avas inclined to rain. My mother the door locked, and was about to
sat Avith some fancy work in her lap, hurry oft, supposing that my father
and I Avas standing for a moment on had left and that I might overtake
the hearth finishing a cigarette when him, but the thought hashed into my
the telephone bell rang at the instni- mind that it was a strange thing he
ment in my fathers study. My had not switched off the light. This
mother started as from a reveiy and made me go round to the window at
I strode across to the receiver. It the side and peer in. My father was
was a direct line to the office. sitting at his table, but in a posture
It was a brief conversation and ran that held me horror-stricken. His
left arm hung doAAUi at the side of the
thus:
chair. The other, with a clenched
That you, Jim?
fist, Avas stretched oA'er the table, and
Hello, Father. Yes. his head was drooping on his bi;east.
Meet me doAvu at the Cross Roads Mechanically, or, perhaps, in forlorn
at once. Better not say anything hope, I tapped on the pane, but the
about it. figure in the chair did not stir. Then
704 WEIRD TALES
my eye was arrested by something on The man disappeared in the dark-
the table just beyond his clenched ness, and within ten minutes Lane
right hand. It was in appearance arrived at the office. I merely mo-
but a glass beaker about a quarter tioned toward my fathers body. For
full of water, yet it sent a sort of a second or so I could not speak, but
clairvoyant chill through my already as Lane seemed about to approach the
frozen blood, and I determined to get silent form I managed to say, Bet-
into the room without raising the ter not touch anything. Lane.
alarm. . With but little difficulty I
opened the window, and passing
The man stood looking down at my
father, consternation written large on
quickly through closed it again on the
every feature. Then in a choking
inside and pulled down the blind.
voice he blurted out, Anything to
My father was dead, but merely do with the old mine, sir?
placing my hand for a moment over
his heart I turned again, my own
I am afraid so. Lane, I replied
solemnly. Then with a feeling of de-
pounding within me, with desperate
fiance I could not myself quite under-
resolve. A finger which I plunged
stand I added, It is the beginning of
into the beaker I placed immediately
the end of it.
upon my tongue, and myinstinctive
fear of a few moments before was Did the ghost come again, sir?
confirmed.* But for a later and more And his teeth chattered.
certain proof I took a test-tube from I do not know. Lane. I do not
a pigeonhole and obtained some of the think so, but we must wait and see
liquid from the beaker. Then cau- what Dr. Harris says.
tiously I opened the door and tossed Dalton, who had left the engine
the remaining contents of the vessel room before my messenger returned
away, and having rinsed it, half filled there to seek him, came in now almost
it from a tap outside the office, and immediately, and I told him how I
replaced it upon the table. I rang had discovered my father lifeless in
up Dr. Harris, whom I knew my his chair. Dalton was our electrical
father had visited occasionally both engineer. He
bent over the lifeless
in a professional and private capac- form, then came toward me, all sym-
ity. I told the doctor briefly what pathy.
had occurred, and he undertook to This is a terrible blow for you,
bring the sergeant of police with him. Mr. Geraldton, and will be for the
This saved me the necessity of com- whole mine, and indeed the town.
municating with the station myself. Your father was popular all round,
I then went to the door of the office
but he has been ill for some time.
and hailed a man who happened to be Several of us have noticed it. What-
passing on some errand. ever could it have been ? And again

Is Mr. Dalton about? I in- he moved toward the body in its


quired. chair, and I noticed that he glanced
Saw him just now in the engine at the beaker. I noticed, further, that
room. Something is up with the big he paled, and cast a furtive glance at
dynamo. me and remained silent.
Is Foreman Lane on shift?
Yes.
Well, if you come across Lane tell
him he is wanted at the office, and
T he headlamps of a motor flashed
down the road approaching the
mine, and presently the car pulled up
just slip back and tell Mr. Dalton that below us, and in a few minutes two
Mr. Geraldton would like to see him, figures moved across the field of one
will you? of our outer lights. As they neared
THE DERELICT MINE 705

the office I advanced a pace or two to east for a perceptible second upon the
meet them. beaker as he entered the room, nei-
Good evening, Doctor. Good eve- ther he nor Lane had given the
ning, Sergeant, I said in a voice as slightest token of suspicion, but Dal-
steady as I could command. tons face was a shade more serious,

The sergeant,a tall, keen but


and his manner never so courteous as
man who had been associated he touched the sergeant on the arm
genial
with my father in the local bowling
and turning his head .slightly toward
club, nodded gravely to Dalton and
my poor father said quietly, Shall
Lane, and almost simultaneously ad-
we get him home before shift

dressed me in terms of quite unoffi-


changes ? Lane can fetch a stretcher.
cial sj^mpathy. The sergeant had been a trifle un-
Dr. Harris tells me that Mr. Ger- nerved, and assented mechanically,
aldton has been under him for some and Lane was off like a shot.
time, but this is fearfully sudden and The water in the beaker was re-
most distressing for you. tained by the officer for analysis and
For several minutes he and the doc- its innocent nature 'proved, but I am
tor examined the body and I watched convinced that but for the diversion
them anxiously. caused by my momentary weakness a
He must have been dead for some post-mortem had been demanded. As
hours, exclaimed the officer sud- it was. Dr. Harris report of death

denly. due to heart failure was accepted. I


Three at least, assented the doc- have wondered if the doctor contin-
tor solemnly. ued to suspect anything despite the
Hours! I cried. Three hours! analysis of the contents of the beaker.
Why And I reeled, almost I do not know, but I myself analyzed
fainting, against the table. the solution that I had kept back in
Then in the blind instinct of pi^s- the test-tube, and I know that my
ervation I did what I had never been father was found dead in the first in-
actor enough to have done in cool rea- stance with a beaker that contained
son, and lam
convinced that I there- potassium cyanide at his hand. I h i J
by prevented a post-mortem on my purposely left the water on my fath-
fathers body and the untimely rev- ers table, hoping that it would di-
elation of a blot on the family vert attention from the body and
escutcheon. I seized the beaker and claim an immediate examination. It
drank a couple of mouthfuls of the occurred to me that the discovery of
contents, and as it revived me I saw the innocuous nature of the most ob-
instantly that my action had a pecu- viously suspicious fluid w'ould lead
liar effect upon my companions. The the official mind away from the idea
sergeant sprang forward, but too late of suicide, and thus an autopsy,
to j)revent my svrallowiiig the water. v.'hich would have been almost certain
The doctor paled for a moment, but had the body been the single object
I felt somehow that he was making of interest, might not be demanded.
determined effort to keep his manner
under control. He darted many fur- JN REGARD to the days immediately
tive and anxious glances in my direc- have little to record.
.succeeding, I
tion, however, and it was not till some They were days naturally dark un-
minutes later, and I had recovered der the pall of death, but for me they
completely from my fainting turn, were days, toO, intense with forebod-
that I noticed an expression of relief ing, and, indeed, as the sequel will
pass over his face, With the excep- show, they were soon to be eclipsed
tion of the curious glance that Dalton by horror upon horror.

706 WEIRD TALES


The shock of my fathers death, de- of an earlysummer breeze, was a tele-
spite all I could do, had an alarm- gram from Myrtle. She and my moth-
ing effect upon my mother, and for er had arrived safely at their destina-
awhile I feared for her reason. After tion and my mother had stood the
the funeral, however, I managed to journey well.
persuade her to leave the district for I sank back in my chair and gave
an indefinite period of rest. I ar- myself up to reflection. I had that
ranged by wire for apartments at a afternoon arranged to lease a cottage
seaside resort near Sydney. It en- where I considered that with Martha
tailed a long railway journey, and it as housekeeper I should be comfort-
was necessary that she should have a able enough tiU my marriage, which
companion. To my astonishment she I hoped would take place within the
asked for Myrtle, and it was settled year. Mycourse was all but com-
that Myrtle should accompany her. pleted. My mother would, I knew,
My fathers affairs were in a pecu- never return permanently to the dis-
liar condition. His private account trict.
at the bank was something less than
Presently old Toby, a favorite black
a hundred pounds, and barely more cat of my fathers, brushed several
than sufficient to meet current liabili- times against my leg, then sprang
ties. He held war bonds, however, to upon my I stroked the sleek
knees.
the extent of five hundred pounds.
body, and the animal settled down
His will was simple. It made every- against my waistcoat, and its deep
thing over to my mother and appoint-
purr gradually grew fainter till the
ed me her executor. The furniture low roar of the mines in the nearer
was already in her name. The house distance was the only sound percepti-
belonged to the company, and when
ble.I became deeply engrossed in my
my mother left I had a week in which gloomy meditation. I began to link
to vacate. The one thing that re- into a chain the peculiar incidents of
lieved the financial position for my
the last few months, till the sense of
mother was the fact that he had a mystery became oppressive, and a
fully paid-up life insurance policy
nameless dread of some intangible evil
for five thousand pounds. It had been
grew upon me. At last my mind re-
an odd position for a reputedly verted to the evening of the tragedy. I
wealthy man. I learned, too, from his
remembered it was exactly a fortnight
financial agent and. intimate friend,
Mr. Finlayson, that he had within
back. My mind had been absorbed
by matters of pressing moment, but
the last few months realized on es-
now I was free to think, or rather, it
tates and shares valued at more than
seemed, compelled to think. Then
seventy-five thousand pounds. Fin-
came back to me the scene in the
layson stated that my father had
office, and the sergeants voice came
seemed fearfully worried, but had let
again clear in my memory He must

:

drop no hint concerning the use to


have been dead several hours, and
which he was putting so vast a sum. Three at
the doctor: least.

7 Something of the uncanny sensa-


tion thatcame over me then recurred
T WAS the second evening after the now. Dead hours, when but minutes
I departure of my mother and Myr- before he had spoken to me over the
tle that I sat alone on the front telephone demanding that I should
veranda of my old home. On a small meet him at the Cross Roads! What
table at my side, and kept by the could he have intended to do ? What
weight of my tobacco pouch from made them think that he had been
blowing away in the occasional puffs dead so long? Of course, they must
!

THE DERELICT MINE 707

have been mistaken. My nerves had my feet. The telephone bell had
certainly undergone a great strain, rang! was only a momentary vi-
It
but a thought was beginning to haunt bration, but unmistakable, and my
me. Could he have spoken after fathers office had been locked up
deatTi? And however irrelevant it since the day following the tragedy!
may appear, I kept reminding myself I could feel my heart beating vio-
that the study telephone was connect-
lently as I clutched my chair. Then
ed directly with the office. Perhaps
the bell rang long and loud. I dashed
vaguely I felt that it would be incom-
into the house and into the room, and
patible with the nature of a spirit to
seized the receiver almost at the mo-
call up Exchange . Firmly I refused

to consider the spirit hypothesis.


ment that the bell ceased ringing.
But, persisted an idea in my Hello. I hardly recognized my
brain, Harris and Sergeant Wil- own voice, and my lips were parched.
liams with their technical experience That you, Jim? Meet me at the
could not make such an error concern- Cross Roads at once. It was my
ing the time that had elapsed since fathers voice to the last tone.
death. He must have been dead when Who the ! began witli a
the ring came. Then, I avowed desperate effort at self-mastery, but
within myself, it was someone else even at the moment I could hear the
who spoke. But with the thought receiver being replaced at the other
I gripped the arms of my chair, for end of the wire.
a new significance flashed upon me I stood for a few seconds in a state
with paralyzing effect. If that mes- of feverish excitement, and irresolute.
sage came from anyone else it must Then I came to a sudden resolve to
have been transmitted at my fathers followup what promised to bo a clue.
telephone with the corpse at the very Merely waiting in my own room to
elbow of the speaker load a revolver which I slipped into
I was stunned with the full force mj" pocket, I hurried off straight for
of this inference, and it may have the office. On arrival I found it dark
been the next moment or it may have and secured as I had last seen it.
been half an hour later, but I was Snatching a bunch of keys from my
suddenly aroused by the strange be- pocket I flung the door open and
havior of the cat, which till that mo- switched on the light, but could find
ment had been sleeping pbaeefully. not the slightest trace of a recent en-
He sprang on all fours upon my Imee, trant. I did not rvaste much time,
his back arched and his hair bristling however, and having switched off the
to the tip of his tail, and his eyes, light, I withdrew and locked the door
wide and staring, glowed in the elec- again.
tric light. I thought for a moment that T was slipping my keys aw'ay when
a strange dog might have wandered a hiuly figure sprang out of the dark-
into the garden, but I noted that his ness and giowled, AVhat are you
head was not turned to the garden. after ? Then as I looked up the man

He rather peered over my shoulder recognized me in the dim light and


as if trying to discern something the Aoicc became apologetic. Oh, I
through the window at my back. It beg your pardon, sir, but there was a
was the window of the room that had fellow fumbling at that door not
been my fathers study! three minutes ago, and Avhen I went
Whats up, Toby, old chap? T up to hirfi he made off. I tried to
said, a little nervously, I fear, hut overtake him, and ju.st as I came back
he only snarled. Then he went fly- I saw you and thought he must have
ing across the veranda as I sprang to doubled round somehow.
a

708 WEIRD TALES


The man had a coil of wire and one road. I entered the shack and fotmd
or two small tools in his hand, and the old mart leaning against a rough
had evidently been working in the table, upon which he had already
vicinity. I assured him that it was placed the lantern. He was muffled
all right and hurried along to the up about the throat as I had always
main road again. So someone had seen him, and he had on a broad-
been in the office, I reflected some- brimmed slouch hat. He wore, too,
one with a duplicate Yale key. lai*ge tinted glasses,' as was also his
custom. In addition he had a thick

A neared the Cross Roads I saw


s I
a somewhat tall figure ahead of
beard, so little of his face was dis-
cernible. He was obviously out of
me. The head turned slightly at my breath, and signed for me to wait a
footsteps, and a voice, the facsimile moment before he could speak. I took
of my late fathers, called out, Here the opportunity of looking round the
you Cornel And the figure
are. dugout. It was just such a compart-
moved forward with a quick swinging ment as one would expect. The con-
stride. tents were simple but sufficient. Be-
I would have run to catch up with sides the table were several cooking
it, but a couple of men were coming utensils, a stretcher bed, and a cool
up the road toward the township, and safe knocked up from a packing case
I did not want to arrest their atten- and some bagging. In the fireplace
tion. By the time they had passed, was a portable oven.
the figure was out of sight, but I could I had entertained no delusion from
hear the steps ahead and I walked my setting out. The similarity of the
rapidly on. Presently the voice came voice to my fathers could be ex-
through the darkness, apparently plained only on, the supposition that
some hundred yards or so on. my left, it was my uncle who had spoken. Yet
and at almost right angles to the though I had no means of knowing
road: This way. anything of my uncles appearance
I did not hesitate, but made the I could not, somehow, reconcile what
best of iny way over the uneven I was able to see of the apparently
ground, blundering now and then weak and utterly undistinctive face
into a stunted shrub of salt bush. I before me with the extraordinary per-
had gone only some three hundred sonality and evil genius of the man
yards when I saw the dim outline of who had been my fathers lifelong
a ridge which I knew to be in the vi- persecutor. Several who had seen the
cinity, and almost immediately a ghost on the mine had stated that
faint light shone through a doorway the face itself was terrifying in the
of a sort of dugout or humpy not extreme, but, of course, they might
two chains in front of me. I soon dis- have imagined anything. Then I
covered that the light was from a hur- realized how little of the features be-
ricane lantern held by my strange fore me were actually perceptible,
guide, who on my approach merely and I became convinced that the muf-
said, Here, and disappeared with- fler and hat, to say nothing of the
in the room. glasses, were worn with the purpose
J knew the place well enough of concealment. It was just dawning
humpy occupied by an old-age pen- upon me that the head was unusually
sioner whom I had seen often, though large, when the figure spoke. Ah, the
casually, and who lived inoffensively voice again!
here on the outskirt of the township. Now are you prepared to come
The ruins of the old mine were half with me down the old mine ?That is
a mile farther on and across the main the question.
THE DERELICT MINE 709

The old mine! I gasped. Why, The descent was not formidable,
how? What for? and I calculated that we had gone
The feud between your father down about fifty feet when we came
and me is at an end, and as the casus to a big drive. Wepassed along this
helli took place befoie yoix were born at a rapid pace. Only here and there
I bear you no malice, so we can begin did we have to pick our way around
square. Anyway, I want the services fallen rock. The light shone, too,
of a member of the family, and a upon a narrow beaten track along
man of nerve. the hard floor of this subterranean
Wliat do you know of my nerve? tunnel.
I put the question mechanically. We had been going hardly twenty
He laughed. It was a low, gur- minutes before we entered a rough-
gling, unpleasant laugh, but he an- liewn chamber. I took a swift glance
swered. There aie other reasons around. It was evidently a natural
why it should be you, but you will cavern, but the walls had been
need your nerve. trimmed considerably. I almost foi^ot
He went to the back wall of the my avuncular guide, who had paused
room and removed two of the vertical and was now slightly behind me. I
timbers with the greatest ease. If was just summing up the contents
there were one portion of the com- of the vault a couple of stretcher
partm,ent which would appear freer beds, a large counter or laboratory
from secret openings than another it table, an ancient pendulum clock near
would surely have been this, for the the
wall at my right when our
center of the wall wheie these tim- merged shadows, which fell gro-
bers had been placed curved slightly tesquely on the left wall a little in
inward as if under pressure from the front of me, suddenly leaped to the
earth behind it. Yet the removal re- wall and portion of the ceiling at the
vealed a dark passage of some kind far end of the cavern, and as sud-
down which for a foot or so the feeble denly ceased to exist, for in an instant
light of the lantern found its way. the light of the lantern had been put
Seizing the lantern mj^ uncle (the out and the whole place surrendered
voice precluded all doubt of his iden- to the dense black of underground.
tity) stepped through the aperture Then before I had time to collect my
and said, Better come; it will pay. senses a metallic ciash behind me re-
I followed, and he adroitly re- verberated throxrgh the chamber, and
placed the timbers. They were hard- I turned helplessly in the darkness.
ly more than bark for thickness and In the few seconds of ominous silence
weight. He then went ahead of me that ensued I began to entertain the
and almost immediately we were de- terrible suspicion that my eccentric
scending a series of rough wooden relative had trapped and deserted me,
steps of gradual slope. but presently I heaid stealthy move-
To some it might appear strange ments rvithin the room itself. Strain-
that I would venture in this manner ing every nerve to catch the slightest
into the bowels of the earth, so lest sound I stood as probably only few
I -should appear abnormally fool- could stand in such all but absolute
hardy, or abnormally courageous, I dark. Then without the slightest
should point out that I had been born warning and in a blinding flash the
and bred among mines, and as a boy whole cavern was flooded with light.
had often climbed down some old and For a pei'ceptible fraction of a min-
disused and oblique shaft such as this. ute my uncle stood on the farther side
I was really as much at home under- of the counter-table with his fingers
ground as upon the surface. upon a switch and his back toward
710 WEIKD TALES
me. The switch was one of a num- As a boy of ten I once went with
bei* on a board attached to the wall at my mother to visit a house in a town
my right as we entered. Rather some miles away. While my mother
nearer to me, though still at my right, and a prim woman were talking in a
was the clock I had already noted. reception room my eyes wandered
In a vague way I had heard the tick- around from picture to cabinet, from
ing of this old timepiece, but now that vase to window, as was natural
I was no longer intent upon other enough, but presently they kept re-
sounds that I conceived might mean turning to a photograph that rested
life or death in the darkness, I ob- on the mantelshelf. There seemed to
served for the first time how unusual- be something peculiar about it even
ly pronounced was this sound that so across the room. Something in the
unerringly registered the swinging of pose arrested my attention. At last
the pendulum. At the moment aston- walked over to the fire-
I deliberately
ishment seemed to eclipse for me placeand gazed into the eyes of the
every other emotion, and still the old photograph and was instantly precip-
man with his back toward me had his itated into a sort of paralysis similar
finger raised upon the switch he had to that which I had just experienced.
just operated. I am convinced that As a matter of fact I all but collapsed
he maintained this tableauesque pos- upon that former occasion, and reeled
ture merely to enable me to accustom across the room and was in such ob-
my eyes to the glare so that he might vious terror that my
mother led me
have the full advantage of the dra- out of the house, and for months and
matic effect of the next moment, for even years I had a dread of meeting
suddenly he turned round and faced the original of the photograph. Know-
me. ing all I do now I regard this terror
in a large measure as hereditary, nev-
T Tntil that moment I had been ertheless the face of the photograph
^ prone to smile at Horatios ap- was subtly hideous, especially the
The whites showed clean round
prehension, in Hamlet, that a form eyes.
could be so horrible it might deprive the irises, which through the extreme

of reason and draw into madness, dilation of the pupils were reduced
but I doubt if I-could go through such to ghastly rings of film. My mother
a moment again and recover my men- on the way home told me to forget all
tal balance. I say recover, for cer- about it, as it was the likeness of a
tainly during a period of intermi-
bad man.
nable seconds I was deprived of rea- And now after a decade I found
son by the very horror of the face myself confronted with this same dia-
that confronted me. About this face bolical personality a little more devil-
was something inexpressibly sinister. ish in the original than in the photo-
I venture to affirm that it would have graph that had so strangely affected
been sufficient to strike loathing, if me. After a period indefinite and
not terror, into anybody, but by the eternal as a nightmare, and forget-
association of ideas it plunged me ting that I had already been assured
into a kind of mental paralysis. I within myself concerning his identity,
had seen it somewhere before. I be- I mutter^ feebly and mechanically,
lieve I swooned. I am not sure, but My uncle!
after awhile memory began to oper- The gaunt enigma grinned sardon-
ate. With my eyes riveted upon the icallyand intoned, Your prophetic
unspeakable horror that stood motion- soul,your uncle.
less at the other side of the table, I It occurred to me that I was in the
remembered. hands of a possibly dangerous mad-
THE DERELICT MINE 711

man, and I was trying to wonder how ported to have gone down in the Ti-
I might propitiate him when he con- tanic. The rumor suited me excel-
tinued in a
calm, deliberate tone, lentlj'^, so naturally I did not trouble
You must consider yourself my to deny it. Now I am nearly through,
prisoner, or shall we say involuntary and you are to bury me as I direct.
guest? If you follow my instructions well,
"How long? I managed to de- veiy well, indeed. Here he raised a
mand. long, lean finger and spoke with the

For
the term of my natural
utmost impressiveness. "If you do
life, he replied iix the same facetious
not follow my instiuctions implicitly
vein in which he had acknowledged you will not leave this place alive, or
our relationship. dead either, for tlie matter of that.
He then came round and sat upon He then leaned forward suddenly
one of the stretchers, and with an ex- and peered at me intently, and ex-
pressive sweep of the hand indicated claimed, "Your virtuous father never
the other for my similar use. His mentioned me, I suppose? No? Yes?
attire was rather more neat than I We quarreled. A woman, of course.
might have been led to expect. He Gad, youre like your mother,
wore a well-fitting sack suit of some though About the face, that is.
!

dark material, and in lieu of a collar You have our physique.


wore a surprizingly weU-adjusted For the first time he glanced aside
black silk scarf. His overcoat and and remained in a muse.
several disguises lay on the big coun- It may have been that his sinister
ter-table where he had evidently power was for the moment averted,
thrown them while the place was in or may have been his reference to
it
darkness. .
my unfortunate parents, but certain-
We sat on our respective stretchers ly a new and fierce emotion swept
facing each other. The ghastly eyes over me, and I sprang to my feet, and
fastened upon my own seemed to be my fingers were grasping my re-
gaining a sort of mesmeric influence volver.
over me. The face itself was horrible "You murdered my father! I
in the extreme, but I have not been cried hoarsely, almost towering over
able to analyze its features. Indeed, the stUl sitting figure of my uncle.
there was an unnatural elusiveness The indescribaljle eyes were once
about them which was in itself terri- more upon me, and at close quaiters
fying. I recall them now, but in at were just about as much as I could
least a dozen variant yet equally dev- stand and retain my reason, but the
ilish aspects. But the eyes with their hideous face was absolutely expres-
infernal power remained invariable. sive of no known emotion- as the lips
I appeared deprived of movement as parted to observe, "Pray, my dear
I sat gazing dully into them from the young Hamlet, consider who de-
stzeteher. The first shock of horror stroyed the evidence? Accessory after
over, I sank into a lethargy, though the fact, eh? By the way, if that toy
fully conscious of my surroundings. goes off at that angle there will be
Presently the grim figure sitting op- no good, kind uncle to tell you where
posite me in an intent attitude with to find the, key of that door, you
an attenuated hand on each thigh, know.

spoke. Had I the mere sound of his I was staggered, and in a daze I
voice to guide me, I might easily have managed to get back to the other
imagined it to be my father. stretcher. I had spoken metaphor-
"Now to business. I am supposed ically, as it were, and here was a prac-
to be dead. Was duly, or unduly, re- tical admission of a specific crime.
712 WEIRD TALES
"You actually murdered my fath- glass. Then in the center of the small
er? I faltered imbecilely.
square end was a ring the only han-
The monstrosity seemed puzzled for dle. He removed the lid, and there
a momout and said with quite an in- Avithin this outer ease was screwed a
jured air, "Well, you need not rub coffin of regular shape. The head of
it in. Quite a natural sequence to the coffin from the shoulders fitted
our little quarrel, and he had diabetes exactly in the outer case, but from
anyway. Thats why he always kept the shoulders to the foot there was
a beaker of water at his elbow. But considerable space all round. It was

if you saw
clear that the whole thing was to be
lowered vertically, but where?
Then he gave a low gurgling laugh
and e j aculated,
Murdered
you As if in answer to the query that
was beginning to shape itself in my
mean worried! He-he, worry never
brain, my uncle strode to a door in
killed a Geialdton. Else, my Hamlet,
the wall opposite that at which we
you wiU certainly succumb before
entered. This he sAvung open, and he
you get through this job.
beckoned me to follow him doAvn a
I Avas more convinced than ever
short stope. At the door he touched
that I was dealing with a maniac, and
a switch and a light shone in what
gripped myself as well as I could for
appeared to be a small chamber some
whatever might follow.
yards away, but which upon our en-
The incongruously familiar voice tering proved to be an old shaft. At
wont on, "We
had better get the in- first I thought we were at the bottom,
structions over, the next heart turn but soon discovered that the floor was
is going to get me. composed of remarkably heaAy timber
He went over to the counter and and several plates of sheet iron. Near
opened a large trap-door and hauled the outer rim of the false floor was a
out a long, queer-looking box. Its hole rather more than a yard square,
nature was obvious, but it would be and just above it was a windlass. At
difficult to conceive a more extraor- the end of the rope coiled round the
dinary coffin. The ends were square, latter Avas a strong release hook.
but there was a considerable differ- My uncle gave a sweep of the hand
ence in the size ef these squares. In- toward what I had already conceived
deed. he stood the whole thing on end, to be an unshapely grave, and said
and it was perfectly stable. It was a briefly, The obAuous, and moAung
sort of elongated pyramid. It had a toward the stope he added, Now we
lid, the narrow end of which was of can turn in.

This serial rises to a ghastly and thrilling climax in the


description of the horrifying events that took place in
the underground tomb in the derelict mine. The
story will be concluded next month.
;

The Dance of Death


By JEAN LABORS
(Translated by Edward Baxter Perry)

On a sounding stone,
With a blanched thigh-bone,
The bone of a saint, I fear.
Death strikes the hour
Of his wizard power.
And the specters haste to appear.
From their tombs they rise
'In sepulchral guise.
Obeying the summons dread.
And gathering round.
With obeisance profound.
They salute the King of the Dead.

Then he stands in the middle


And tunes his fiddle.
And plays them a gruesome strain
And each gibbering wight
In the moons pale light
Must dance to that wild refrain.
Now the fiddle tells.
As the music swells.
Of the charnels ghastly pleasures;
And they clatter their bones
As with hideous groans
They reel to those maddening measures.

The churchyard quakes


And the old abbey shakes
To the tread of the midnight host,
And the sod turns black
On each circling track.
Where a skeleton whirls with a ghost.

The night wind moans


In shuddering tones
Through the gloom of the cypress tree,
While the mad rout raves
Over yawning graves.
And the fiddle bow leaps with glee.

So the swift hours fly


Till thereddening sky
Gives warning of daylight near.
Then the first cock-crow
Sends them huddling below
To sleep for another year.
71S
;

T he
coupons at the end of The Eyrie are functioning well. They are
giving us a good working knowledge of the type of stories that you,
the readers, DONT like, as well as the type you DO
like; and they
will thus work to the mutual benefit of both Weird Tales and its readers.
The tale in the March issue that has been most praised and blamed,
cussed and discussed, is Lochinvar Lodge, by Clyde Burt Clason, the cover
design story for that issue. A furious battle has raged among the readers
regarding this story. It 1eeeived a great many votes, but there were also
a giCat many complaints; and as each complaint removes one vote, there is
little left for Lochinvar Lodge in the final scoring that determines the favorite
story of the readers in that issue.
Lochinvar Lodlge has a bad ending, and needs a sequel, writes one
reader. It is a wonderful story, but a rotten ending, writes H. G. Camp-
bell, of Port.smouth, Virginia. Lochinvar Lodge should never have been
published unless the sequel was already written and in the office safe, writes
C. M. Eddy, Jr., of Providence, Ehode Island. Seabury Quinn threatens to
send de Grandin down into that dark hole in Lochinvar Lodge to find out what
has become of the girl and the bearded dwarf unless Mr. Clason writes a se-

quel and solves the mystery himself. The story has no satisfactory ending or

explanation, writes Dr. P. A. Fagone, of Portland, Maine. A wonderful


stoiy if it is true, writes Miss Edith Smith, of Houston, Texas. The ending
leaves too much to the imagination, writes Raymond Lester, of New York
City. Of all your good stories this one started out to be the best, but turned
out to be the worst, writes Lee Byrd, of Lima, Ohio.
The story does not lack for defenders in fact, the letters of enthusiastic
;

praise outnumber the complaints. But so many are the coupons and letters
that protest against leaving the ending of the story hanging up in the air,
that we have sent back to their authors two other stories against which the
same complaint might be made, to have the endings clarified. The use of
the coupons at the end of The Eyrie has made your demand veiy emphatic
that the stoiy endings shall not be vague or indefinite. Every bit of advice
or criticism is always carefully studied. If only one or two readers object
to a story, the objection may be merely a personal dislike ; but if five or ten
persons write in to voice a complaint against a story, we feel sure that the
story has failed to make the mark with many hundreds who did not write in
and when forty or fifty persons vote against a story, a/nd all for the same
reason, then the readers have uncovered a fault in the story that will help
714
;

THE EYRIE 715

the magazine to avoid the same defect in other stories in the future. Every
vote against LocMnvar Lodge was cast for the same reason: because the end-
ing left too much to the readers imagination.
The readers also picked out for condemnation Elwin J. Owens story,
Deadi in Three Hours. This is the kind of tale a three-year-old would call
kinda scary, writes Mildred R. Kaufmann, of Philadelphia. The hero
is cowardly, writes Grace L. McLoughlin, of Savona, New York. There
is no real motive for all the atrocities, writes Harold S. Famese,'of Los
Angeles; the story would be acceptable if one did not get the impression
that it is weird merely for the sake of weirdness.
We hope you will continue to make full use of the coupons at the end
of The Eyrie, not only to tell us what stories you like best, but also to let us
know what stories you dont like, if any. That will give a great deal of
help both to you, the Ieaders, and to us, the publishers, in making Weird
Tales more and more responsive to your liking. We think we know fairly
well what kind of stories you like (the constant increase in the sales of the
magazine shows that), but by your kindly help and criticism we want to
make the magazine better and better, tvithout a single weak sfoiry in any issue.
That is our goal.
Mabel L. Pomeroy, of Corona, New York, aslis for more of the marvelous
stories of Henry S. Whitehead. I can sit down now and visualize every one of
his stories in Weird Tales, she adds. Each one of them is altogether
different from all the others, and each is a wonderful story wliich completely

satisfies the reader. Several excellent tales by this author are in our hands
for early publication in Weird Tales, and one of his stories appeals in this
issue.
Powers The Jungle Monsters is a ripsnortin humdinger, writes Eli
Colter, from Portland, Oregon. Clever, well written, with the fine tang of
humor and the salt of tears. If I were compelled to choose the best story in
the March issue Id have to draw straws between Powers stors'^ and Wells
AH ream of Armageddon. But there isnt a poor story among the lists lately
everything stands up well worth reading.
Robert E. Howard, author of Wolfslhad, suggests the old Norse sagas as
a rich field for our series of reprints. The Saya of Grcttir the Ouflaxv, he
writes, while told in plain, almost homely language, reaches the peak of
horror. You will recall the terrific, night-long battle between the outlaw and
the vampire, who had himself been slain by the Powere of Darkness.
Some of the authors whose stories appear in Weird Tales, writes
John Pooley Wright, of St. Joseph, Missouri, are worthy successors to Edgar
Allan Poe, their stories surpassing Poes, at least in my humble opinion.
I was given a copy of Weird Tales tot read during a recent illness. I had
never realized the worth of the magazine before ; but now I have contracted
a new habit: reading Weird Tales.
Writes E. H. Obeiuniller, of Chicago: You are giving the young,
hitherto obscure mystery writers, a chance at Poes laurels, and the typical

Weird Tales story is like American syncopation afresh, virile, original, and
not bound by conventions. I just finished reading the March issue, and it is
the best in months.
Writes Harry R. Wallace, of Longvdew, Washington: Your talte are
so fine that when I get yoiu* magazine I can not stop reading until I have
scoured it from cover to cover. Bach month it seems better than the month
716 WEIRD TALES
before. Eli Colter, On the Dead Man^A Chest, is one of
I think the novel by
the best that I have ever read. It keeps the reader continually in suspense.
I can hardly wait until the next issue of Weird Tales arrives. Give us more
stories of other planets, such as those by J. Sehlossel and by the author of
When the, Green Star Waned.

I would like to see Weird Tales come out twice a month if you could
keep up your same high standard of good| stories, writes Will OBrien, of
Berkeley, California, in a letter to The Eyrie. I read a half dozen or
more weekly, semi-monthly and monthly magazines, but enjoy Weird Tales
most of all. I enjoy planet stories like I%e Waning of a World, ghost stories,
horror stories, pseudo-scientific stories such as Bed Ether, and werewolf
stories
in fact, all the stories you publish.
C. Mason, of Winnipeg, Canada, writes to The Eyrie: I found your
March edition of Weird Tales wholly fascinating. I enjoyed every tale from
cover to cover. Lochinvar Lodge had a very disheartening ending, but I
enjoyed every line of it. On the Dead Mans Chest is extremely appealing
and I look forward with pleasure to reading the last installment and hearing
more)
from Felix Underwood.
Hazel Roby, of Belen, New Mexico, writes to The Ej^ie: I am a con-
stant reader of Weird Tales and think it is the most thrilling, hair-raising
book I have ever read. Why cant it be put out twice a month? All my
friends read it and we are in a continuous uproar over deciding on the best
stories.
Your votes for favorite story in the March issue have given first place to
the weirdest story in the entire issue: The Music of Madm,ess, by William E.
Barrett. Your second and third choices have gone to A
Message From Space,
by J. Sehlossel, and Swamp Horror, by Will Smith and R. J. Robbins. What
is your favorite story in this issue?
(1)

MY FAVORITE STORIES IN THE MAY WEIRD TALES ARE:


Story Remarks

( 1)

( 2)

(3)

I do not like the following stories:

Why?
(2 /

It will help us to know what kind of ' Readers name and address:
stories you want in Weird Tales if you I

will fill out the coupon and mail it to


The Eyrie, Weird Tales, 408 Holliday I

Building, Indianapolis, Ind. I

I
!

WEIRD TALES 717

The Devil-Ray
(Continued from page 608)

ray of purple. The ship, volplaning him eat and drink and laugh and talk
now, roared on over their heads. that thing was gone forever. Just
It was all over in a moment. That a touch of the purple and it had van-
sinister patch of purple had passed ished !

over the water between them. It had Ferris finally managed to tow the
touched no part of Ferriss body, but body to the shore. There, with the
it had gone directly over the head and help of the waiting Lefty, he pulled
shoulders of the Spider. There was the little man out to thg nariow
not a cr}% not even a murmur. The beach. Together they worked on the
Spider was gone body for two honre. Two hours of
In frantic haste Ferris swam about, fruitless effort. Inch by inch, they
calling the Spiders name as loudly went over his body, but not a mark
as he dared. The plane had reached could they find. There was no water
the castle and the last fitful roar of in his lungs. He was dead, but how?
its engines shut out any chance of dis- The purple light? It must be!
covery. But the Spider? Ferris swam They were men used to acting in
around once more, calling his name. strange emergencies, so they scraped
He dived. Nothing. He dived again, a shallow grave on the side of the
this time deeper. Down, down, down, Blennersee and buried there the thing
until his lungs seemed to split within that had been the Spider. When they
him. He could stay down no longer, had finished. Lefty told FeiTis that
so he shot to the surface, his chest he was through. Ferris could come
bursting. with him if he would or he could stay
There, floating still and white be- behind and play a lone hand for the
side him in the sable waters of the jewels. As for Lefty Fritz, hed had
Blennersee he found the Spider. But enough; he was through.
the thing that made the Spider what And so that night Lefty tramped
he was, the thing which had made down out of the mountain and went
him different from the mud
on the his way. But Ferris, having made
lake bottom; the thing which made his choice, stayed behind.

In next month's WEIRD TALES is told how Ferris


invaded Castle Blennerhof and came to
grips with the mystery therein
718 WEIRD TALES
eat This
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Vest pocket. Blue Steel
Automatic; 7 shot; 1926 mod*
el; shoots standara ammuni-
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tion. Satisfaction Guaranteed (Continued from page 598)
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$096 Delivery Plat Pestaoe. SEND
NO MONEY. So I see, said the man addressed
UNIVERSAL SALES CO. as Al.
259 Broadwasr Dept. 66 Naiw York
Then the sheriff bent over me.
Ready to talk, young man? he
BLACKHEADS'ECZEMA demanded.
PIMPLES
Tour 8Ma Can Ba Qnlokly Cleared ot
It must have mystified this one
greatly when I leaped suddenly to
" )les, Blackheads, Acne Eruptions on my feet and ran my hands over him
the :ace or body, Barters Itch, Eczema. swiftly. How could they guess what
Enlarged 1Pores and Oily or Shiny Skin. itmeant to me to learn that these two
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Write today for toy BOOKLET.
^ Clbab-Tonb 6xm,* taninu how I were flesh and blood?
Thank God I cried. Then I be-


!

E.S.OIVEWS, 211 Chomiotl Btd{ Kansas CKy.Mo. gan to tremble so violently that the
on the down srade If you lack pep, man called Al, perforce, supported me
streneth, courage, ambition. Try
Castleberry's Morning Glory Special with a burly arm about shoulders. my
Tablets, the wonder of the age. As he did so his eyes met those of the
Mailed $1.00 for 10 days treatment.
and wonderful testimonials FREE.
'

6A11IFI,X: sheriff and a meaning glance passed


A, F. CASTEEBERRir, Dept. W, Coinmbus, Ga.
between them.
The sheriff passed around the cabin,
Classified Advertisements returning almost at once with three
horses, saddled and bridled for the
Help Wanted trail. The third horse was for me.
Weakly, aided by Al, I mounted.
MEN, 18 TO 35. BECOME RAELWAT FOSTAl, Then we clambered down into the
Clerks. Commence $1,900 year. Steady. Com-
mon education sufficient. Sample coaching dry stream and started toward Steam-
FREE. Write Immediately. Franklin Institute,
Dept. P-138, Rochester, N. T. boat Rock.
I found my voice,
Authors^Manuscripts For what am I wanted, sheriff?
SHORT STORIES, ETC., TYPEWRITTEN IN I asked.
proper form and marketed. Hursh Service, Box
1013, Harrisburg, Pcn^ja. For burglarious entry, son, he
SONG POEM WRITERSWRITE RAT HEB- replied, not unkindly. You went
belcr, D-156, 2104 N. Keystone Ave., Chicago. into a house in Palisades, while the
I WANT SONG POEMS. CASPER NATHAN, owner and his wife were working in
E-3544 North Racine, Chicago.
the fields, and stole every bit of food
you could lay your hands on. Theres
Miscellaneous
no use denying it, for we found the
BOOKS, MAGIC, MYSTERIES, MAGIC TRICKS. sack you brought it away in, right
Novelties. Catalosrue free. SINGER, 1212 Han-
cock, Wisconsin. in that tha|e cabin !

VBNTRILOQUISIW TAUGHT ALMOST ANT- But fflidreth, the wife of Plone,


ono at home. Small Cost. Send 2c stamp to- gave me that food! I cried. I
day for particulars and proof. Geo. W. Smith,
Room 8-78. 125 North Jefferson, Peoria, 111. didnt steal it!
Hildreth? Plone? The sheriff
Order a Copy ot Our Big Special fairly shouted the two names.
ANNIVERSARY NUMBER Then he turned and stared at his
deputy
again that meaning ex-
TODAY! change of glances. The sheriff re-
See AdfertiKnieiit on Page 580 of Tbi* Iiine gained control of himself.
WEIRD TALES 719

This Hildreth and Plone, he be-


gan, hesitating strangely, did they
have a son, a half-grown boy?
Yes! Yes! I cried eagerly; the
boys name was Reuben! He led me
into Steamboat Coulee!
Then I told them my story, from
beginning to end, sparing none of the
unbelievable details. When I had fin-
ished, the two of them turned in their
saddles and looked back into the cou-
lee, toward the now invisible log cabin
we had left behind. The deputy shook
his head, muttering, while the sheriff
removed his hat and scratched his Do vott knoto what quality toonwn lovt mont in tf'hat
qualitu men lotte moot tn womonf Th^M giwsfioito aro
own poll. He spat judiciously into anowerod in**Safo Counul.^* SeepaqoiT.

the sand of the dry stream before he


spoke.
Son, he said finally, if I didnt
Do You Seek
know you was a stranger here I would
swear that you was crazy as a loon.
Happiness?
Has true love come into your life or didnt you
There aint a darn thing real that you recofrnize it when it came 7 Are you afraid now of
the bafilins, perplexing mysteries of marriasrc 7 Are
saw or heard, except the rattlesnakes you discontented with the stupid lies and furtive
and the bobcats! ashamed answers the world gives you in place of
the naked, fearless truth you desire 7 Do you want
I interrupted him eagerly. some safe, sane, unashamed advice on personal
questions 7 Clip coupon below, send it today without
any money and in a few days you will receive the
But what about Plone, Hildreth most startling surprise of your life.
and Reuben?
Plone and Reuben, he replied, Lifes Secrets
At last a book has been published that digs into per-
were hanged fifteen years ago! sonal matters without fear or beating around the
bush. This wonderful 612-page book, Safe Counsel,"
Right beside that cabin where we written by Prof. B. G. Jefferies, M. D., Ph. D., and
found you !Hildreth went crazy and Prof, J. L. Nichols, A. M., contains just the infor-
mation you want. You will be amazed at its
ran away into the coulee. She was frankness. Words are not minced. "Polite phrases
never seen again. place.

are forgotten the right word is used in the right
In this volume are answered all the ques-
pons that growing children ask their parents. Sub-
I waited, breathless, for the sheriff jects mentioned only in whispers are fearlessly
discussed. There is no shame, no fear, no hypoc-
to continue. risy on these pages. The Story of Life. You owe
it to yourself, to your happiness and your health
Plone and Reuben, he went on, to read this wonderful book.
were the real bogy men of this cou-
lee in the early days. They lived in Send No Money
that log cabin. Reuben used to lure
strangers in there, where the two of
simply mail the coupon
Just clip the coupon . Send it in today .Ko money is required lo
a few days when the postman brinirs you *'Safe Cransel. (in a plain
them murdered the wanderers and wrapper) you can pay him $1.98 and postaire. If you are cot
thoroughly satisfied after examination, return the book and we will
robbed their dead bodies, burying refund your money.
Mail tha Coupon NOW!
them afterward in a gruesome grave- .

FRArTKLINASSOOAnON
yard farther inside Steamboat Cou- 186 N. LaSalle St. Dept. ^07* Chica^, 111.

lee. Hildreth, so the story goes, tried Please send me your amazing 512>page book, **Safe Counsel. In a
plain wrapper marked Personal. I will pay the postman $t .95.
pins postage, upon arrival. If Im not satisfied I'll return book
to prevent these murders; but was within & days and you are to refund my money;
unable to do so. Finally she reported
to the pioneer authorities and Plone ^ams ......

cut her tongue out as punishment for Sirest


or B. F, D.
the betrayal. God knows how many
unsuspecting travelers the two made - -
(Prion outoido of U. cash wHIi ordori
720 WEIRD TALES

Get One of These WOW away with before they were found
out and strung up without trial !

rfERE
** ejector
is a hand
that
^ J9.65
ta tai.
But how about Plones farm in
Moses Coulee, outside Steamboat, and
many deteo the farmhouse where I met the fam-
t V e 8 nse.
i
Not to be ily?
compared 'vith other
trims at this price. Best Its mine, replied the sheriff.
obtainable and guaranteed to fire ac*
curately. Shoots standard ammunition. Theres never been a house on it to
Solid frame swing out cylinder.
blue steel.
Best
New 1926 models just ar- my knowledge. I foreclosed on it for
rived. Order now 82.20 or 38 cal. only $9.66. the taxes, and the blasted land is so
S2.CAL. MILITARY poor that even the rattlesnakes starve
AUTOMATIC while they are crawling across it
!

fike these ased by German


arilitery Officers.Extra magaxine But I saw it as plainly as I see
free. Never before this was a 3a-
Cal. Automatic like this offered at you!
the low price of only $8.45. Satit-
f action Guaranteed er Money Refunded. But youre a sick man, aint you?
Send Ns Money, Pay Peatman. Our
Price, Pins Postaee.
You never went near the place where
[SWARDS IMPORT TRADING CORP. you say the house was. We followed
2S8 Broadway Dept. 79 New York, N.'Y.
your footprints, and they left the
WRITING Increases 50,000 maga- main road at the foot of the Three
and Devils, from which they went,
YOUR INCOME straight as a die, to the mouth of
newspapers
want short-stories, long stories, arti-
Steamboat Coulee They was easy to
I

follow, and if I hadnt had another


cles,jokes, poems, etc. Screen plays
case on Id have picked you up before
and clever songs are wanted to supply
you ever could have reached the
liberal demand. Send for free copy
cabin I

PROFITABLE WRITING. Explains. Would to God that he had! It


CO-OPERATIVE SERVICE COMPANY would have saved me many a weird
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that shadow out of
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A s THE Americans burst into the
room where the Chinese were,
37-L the girl lay in a drugged sleep on
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I1EALIN6 THE UNSEEN WAY


The Mighty Unseen Powers are Yours
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Let them heal, comfort and prosper you beautiful American girl who bore
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Aquarian Circle, Elkhart, Indiana

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WEIRD TALESThe Unique Magazine
TYREAN INSTITUTE
On Sale May 1

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