Axidava

The Floor Above

September 17, 1922.—I sat down to breakfast this morning with a good appetite. The heat seemed over, and a cool wind blew in from my garden, where chrysanthemums were already budding. The sunshine streamed into the room and fell pleasantly on Mrs. O’Brien’s broad face as she brought in the eggs and coffee. For a supposedly lonely old bachelor the world seemed to me a pretty good place. I was buttering my third set of waffles when the housekeeper again appeared, this time with the mail.

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A Night By The Dead Sea

Othman Ibn Saad was for many years a name for which that of Eblis was substituted because of his dare-devil exploits in highway robbery, which prompted the Ottoman Government to set a price on his head.

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An Inhabitant Of Carcosa

For there be divers sorts of death—some wherein the body remaineth; and in some it vanisheth quite away with the spirit. 

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The Man Who Went Too Far

The little village of St. Faith’s nestles in a hollow of wooded hill up on the north bank of the river Fawn in the county of Hampshire huddling close round its gray Norman church as if for spiritual protection against the fays and fairies, the trolls and “little people,” who might be supposed still to linger in the vast empty spaces of the New Forest, and to come after dusk and do their doubtful businesses.

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In The Garden

The protozoic recorder chirped like a bird. Not only would there be life traces on that little moon, but it would be a lively place. So they skipped several steps in the procedure.

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The Invisible Eye

About this time (said Christian), poor as a church mouse, I took refuge in the roof of an old house in Minnesänger Street, Nuremberg, and made my nest in the corner of the garret.

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Vials Of Insects

Closeted with the Surveyor of Customs were his chief inspector, a clean-cut young fellow named Greaves, and a bullet-headed, thick-shouldered man who went by the name of Burke.

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A Square Of Canvas

“No, Madame, I am not insane! I see you hide a smile. Never mind attempting to mask the expression. You are a newcomer here and have learned nothing of my story. I do not blame any visitor—the burden of proof rests upon us, n’est-ce-pas?

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The Realm Of The Unreal

For a part of the distance between Auburn and Newcastle the road—first on one side of a creek and then on the other—occupies the whole bottom of the ravine, being partly cut out of the steep hillside, and partly built up with bowlders removed from the creek-bed by the miners. 

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The Doom Of Al Zameri

Nothing is known in nature which, in awful impressiveness, compares with the overpowering scenery forever associated with God’s revelation to man.

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Esmé

“All hunting stories are the same,” said Clovis; “just as all Turf stories are the same, and all—”

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The Hideous Face

Marseilles, one hears while traveling through Europe, is the most vicious town in France.

Whether or not this ancient seaport, whose history reaches deep into the shadows of antiquity, is deserving of a criticism so sweeping and so condemnatory, I do not know. Such, at any rate, is the reputation it suffers among travelers.

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The Gallows

Tomorrow morning, at sunrise, I am to hang for the murder of a man.

At sunrise on the ninth of June, the anniversary of my wedding day. I am to be hanged by the neck until I am dead.

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In No Strange Land

He was in the heart of the crowd, in it, and of it—the crowd of late afternoon whose simultaneous movement is the expression of a common wish to cease to be a crowd. His was one of the thousand faces that are almost tragical with weariness, tragical without thought. At five o’clock the sparkle of the morning is forgotten. There is no seeking of hidden treasure in the face opposite, for the face opposite, whosesoever it may be, has become too hatefully intrusive with its own burden to yield any light of recognition.

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Lord Of The Jackals

In those days, of course (said the French agent, looking out across the sea of Yûssuf Effendis which billowed up against the balcony to where, in the moonlight, the minarets of Cairo pointed the way to God), I did not occupy the position which I occupy to-day. No, I was younger, and more ambitious; I thought to carve in the annals of Egypt a name for myself such as that of De Lesseps.

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An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge

A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man’s hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck. It was attached to a stout cross-timber above his head and the slack fell to the level of his knees.

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The Rider Of The Black Horse

It was the 7th of October, 1777. Horatio Gates stood before his tent, gazing steadfastly upon the two armies now arrayed in order of battle.

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Placebo

The object appeared in the middle of Main Way, about fifty feet from the statue of Vachel Lindsay, and at least a hundred from anything else. It was much too big and complicated to have been hidden anywhere, and it hadn’t any wheels, tracks, wings, or other visible means of movement.

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The Second Generation

Sometimes, in a moment of sharp experience, comes that vivid flash of insight that makes a platitude suddenly seem a revelation—its full content is abruptly realized. “Ten years is a long time, yes,” he thought, as he walked up the drive to the great Kensington house where she still lived.

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The Return Of Paul Slavsky

From Petrograd came Paul Slavsky, with what his Nihilist associates might have styled a clean record and no bungled jobs, but what Larry Brandon classified as a criminal record de luxe.

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The She-Wolf

Leonard Bilsiter was one of those people who have failed to find this world attractive or interesting, and who have sought compensation in an “unseen world” of their own experience or imagination—or invention.  Children do that sort of thing successfully, but children are content to convince themselves, and do not vulgarise their beliefs by trying to convince other people.  Leonard Bilsiter’s beliefs were for “the few,” that is to say, anyone who would listen to him.

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A Diagnosis Of Death

“I am not so superstitious as some of your physicians—men of science, as you are pleased to be called,” said Hawver, replying to an accusation that had not been made. 

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The Hounds Of Fate

In the fading light of a close dull autumn afternoon Martin Stoner plodded his way along muddy lanes and rut-seamed cart tracks that led he knew not exactly whither.

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Beyond The Door

Larry Thomas bought a cuckoo clock for his wife—without knowing the price he would have to pay.

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The Accusing Voice

“We, the jury, find the defendant, Richard Bland, guilty of murder in the first degree, in manner and form as charged.”

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The Olive

He laughed involuntarily as the olive rolled towards his chair across the shiny parquet floor of the hotel dining-room.

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William Wilson

Let me call myself, for the present, William Wilson. The fair page now lying before me need not be sullied with my real appellation. This has been already too much an object for the scorn—for the horror—for the detestation of my race.

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One Summer Night

The fact that Henry Armstrong was buried did not seem to him to prove that he was dead: he had always been a hard man to convince. 

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Miss Wood,—Stenographer

It was Detective Gilbert who told the story to a group of boarders seated on the piazza of one of the quaint old Rhinelander houses. These dwellings, though situated on West Eleventh Street, in the very heart of New York, present an almost rural spectacle, with their green lawns, wide piazzas, and vine-covered balconies.

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Gabriel-Ernest

“There is a wild beast in your woods,” said the artist Cunningham, as he was being driven to the station.  It was the only remark he had made during the drive, but as Van Cheele had talked incessantly his companion’s silence had not been noticeable.

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Uncle Abraham’s Romance

“No, my dear,” my Uncle Abraham answered me, “no—nothing romantic ever happened to me—unless—but no: that wasn’t romantic either——”

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The Man With The Pale Eyes

Monsieur Pierre Agénor de Vargnes, the Examining Magistrate, was the exact opposite of a practical joker. He was dignity, staidness, correctness personified. As a sedate man, he was quite incapable of being guilty, even in his dreams, of anything resembling a practical joke, however remotely.

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The Death Of Arbaces

In the eventful year of the eruption of Vesuvius, there lived in Pompeii a young Greek by the name of Glaucus. Heaven had given him every blessing but one; it had denied him the heritage of freedom.

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Cost Of Living

Carrin decided that he could trace his present mood to Miller’s suicide last week. But the knowledge didn’t help him get rid of the vague, formless fear in the back of his mind. It was foolish. Miller’s suicide didn’t concern him.

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The Battle Of The Monsters

Extract from hospital record of the case of John Anderson, patient of Dr. Brown, Ward 3, Room 6:

August 3. Arrived at hospital in extreme mental distress, having been bitten on the wrist three hours previously by dog known to have been rabid. Large, strong man, full-blooded and well nourished. Sanguine temperament. Pulse and temperature higher than normal, due to excitement. Cauterized wound at once (2 P.M.) and inoculated with antitoxin.

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The Owl’s Ear

On the 29th of July, 1835, Kasper Boeck, a shepherd of the little village of Hirschwiller, with his large felt hat tipped back, his wallet of stringy sackcloth hanging at his hip, and his great tawny dog at his heels, presented himself at about nine o’clock in the evening at the house of the burgomaster, Petrus Mauerer, who had just finished supper and was taking a little glass of kirchwasser to facilitate digestion.

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Hark! The Rattle!

We sat in the Purple Lily—Tain Dirk, that far too handsome young man, with me.

I drank coffee; Tain Dirk drank liquor—secretly and alone. The night was drenched with sweating summer heat, but I felt cold as ice. Presently we went up to the Palm Grove Roof, where Bimi Tal was to dance.

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A Tale Of London

“Come,” said the Sultan to his hasheesh-eater in the very furthest lands that know Bagdad, “dream to me now of London.”

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The Zayat Kiss

“A gentleman to see you, doctor.”

From across the common a clock sounded the half hour.

“Ten-thirty!” I said. “A late visitor. Show him up, if you please.”

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The Great Star Ruby

It was late in the evening of Melbourne Cup Day. In one of the dining-rooms of the Victoria Club three men sat smoking and talking earnestly together. Certainly the events of the last sixteen hours furnished ample subject for conversation.

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The Bad Old Woman In Black

The bad old woman in black ran down the street of the ox-butchers.

Windows at once were opened high up in those crazy gables; heads were thrust out: it was she.

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The Bet

It was a dark autumn night. The old banker was pacing from corner to corner of his study, recalling to his mind the party he gave in the autumn fifteen years before.

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The Mystery Of Black Jean

Aye, Sir, since you have asked, there has been many a guess about where Black Jean finally disappeared to.

He was a French-Canadian and a weed of a man—six-feet-five in his socks; his eyes were little and close together and black; he wore a long thin mustache that drooped; and he was as hairy as his two bears.

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A Dilemma

I was just thirty-seven when my Uncle Philip died. A week before that event he sent for me; and here let me say that I had never set eyes on him. He hated my mother, but I do not know why. She told me long before his last illness that I need expect nothing from my father’s brother.

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The Beast With Five Fingers

When I was a little boy I once went with my father to call on Adrian Borlsover. I played on the floor with a black spaniel while my father appealed for a subscription. Just before we left my father said, “Mr. Borlsover, may my son here shake hands with you? It will be a thing to look back upon with pride when he grows to be a man.”

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The Mouse

Theodoric Voler had been brought up, from infancy to the confines of middle age, by a fond mother whose chief solicitude had been to keep him screened from what she called the coarser realities of life. 

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Charon

Charon leaned forward and rowed. All things were one with his weariness.

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