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ITHE UNKNOWN QUANTITY Professor William James Maynard was in a singularly happy and contented mood as he strolled down the High Street after a long and satisfactory interview with the solicitor to his late cousin, whose sole heir he was. It was exactly a month by the calendar since he had murdered this cousin, and everything had gone most satisfactorily since. The fortune was proving quite as large as he had expected, and not even an inquest... more...

Tuesday Night, November 3rd. Theories! What is the good of theories? They are the scourges that lash our minds in modern days, lash them into confusion, perplexity, despair. I have never been troubled by them before. Why should I be troubled by them now? And the absurdity of Professor Black's is surely obvious. A child would laugh at it. Yes, a child! I have never been a diary writer. I have never been able to understand the amusement of sitting... more...

Chapter I I "I am very much distressed about it all," murmured Mrs. Baxter. She was a small, delicate-looking old lady, very true to type indeed, with the silvery hair of the devout widow crowned with an exquisite lace cap, in a filmy black dress, with a complexion of precious china, kind shortsighted blue eyes, and white blue-veined hands busy now upon needlework. She bore about with her always an atmosphere of piety, humble, tender, and... more...

The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe The "Red Death" had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out... more...

THE HAUNTED AND THE HAUNTERS; OR, THE HOUSE AND THE BRAIN. * * * * * A friend of mine, who is a man of letters and a philosopher, said to me one day, as if between jest and earnest, "Fancy! since we last met I have discovered a haunted house in the midst of London." "Really haunted,—and by what?—ghosts?" "Well, I can't answer that question; all I know is this: six weeks ago my wife and I were in search of a furnished apartment.... more...


The Insanity of Jones (A Study in Reincarnation) I Adventures come to the adventurous, and mysterious things fall in the way of those who, with wonder and imagination, are on the watch for them; but the majority of people go past the doors that are half ajar, thinking them closed, and fail to notice the faint stirrings of the great curtain that hangs ever in the form of appearances between them and the world of causes behind. For only to the... more...

THE OLD NURSE'S STORY You know, my dears, that your mother was an orphan, and an only child; and I daresay you have heard that your grandfather was a clergyman up in Westmoreland, where I come from. I was just a girl in the village school, when, one day, your grandmother came in to ask the mistress if there was any scholar there who would do for a nurse-maid; and mighty proud I was, I can tell ye, when the mistress called me up, and spoke of... more...

Chapter I I feel little reluctance in complying with your request. You know not fully the cause of my sorrows. You are a stranger to the depth of my distresses. Hence your efforts at consolation must necessarily fail. Yet the tale that I am going to tell is not intended as a claim upon your sympathy. In the midst of my despair, I do not disdain to contribute what little I can to the benefit of mankind. I acknowledge your right to be informed of... more...

PROLOGUE. It was the month of January, 1516. The night was dark and tempestuous; the thunder growled around; the lightning flashed at short intervals: and the wind swept furiously along in sudden and fitful gusts. The streams of the great Black Forest of Germany babbled in playful melody no more, but rushed on with deafening din, mingling their torrent roar with the wild creaking of the huge oaks, the rustling of the firs, the howling of the... more...

CHAPTER I. ——"How graves give up their dead. And how the night air hideous grows With shrieks!" MIDNIGHT.—THE HAIL-STORM.—THE DREADFUL VISITOR.—THE VAMPYRE. The solemn tones of an old cathedral clock have announced midnight—the air is thick and heavy—a strange, death like stillness pervades all nature. Like the ominous calm which precedes some more than usually terrific outbreak of the elements,... more...