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Algernon Blackwood's Shorter Supernatural Fiction (2 vols.)

Terrys Texas Rangers

The Last Crusaders

The Defeat of the U-Boats

Sup Richard Middleton

The Battle of Austerlitz

The Campaigns of Alexander

Sabre and Foil Fighting

The Fourth Leonaur Book of Ghost and Horror Stories

The Irish Legion

General Von Zieten

Armoured Cars and Aircraft

The Chinese Regiment

Texas Cavalry and the Laurel Brigade

The First Crusaders

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Roger Lamb and the American War of Independence

Gronow of the Guards

Plumer of Messines

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The Collected Supernatural and Weird Fiction of Robert W. Chambers: Volume 1

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The Collected Supernatural and Weird Fiction of Robert W. Chambers: Volume 1
Leonaur Original
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Author(s): Robert W. Chambers
Date Published: 2010/06
Page Count: 492
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-191-1
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-192-8

An American master of the fictional nightmare

Robert W. Chambers most famous and most highly regarded work is undoubtedly, 'The King in Yellow'—a collection of stories held by the common theme of a drama of the same title which drives those who read it to insanity. It is widely accepted that this work is one of the most important in the whole library of American supernatural writing. Nevertheless, it is but part of Chambers’ output in the field of weird and supernatural writings, so this special Leonaur collection of Chambers fiction in the genre—which of course includes the stories that comprise 'The King in Yellow'—runs to a satisfying four substantial volumes. Leonaur editions are available in softcover and hardback with dust jacket for collectors.
The first volume includes the novel ‘The Slayer of Souls,’ the novelette ‘The Man at the Next Table,’ and fourteen short stories.

In a short semi-circle on the grass in front of him he had placed a dozen wild Ginseng roots. The roots were enormous, astoundingly shaped like the human body, almost repulsive in their weird symmetry.<br>
The Yezidee had taken one of these roots into his hands. Squatting there in the semi-dusk, he began to massage it between his long, muscular fingers, rubbing, moulding, pressing the root with caressing deliberation.<br>
His unhurried manipulation, for a few moments, seemed to produce no result. But presently the Ginseng root became lighter in colour and more supple, yielding to his fingers, growing ivory pale, sinuously limber in a newer and more delicate symmetry.<br>
“Look!” gasped Cleves, grasping his wife’s arm. ‘What is that man doing!”<br>
‘The Tchor-Dagh!” whispered Tressa. “Do you see what lies twisting there in his hands !”<br>
The Ginseng root had become the tiny naked body of a woman—a little ivory-white creature, struggling to escape between the hands that had created it—dark, powerful, masterly hands, opening leisurely now, and releasing the living being they had fashioned.<br>
The thing scrambled between the fingers of the Sorcerer, leaped into the grass, ran a little way and hid, crouched down, panting, almost hidden by the long grass. The shocked watchers on the wall could still see the creature. Tressa felt Cleves’ body trembling beside her. She rested a cool, steady hand on his.<br>
“It is the Tchor-Dagh,” she breathed close to his face. “The Mongol Sorcerer is becoming formidable.”<br>
“Oh, God!” murmured Cleves, “that thing he made is alive! I saw it. I can see it hiding there in the grass. It’s frightened—breathing! It’s alive!”<br>
His pistol, clutched in his right hand, quivered. His wife laid her hand on it and cautiously shook her head.<br>
“No,” she said, “that is of no use.”<br>
“But what that Yezidee is doing is—is blasphemous—”<br>
“Watch him! His mind is stealthily feeling its way among the laws and secrets of the Tchor-Dagh. He has found a thread. He is following it through the maze into hell’s own labyrinth! He has created a tiny thing in the image of the Creator. He will try to create a larger being now. Watch him with his Ginseng roots!”<br>
Tiyang, looming ape-like on his haunches in the deepening dusk, moulded and massaged the Ginseng roots, one after another. And one after another, tiny naked creatures wriggled out of his palms between his fingers and scuttled away into the herbage.<br>
Already the dim lawn was alive with them, crawling, scurrying through the grass, creeping in among the flower-beds, little, ghostly-white things that glimmered from shade into shadow like moonbeams.<br>
Tressa’s mouth touched her husband’s ear:<br>
“It is for the secret of Destruction that the Yezidee seeks. But first he must learn the secret of creation. He is learning. . . . And he must learn no more than he has already learned.”<br>
“That Yezidee is a living man. Shall I fire?”<br>
“I can kill him with the first shot.”<br>
“Hark!” she whispered excitedly, her hand closing convulsively on her husband’s arm.<br>
The whip-crack of a rifleshot still crackled in their ears.<br>
Tiyang had leaped to his feet in the dusk, a Ginseng root, half-alive, hanging from one hand and beginning to squirm.<br>
Suddenly the first moonbeam fell across the wall. And in its lustre Tressa rose to her knees and flung up her right hand.<br>
Then it was as though her palm caught and reflected the moon’s ray, and hurled it in one blinding shaft straight into the dark visage of Tiyang-Khan.<br>
The Yezidee fell as though he had been pierced by a shaft of steel, and lay sprawling there on the grass in the ghastly glare.<br>
And where his features had been there gaped only a hole into the head.<br>
Then a dreadful thing occurred; for everywhere the grass swarmed with the little naked creatures he had made, running, scrambling, scuttling, darting into the black hole which had been the face of Tiyang-Khan.<br>
They poured into the awful orifice, crowding, jostling one another so violently that the head jerked from side to side on the grass, a wabbling, inert, soggy mass in the moonlight.<br>
And presently the body of Tiyang-Khan, Warden of the Rampart of Gog and Magog, and Lord of the Seventh Tower, began to burn with white fire—a low, glimmering combustion that seemed to clothe the limbs like an incandescent mist.<br>
On the wall knelt Tressa, the glare from her lifted hand streaming over the burning form below.<br>
Cleves stood tall and shadowy beside his wife, the useless pistol hanging in his grasp.<br>
Then, in the silence of the woods, and very near, they heard Sansa laughing. And Selden’s anxious voice:<br>
“Arrak is dead. The Sou-Sou hangs across a rock, head down, like a shot squirrel. Is all well with you?”<br>
“Tiyang is on his way to his star,” said Tressa calmly. “Somewhere in the world his body has bid its mind farewell. . . . And so his body may live for a little, blind, in mental darkness, fed by others, and locked in all day, all night, until the end.”
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