Forthcoming titles

(Book titles are subject to change)

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

The Lionheart and the Third Crusade

The Winnebagos

Roger Lamb and the American War of Independence

Gronow of the Guards

Plumer of Messines

... and more

The Collected Supernatural and Weird Fiction of John Kendrick Bangs: Volume 3

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The Collected Supernatural and Weird Fiction of John Kendrick Bangs: Volume 3
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Author(s): John Kendrick Bangs
Date Published: 2010/08
Page Count: 324
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-330-4
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-329-8

The final volume in this three volume Kendrick Bangs collection

American author John Kendrick Bangs was a well known writer and editor whose work appeared in Life, Harper’s Bazaar and Harper’s Magazine. His speciality was making his readers laugh and he was delightfully termed the editor in charge of the Department of Humour for all three publications. This job profile no doubt gave him enormous satisfaction and he went on to edit both The Metropolitan Magazine and Puck which was the foremost American humour magazine at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century. It is by no means unusual for those with a taste for the weird and ghostly to also enjoy humour, for often is the sharp intake of a breath of fright followed by a burst of laughter—if only in relief? However, John Kendrick Bangs could combine both the other worldly and genuine satire in his stories to create truly humorous supernatural tales. The 'Associated Shades' novellas that appear in volume two of this Leonaur three volume collection are a good example; in them we follow real (but deceased) historical personalities as they 'live again' and join forces with famous fictional characters in incredible adventures on the banks of the River Styx. Although Bangs always looked for the opportunity to raise a smile in his stories readers may be assured that they can also be genuinely chilling. John Kendrick Bangs is a true 'original' of supernatural fiction and this special Leonaur collection, available in softcover and hardback with dust jacket, will enable collectors and aficionados alike to read and own this unique talent in an attractive matched set.

In volume three you will two novellas ‘Olympian Nights’ and ‘The Autobiography of Methuselah,’ one novelette ‘Roger Camerden: a Strange Story,’ and ten short stories of the strange and unusual.

“I suppose Bronson will think I’m a fool, but I can prove all I say by my hair,” he said, as he rang the doctor’s bell. He was instantly admitted, and shortly after describing his symptoms he called the doctor’s attention to his hair.<br>
If he had pinned his faith to this, he showed that his faith was misplaced, for when the doctor came to examine it, Dawson’s hair was lying down as softly as it ever had. The doctor looked at Dawson for a moment, and then, with a dry cough, he said: “Dawson, I can conclude one of two things from what you tell me. Either Dampmere is haunted, which you and I as sane men can’t believe in these days, or else you are playing a practical joke on me. Now I don’t mind a practical joke at the club, my dear fellow, but here, in my office hours, I can’t afford the time to like anything of the sort. I speak frankly with you, old fellow. I have to. I hate to do it, but, after all, you’ve brought it on yourself.”<br>
“Doctor,” Dawson rejoined, “I believe I’m a sick man, else this thing wouldn’t have happened. I solemnly assure you that I’ve come to you because I wanted a prescription, and because I believe myself badly off.”<br>
“You carry it off well, Dawson,” said the doctor, severely, “but I’ll prescribe. Go back to Dampmere right away, and when you’ve seen the ghost, telegraph me and I’ll come down.”<br>
With this Bronson bowed Dawson out, and the latter, poor fellow, soon found himself on the street utterly disconsolate. He could not blame Bronson. He could understand how Bronson could come to believe that, with his hair as the only witness to his woes, and a witness that failed him at the crucial moment, Bronson should regard his visit as the outcome of some club wager, in many of which he had been involved previously.<br>
“I guess his advice is good,” said he, as he walked along. “I’ll go back right away—but meanwhile I’ll get Billie Perkins to come out and spend the night with me, and we’ll try it on him. I’ll ask him out for a few days.”<br>
Suffice it to say that Perkins accepted, and that night found the two eating supper together outwardly serene. Perkins was quite interested when Chung brought in the supper.<br>
“Wears his queue Pompadour, I see,” he said, as he glanced at Chung’s extraordinary head-dress.<br>
“Yes,” said Dawson, shortly.<br>
“You wear your hair that way yourself,” he added, for he was pleased as well as astonished to note that Perkins’s hair was manifesting an upward tendency.<br>
“Nonsense,” said Perkins. “It’s flat as a comic paper.”<br>
“Look at yourself in the glass,” said Dawson.<br>
Perkins obeyed. There was no doubt about it. His hair was rising! He started back uneasily.<br>
“Dawson,” he cried, “what is it? I’ve felt queer ever since I entered your front door, and I assure you I’ve been wondering why you wore your moustache like a pirate all the evening.”<br>
“I can’t account for it. I’ve got the creeps myself,” said Dawson, and then he told Perkins all that I have told you.<br>
“Let’s—let’s go back to New York,” said Perkins.<br>
“Can’t,” replied Dawson. “No train.”<br>
“Then,” said Perkins, with a shiver, “let’s go to bed.”<br>
The two men retired, Dawson to the room directly over the parlour, Perkins to the apartment back of it. For company they left the gas burning, and in a short time were fast asleep. An hour later Dawson awakened with a start. Two things oppressed him to the very core of his being. First, the gas was out; and second, Perkins had unmistakably groaned.<br>
He leaped from his bed and hastened into the next room.<br>
“Perkins,” he cried, “are you ill?”<br>
“Is that you, Dawson?” came a voice from the darkness.<br>
“Yes. Did—did you put out the gas?”<br>
“Are you ill?”<br>
“No; but I’m deuced uncomfortable What’s this mattress stuffed with—needles?”<br>
“Needles? No. It’s a hair mattress. Isn’t it all right?”<br>
“Not by a great deal. I feel as if I had been sleeping on a porcupine. Light up the gas and let’s see what the trouble is.”<br>
Dawson did as he was told, wondering meanwhile why the gas had gone out. No one had turned it out, and yet the key was unmistakably turned; and, what was worse, on ripping open Perkins’s mattress, a most disquieting state of affairs was disclosed.<br>
Every single hair in it was standing on end!
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