Two famous novels and three short stories to keep you awake after dark!
This third volume of Bram Stoker's superb fiction of the macabre holds a bumper crop that will be sure to satisfy all those with a thirst for his blood curdling tales. It contains two novels—perhaps Stokers second most famous tale , the horrifying and sinister, 'The Lair of the White Worm' about a monster of incalculable horror and evil, and the remarkable novel, 'The Jewel of the Seven Stars'—an often neglected classic of the genre. Stoker perhaps suffered from criticism for never having bettered his famous 'Prince of the Vampires' tale. This is unfair, because after all in Dracula he created a work that, perhaps, has become the benchmark by which all fiction of its kind is judged. Not surprisingly its author was more than qualified to mix more of the same toxic literary brew for his audience. These are great stories and this volume is completed by three shorter pieces, 'The Bridal of Death,’ 'At Last,’ and 'The Judges House.’ Available as softcover and good quality hardback with dust jacket.
“I was awakened by some sound; I do not know what. I only know that it came through my sleep; for all at once I found myself awake, with my heart beating wildly, listening anxiously for some sound from my Father’s room. My room is next Father’s, and I can often hear him moving about before I fall asleep. He works late at night, sometimes very late indeed; so that when I wake early, as I do occasionally, or in the grey of the dawn, I hear him still moving. I tried once to remonstrate with him about staying up so late, as it cannot be good for him; but I never ventured to repeat the experiment.<br>
“You know how stern and cold he can be—at least you may remember what I told you about him; and when he is polite in this mood he is dreadful. When he is angry I can bear it much better; but when he is slow and deliberate, and the side of his mouth lifts up to show the sharp teeth, I think I feel—well, I don’t know how! Last night I got up softly and stole to the door, for I really feared to disturb him. There was not any noise of moving, and no kind of cry at all; but there was a queer kind of dragging sound, and a slow, heavy breathing. Oh! It was dreadful, waiting there in the dark and the silence, and fearing—fearing I did not know what!<br>
“At last I took my courage à deux mains, and turning the handle as softly as I could, I opened the door a tiny bit. It was quite dark within; I could just see the outline of the windows. But in the darkness the sound of breathing, becoming more distinct, was appalling. As I listened, this continued; but there was no other sound. I pushed the door open all at once. I was afraid to open it slowly; I felt as if there might be some dreadful thing behind it ready to pounce out on me! Then I switched on the electric light, and stepped into the room. I looked first at the bed. The sheets were all crumpled up, so that I knew Father had been in bed; but there was a great dark red patch in the centre of the bed, and spreading to the edge of it, that made my heart stand still.<br>
“As I was gazing at it the sound of the breathing came across the room, and my eyes followed to it. There was Father on his right side with the other arm under him, just as if his dead body had been thrown there all in a heap. The track of blood went across the room up to the bed, and there was a pool all around him which looked terribly red and glittering as I bent over to examine him. The place where he lay was right in front of the big safe. He was in his pyjamas. The left sleeve was torn, showing his bare arm, and stretched out toward the safe. It looked—oh! so terrible, patched all with blood, and with the flesh torn or cut all around a gold chain bangle on his wrist. I did not know he wore such a thing, and it seemed to give me a new shock of surprise.”<br>
She paused a moment; and as I wished to relieve her by a moment’s divergence of thought, I said:<br>
“Oh, that need not surprise you. You will see the most unlikely men wearing bangles. I have seen a judge condemn a man to death, and the wrist of the hand he held up had a gold bangle.” She did not seem to heed much the words or the idea; the pause, however, relieved her somewhat, and she went on in a steadier voice:<br>
“I did not lose a moment in summoning aid, for I feared he might bleed to death. I rang the bell, and then went out and called for help as loudly as I could. In what must have been a very short time—though it seemed an incredibly long one to me—some of the servants came running up; and then others, till the room seemed full of staring eyes, and dishevelled hair, and night clothes of all sorts.