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The Lost Door   By:

The Lost Door by Dorothy Quick

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The Lost Door

By DOROTHY QUICK

[Transcriber Note: This etext was produced from Weird Tales October 1936. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

[Sidenote: An alluring but deadly horror out of past centuries menaced the life of the young American a fascinating tale of a strange and eery love ]

I have often wondered whether I would have urged Wrexler to come with me if I had known what Rougemont would do to him. I think looking back that even if I could have glimpsed the future, I would have acted in the same way, and that I would have brought him to Rougemont to fulfill his destiny.

As the boat cut its swift way through the waters on its journey to France, I had no thought of this. Nor had Wrexler. He was happier than I had ever seen him. He had never been abroad before, and the boat was a source of wonder and enjoyment to him.

I myself was full of an eager anticipation of happy months to come. It hardly seemed possible that only a week had elapsed since I received the cable that had made such a change in my fortunes:

Your father died yesterday. You are sole heir, provided you comply with conditions of his will, the principal one being that you spend six months of each year at Rougemont. If satisfactory, come at once.

It was signed by my father's lawyer.

I had no sorrow over my father's passing, except a deep regret that we could not have known the true relationship of father and son. At the death of my mother, my father had grown bitter and refused to see the innocent cause of her untimely passing. As a baby I had been brought up in the lodge of Rougemont, my father's magnificent château near Vichy. When I reached the age of four, I had been sent away to boarding school. After that, my life had been a succession of schools; first in France, the adopted land of my father, then England, and finally St. Paul's in America.

In all justice to my parent, I must admit he gave me every advantage except the affection I would have cherished. By his own wish, I had never seen him in life; nor would I see him in death, for a later cable advised me that the funeral was over and his body already at rest in the beautiful Gothic mausoleum he had had built in his lifetime, after the manner of the ancients.

He had left me everything with only two injunctions, that a certain sum of money be set aside to keep the château always in its present condition and that I should spend at least half my time in it, and my children after me a condition I was only too pleased to accept. All my life I had longed for a home.

I cabled at once that I would sail. A return cable brought me the news that I had unlimited funds to draw upon. It was then that I urged Wrexler to come with me.

Wrexler and I had been friends since the day when two lonely boys had been put by chance into the same room at school. We were so utterly unlike, it was perhaps the difference between us that held us together through the years. At St. Paul's, and later at Princeton, Gordon Wrexler had always been at the head of his class, whereas I inevitably tagged along at the bottom. The contrast between us was expressed not only in the color of our hair and eyes, but also in our dispositions. My greatest gift from fate was a sense of humor, and I suppose it was this quality of mine that particularly appealed to Wrexler. It seems as though I was the only one who could lift him out of the despondency into which he often plunged. As the years passed, and his tendency to depression intensified, he came to depend more and more upon me, and we grew closer together.

Strangely enough, the whiteness of his face and the gloom that exuded from him did not detract from his good looks. It only added to them. For the translucence of his skin made the thick, black hair that lay close to his head all the darker, while at the same time it brought out the deep black of his eyes, and the firm cut of his lips... Continue reading book >>




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