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Masterpieces of Mystery In Four Volumes Mystic-Humorous Stories   By: (1858-1936)

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Transcriber's Note: Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note. Dialect spellings, contractions and discrepancies have been retained.

Masterpieces of Mystery

In Four Volumes

MYSTIC HUMOROUS STORIES

Edited by

Joseph Lewis French

[Illustration]

Garden City New York Doubleday, Page & Company 1922

COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES AT THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, N.Y.

NOTE

The Editor desires especially to acknowledge assistance in granting the use of original material, and for helpful advice and suggestion, to Professor Brander Matthews of Columbia University, to Mrs. Anna Katherine Green Rohlfs, to Cleveland Moffett, to Arthur Reeve, creator of "Craig Kennedy," to Wilbur Daniel Steele, to Ralph Adams Cram, to Chester Bailey Fernando, to Brian Brown, to Mrs. Lillian M. Robins of the publisher's office, and to Charles E. Farrington of the Brooklyn Public Library.

FOREWORD

There is an intermediate ground between our knowledge of life and the unknown which is readily conceived as covered by the term mysticism . Mystery stories of high rank often fall under this general classification. They are neither of earth, heaven nor Hades, but may partake of either. In the hands of a master they present at times a rare, if even upon occasion, unduly thrilling aesthetic charm. The examples which it has been possible to gather within the space of this volume are offered as the best of their type.

The humorist, thank heaven, we have always with us. Spectres cannot afright him, nor mundane terrors deflect him from his path. He takes nothing either in earth or heaven seriously, as is his God given right. Some of the best examples of what he has done in the general field of mystery are presented here for the first time in any collection.

JOSEPH LEWIS FRENCH.

CONTENTS

PAGE

I. MAY DAY EVE 3 Algernon Blackwood

II. THE DIAMOND LENS 38 Fitz James O'Brien

III. THE MUMMY'S FOOT 77 Théopile Gautier

IV. MR. BLOKE'S ITEM 96 Mark Twain

V. A GHOST 101 Lafcadio Hearn

VI. THE MAN WHO WENT TOO FAR 109 E. F. Benson

VII. CHAN TOW THE HIGHROB 143 Chester Bailey Fernando

VIII. THE INMOST LIGHT 158 Arthur Machen

IX. THE SECRET OF GORESTHORPE GRANGE 203 A. Conan Doyle

X. THE MAN WITH THE PALE EYES 230 Guy de Maupassant

XI. THE RIVAL GHOSTS 238 Brander Matthews

Masterpieces of Mystery

MYSTIC HUMOROUS STORIES

MAY DAY EVE

Algernon Blackwood

I

It was in the spring when I at last found time from the hospital work to visit my friend, the old folk lorist, in his country isolation, and I rather chuckled to myself, because in my bag I was taking down a book that utterly refuted all his tiresome pet theories of magic and the powers of the soul.

These theories were many and various, and had often troubled me. In the first place, I scorned them for professional reasons, and, in the second, because I had never been able to argue quite well enough to convince or to shake his faith, in even the smallest details, and any scientific knowledge I brought to bear only fed him with confirmatory data. To find such a book, therefore, and to know that it was safely in my bag, wrapped up in brown paper and addressed to him, was a deep and satisfactory joy, and I speculated a good deal during the journey how he would deal with the overwhelming arguments it contained against the existence of any important region outside the world of sensory perceptions... Continue reading book >>




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