By Hugh Lamb

Chosen from the works of yankee, British, and French writers, 21 infrequent and seldom-anthologized tales comprise "A Bottomless Grave" by means of Ambrose Bierce, "The send that observed a Ghost" by means of Frank Norris, man de Maupassant's "The Tomb," Richard Marsh's "The Haunted Chair," and different hard-to-find gem stones of the style.

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Extra info for A Bottomless Grave: and Other Victorian Tales of Terror

Sample text

How? Stone stumbled, swayed towards the fence. He half-fell, half-threw himself against it — too late, he knew, for he was exposed now, his deception discovered. But at least this way there would be peace, a quick release from the torturing hordes who even now tore his mind out by its roots. The fence seemed to grab at him, hugged him in electric arms. For a single instant as he vibrated, Stone's mind became crystal clear. All of his objectives stood out in stark silhouette against a background of exploding fire: Key and manacles.

Stone's face melted into a mad mask. His eyes were volcanic blowholes in pulsating lava. He swayed to and fro through fantastic angles, somehow remaining upright. The guard in his tower aimed his rifle at Stone, trying to fix him in the sights. Stop The Gibbering! Stop it, or at least deflect it! But how? How? Stone stumbled, swayed towards the fence. He half-fell, half-threw himself against it — too late, he knew, for he was exposed now, his deception discovered. But at least this way there would be peace, a quick release from the torturing hordes who even now tore his mind out by its roots.

I walked through the world, but it was a different world now. It was night — it always seemed to be night in that changed world. The fields were withered, the forests black and frightening. If there were people, they were hiding. When there were birds, they were carrion-eaters. The oceans were oily, sluggish, poisoned . ' He paused, partly to draw breath, for he had been speaking very rapidly, and partly to scan the abyss of his mind for signs of invasion. The enemy army was there and he knew it, but for the moment its hordes lay low.

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