24 October 2017.
This unusual collection of short stories opens with a Rudyard Kipling tale from 1890, The Mark of the Beast. Set in India, the narrative relates how an unpleasant English colonial, called Fleete, disrespects a religious deity and reaps the ghastly consequences of his blasphemy. The second text, In Kropfsberg Keep (1895), by Ralph Adams Cram, describes how two young artists, Rupert and Otto, decide to spend a night in the haunted keep of the title but are ill-prepared for what awaits them in the darkness. Number Ninety was written in 1895 by BM Croker, the pen-name of Irish writer Bithia Mary Sheppard. For ten years, estate agents have been unable to find a tenant for an old mansion, Sheppard’s short story explains why! Dr Arabella Kenealy’s An Expiation was published in 1896, it recounts how Lord Syfret’s investigation into a wood shed exposes a grim history that reaches into the present. The Blue Room (1897) was the last story ever written by Lettice Galbraith. When young Miss Wood is asked to spend the night in the Blue Room of Mertoun Towers tragedy follows. Fifty years later Miss Erristoun and Mr Maxwell decide that the time has come to investigate what really happened on that fateful night.