First published in 1895, “The Red Hand” is a short story by Welsh author Arthur Machan that includes the main characters from his novella “The Three Impostors”. The story revolves around gruesome a murder, the only glue for which is an interesting ancient stone axe. Arthur Machen (1863 – 1947) was a Welsh author and renowned mystic during the 1890s and early 20th century who garnered literary acclaim for his contributions to the supernatural, horror, and fantasy fiction genres. His seminal novella “The Great God Pan” (1890) has become a classic of horror fiction, with Stephen King describing it as one of the best horror stories written in the English language. Other notable fans of his gruesome tales include William Butler Yeats and Arthur Conan Doyle; and his work has been compared to that of Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, and Oscar Wilde. This fantastic example of classic horror fiction is highly recommended for fans of the macabre and those who have enjoyed other works by this author. Many vintage books such as this are increasingly scarce and expensive. It is with this in mind that we are republishing this volume now in an affordable, modern, high-quality edition complete with a specially-commissioned new biography of the author.
It is with this in mind that we are republishing this volume now in an affordable, modern, high-quality edition complete with a specially-commissioned new biography of the author.
Author: Arthur Machen
Publisher: Read Books Ltd
At last I found what I had been looking for, some long wisps of straw, curiously depressed and flattened in the middle, and I was certain I had found the evidence that would settle Yves Terrec for the rest of his life. It was plain as the nose on your face. The straws were sabot straws, flattened where the foot had pressed them, and sticking straight out where they projected beyond the sabot. Now nobody in St. Gildas used straw in sabots except a fisherman who lived near St. Julien, and the straw in his sabots was ordinary yellow wheat straw! This straw, or rather these straws, were from the stalks of the red wheat which only grows inland, and which, everybody in St. Gildas knew, Yves Terrec wore in his sabots. I was perfectly satisfied; and when, three hours later, a hoarse shouting from the Bannalec Road brought me to the window, I was not surprised to see Yves Terrec, bloody, dishevelled, hatless, with his strong arms bound behind him, walking with bent head between two mounted gendarmes. The crowd around him swelled every minute, crying: “Parricide! parricide! Death to the murderer!” As he passed my window I saw great clots of mud on his dusty sabots, from the heels of which projected wisps of red wheat straw. Then I walked back into the Red Admiral’s study, determined to find what the microscope would show on the wheat straws. I examined each one very carefully, and then, my eyes aching, I rested my chin on my hand and leaned back in the chair. I had not been as fortunate as some detectives, for there was no evidence that the straws had ever been used in a sabot at all. Furthermore, directly across the hallway stood a carved Breton chest, and now I noticed for the first time that, from beneath the closed lid, dozens of similar red wheat straws projected, bent exactly as mine were bent by the lid. I yawned in disgust. It was apparent that I was not cut out for a detective, and I bitterly pondered over the difference between clews in real life and clews in a detective story. After a while I rose, walked over to the chest and opened the lid. The interior was wadded with the red wheat straws, and on this wadding lay two curious glass jars, two or three small vials, several empty bottles labelled chloroform, a collecting jar of cyanide of potassium, and a book. In a farther corner of the chest were some letters bearing English stamps, and also the torn coverings of two parcels, all from England, and all directed to the Red Admiral under his proper name of “Sieur Louis Jean Terrec, St. Gildas, par Moëlan, Finistère.”
At last I found what I had been looking for, some long wisps of straw, curiously depressed and flattened in the middle, and I was certain I had found the evidence that would settle Yves Terrec for the rest of his life.
Author: Robert William Chambers
Publisher: Library of Alexandria