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BOOK 2 IN THE INSPECTOR HANAUD SERIES, in which we again join Ricardo and Hanaud, this time in an ambiguous situation. A young, wealthy vagabond English man, Calladine, whom Ricardo knew before, hastily comes to Ricardo's London home in the morning, while Hanaud happens to be visiting. Calladine, very agitated, still dressed formally as for an evening ball, tells his disturbing story-- He had gone to a costume party that night in a hotel ballroom, met a beautiful young woman, Joan Carew, with whom he danced, dined, and talked."She was young, fair, rather tall, slim, and very pretty; her hair was drawn back from her face with a ribbon, and rippled down her shoulders in heavy curls; and she was dressed in a satin coat and knee-breeches of pale green and gold, with a white waistcoat and silk stockings and scarlet heels to her satin shoes. She was as straight-limbed as a boy, and exquisite like a figure in Dresden china."Alfred Edward Woodley Mason (7 May 1865 Dulwich, London - 22 November 1948 London) was a British author and politician, writing under the name A. E. W. Mason. He studied at Dulwich College and graduated from Trinity College, Oxford in 1888. He was elected as a Liberal Member of Parliament in the 1906 general election. Mason served in the First World War, being promoted to Captain in 1914. His military career included work in naval intelligence, serving in Spain and Mexico, where he set up counter-espionage networks on behalf of the British government.Mason was the author of more than 20 books, including At The Villa Rose (1910), a mystery novel in which he introduced his French detective, Inspector Hanaud. His best-known book is The Four Feathers, which has been made into several films. Many consider it his masterpiece.
THESE days, Hallowe'en is a night of ghosts, celebrated by people who can longer believe in them, a day of tricks, treats, and twilight. A night when -- sanctioned by custom -- the proudest and most willful child politely begs for candy at strangers' doors and the most docile child transforms in a monster. It is a day to celebrate neither the carven pumpkin nor the illuminating candle, but rather the shadows that they cast, and the unseen things that flit about them.Perhaps it won't be this way for long -- it is becoming increasingly commercialized and is losing its uncanniness as it moves away from the days of All Hallows and All Souls -- but it promises to remain so for a while yet. The night of ghouls, the night of saints, and the night of penitents make an uncomfortable arc -- they stand for three aspects of life that don't fit in very well our society anymore, but will always remain part of us. The stories, poems, commentary, and images in this slight collection have been designed to return you to those strange old times. They are not particularly horrific or terrifying -- rather, they are uneasy, uncanny, and gently unsettling, harkening back to the folklore of fairies and saints, knights and dragons, mead halls and castles, masquerades and Hallow-Mass gatherings. We hope that you find them whimsical and off-beat. We hope that you find them unusual and bizarre. We hope that you have a Happy Hallowe'en
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