Thick, dark, and unwholesome… He pawed at the glass…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s random dictionary words are: nidor, telestich, lomentum, chaulmoogra, and tuyere.
Please have these words looked up and placed in suitable sentences ready for Professor Mouldie first thing after breakfast tomorrow morning. Mrs Mouldie may be present too, but if she and the professor are handcuffed together, you should not mention or draw attention to this.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

DSCN3444Oh no, not another Badger Book!…
Yes, I’m afraid so – another 1960s British pulp supernatural paperback from my modest collection. I see that this one contains five stories, disappointing only three of them are by the master of the genre R. L. Fanthorpe, who wrote, under many clever pseudonyms, most of the science fiction and supernatural output of the Badger Books. Shall we see what the blurb on the back cover has to tell us dear reader?
This compendium of eerie literature has been especially selected for the connoisseur…
“Bitter Reflection” by R. Lionel Fanthorpe, whose work ranks with that of Poe, Blackwood, and Lovecraft, is a new variation on the classic theme of a man who tries to escape life’s consequences by invoking occult means…
Trebor Thorpe, well known for his exciting whimsical Arthurian romances turns to a very different aspect of the Supernatural in “Dragon’s Blood Mountain”…
Imagine a Grimoire in the hands of a bitter revengeful enemy… The ancient legend comes to life with horrifying reality…
So, now let’s see if we can suppress our giggles as we have a look at this marvellous front cover. From the painting style I reckon that it is by the usual Badger cover artist Henry Fox, although for some reason he didn’t bother to sign this one. The back of the chap’s head and his white coat are very nicely executed! Wish I could paint like that! There is something a bit odd about the composition though – there seems to be a lot of space to the right with not much going on. Perhaps Henry thought that ‘strange weird and eerie’ and the ‘two shillings and sixpence’ price would be placed there by the printers, and left a bit of space for them…
So, here he is, (Adrian Leming, according to the first page of the tale) wondering whether he should gulp down the red liquid antidote in the test tube… Or… maybe, the stuff in the test tube is the sinister elixir and the image in the mirror is ‘all in Adrian’s mind’ – a fleeting image of the ghastly beast that he knows that he will soon become… Oh, what a night it was the last time he had a swig of the red stuff! All that running, wild-eyed, sweating and naked, through the filthy dark woods, yelping and screaming with strange primal urges and unbridled savage animal passions, the forest creatures scurrying and skipping to the safety of their burrows and cosy nests as he crashed through the thick fecund undergrowth on his way down to the all-night supermarket in the village to buy a jumbo pack of bloody raw liver and a bottle or two of strong ale… Come on Adrian, get it down your neck, let’s see what you get up to this time!… Oh, and by the way, I wouldn’t wear that nice clean white coat though – slip over the back of a chair before you go out…
Shall I thumb through these cracked yellowed pages to find some examples of R.L.F.s writing style?
‘Leming continued to look in fascinated horror at the speech organs of the corpse-like antiquarian… The proprietor held out a thin, brown, claw-like hand. It reminded Adrian Leming of the foot of some ornithological predator. The nails were thin and pointed; the fingers were jointed bone wrapped in olive skin. The veins at the back of the hand stood out thick, dark, and unwholesome… he allowed himself to be led through the grimy doorway into the interior…’
And…
‘He began growling in a low bestial voice. His voice became a series of horrific ululations…
“Evil!…” he snarled. “Evil is a fine thing! Evil!…”
He pawed at the glass, “Evil! I’m evillll…”‘

 

 

 

 

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in art, books, cool, design, fashion, history, humour, information, magic, mind, painting, reading, story, style, surrealism, sweating, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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