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Title: Werwolves
Author: O'Donnell, Elliott, 1872-1965
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                              WERWOLVES


                          BY THE SAME AUTHOR

               SOME HAUNTED HOUSES OF ENGLAND AND WALES

                     THE HAUNTED HOUSES OF LONDON

                         SCOTTISH GHOST TALES

                         BYEWAYS OF GHOSTLAND

                          GHOSTLY PHENOMENA

                 THE REMINISCENCES OF MRS. E. M. WARD



                              WERWOLVES


                                  BY

                          ELLIOTT O'DONNELL


                          METHUEN & CO. LTD.
                         36 ESSEX STREET W.C.
                                LONDON


                      _First Published in 1912_



CONTENTS


  CHAP.                                                        PAGE
     I. WHAT IS A WERWOLF?                                        1

    II. WERWOLF METAMORPHOSIS COMPARED WITH OTHER BRANCHES OF
          LYCANTHROPY                                            20

   III. THE SPIRITS OF WERWOLVES                                 44

    IV. HOW TO BECOME A WERWOLF                                  55

     V. WERWOLVES AND EXORCISM                                   71

    VI. THE WERWOLF IN THE BRITISH ISLES                         92

   VII. THE WERWOLF IN FRANCE                                   110

  VIII. WERWOLVES AND VAMPIRES AND GHOULS                       126

    IX. WERWOLVES IN GERMANY                                    143

     X. A LYCANTHROPOUS BROOK IN THE HARZ MOUNTAINS; OR, THE
          CASE OF THE COUNTESS HILDA VON BREBER                 161

    XI. WERWOLVES IN AUSTRIA-HUNGARY AND THE BALKAN PENINSULA   174

   XII. THE WERWOLF IN SPAIN                                    194

  XIII. THE WERWOLF IN BELGIUM AND THE NETHERLANDS              212

   XIV. THE WERWOLVES AND MARAS OF DENMARK                      225

    XV. WERWOLVES IN NORWAY AND SWEDEN                          236

   XVI. WERWOLVES IN ICELAND, LAPLAND, AND FINLAND              256

  XVII. THE WERWOLF IN RUSSIA AND SIBERIA                       270



WERWOLVES



CHAPTER I

WHAT IS A WERWOLF?


What is a werwolf? To this there is no one very satisfactory reply.
There are, indeed, so many diverse views held with regard to the nature
and classification of werwolves, their existence is so keenly disputed,
and the subject is capable of being regarded from so many standpoints,
that any attempt at definition in a restricted sense would be well-nigh
impossible.

The word werwolf (or werewolf) is derived from the Anglo-Saxon _wer_,
man, and _wulf_, wolf, and has its equivalents in the German _Währwolf_
and French _loup-garou_, whilst it is also to be found in the languages,
respectively, of Scandinavia, Russia, Austria-Hungary, the Balkan
Peninsula, and of certain of the countries of Asia and Africa; from
which it may be concluded that its range is pretty well universal.

Indeed, there is scarcely a country in the world in which belief in a
werwolf, or in some other form of lycanthropy, has not once existed,
though it may have ceased to exist now. But whereas in some countries
the werwolf is considered wholly physical, in others it is looked upon
as partly, if not entirely, superphysical. And whilst in some countries
it is restricted to the male sex, in others it is confined to the
female; and, again, in others it is to be met with in both sexes.

Hence, when asked to describe a werwolf, or what is generally
believed to be a werwolf, one can only say that a werwolf is an
anomaly--sometimes man, sometimes woman (or in the guise of man or
woman); sometimes adult, sometimes child (or in the guise of
such)--that, under certain conditions, possesses the property of
metamorphosing into a wolf, the change being either temporary or
permanent.

This, perhaps, expresses most of what is general concerning werwolves.
For more particular features, upon which I will touch later, one must
look to locality and time.

Those who are sceptical with regard to the existence of the werwolf, and
refuse to accept, as proof of such existence, the accumulated testimony
of centuries, attribute the origin of the belief in the phenomenon
merely to an insane delusion, which, by reason of its novelty, gained a
footing and attracted followers.

Humanity, they say, has ever been the same; and any fresh idea--no
matter how bizarre or monstrous, so long as it is monstrous enough--has
always met with support and won credence.

In favour of this argument it is pointed out that in many of the cases
of persons accused of werwolfery, tried in France, and elsewhere, in the
middle of the sixteenth century, when belief in this species of
lycanthropy was at its zenith, there was an extraordinary readiness
among the accused to confess, and even to give circumstantial evidence
of their own metamorphosis; and that this particular form of
self-accusation at length became so popular among the leading people in
the land, that the judicial court, having its suspicions awakened, and,
doubtless, fearful of sentencing so many important personages, acquitted
the majority of the accused, announcing them to be the victims of
delusion and hysteria.

Now, if it were admitted, argue these sceptics, that the bulk of
so-called werwolves were impostors, is it not reasonable to suppose that
all so-called werwolves were either voluntary or involuntary
impostors?--the latter, _i.e._, those who were not self-accused, being
falsely accused by persons whose motive for so doing was revenge. For
parallel cases one has only to refer to the trials for sorcery and
witchcraft in England. And with regard to false accusations of
lycanthropy--accusations founded entirely on hatred of the accused
person--how easy it was to trump up testimony and get the accused
convicted. The witnesses were rarely, if ever, subjected to a searching
examination; the court was always biased, and a confession of guilt,
when not voluntary--as in the case of the prominent citizen, when it was
invariably pronounced due to hysteria or delusion--could always be
obtained by means of torture, though a confession thus obtained,
needless to say, is completely nullified. Moreover, we have no record of
metamorphosis taking place in court, or before witnesses chosen for
their impartiality. On the contrary, the alleged transmutations always
occurred in obscure places, and in the presence of people who, one has
reason to believe, were both hysterical and imaginative, and therefore
predisposed to see wonders. So says this order of sceptic, and, to my
mind, he says a great deal more than his facts justify; for although
contemporary writers generally are agreed that a large percentage of
those people who voluntarily confessed they were werwolves were mere
dissemblers, there is no recorded conclusive testimony to show that all
such self-accused persons were shams and delusionaries. Besides, even
if such testimony were forthcoming, it would in nowise preclude the
existence of the werwolf.

Nor does the fact that all the accused persons submitted to the rack, or
other modes of torture, confessed themselves werwolves prove that all
such confessions were false.

Granted also that some of the charges of lycanthropy were groundless,
being based on malice--which, by the by, is no argument for the
non-existence of lycanthropy, since it is acknowledged that accusations
of all sorts, having been based on malice, have been equally
groundless--there is nothing in the nature of written evidence that
would justify one in assuming that all such charges were traceable to
the same cause, _i.e._, a malicious agency. Neither can one dismiss the
testimony of those who swore they were actual eye-witnesses of
metamorphoses, on the mere assumption that all such witnesses were
liable to hallucination or hysteria, or were hyper-imaginative.

Testimony to an event having taken place must be regarded as positive
evidence of such an occurrence, until it can be satisfactorily proved to
be otherwise--and this is where the case of the sceptic breaks down; he
can only offer assumption, not proof.

Another view, advanced by those who discredit werwolves, is that belief
in the existence of such an anomaly originates in the impression made
on man in early times by the great elemental powers of nature. It was,
they say, man's contemplation of the changes of these great elemental
powers of nature, _i.e._, the changes of the sun and moon, wind, thunder
and lightning, of the day and night, sunshine and rain, of the seasons,
and of life and death, and his deductions therefrom, that led to his
belief in and worship of gods that could assume varying shapes, such,
for example, as India (who occasionally took the form of a bull),
Derketo (who sometimes metamorphosed into a fish), Poseidon, Jupiter
Ammon, Milosh Kobilitch, Minerva, and countless others--and that it is
to this particular belief and worship, which is to be found in the
mythology of every race, that all religions, as well as belief in
fairies, demons, werwolves, and phantasms, may be traced.

Well, this might be so, if there were not, in my opinion, sufficient
accumulative corroborative evidence to show that not only were there
such anomalies as werwolves formerly, but that, in certain restricted
areas, they are even yet to be encountered.

Taking, then, the actual existence of werwolves to be an established
fact, it is, of course, just as impossible to state their origin as it
is to state the origin of any other extraordinary form of creation.
Every religious creed, every Occult sect, advances its own respective
views--and has a perfect right to do so, as long as it advances them as
views and not dogmatisms.

I, for my part, bearing in mind that everything appertaining to the
creation of man and the universe is a profound mystery, cannot see the
object on the part of religionists and scientists in being arbitrary
with regard to a subject which any child of ten will apprehend to be one
whereon it is futile to do other than theorize. My own theory, or rather
one of my own theories, is that the property of transmutation, _i.e._,
the power of assuming any animal guise, was one of the many
properties--including second sight, the property of becoming invisible
at will, of divining the presence of water, metals, the advent of death,
and of projecting the etherical body--which were bestowed on man at the
time of his creation; and that although mankind in general is no longer
possessed of them, a few of these properties are still, in a lesser
degree, to be found among those of us who are termed psychic.

The history of the Jews is full of references to certain of these
properties. The greatest of all the Superphysical Forces--the creating
Force (the Hebrew Jah, Jehovah)--so says the Bible, constantly held
direct communication with His elect--with Adam, Noah, Abraham, and
Moses, while His emissaries, the angels, or what modern Occultists would
term Benevolent Elementals, conversed with Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, and
hosts of others. In this same history, too, there is no lack of
reference to sorcery; and whilst Black Magic is illustrated in the
tricks wrought by the magicians before Pharaoh, and the infliction of
all manner of plagues upon the Egyptians, one is rather inclined to
attribute to White Magic Daniel's safety among the lions; Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abed-nego's preservation from the flames; Elijah's
miraculous spinning out of the barrel of meal and cruse of oil, in the
days of famine, and his raising of the widow's son. Also, to the account
of White Magic--and should anyone dispute this point let me remind him
that it is merely a difference in the point of view--I would add
Elisha's calling up of the bears that made such short work of the
naughty children who tormented him. There are, too, many examples of
divination recorded in the Bible. In Genesis, chapter xxx., verses
27-43, a description is given of a divining rod and its influence over
sheep and other animals; in Exodus, chapter xvii., verse 15, Moses with
the aid of a rod discovers water in the rock at Rephidim, and for
similar instances one has only to refer to Exodus, chapter xiv., verse
16, and chapter xvii., verses 9-11. The calling up of the phantasm of
Samuel at Endor more than suggests a biblical precedent for the modern
practice of spiritualism; and it was, undoubtedly, the abuse of such
power as that possessed by the witch of Endor, and the prevalence of
sorcery, such as she practised, that finally led to the decree delivered
by Moses to the Children of Israel, that on no account were they to
suffer a witch to live. Reference to yet another property of the
occult--namely, Etherical Projection--which is clearly exemplified in
the Scriptures, may be found in Numbers, chapter xii., verse 6; in Job,
chapter xxxiii., verse 15; in the First Book of Kings, chapter iii.,
verse 5; in Genesis, chapter xx., verses 3 and 6, and chapter xxxi.,
verse 24; in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Nahum, and Zechariah; and more
particularly in the Acts of the Apostles, and in the Revelation of St.
John. Lastly, in this history of the Jews, which is surely neither more
nor less authenticated than any other well established history,
testimony as to the existence of one species of Elemental of much the
same order as the werwolf is recorded by Isaiah. In chapter xiii., verse
21, we read: "And their houses shall be full of doleful creatures, and
owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there." Satyrs! we
repeat; are not satyrs every whit as grotesque and outrageous as
werwolves? Why, then, should those who, regarding the Scriptures as
infallible, confess to a belief in the satyr, reject the possibility of
a werwolf? And for those who are more logically sceptical--who question
the veracity of the Bible and are dubious as to its authenticity--there
are the chronicles of Herodotus, Petronius Arbiter, Baronius, Dôle,
Olaus Magnus, Marie de France, Thomas Aquinas, Richard Verstegan, and
many other recognized historians and classics, covering a large area in
the history of man, all of whom specially testify to the existence--in
their own respective periods--of werwolves.

And if any further evidence of this once near relationship with the
Other World is required, one has only to turn to Aristotle, who wrote so
voluminously on psychic dreams (most of which I am inclined to think
were due to projection); to the teachings of Pythagoras and his
followers, Empedocles and Apollonius; to Cicero and Tacitus; to Virgil,
who frequently talks of ghosts and seers of Tyana; to Plato, the
exponent of magic; and to Plutarch, whose works swarm with allusions to
Occultism of all kinds--phantasms of the dead, satyrs, and numerous
other species of Elementals.

I say, then, that in ages past, before any of the artificialities
appertaining to our present mode of living were introduced; when the
world was but thinly populated and there were vast regions of wild
wastes and silent forests, the Known and Unknown walked hand in hand. It
was seclusion of this kind, the seclusion of nature, that spirits loved,
and it was in this seclusion they were always to be found whenever man
wanted to hold communication with them. To such silent spots--to the
woods and wildernesses--Buddha, Mohammed, the Hebrew Patriarchs and
Prophets, all, in their turn, resorted, to solicit the companionship of
benevolently disposed spirits, to be tutored by them, and, in all
probability, to receive from them additional powers. To these wastes and
forests, too, went all those who wished to do ill. There they communed
with the spirits of darkness, _i.e._, demons, or what are also termed
Vice Elementals; and from the latter they acquired--possibly in exchange
for some of their own vitality, for spirits of this order are said to
have envied man his material body--tuition in sorcery, and such
properties as second sight, invisibility, and lycanthropy.

This property of lycanthropy, or metamorphosing into a beast, probably
dates back to man's creation. It was, I am inclined to believe,
conferred on man at his creation by Malevolent Forces that were
antagonistic to man's progress; and that these Malevolent Forces had a
large share in the creation of this universe is, to my mind, extremely
probable. But, however that may be, I cannot believe that the creation
of man and the universe were due entirely to one Creator--there are
assuredly too many inconsistencies in all we see around us to justify
belief in only one Creative Force. The Creator who inspired man with
love--love for his fellow beings and love of the beautiful--could not be
the same Creator who framed that irredeemably cruel principle observable
throughout nature, _i.e._, the survival of the fittest; the preying of
the stronger on the weaker--of the tiger on the feebler beasts of the
jungle; the eagle on the smaller birds of the air; the wolf on the
sheep; the shark on the poor, defenceless fish, and so on; neither could
He be the Creator that deals in diseases--foul and filthy diseases,
common, not only to all divisions of the human species, but to
quadrupeds, birds, fish, and even flora; that brings into existence
cripples and idiots, the blind, the deaf and dumb; and watches with
passive inertness the most acute sufferings, not only of adults, but of
sinless children and all manner of helpless animals. No! It is
impossible to conceive that such incompatibilities can be the work of
one Creator. But, supposing, for the sake of argument, we may admit the
possibility of only one Creator, we cannot concede that this Creator is
at the same time both omnipotent and merciful. My own belief, which is
merely based on common sense and observation, is that this earth was
created by many Forces--that everything that makes for man's welfare is
due to Benevolent Forces; and that everything that tends to his
detriment is due to antagonistic Malevolent Forces; and that the
Malevolent Forces exist for the very simple reason that the Benevolent
Forces are not sufficiently powerful to destroy them.

These Malevolent Forces, then--the originators of all evil--created
werwolves; and the property of lycanthropy becoming in many cases
hereditary, there were families that could look back upon countless
generations possessed of it. But lycanthropy did not remain in the
exclusive possession of a few families; the bestowal of it continued
long after its original creation, and I doubt if this bestowal has, even
now, become entirely a thing of the past. There are still a few
regions--desolate and isolated regions in Europe (in Russia,
Scandinavia, and even France), to say nothing of Asia, Africa and
America, Australasia and Polynesia--which are unquestionably the haunts
of Vagrarians, Barrowvians, and other kinds of undesirable Elementals,
and it is quite possible that, through the agency of these spirits, the
property of lycanthropy might be acquired by those who have learned in
solitude how to commune with them.

I have already referred to the werwolf as an anomaly, and for its
designation I do not think I could have chosen a more suitable term.
Though its movements and actions are physical--for what could be more
material than the act of devouring flesh and blood?--the actual process
of the metamorphosis savours of the superphysical; whilst to still
further strengthen its relationship with the latter, its appearance is
sometimes half man and half wolf, which is certainly more than
suggestive of the semi-human and by no means uncommon type of Elemental.
Its inconsistency, too, which is a striking characteristic of all
psychic phenomena, is also suggestive of the superphysical; and
there is certainly neither consistency as to the nature of the
metamorphosis--which is sometimes brought about at will and sometimes
entirely controlled by the hour of day, or by the seasons--nor as to the
outward form of the werwolf, which is sometimes merely that of a wolf,
and sometimes partly wolf and partly human; nor as to its shape at the
moment of death, when in some cases there is metamorphosis, whilst in
other cases there is no metamorphosis. Nor is this inconsistency only
characteristic of the movements, actions, and shape of the werwolf. It
is also characteristic of it psychologically. When the metamorphosis is
involuntary, and is enforced by agencies over which the subject has no
control, the werwolf, though filled with all the passions characteristic
of a beast of prey, when a wolf, is not of necessity cruel and savage
when a human being, that is to say, before the transmutations take
place. There are many instances of such werwolves being, as people,
affectionate and kindly disposed. On the other hand, in some cases of
involuntary metamorphosis, and in the majority of cases of voluntary
metamorphosis--that is to say, when the transmutation is compassed by
means of magic--the werwolf, as a person, is evilly disposed, and as a
wolf shows a distinct blending of the beast with the passions, subtle
ingenuity, and reasoning powers of the human being. From this it is
obvious, then, that the werwolf is a hybrid of the material and
immaterial--of man and Elemental, known and Unknown. The latter term
does not, of course, meet with acceptance at the hands of the
Rationalists, who profess to believe that all phenomena can be explained
by perfectly natural causes. They suggest that belief in the werwolf (as
indeed in all other forms of lycanthropy) is traceable to the craving
for blood which is innate in certain natures and is sometimes
accompanied by hallucination, the subject genuinely believing himself to
be a wolf (or whatever beast of prey is most common in the district),
and, in imitation of that animal's habits, committing acts of
devastation at night, selecting his victims principally from among women
and children--those, in fact, who are too feeble to resist him.

Often, however, say these Rationalists, there is no suggestion of
hallucination, the question resolving itself into one of vulgar
trickery. The anthropophagi, unable to suppress their appetite for human
food, taking advantage of the general awe in which the wolf is held by
their neighbours, dress themselves up in the skins of that beast, and
prowling about lonely, isolated spots at night, pounce upon those people
they can most easily overpower. Rumours (most probably started by the
murderers themselves) speedily get in circulation that the mangled and
half-eaten remains of the villagers are attributable to creatures, half
human and half wolf, that have been seen gliding about certain places
after dark. The simple country-folk, among whom superstitions are rife,
are only too ready to give credence to such reports; the existence of
the monsters becomes an established thing, whilst the localities that
harbour them are regarded with horror, and looked upon as the happy
hunting ground of every imaginable occult power of evil.

Now, although such an explanation of werwolves might be applicable in
certain districts of West Africa, where the native population is
excessively bloodthirsty and ignorant, it could not for one moment be
applied to werwolfery in Germany, France, or Scandinavia, where the
peasantry are, generally speaking, kindly and intelligent people, whom
one could certainly accuse neither of being sanguinary nor of possessing
any natural taste for cannibalism.

The rationalist view can therefore only be said to be feasible in
certain limited spheres, outside of which it is grotesque and
ridiculous.

Now a question that has occurred to me, and which, I fancy, may give
rise to some interesting speculation, is, whether some of the werwolves
stated to have been seen may not have been some peculiar type of
phantasm. I make this suggestion because I have seen several sub-human
and sub-animal occult phenomena in England, and have, too, met other
people who have had similar experiences.

With our limited knowledge of the Unknown it is, of course, impossible
to be arbitrary as to the class of spirits to which such phenomena
belong. They may be Vice Elementals, _i.e._, spirits that have never
inhabited any material body, whether human or animal, and which are
wholly inimical to man's progress--such spirits assume an infinite
number of shapes, agreeable and otherwise; or they may be phantasms of
dead human beings--vicious and carnal-minded people, idiots, and
imbecile epileptics. It is an old belief that the souls of cataleptic
and epileptic people, during the body's unconsciousness, adjourned
temporarily to animals, and it is therefore only in keeping with such a
view to suggest that on the deaths of such people their spirits take
permanently the form of animals. This would account for the fact that
places where cataleptics and idiots have died are often haunted by semi
and by wholly animal types of phantasms.

According to Paracelsus Man has in him two spirits--an animal spirit and
a human spirit--and that in after life he appears in the shape of
whichever of these two spirits he has allowed to dominate him. If, for
example, he has obeyed the spirit that prompts him to be sober and
temperate, then his phantasm resembles a man; but on the other hand, if
he has given way to his carnal and bestial cravings, then his phantasm
is earthbound, in the guise of some terrifying and repellent
animal--maybe a wolf, bear, dog, or cat--all of which shapes are far
from uncommon in psychic manifestations.

This view has been held either _in toto_, or with certain reservations,
by many other writers on the subject, and I, too, in a great measure
endorse it--its pronouncement of a limit to man's phantasms being,
perhaps, the only important point to which I cannot accede. My own view
is that so complex a creature as man--complex both physically and
psychologically--may have a representative spirit for each of his
personalities. Hence on man's physical dissolution there may emanate
from him a host of phantasms, each with a shape most fitting the
personality it represents. And what more thoroughly representative of
cruelty, savageness, and treachery than a wolf, or even something partly
lupine! Therefore, as I have suggested elsewhere, in some instances, but
emphatically not in all, what were thought to have been werwolves may
only have been phantasms of the dead, or Elementals.



CHAPTER II

WERWOLF METAMORPHOSIS COMPARED WITH OTHER BRANCHES OF LYCANTHROPY


The wolf is not the only animal whose shape, it is stated, man may
possess the power of assuming; and it may be of some interest to inquire
briefly into the varying branches of lycanthropy, comparing them with
the one already under discussion.

In Orissa, the power of metamorphosing into a tiger is asserted by the
Kandhs to be hereditary, and also to be acquired through the practice of
magic; many who have travelled in this country have assured me that
there is a very great amount of truth in this assertion; and that
although there are, without doubt, a number of impostors among those
designated wer-tigers, there are most certainly many who are genuine.

As with the werwolf, so with the wer-tiger, the metamorphosis is usually
dependent on the hour of the day, and generally occurs cotemporaneous
with the setting of the sun.

But the lycanthropy of the wer-tiger differs from that of the werwolf
inasmuch as there is a definite god or spirit, in the shape of a tiger,
that is directly responsible for the bestowal of the property. This
tiger deity is looked upon and worshipped as a totem or national
deity--that is to say, as a divine being that has the welfare of the
Kandh nation especially at heart. It is communed with at home, but more
particularly in the wild dreariness of the jungle, where, on the
condition that the prayers of its devotees are sufficiently concentrated
and in earnest, it confers--as an honour and privilege--the power of
transmutation into its own shape. Some idea of its appearance may
perhaps be gathered from the following description of it given me by a
Mr. K----, whose name I see in the list of passengers reported "missing"
in the deplorable disaster to the "Titanic."

"Anxious to see," Mr. K---- stated, "if there was anything of truth in
the alleged materialization of the tiger totem to those supplicating it,
I went one evening to a spot in the jungle--some two or three miles from
the village--where I had been informed the manifestations took place. As
the jungle was universally held to be haunted I met no one; and in spite
of my dread of the snakes, big cats, wild boars, scorpions, and other
poisonous vermin with which the place was swarming, arrived without
mishap at the place that had been so carefully described to me--a
circular clearing of about twenty feet in diameter, surrounded on all
sides by rank grass of a prodigious height, trolsee shrubs, kulpa and
tamarind-trees. Quickly concealing myself, I waited the coming of the
would-be tiger-man.

"He was hardly more than a boy--slim and almost feminine--and came
gallivanting along the narrow path through the brushwood, like some
careless, high-spirited, brown-skinned hoyden.

"The moment he reached the edge of the mystic circle, however, his
behaviour changed; the light of laughter died from his eyes, his lips
straightened, his limbs stiffened, and his whole demeanour became one of
respect and humility.

"Advancing with bare head and feet some three or so feet into the
clearing, he knelt down, and, touching the ground three times in
succession with his forehead, looked up at a giant kulpa-tree opposite
him, chanting as he did so some weird and monotonous refrain, the
meaning of which was unintelligible to me. Up to then it had been
light--the sky, like all Indian skies at that season, one blaze of
moonbeams and stars; but now it gradually grew dark. An unnatural,
awe-inspiring shade seemed to swoop down from the far distant mountains
and to hush into breathless silence everything it touched. Not a bird
sang, not an insect ticked, not a leaf stirred. One might have said all
nature slept, had it not been for an uncomfortable sensation that the
silence was but the silence of intense expectation--merely the prelude
to some unpleasant revelation that was to follow. At this juncture my
feelings were certainly novel--entirely different from any I had
hitherto experienced.

"I had not believed in the supernatural, and had had absolutely no
apprehensions of coming across anything of a ghostly character--all my
fears had been of malicious natives and tigers; they now, however,
changed, and I was confronted with a dread of what I could not
understand and could not analyse--of something that suggested an
appearance, alarming on account of its very vagueness.

"The pulsations of my heart became irregular, I grew faint and sick, and
painfully susceptible to a sensation of excessive coldness, which
instinct told me was quite independent of any actual change in the
atmosphere.

"I made several attempts to remove my gaze from the kulpa-tree, which
intuition told me would be the spot where the something, whatever it
was, that was going to happen would manifest itself. My eyes, however,
refused to obey, and I was obliged to keep them steadily fixed on this
spot, which grew more and more gloomy. All of a sudden the silence was
broken, and a cry, half human and half animal, but horribly ominous,
sounding at first faint and distant, speedily grew louder and louder.
Soon I heard footsteps, the footsteps of something running towards us
and covering the ground with huge, light strides. Nearer and nearer it
came, till, with a sudden spring, it burst into view--the giant reeds
and trolsees were dashed aside, and I saw standing in front of the
kulpa-tree a vertical column of crimson light of perhaps seven feet in
height and one or so in width. A column--only a column, though the
suggestion conveyed to me by the column was nasty--nasty with a
nastiness that baffles description. I looked at the native, and the
expression in his eyes and mouth assured me he saw more--a very great
deal more. For some seconds he only gasped; then, by degrees, the
rolling of his eyes and twitching of his lips ceased. He stretched out a
hand and made some sign on the ground. Then he produced a string of
beads, and after placing it over the scratchings he had made on the
soil, jerked out some strange incantation in a voice that thickened and
quivered with terror. I then saw a stream of red light steal from the
base of the column and dart like forked lightning to the beads, which
instantly shone a luminous red. The native now picked them up, and,
putting them round his neck, clapped the palms of his hands vigorously
together, uttering as he did so a succession of shrill cries, that
gradually became more and more animal in tone, and finally ended in a
roar that converted every particle of blood in my veins into ice. The
crimson colour now abruptly vanished--whither it went I know not--the
shade that had been veiling the jungle was dissipated, and in the burst
of brilliant moonlight that succeeded I saw, peering up at me, from the
spot where the native had lain, the yellow, glittering, malevolent eyes,
not of a man, but a tiger--a tiger thirsting for human blood. The shock
was so great that for a second or two I was paralysed, and could only
stare back at the thing in fascinated helplessness. Then a big bird
close at hand screeched, and some small quadruped flew past me
terrified; and with these awakenings of nature all my faculties revived,
and I simply jumped on my feet and--fled!

"Some fifty yards ahead of me, and showing their tops well above the
moon-kissed reeds and bushes, were two trees--a tamarind and a kulpa
briksha. God knows why I decided on the latter! Probably through a mere
fluke, for I hadn't the remotest idea which of the trees offered the
best facilities to a poor climber. My mind once made up, there was no
time to alter. The wer-tiger was already terribly close behind. I could
gauge its distance by the patter of its feet--apparently the
metamorphosis had only been in part--and by the steadily intensifying
purr, purr; so unmistakably interpretative of the brute's utter
satisfaction in its power to overtake me, as well as at the prospect of
so good a meal. I was just thirteen stone, seemingly a most unlucky
number even in weight! Had the tiger wanted, I am sure he could have
caught me at once, but I fancy it wished to play with me a little
first--to let me think I was going to escape, and then, when it had got
all the amusement possible out of me, just to give a little sprint and
haul me over. Perhaps it was my anger at such undignified treatment of
the human race that gave a kind of sting to my running, for I certainly
got over the ground at twice the speed I had ever done before, or ever
thought myself capable of doing. At times my limbs were on the verge of
mutiny, but I forced them onward, and though my lungs seemed bursting, I
never paused. At last a clearing was reached and the kulpa-tree stood
fully revealed. I glanced at once at the trunk. The lowest branch of any
size was some eight feet from the ground. . . . Could I reach it?
Summoning up all my efforts for this final, and in all probability
fatal, rush, I hurled myself forward. There was a low exultant roar, a
soft, almost feminine purr, and a long hairy paw, with black, gleaming
claws shot past my cheek. I gave a great gasp of anguish, and with all
the pent-up force of despair clutched at the branch overhead. My
finger-tips just curled over it; I tightened them, but, at the most, it
was a very feeble, puny grasp, and totally insufficient to enable me to
swing my body out of reach of the tiger. I immediately gave myself up as
lost, and was endeavouring to reconcile myself to the idea of being
slowly chewed alive, when an extraordinary thing happened. The wer-tiger
gave a low growl of terror and, bounding away, was speedily lost in the
jungle. Fearing it might return, I waited for some time in the tree, and
then, as there were no signs of it, descended, and very cautiously made
my way back to the village.

"That night an entire family, father, mother, son, and daughter, were
murdered, and their mutilated and half-eaten bodies were discovered on
the floor of their hut in the morning. Evidence pointed to their having
been killed by a tiger; and as they had been the sworn enemies of the
young man whose metamorphosis I had witnessed, it was not difficult to
guess at the identity of their destroyer.

"I related my adventure to one of the chief people, and he informed me
he knew that particular kulpa-tree well. 'You undoubtedly owe your
salvation to having touched it,' he said. 'The original kulpa, which now
stands in the first heaven, is said to have been one of the fourteen
remarkable things turned up by the churning of the ocean by the gods and
demons; and the name of Ram and his consort Seeter are written on the
silvery trunks of all its earthly descendants. If once you touch any
portion of a kulpa briksha tree, you are quite safe from any
animal--that is why the wer-tiger snarled and ran away! But take my
advice, sahib, and leave the village.'

"I did so, and on the way to my home in the hills visited the tree.
There, sure enough, plainly visible on the silvery surface in the
twilight, was the name of the incarnation of Vishnu, written in Sanskrit
characters, and apparently by some supernatural hand; that is to say,
there was a softness in the impression, as if the finger of some
supernatural being had traced the characters. I did not want any further
proofs--I had had enough; and taking good care to see my gun was loaded,
I hurried off. Nor have I ever ventured into that neighbourhood since."

Mr. K----, continuing, informed me that from what he had been told by
his friend in the Kandh village, he concluded that only those who had
been initiated into the full rites of magic in their early youth could
see the totem in its full state of materialization, _i.e._, an enormous
tiger--half man and half beast. To those who were in some degree
clairvoyant it would appear as it had appeared to him, a mere column of
crimson light (crimson on account of its association with Black Magic);
whilst to those who were not in any way clairvoyant it would remain
entirely invisible. The young Kandh had prayed for the property of
lycanthropy solely as a means of revenge on those whom he imagined had
wronged him; and as a wer-tiger he was able to destroy them in the most
cruel manner possible. The property when once acquired, however, could
never be cast off, and the young man would, willy-nilly, undergo
transmutation every night, and in all probability continue killing and
eating people till some one plucked up the courage--for wer-tigers were
not only dreaded, but held in the greatest awe--to shoot him.

There are certain tribes in India known to be adepts in Occultism, and
therefore one is not surprised to find lycanthropy linked with the
mysterious jugglery, etherical projection, and other psychic feats
accomplished by these tribesmen. The wer-tiger is not confined to the
Kandhs: it is met with in Malaysia, in the gorgeous tropical forests of
Java and Sumatra, where it is feared more than anything on earth by the
gentle and intelligent natives; and, if rumour be true, in the great,
lone mountains and dense jungles, and along the hot, unhealthy
river-banks of New Guinea.

In Arawak, it gives place to the wer-jaguar; in Ashangoland, and many
parts of West Africa, to the wer-leopard. Of course, there are cases of
charlatanism in lycanthropy as in medicine, politics, palmistry, and in
every other science. But most, if not all, of these cases of sham
lycanthropy seem to come from West Africa, where leopard societies are
from time to time formed by young savages unable to restrain their
craving for cannibalism. These human vampires dress up in leopard-skins,
and stealing stealthily through the woods at night, attack stray
pedestrians or isolated households. After killing their victims, they
cut off any portions of the body--usually the breasts and thighs--they
fancy most for eating, and then mutilate the rest with the signia of
their society, _i.e._, long and deep scratchings, which are made either
with the claws of a leopard or some other beast, or with sharp iron
nails. Whole districts are often put in a state of panic by these
marauders, who, retiring to their retreat in the heart of some little
known, vast, and almost impenetrable forest, successfully defy capture.
But the fact of there being pseudo-wer-leopards by no means disposes of
the fact that there are genuine ones, any more than the fact that there
are charlatan palmists precludes the possibility of there being _bona
fide_ palmists; and I am inclined to believe lycanthropy exists in
certain parts of West Africa (_i.e._, where primitive conditions are
most in evidence), although not, perhaps, to the same extent as it does
in Asia and Europe. I do not think the negro's relationship to the
Occult Forces is quite the same as that of other races. He is often
clairvoyant and clairaudiant, and always very much in awe of the
superphysical; but it is rarely he can ever claim close intimacy with
it--not close enough, at all events, to be the recipient of its special
gifts.

In werwolfery there is no "totem." The property of metamorphosis, in
this branch of lycanthropy, is not deemed the gift of a national deity,
but either of the Occult Powers in general or of some particular local
phantasm. In other branches of lycanthropy, viz., that of the wer-tiger
and wer-leopard--I am doubtful about the wer-jaguar--the property of
transmutation is said to be conferred solely by the god, or a god, of
the tribe.

But although these various properties of lycanthropy are apparently
derived from different sources, the difference is only in outward form;
and I have no hesitation in saying that the occult power from which all
lycanthropy proceeds, whether in the form of a wolf, tiger, leopard, or
any other beast, is in reality the same species of Elemental.[32:1] But
whether a Vagrarian, Vice, or some other Elemental, I cannot possibly
say.

I have stated that I am doubtful as to whether totemism exists in
Arawak. The truth is, with regard to this question, I am in receipt of
somewhat conflicting testimony. Some say that the natives have as their
god a deity in the form of a jaguar, to whom they pray for vengeance on
their foes and for the property of lycanthropy; which property (_vide_
the case of the Kandhs) would give them the additional pleasure of
executing vengeance in their own person. On the other hand, I have heard
that the form of a jaguar is the form most commonly assumed by spirits
in Arawak, particularly by those invoked at séances. Hence it is
extremely difficult to arrive at the truth. From the corroborating
testimony of various people, however, I conclude that whereas among the
Kandhs and West African negroes the property of lycanthropy (unless, of
course, hereditary) is rarely conferred on females, or on anyone younger
than sixteen, in Arawak and Malaysia it is awarded regardless of sex or
age.

Some years ago there was current, among certain tribes of the natives in
Arawak, a story to this effect:--

A Dutch trader, of the name of Van Hielen, was visiting for purely
business purposes an Indian settlement in a very remote part of the
colony. Roaming about the village one evening, he came to a hut standing
alone on the outskirts of one of those dense forests that are so
characteristic of Arawak. Van Hielen paused, and was marvelling how
anyone could choose to live in so outlandish and lonely a spot, when a
shrill scream, followed by a series of violent guttural ejaculations,
came from the interior of the building, and the next moment a little
boy--some seven or eight years of age--rushed out of the house, pursued
by a prodigiously fat woman, who whacked him soundly across the
shoulders with a knotted club and then halted for want of breath. Van
Hielen, who was well versed in the native language, politely asked her
what the boy had done to deserve so severe a chastisement.

"Done!" the woman replied, opening her beady little eyes to their full
extent; "why, he's not done anything--that's why I beat him--he's
incorrigibly idle. He and his sister spend all their time amid the trees
yonder conversing with the bad spirits. They learned that trick from
Guska, with the evil eye. She has bewitched them. She was shot to death
with arrows in the market-place last year, and my only regret is that
she wasn't put out of the way ten years sooner. Ah! there's that wicked
girl Yarakna--she's been hiding from me all the day. I must punish her,
too!" and before Van Hielen could speak the indignant parent waddled
off--with surprising swiftness for one of her vast proportions--and
reappeared dragging by the wrist an elfish-looking girl of about ten.
She gave the urchin one blow, and was about to give her another, when
Van Hielen, whose heart was particularly tender where children were
concerned, interfered, and by dint of bribery persuaded her to desist.
She retired indoors, and Van Hielen found himself alone with the child.

"May the spirit of the woods for ever be your friend!" the maiden said.
"But for you my poor back would have been beaten to a tonka bean. My
brother and I have suffered enough at the hands of the old woman--we'll
suffer no more."

"What will you do then?" Van Hielen asked, shocked at the revengeful
expression that marred the otherwise pretty features of the child.
"Remember, she is your mother, and has every right to expect you to be
obedient and industrious."

"She is not our mother!" the girl answered. "Our mother is the spirit of
the woods. We work for her--not for this old woman, and in return she
tells us tales and amuses us."

"You work for her!" Van Hielen said in amazement. "What do you mean?"

The child smiled--the ignorance of the white man tickled her. "We gather
aloes for medicine for her sick children; the core of the lechugilla for
their food, yucca leaves for plumes for their heads, and scarlet
panicles of the _Fouquiera splendens_ for their clothes. My brother and
I will go to her to-night when the old woman is sleeping. Where? Ah! we
do not tell anyone that. Do we see her? The spirit of the woods, you
mean? Yes, we see her, but it is not every one who can see her--only
those who have sight like ours. But I must go now--my brother is calling
me."

Van Hielen could hear nothing; though he did not doubt, from the child's
behaviour, that she had been called. She ran merrily away, and he
watched her black head disappear in the thick undergrowth facing him.
Van Hielen's curiosity was roused. What the child had said impressed him
deeply; and against his saner judgment he resolved to secrete himself
near the hut and watch. After it had been dusk some time, and all sounds
had ceased, he saw the two children emerge from the hut, and, tiptoeing
softly towards the trees, fall on their hands and knees and crawl along
a tiny, deviating path. Hardly knowing what he was doing, but impelled
by a force he could not resist, Van Hielen followed them. It was a
delicious night--at that time of year every night in Arawak is
delicious--and Van Hielen, who was very simple in his love of nature,
imbibed delight through every pore in his body. As he trod gently along,
pushing first this branch and then that out of the way, and stooping
down to half his height to creep under a formidable bramble, countless
voices from animal land fell on his ears. From a glimmering patch of
water, away on his left, came the trump of a bull-frog and the wail of
the whip-poor-will; a monkey chattered, a parrot screeched, whilst a
shrill cry of terror, accompanied by a savage growl, plainly told of the
surprise and slaughter of some defenceless animal by one of the many big
beasts of prey that made every tree their lurking place.

On any other occasion Van Hielen would have thought twice before
embarking on such an expedition; but that night he seemed to be
labouring under some charm which had lulled to sleep all sense of
insecurity. It was true he was armed, but of what avail is a rifle
against the unexpected spring of a jaguar or leopard--from a bough some
ten or twenty feet directly over one's head--or the sudden lunge of a
boa constrictor!

At first, the path wound its way through a dense chapparal consisting of
the various shrubs and plants rarely to be met with in other parts of
Arawak, namely, acacias, aloes, lechuguillas, and the _Fouquiera
splendens_. But after a short time this kind of vegetation was succeeded
by something far more imposing--by dense masses of trees, many of them
at the least one hundred and fifty feet in height: the mora, which from
a distance appears like a hillock clothed with the brightest vegetation;
the ayucari, or red cedar; and the cuamara, laden with tonka beans. So
thick was their foliage overhead that one by one Van Hielen watched the
stars disappear; and the path ahead of him darkened till it was as much
as he could do to grope along. Still he was not afraid. The thought of
that elfish little maiden with the luminous eyes crawling along in front
of him inspired him with extraordinary confidence and he plunged on,
anxious only to catch another glimpse of her and see the play out. Once
his progress was interrupted by something hot and leathery, that pushed
him nearly off his feet and puffed rudely in his face. It was on the tip
of his tongue to give vent to his ruffled feelings in forcible language,
but the knowledge that this would assuredly warn the children of his
proximity kept him quiet, and he contented himself with striking a
vigorous blow. There was a loud snort, a crashing and breaking of
brushwood, and the thing, whatever it was, rushed away. Another time he
stumbled over a snake which was gliding from one side of the path to the
other. The creature hissed, and Van Hielen, giving himself up for lost,
jumped for all he was worth. As luck would have it the snake missed, and
Van Hielen, escaping with nothing more serious than a few scratches and
a bump or two, was able to continue his course. After long gropings the
path at length came to an end, the trees cleared, and Van Hielen saw
before him a pool, radiantly illuminated by the moon, and in the very
centre--an immense Victoria Regia water-lily.

Though accustomed to the fine species of this plant in Guiana--which is
the home of the Victoria Regia--Van Hielen was doubtful if he had ever
before beheld such a magnificent specimen. The silvery moonlight,
falling on its white and pink petals, threw into relief all the
exquisite delicacy of their composition, and gave to them a glow which
could only have been rivalled in Elysium. Indeed, the whole scene,
enhanced by the glamour of the hour and the sweet scent of plants and
flowers, was so reminiscent of fairyland that Van Hielen--enraptured
beyond description--stood and gazed in open-mouthed ecstasy.

Then his eyes fell on the children and he noiselessly slipped back under
cover of a tree.

Hand in hand the boy and girl advanced to the water's edge, and
kneeling, commenced to recite some strange incantation, which Van Hielen
tried in vain to interpret. Sometimes their voices reached a high,
plaintive key; sometimes they sank to a low murmur, strangely musical,
and strangely suggestive of the babbling of brook water over stones and
pebbles. When they had finished their incantation, they got up, and
running to some bushes, returned in a few seconds with their arms full
of flowers, which they threw with great dexterity on to the leaves of
the giant lily. With their faces still turned to the water they remained
standing, side by side, whilst a silence--deep and impressive, and
shared, so it appeared to Van Hielen, by all nature--fell upon them.

A cold current of air, rising apparently from the pool, blew across the
opening, and sweeping past Van Hielen, set all the leaves in motion. It
rustled on till its echoes gradually ceased, and all was still again. It
now seemed to Van Hielen that the character of everything around
underwent a subtle change; and the feeling that every object around him
was indulging in a hearty laugh at his expense intensified with every
breath he drew. For the first time Van Hielen was afraid. He could not
define the cause of his fear--but that only made his fear the more
acute. He was frightened of the wind and darkness, and of something more
than the wind and darkness--something concealed in--something cloaked by
the wind and darkness. Even the atmosphere had altered--it, too, was
making game of him. It distorted his vision. The things he saw around
him were no longer stationary--they moved. They twirled and twisted
themselves into all sorts of grotesque and fanciful attitudes; grew
large, then small; nearer and then more distant. The plot of ground in
front of which the children knelt played all manner of pranks--pranks
Van Hielen did not at all like. It moved round and round--faster and
faster, until it eventually became a whirlpool; which suddenly reversed
and assumed the appearance of a pyramid revolving on its apex. Quicker
and quicker it spun round--closer and closer it drew; until, without
warning, it suddenly stopped and disappeared; whilst its place was taken
by an oddly shaped bulge in the ground, which, swaying backward and
forward, increased and increased in stature, till it attained the height
of some seven or eight feet. Van Hielen could not compare this with
anything he had ever seen. It was monstrous but shapeless--a mere mass
of irregular lumps, a dull leadish white, and vibrating horribly in the
moonlight. He thought of the children; but where they had stood he saw
only two greenish-yellow spheres that, twirling round and round,
suddenly approached him. As he started back to escape them, all was
again changed. The lumpy figure had vanished, the atmosphere cleared,
and everything was absolutely normal. There were now, however, solid
grounds for fear. Advancing on him with flashing eyes and scintillating
teeth were two vividly marked jaguars--a male and female. Van Hielen,
usually calm and collected in the face of danger, on this occasion lost
his presence of mind: his gun dropped from his hands, his knees
quivered, and, helpless and inert, he reeled against the tree under
which he had been standing. The jaguars--which seemed to be unusually
savage even for jaguars--prepared to spring, and Van Hielen, certain
his hour had come, was about to close his eyes and resign himself to his
fate, when the female brute, although the bigger and more formidable,
hesitated--thrust its dark, handsomely spotted head almost in its
victim's face, and then, lashing its companion sharply with its tail,
swerved aside and was off like a dart.

It took Van Hielen some minutes to realize his escape, and then, more in
a dream than awake, he mechanically shouldered his rifle and slowly
followed in the beasts' wake.

An hour's walking brought him to the end of the forest. The dawn was
breaking, and the track leading to the settlement was just beginning to
exhibit the mellowing influence of the first rays of the sun. There was
an exhilarating freshness in the air that made Van Hielen keenly
sensitive to the ambitious demands of a newly awakened stomach. Opposite
him was the hut of the old woman, the entrance somewhat clumsily blocked
with a makeshift door. As Van Hielen looked at it curiously, wondering
if the woman was in the habit of barricading it in this fashion on
account of her proximity to the forest, sounds greeted him from within.

Stepping lightly up to the hut, Van Hielen listened attentively. Some
big animal--a hound most probably--was gnawing a bone--crunch, crunch,
crunch!

Van Hielen moved away, but hadn't gone very far before an indefinable
something made him turn back. That crunching, was it a dog or was
it----? His heart turned sick within him at the bare thought. Again he
listened at the threshold, and again he heard the sounds--gnaw, gnaw,
gnaw--crunch, crunch, crunch! He rapped at first gently, and then
loudly, ever so loudly.

The gnawing at once stopped, but no one answered him. Then he
called--once, twice, thrice: there was no reply. Assured now there was
something amiss, he gripped his rifle, and putting his shoulder to the
door, burst it open. A flood of daylight rushed in, and he saw before
him on the floor the mutilated and half-eaten remains of a woman,
and--did his eyes deceive him or did he see?--crouching in a corner all
ready to spring, two magnificent jaguars. Van Hielen raised his rifle,
but--in less than a second--it fell from his grasp.

Towards him, from the same spot--their small mouths and slender hands
smeared with blood--ran Yarakna and her brother.


FOOTNOTES:

[32:1] A spirit that has never inhabited any material body. Elementals
are a genus of a large order, and include innumerable species.



CHAPTER III

THE SPIRITS OF WERWOLVES


It seems that there is a disposition in certain minds to associate
lycanthropy with the doctrine of the transmigration of souls. A brief
examination of the latter will, however, suffice to show there is very
little analogy between the two.

Transmigration of souls, a metempsychosis, deals solely with the passing
of the soul after death into another mortal form. Lycanthropy confines
itself to the metamorphosis of physical man to animal form only during
man's physical lifetime.

Metempsychosis is a change of condition dependent on the principle of
evolution (_i.e._ evolution upward and retrogressive). Lycanthropy is a
change of condition relative to a property, entirely independent of
evolution. The one is wholly determined by man's spiritual state at the
time of his physical dissolution; the other is simply a faculty of
sense, either handed down to man by his forefathers or acquired by man,
during his lifetime, through the knowledge and practice of magic.

There are absolutely no grounds, other than purely hypothetical ones,
for supposing a werwolf to be a reincarnation; but on the other hand
there is reason to believe that the wolf personality of the werwolf, at
the latter's physical dissolution, remains earthbound in the form of a
lupine phantasm. So that although there is nothing to associate
lycanthropy with metempsychosis, there is, at all events, something in
common between lycanthropy and animism. Animism, be it understood, holds
that every living thing, whether man, beast, reptile, insect, or
vegetable, has a representative spirit.

As an example of a lupine phantasm representing the personality of the
werwolf, I will quote a case, reported to me some years ago as having
occurred in Estonia, on the shores of the Baltic. A gentleman and his
sister, whom I will call Stanislaus and Anno D'Adhemar, were invited to
spend a few weeks with their old friends, the Baron and Baroness Von
A----, at their country home in Estonia. On the day arranged, they set
out for their friends' house, and alighting at a little station, within
twenty miles of their destination, were met by the Baron's droshky. It
was one of those exquisite evenings--a night light without moon, a day
shady without clouds--peculiar to that clime. Indeed, it seemed as if
the last glow of the evening and the first grey of the morning had
melted together, and as if all the luminaries of the sky merely rested
their beams without withdrawing them. To Stanislaus and Anno, jaded with
the wear and tear of life in a big city, the calm and quiet of the
country-side was most refreshing, and they heaved great sighs of
contentment as they leaned far back amid the luxurious upholstery of the
carriage, and drew in deep breaths of the smokeless, pure, scented air.
Their surroundings modelled their thoughts. Instead of discussing
monetary matters, which had so long been uppermost in their minds, they
discoursed on the wonderful economy of happiness in a world full of toil
and struggle; the fewer the joys, they argued, the higher the enjoyment,
till the last and highest joy of all, true peace of mind, _i.e._,
content, was the one joy found to contain every other joy. Occasionally
they paused to remark on the brilliant lustre of the stars, and, not
infrequently, alluded to the Creator's graciousness in allowing them to
behold such beauty. Occasionally, too, they would break off in the midst
of their conversation to listen to the plaintive utterings of some night
bird or the shrill cry of a startled hare. The rate at which they were
progressing--for the horses were young and fresh--speedily brought them
to an end of the open country, and they found themselves suddenly
immersed in the deepening gloom of a dense and extensive forest of
pines. The track now was not quite so smooth; here and there were big
ruts, and Stanislaus and his sister were subjected to such a vigorous
bumping that they had to hold on to the sides of the droshky, and to one
another. In the altered conditions of their travel, conversation was
well-nigh impossible. The little they attempted was unceremoniously
jerked out of them, and the nature of it--I am loath to admit--had
somewhat deteriorated. It had, in fact, in accordance with their
surroundings, undergone a considerable change.

"What a vile road!" Stanislaus exclaimed, clutching the side of the
droshky with both hands to save himself from being precipitated into
space.

"Yes--isn't--it?" gasped Anno, as she lunged forward, and in a vain
attempt to regain her seat fell on their handbag, which gave an ominous
squish. "I declare there--there--will be--nothing left of me--by the--by
the time we get there. Oh dear! Whatever shall I do? Wherever have you
got to, Stanislaus?"

The upper half of Stanislaus was nowhere to be seen! His lower half,
however, was discovered by his sister convulsively pressed against the
side of the droshky. In another moment this, too, would undoubtedly have
disappeared, and the lower extremities would have gone in pursuit of the
upper, had not Anno with admirable presence of mind effected a rescue.
She tugged at her brother's coat-tails in the very nick of time, with
the result that his whole body once again hove into view.

Just then a bird sang its final song before retiring for the night, and
Stanislaus, hot and trembling all over, shouted out: "What a hideous
noise! I declare it quite frightened me"; whilst Anno shuddered and put
her fingers in her ears. They once more abused the road; then the trees.
"Great ugly things," they said; "they shut out all the light." And then
they abused the driver for not looking out where he was going, and
finally they began to abuse one another. Anno abused Stanislaus, because
he had disarranged her hat and hair, and Stanislaus, Anno, because he
couldn't hear all she said, and because what he did hear was silly. Then
the Stygian darkness of the great pines grew; and the silence of wonder
fell on the two quarrellers. On, on, on rolled the droshky, a monotonous
rumble, rumble, that sounded very loud amid the intense hush that had
suddenly fallen on the forest. Stanislaus and Anno grew drowsy; the cold
night air, crowning their exertions of the day, induced sleep, and they
were soon very much in the land of nods: Stanislaus with his head thrust
back as far as it would go, and Anno with her head leaning slightly
forward and her chin deeply rooted in the silvery recesses of her rich
fur coat.

The driver stopped for a moment. He had to attend to his lights, which,
he reflected, were behaving in rather an odd manner. Then, scratching
his head thoughtfully, he cracked his whip and drove hurriedly on. Once
again, rumble, rumble, rumble; and no other sounds but far away echoes
and the gentle cooing of a soft night breeze through the forked and
ragged branches of the sad and stately pines. On, on, on, the light
uncertain and the horses brisk. Suddenly the driver hears something--he
strains his ears to catch the meaning of the sounds--a peculiar, quick
patter, patter--coming from far away in the droshky's wake. There is
something--he can't exactly tell what--in those sounds he doesn't like;
they are human, and yet not human; they may proceed from some one
running--some one tall and lithe, with an unusually long stride. They
may--and he casts a shuddering look over his shoulder as the thought
strikes him--they may be nothing human--they may be the patter of a
wolf! A huge, gaunt, hungry wolf! an abnormally big wolf! a wolf with a
gallop like that of a horse! The driver was new to these parts; he had
but lately come from the Baron's establishment in St. Petersburg. He had
never been in this wood after dark, and he had never seen a wolf save in
the Zoological Gardens. The atmosphere now began to sharpen. From being
merely cold it became positively icy, and muttering, "I never felt
anything like this in St. Petersburg," the driver shrank into the depths
of his furs, and tried to settle himself more comfortably in his seat.
The horses, too, four in number, were strangers in Estonia, the Baron
having only recently paid a heavy price for them in Nava on account of
their beauty. Not that they were merely handsome; despite their small
and graceful build, and the glossy sleekness of their coats, they were
both strong and spirited, and could cover twenty-five versts without a
pause. But now they, too, heard the sounds--there was no doubt of
that--and felt the cold. At first they shivered, then whined, and then
came to an abrupt halt; and then, without the slightest warning, tore
the shifting tag and rag tight around them, and bounding forward, were
off like the wind. Then, away in their rear, and plainly audible above
the thunder of their hoofs, came a moaning, snarling, drawn-out cry,
which was almost instantly repeated, not once, but again and again.

Stanislaus and Anno, who had been rudely awakened from their slumbers by
the unusual behaviour of the horses, were now on the _qui vive_.

"Good heavens! What's that?" they cried in chorus.

"What's that, coachman?" shrieked Anno, digging the shivering driver in
the back.

"Volki, mistress, volki!" was the reply, and on flew the droshky faster,
faster, faster!

To Stanislaus and Anno the word "wolves" came as a stunning shock. All
the tales they had ever heard of these ferocious beasts crowded their
minds at once. Wolves! was it possible that those dreadful bogies of
their childhood--those grim and awful creatures, grotesquely but none
the less vividly portrayed in their imagination by horror-loving
nurses--were actually close at hand! Supposing the brutes caught them,
who would be eaten first? Anno, Stanislaus, or the driver? Would they
devour them with their clothes on? If not, how would they get them off?
Then, filled with morbid curiosity, they strained their ears and
listened. Again--this time nearer, much nearer--came that cry, dismal,
protracted, nerve-racking. Nor was that all, for they could now discern
the pat-pat, pat-pat of footsteps--long, soft, loping footsteps, as of
huge furry paws or naked human feet. However, they could see
nothing--nothing but blackness, intensified by the feeble flickering of
the droshky's lanterns.

"Faster! drive faster!" Anno shouted, turning round and poking the
coachman in the ribs with her umbrella. "Do you want us all to be
eaten?"

"I can't mistress, I can't!" the man expostulated; "the horses are
outstripping the wind as it is. They can't go quicker." And the driver,
consigning Stanislaus and his sister to the innermost recesses of hell,
prayed to the Virgin to save him.

Nearer and nearer drew the steps, and again a cry--a cry close behind
them, perhaps fifty yards--fifty yards at the most. And as they were
trying to locate it there burst into view a gigantic figure--nude and
luminous, a figure that glowed like a glow-worm and bent slightly
forward as it ran. It covered the ground with long, easy, swinging
strides, without any apparent effort. In general form its body was like
that of a man, saving that the limbs were longer and covered with short
hair, and the feet and hands, besides being larger as a whole, had
longer toes and fingers. Its head was partly human, partly lupine--the
skull, ears, teeth, and eyes were those of a wolf, whilst the remaining
features were those of a man. Its complexion was devoid of colour,
startlingly white; its eyes green and lurid, its expression hellish.

Stanislaus and Anno did not know what to make of it. Was it some
terrible monstrosity that had escaped from a show, or something that was
peculiar to the forest itself, something generated by the giant trees
and dark, silent road? In their sublime terror they shrieked aloud, beat
the air with their hands to ward it off, and finally left their seats to
cling on to the back of the driver's box.

But it came nearer, nearer, and nearer, until they were almost within
reach of its arms. They read death in the glinting greenness of its eyes
and in the flashing of its long bared teeth. The climax of their agony,
they argued, could no longer be postponed. The thing had only to make a
grab at them and they would die of horror--die even before it touched
them. But this was not to be.

They were still staring into the pale malevolent face drawing nearer and
nearer, and wondering when the long twitching fingers would catch them
by the throats, when the droshky with a mad swirl forward cleared the
forest, and they found themselves gazing wildly into empty moonlit
space, with no sign of their pursuer anywhere.

An hour later they narrated their adventure to the Baron. Nothing could
have exceeded his distress. "My dear friends!" he said, "I owe you a
profound apology. I ought to have told my man to choose any other road
rather than that through the forest, which is well known to be haunted.
According to rumour, a werwolf--we have good reason to believe in
werwolfs here--was killed there many years ago."



CHAPTER IV

HOW TO BECOME A WERWOLF


As I have already stated, in some people lycanthropy is hereditary; and
when it is not hereditary it may be acquired through the performance of
certain of the rites ordained by Black Magic. For the present I can only
deal with the more general features of these rites (which vary according
to locality) and the conditions of mind essential to those who would
successfully practise these rites. In the first place, it is necessary
that the person desirous of acquiring the property of lycanthropy should
be in earnest and a believer in those superphysical powers whose favour
he is about to ask.

Assuming we have such an individual he must, first of all, betake
himself to a spot remote from the haunts of men. The powers to be
petitioned are not to be found promiscuously--anywhere. They favour only
such waste and solitary places as the deserts, woods, and mountain-tops.

The locality chosen, our candidate must next select a night when the
moon is new and strong.[56:1] He must then choose a perfectly level
piece of ground, and on it, at midnight, he must mark, either with chalk
or string--it really does not matter which--a circle of not less than
seven feet in radius, and within this, and from the same centre, another
circle of three feet in radius. Then, in the centre of this inner circle
he must kindle a fire, and over the fire place an iron tripod containing
an iron vessel of water. As soon as the water begins to boil the
would-be lycanthropist must throw into it handfuls of any three of the
following substances: Asafoetida, parsley, opium, hemlock, henbane,
saffron, aloe, poppy-seed and solanum; repeating as he does so these
words:--

     "Spirits from the deep
      Who never sleep,
        Be kind to me.

     "Spirits from the grave
      Without a soul to save,
        Be kind to me.

     "Spirits of the trees
      That grow upon the leas,
        Be kind to me.

     "Spirits of the air,
      Foul and black, not fair,
        Be kind to me.

     "Water spirits hateful,
      To ships and bathers fateful,
        Be kind to me.

     "Spirits of earthbound dead
      That glide with noiseless tread,
        Be kind to me.

     "Spirits of heat and fire,
      Destructive in your ire,
        Be kind to me.

     "Spirits of cold and ice,
      Patrons of crime and vice,
        Be kind to me.

     "Wolves, vampires, satyrs, ghosts!
      Elect of all the devilish hosts!
        I pray you send hither,
        Send hither, send hither,
        The great grey shape that makes men shiver!
        Shiver, shiver, shiver!
        Come! Come! Come!"

The supplicant then takes off his vest and shirt and smears his body
with the fat of some newly killed animal (preferably a cat), mixed with
aniseed, camphor, and opium. Then he binds round his loins a girdle made
of wolf's-skin, and kneeling down within the circumference of the first
circle, waits for the advent of the Unknown. When the fire burns blue
and quickly dies out, the Unknown is about to manifest itself; if it
does not then actually appear it will make its presence felt.

There is little consistency in the various methods of the spirit's
advent: sometimes a deep unnatural silence immediately precedes it;
sometimes crashes and bangs, groanings and shriekings, herald its
approach. When it remains invisible its presence is indicated and
accompanied by a sensation of abnormal cold and the most acute terror.
It is sometimes visible in the guise of a huntsman--which is, perhaps,
its most popular shape--sometimes in the form of a monstrosity, partly
man and partly beast--and sometimes it is seen ill defined and only
partially materialized. To what order of spirits it belongs is, of
course, purely a matter of conjecture. I believe it to be some
malevolent, superphysical, creative power, such as, in my opinion,
participated largely in the creation of this and other planets. I do not
believe it to be the Devil, because I do not believe in the existence of
only one devil, but in countless devils. It is difficult to say to what
extent the Unknown is believed to be powerful by those who approach it
for the purpose of acquiring the gift of lycanthropy; but I am inclined
to think that the majority of these, at all events, do not ascribe to it
any supreme power, but regard it merely as a local spirit--the spirit
of some particular wilderness or forest.

Of course, it is quite possible that the property of werwolfery might be
acquired by other than a direct personal communication with the Unknown,
as, for example, by eating a wolf's brains, by drinking water out of a
wolf's footprints, or by drinking out of a stream from which three or
more wolves have been seen to drink; but as most of the stories I have
heard of werwolfery acquired in this way are of a wild and improbable
nature, I think there is little to be learned from the _modus operandi_
they advocate. The following story, which I believe to be true in the
main, was told me by a Dr. Broniervski, whom I met in Boulogne.

"Ten years ago," my informant began, "I was engaged in a geological
expedition in Montenegro. I left Cetinge in company with my escort,
Dugald Dalghetty, a Dalmatian who had served me on many former
occasions; but owing to an accident I was compelled to leave him behind
at a village about thirty miles east of the capital. As it was
absolutely necessary for me to have a guide, I chose a Montenegrin
called Kniaz. Dalghetty warned me against him. 'Kniaz has the evil eye,'
he said; 'he will bring misfortune on you. Choose some one else.'

"Kniaz was certainly not particularly prepossessing. He was tall and
angular, and pock-marked and sandy-haired; and his eyes had a peculiar
cast--only a cast, of course, nothing more. To balance these detractions
he was civil in his manners and extremely moderate in his terms.
Dalghetty, faithful fellow, almost wept as he watched us depart. 'I
shall never see you again,' he said. 'Never!'

"Just outside the last cottage in the village we passed a gigantic,
broad-shouldered man, clad in the usual clothes of frieze, a black
skullcap, wide trousers, and tights from the knee to the ankle. Over his
shoulders was a new white strookah, of which he seemed very proud;
whilst he had a perfect armament of weapons--rifles, pistols,
yatagan--polished up to the knocker--and cartouche-box. He was
conversing with a girl at one of the windows, but turned as we came up
to him and leered impudently at Kniaz. The sallow in Kniaz's cheeks
turned to white, and the cast in his eyes became ten times more
pronounced. But he said nothing--only drooped his head and shuffled a
little closer to me.

"For the rest of the day he spoke little; and I could tell from his
expression and general air of dejection that he was still brooding over
the incident. The following morning--we stayed the night in a wayside
inn--Kniaz informed me that the route we had intended taking to
Skaravoski--the town I meant to make the head quarters for my daily
excursions--was blocked (a blood feud had suddenly been declared between
two tribes), and that consequently we should have to go by some other
way. I inquired who had told him and whether he was sure the information
was correct. He replied that our host had given him the warning, and
that the possibility of such an occurrence had been suggested to him
before leaving Cetinge. 'But,' he added, 'there is no need to worry, for
the other road, though somewhat wild and rough, is, in reality, quite as
safe, and certainly a good league and a half shorter.' As it made no
very great difference to me which way I went, I acquiesced. There was no
reason to suspect Kniaz of any sinister motive--cases of treachery on
the part of escorts are practically unknown in Montenegro--and if it
were true that some of the tribes were engaged in a vendetta, then I
certainly agreed that we could not give them too wide a berth. At the
same time I could not help observing a strange innovation in Kniaz's
character. Besides the sullenness that had laid hold of him since his
encounter with the man and girl, he now exhibited a restless
eagerness--his eyes were never still, his lips constantly moved, and I
could frequently hear him muttering to himself as we trudged along. He
asked me several times if I believed in the supernatural, and when I
laughingly replied 'No, I am far too practical and level-headed,' he
said 'Wait. We are now in the land of spirits. You will soon change your
opinion.'

"The country we were traversing was certainly forbidding--forbidding
enough to be the hunting ground of legions of ferocious animals. But the
supernatural! Bah! I flouted such an idea. All day we journeyed along a
lofty ridge, from which, shortly before dusk, it became necessary to
descend by a narrow and precipitous declivity, full of danger and
difficulty. At the bottom we halted three or four hours, to wait for the
moon, in a position sufficiently romantic and uncomfortable. A
north-east wind, cold and biting, came whistling over the hills, and
seemed to be sucked down into the hollow where we sat on the chilly
stones. The moment we sighted the slightly depressed orb of the moon
over the vast hill of rocks, and the Milky Way spanning the heavens with
a brilliancy seen only in the East, we pushed on again. On, along a
painfully rough and uneven track, flanked on either side by
perpendicular masses of rock that reared themselves, black and frowning,
like some huge ruined wall. On, till we eventually came to the end of
the defile. Then an extraordinary scene burst upon us.

"Whilst the irregular line of rocks continued close on our left, beyond
it--glittering in the miraculously magnifying moonlight with more
gigantic proportions than nature had afforded--was a huge pile of white
rocks, looking like the fortifications of some vast fabulous city. There
were yawning gateways flanked by bastions of great altitude; towers and
pyramids; crescents and domes; and dizzy pinnacles; and castellated
heights; all invested with the unearthly grandeur of the moon, yet
showing in their wide breaches and indescribable ruin sure proofs that
during a long course of ages they had been battered and undermined by
rain, hurricane, and lightning, and all the mighty artillery of time.
Piled on one another, and repeated over and over again, these strangely
contorted rocks stretched as far as the eye could reach, sinking,
however, as they receded, and leading the mind, though not the eye, down
to the plain below, through which a turbid stream wound its way
rebelliously, like some great twisting, twirling, silvery-scaled
serpent.

"It was into this gorge that Kniaz in a voice thrilling with excitement
informed me we must plunge.

"'It is called,' he explained to me, 'the haunted valley, and it is said
to have been from time immemorial under the spell of the grey spirits--a
species of phantasm, half man and half animal, that have the power of
metamorphosing men into wild beasts.' Horses, he went on to inform me,
showed the greatest reluctance to enter the valley, which was a sure
proof that the place was in very truth phantom-ridden. I must say its
appearance favoured that theory. The path by which we descended was
almost perpendicular, and filled with shadows. Precipices hemmed us in
on every side; and here and there a huge fragment of rock, standing like
a petrified giant, its summit gleaming white in the moonbeams, barred
our way.

"On reaching the bottom we found ourselves exactly opposite the pile of
white rocks, at the base of which roared the stream. Kniaz now declared
that our best plan was to halt and bivouac here for the night. I
expostulated, saying that I did not feel in the least degree tired, that
the spot was far from comfortable, and that I preferred to push on.
Kniaz then pleaded that he was too exhausted to proceed, and, in fact,
whined to such an extent that in the end I gave way, and lying down
under cover of a boulder, tried to imagine myself in bed. I did actually
fall asleep, and awoke with the sensation of something crawling over my
face. Sitting up, I looked around for Kniaz--he was nowhere to be seen.
The oddness of his behaviour, his alternate talkativeness and
sullenness, and the anxiety he had manifested to come by this route,
made me at last suspicious. Had he any ulterior motive in leading me
hither? What had become of him? Where was he? I got up and approached
the margin of the stream, and then for the first time I felt frightened.
The illimitable possibilities of that enormous mass of castellated rocks
towering above me both quelled and fascinated me. Were these flickering
shadows shadows, or--or had Kniaz, after all, spoken the truth when he
said this valley was haunted? The moonlight rendered every object I
looked upon so startlingly vivid, that not even the most trivial detail
escaped my notice, and the more I scrutinized the more firmly the
conviction grew on me that I was in a neighbourhood differing
essentially from any spot I had hitherto visited. I saw nothing with
which I had been formerly conversant. The few trees at hand resembled no
growth of either the torrid, temperate, or northern frigid zones, and
were altogether unlike those of the southern latitudes with which I was
most familiar. The very rocks were novel in their mass, their colour,
and their stratification; and the stream itself, utterly incredible as
it may appear, had so little in common with the streams of other
countries that I shrank away from it in alarm. I am at a loss to give
any distinct idea of the nature of the water. I can only say it was not
like ordinary water, either in appearance or behaviour. Even in the
moonlight it was not colourless, nor was it of any one colour,
presenting to the eye every variety of green and blue. Although it fell
over stones and rocks with the same rapid descent as ordinary water, it
made no sound, neither splash nor gurgle. Summoning up courage, I dipped
my fingers in the stream; it was quite cold and limpid. The difference
did not lie there. I was still puzzling over this phenomenon, still
debating in my mind the possibility of the valley being haunted, when I
heard a cry--a peculiarly ominous cry--human and yet animal. For a few
seconds I was too overcome with fear to move. At last, however, having
in some measure pulled myself together, I ventured cautiously in the
direction of the noise, and after treading as lightly as I could over
the rough and rocky soil for some couple of hundred yards, suddenly came
to an abrupt standstill.

"Kneeling beside the stream with its back turned to me was an
extraordinary figure--a thing with a man's body and an animal's head--a
dark, shaggy head with unmistakable prick ears. I gazed at it aghast.
What was it? What was it doing? As I stared it bent down, lapped the
water, and raising its head, uttered the same harrowing sound that had
brought me thither. I then saw, with a fresh start of wonder, that its
hands, which shone very white in the moonlight, were undergoing a
gradual metamorphosis. I watched carefully, and first one finger, and
then another, became amalgamated in a long, furry paw, armed with sharp,
formidable talons.

"I suppose that in my fear and astonishment I made some sound of
sufficient magnitude to attract attention; anyhow, the creature at once
swung round, and, with a snarl of rage, rushed savagely at me. Being
unarmed, and also, I confess, unnerved, I completely lost my presence of
mind, and not attempting to escape--though flight would have been
futile, for I was nothing of a runner--shrieked aloud for help. The
thing sprang at me, its jaws wide open, its eyes red with rage. I struck
at it wildly, and have dim recollections of my puny blows landing on its
face. It closed in on me, and gripping me tightly round the body with
its sinewy arms, hurled me to the ground. My head came in violent
contact with a stone, and I lost consciousness. On recovering my senses,
I was immeasurably surprised to find Dalghetty sitting on a rock
watching me, whilst close beside him was Kniaz, bloodstained and
motionless.

"Dalghetty explained the situation. 'Convinced that evil would befall
you in the company of such a man,' he said, pointing to the figure at
his feet, 'I determined to set out in pursuit of you. By a miracle,
which I attribute to Our Lady, the effects of my accident suddenly wore
off, and I felt absolutely well. I borrowed a horse, and, starting from
Cetinge at nine this morning, reached the inn where you passed last
night at eleven. There I learned the route you had taken, and leaving
the horse behind--on such a road I was safer on my legs--I pressed on.
The ground, being moist in places, revealed your footprints, and I had
no difficulty at all in tracing you to the bottom of the declivity.
There I was at sea for some moments, since the rocky soil was too hard
to receive any impressions. But hearing the howl of some wild animal, I
concluded you were attacked, and, guided by the sound, I arrived here to
find a werwolf actually preparing to devour you. A bullet from my rifle
speedily rendered the creature harmless, and a close inspection of it
proved that my surmises were only too correct. It was none other than
our friend here with the evil eye--Kniaz!'

"'Kniaz a werwolf!' I ejaculated.

"'Yes! he inveigled you here because he had made up his mind to drink
the water of the enchanted stream, and so become metamorphosed from a
man to a wild beast. His object in doing so was to destroy a young
farmer who had stolen his sweetheart, and for whom he, as a man, was no
match. However, he is harmless now, but it is a warning to you in future
to trust no one who has the evil eye.'"

Belief in the evil eye is everywhere prevalent in the East, and it is
undoubtedly true that people who have certain peculiarities in their
eyes, both with regard to expression, colour, and formation, are people
to be avoided. If malevolently inclined, they invariably bring ill-luck
on all who become acquainted with them. I have followed the careers of
several people in whom I have noticed this baneful feature, and their
histories have been one long tale of sin or sorrow--often both.

But though the evil eye denotes an evil superphysical influence, the
werwolf is not necessarily possessed of it. Sometimes a werwolf may be
told by the long, straight, slanting eyebrows, which meet in an angle
over the nose; sometimes by the hands, the third finger of which is a
trifle the longest; or by the finger-nails, which are red,
almond-shaped, and curved; sometimes by the ears, which are set rather
low, and far back on their heads; and sometimes by a noticeably long,
swinging stride, which is strongly suggestive of some animal. Either one
or other of these features is always present in hereditary werwolves,
and is also frequently developed in those people who become werwolves,
either at the same time as or soon after they acquire the property.


FOOTNOTES:

[56:1] Psychic influences are demonstrated by the position of the
planets. For instance, at a new moon, cusp of Seventh House, and
cojoined with Saturn in opposition to Jupiter, sinister superphysical
presences are much in evidence on the earth.



CHAPTER V

WERWOLVES AND EXORCISM


In the preceding chapter I touched on one or two modes of evoking the
spirits that have it in their power to confer the property of
lycanthropy; I now pass on to the question of exorcism in relation to
werwolves.

Is it possible to exorcize the evil power of metamorphosis possessed by
the werwolf, or, as those would say who see in the werwolf, not the
possession of a property, but a spirit, "to exorcize the evil spirit"?

For my own part, and basing my opinion on my own experiences with other
forms of the superphysical, with regard to the success of exorcism I am
sceptical. I have been present when exorcism has been tried--tried on
people supposed to be obsessed with demoniacal spirits, and tried on
spontaneous psychic phenomena in haunted houses--and in both cases it
has failed. Now, although, as I have said, I regard lycanthropy in the
light of a property, and do not believe in the lycanthropist being
possessed of a separate individual spirit, I am inclined to think, were
exorcism efficacious at all, that it would take effect on werwolves,
since the property of werwolfery is a gift which is, more or less,
directly acquired from the malevolent spirits.

But I am not only dubious as to the powers of exorcism generally, I am
also dubious as to its effect on werwolves. I have come across a good
many alleged cases of its having been successfully practised on
werwolves, but in regard to these cases, the authority is not very
reliable, nor the corroborative evidence strong.

Nearly all the methods prescribed embrace the use of some potion; such,
for example, as sulphur, asafœtida, and castoreum, mixed with clear
spring water; or hypericum, compounded with vinegar--which two potions
seem to have been (and to be still) the most favoured recipes for
removing the devilish power.

The ceremony of exorcism proceeded as follows: The werwolf was sprinkled
three times with one of the above solutions, and saluted with the sign
of the cross, or addressed thrice by his baptismal name, each address
being accompanied by a blow on the forehead with a knife; or he was
sprinkled, whilst at the same time his girdle was removed; or in lieu of
being sprinkled, he had three drops of blood drawn from his chest, or
was compelled to kneel in one spot for a great number of years.

A full description of the practice and failure of exorcism was cited to
me the other day in connexion with a comparatively recent happening in
Asiatic Russia:--

Tina Peroviskei, a wealthy young widow, who lived in St. Nicholas
Street, Moscow--not a hundred yards from the house of Herr Schauman, the
well-known German banker and horticulturist (every one in Russia has
heard of the Schauman tulips)--met a gentleman named Ivan Baranoff at a
friend's house, and, despite the warning of her brother, married him.

Ivan Baranoff did not look more than thirty years of age. He was usually
dressed in grey furs--a grey fur coat, grey fur leggings, and a grey fur
cap. His features were very handsome--at least, so Tina thought--his
hair was flaxen, glossy, and bright as a mirror; and his mouth, when
open, displayed a most brilliant set of even, white teeth. Tina had
three children by her first husband, and the fuss Ivan Baranoff made of
them pleased her immensely. Their own father never evinced a greater
anxiety for their welfare. Ivan brought them the most expensive toys and
sweetmeats--particularly sweetmeats--and would insist on seeing for
himself that they had plenty of rich, creamy milk, fresh eggs, and the
best of butter.

"You'll kill them with kindness," Tina often remonstrated. "They are too
fat by half now."

"They can't be too fat," Ivan would reply. "No one is too fat. I love to
see rosy cheeks and stout limbs. Wait till you're in the country! Then
you may talk about putting on flesh. The air there will fatten you even
more than the food."

"Then we shall burst, and there will be an end of us," Tina would
laughingly say.

But despite all this, despite the way in which he fondled and caressed
them, the children involuntarily shrank away from Ivan; and on Tina
angrily demanding the reason, they told her they could not help
it--there was something in his bright eyes and touch that frightened
them. When Tina's brothers and sisters heard of this, they upheld the
children.

"We are not in the least surprised," they said; "his eyes are cruel--so
are his lips; and as for his eyebrows--those dark, straight eyebrows
that meet in a point over the nose--why, every one knows what a bad sign
that is!"

But Tina grew so angry they had to desist. "You are jealous," she said
to her brothers. "You envy him his looks and money." And to her sisters
she said, "You only wish you could have had him yourselves. You know I
love him already far more than I ever loved Rupert." (Rupert was her
first husband.)

And within a month or so of the marriage Tina left all her relatives in
Moscow, and, accompanied by her children and dogs--some people hinted
that Tina was fonder of her dogs than of her children--went with Ivan
Baranoff to his ancestral home near Orsk.

Though accustomed to the cold, Tina found the climate of Orsk almost
more than she could bear. Her husband's house, which occupied an
extremely solitary position on the confines of a gloomy forest, some few
miles from the town, was a large, grey stone building full of dark
winding passages and dungeon-like rooms. The furniture was scant, and
the rooms, with the exception of those devoted to herself, her husband
and the children, which were covered with crimson drugget, were
carpetless. A more barren, inhospitable looking house could not be
imagined, and the moment Tina entered it, her spirits sank to zero. The
atmosphere of the place frightened her the most. It was not that it was
merely forlorn and cheerless, but there was a something in it that
reminded her of the smell of the animal houses in the Zoological Gardens
in Moscow, and a something she could not analyse--a something which she
concluded must be peculiar to the house. The children were very much
upset. The sight of the dark entrance hall and wide, silent staircases,
bathed in gloom, terrified them.

"Oh, mother!" they cried, clutching hold of Tina Baranoff and dragging
her back, "we can never live here. Take us away at once. Look at those
things. Whatever are they?" And they pointed to the shadows--queerly
shaped shadows--that lay in thick clusters on the stairs and all around
them.

Tina did not know what to say. Her own apprehensions and the only too
obvious terror of the dogs, whom she had literally to drive across the
threshold, and who whined and cringed at her feet, confirming the
children's fears, made it impossible for her to check them. Moreover,
since leaving Moscow the warnings of her friends and relations had often
come back to her. Though Ivan had never ceased to be kind, his conduct
roused her suspicions. During the journey, which he had insisted should
be performed in a droshky, he halted every evening directly the moon
became invisible, and used to disappear regularly between dusk and
sunrise. He would never tell her where he went or attempt to explain the
oddness of his conduct, but when pressed by her would merely say:

"It is a habit. I always like to roam abroad in the night-time--it would
be very bad for my health if I did not."

And this was all Tina could get out of him. She noticed, too, what her
blind infatuation had prevented her observing before, that there was a
fierce expression in his eyes when he set out on these nocturnal
rambles, and that on his return the corners of his mouth and his long
finger-nails were always smeared with blood. Furthermore, she noticed
that although he was concerned about the appetites of herself and the
children, he ate very little cooked food himself--never vegetables or
bread--and would often furtively put a raw piece of meat into his mouth
when he thought no one was looking.

Tina hoped that these irregularities would cease on their arrival at the
château, but, on the contrary, they rather increased, and she became
greatly perturbed.

The second night after their arrival, when she had been in bed some time
and was nearly asleep, Tina, between her half-closed eyelids, watched
her husband get out of bed, stealthily open the window, and drop from
the sill. Some hours later she was again aroused. She heard the growl of
a wolf--and immediately afterwards saw Ivan's grey-clad head at the
window. He came softly into the room, and as he tiptoed across the floor
to the washstand, Tina saw splashes of blood on his face and coat,
whilst it dripped freely from his finger-tips. In the morning the news
was brought her by the children that one of her favourite dogs was
dead--eaten by some wild animal, presumably a wolf. Tina's position now
became painful in the extreme. She was more than suspicious of her
husband, and had no one--saving her children--in whom she could confide.
The house seemed to be under a ban; no one, not even a postman or
tradesman, ever came near it, and with the exception of the two
servants, whose silent, gliding movements and light glittering eyes
filled both her and her children with infinite dread, she did not see a
soul.

On four consecutive nights one of her four dogs was killed, each in
precisely the same manner; and on each of these consecutive nights Tina
watched Ivan surreptitiously leave the house and return all
bloodstained, and accompanied by the distant howl of wolves. And on the
day following the death of each dog respectively, Tina noticed the grey
glinting eyes of the two servants become more and more earnestly fixed
on the children and herself. At meal-times the eyes never left her; she
was conscious of their scrutiny at every mouthful she took; and when she
passed them in the passages, she instinctively felt their gaze following
her steadily till she was out of sight. Sometimes, hearing a stealthy
breathing outside her room, she would quickly open the door, demanding
who was there; and she invariably caught one or other of the servants
slinking away disconcerted, but still peeping at her furtively from
under his long pointed eyebrows. When she spoke to them they answered
her in harsh, curiously discordant tones, and usually only in
monosyllables; but she never heard them converse with one another save
in whispers--always in whispers. The house was now full of shadows--and
whispers. They haunted her even in her sleep. For the first two or three
days her husband had been communicative; but he gradually grew more and
more taciturn, until at last he rarely said anything at all. He merely
watched her--watched her wherever she went, and whatever she did; and he
watched the children--particularly the children--with the same
expression, the same undefinable secretive expression that harmonized so
well with the shadows and whispers. And it was this treatment--the
treatment she now received from her husband--that made Tina appreciate
the company of her children. Before, they had been quite a tertiary
consideration--Ivan had come first; then the dogs; and lastly, Hilda,
Olga, and Peter. But this order was at length reversed; and on the death
of the last of her pets, Hilda, Olga and Peter stood first. She spent
practically every minute of the day with them; and, despite the
protestations of her husband, converted her dressing-room into a bedroom
for them. The first evening of their removal to their new quarters, Tina
sat and played with them till one after another they fell asleep from
sheer exhaustion. Then she sat beside them and examined them curiously.
Hilda, the eldest, was lying composed and orderly, with pale cheek and
smooth hair, her limbs straight, her head slightly bent, the bedclothes
unruffled upon the regularly heaving chest. How pretty Hilda looked, and
how odd it was that she, Tina, had never noticed the beauty of the child
before! Why, with her fair complexion, delicate features, and perfectly
shaped arms and hands she would undoubtedly one day take all Moscow by
storm; and every one would say, "Do you know who that lovely girl is?
She is the daughter of Tina--Tina Baranoff. [She shuddered at the name
Baranoff.] No wonder she is beautiful!"

Tina turned from Hilda to Olga. What a contrast, but not an unpleasant
one--for Olga was pretty, too, though in a different style. What a
sight!--defying all order and bursting all bounds, flushed, tumbled and
awry--the round arms tossed up, the rosy face flung back, the bedclothes
pushed off, the pillow flung out, the nightcap one way, the hair
another--all that was disorderly and lovely by night, all that was
unruly and winning by day. Tina--dainty, elegant, perfumed, manicured
Tina--bent over untidy little Olga and kissed her.

Then she turned to Peter, and, unable to resist the temptation, tickled
his toes and woke him. When she had at last sent him to sleep again, it
was almost dinner-time; and she had barely got into her dress when one
of the servants rapped at the door to say that the meal was ready. The
house was very large, and Tina had to pass through two halls and down a
long corridor before reaching the room where the dinner was served.
Rather to her relief than otherwise, her husband did not put in an
appearance, and a note from him informed her that he had unexpectedly
been called away on business and would not be able to return till late
the following day.

Tina did not enjoy her dinner. The soup had rather a peculiar flavour,
but she knew it was useless to make any comment. The servants either
could not or would not understand, and Ivan invariably upheld them in
everything they did. Unable to bear the man's eyes continually fixed on
her, she told him not to wait, and hurried through the meal so as to get
him out of the way, and be left for the rest of the evening in peace.
The big wood fire appealed to Tina--it was the only thing in that part
of the house that seemed to have any life--and she resolved to sit by
it, and, perhaps, skim through a book. Tina seldom read--in Moscow, all
her evenings were spent at cards. She remembered, however, that somebody
had told her repeatedly, and emphatically, that she ought to read
Tolstoy's "Resurrection," and she had actually brought it with her. Now
she would wade through it. But whether it was the heat of the fire, or
the lateness of the hour, or both, her senses grew more and more drowsy,
and before she had begun to read, she fell asleep.

She was, at length, partially awakened by a loud noise. At first her
sleepy senses paid little attention and she dozed on. But again she was
roused. A noise which grew louder and louder at last compelled her to
shake off sleep, and starting up, she opened the door and looked into
the passage. A few streaks of moonlight, streaming through an iron
grating high up in the wall, enabled her to see a tall figure stealing
softly along the corridor, with its back towards her. The thing was so
extraordinary that for a moment or so she fancied she must still be
dreaming; but the cold night air blowing freely in her face speedily
assured her that what she saw was grim reality. The thing was a
monstrosity, a hideous hybrid of man and beast, and as she gazed at it,
too horror-stricken to move, a second and third form exactly similar to
it crept out from among the shadows against the wall and joined it. And
Tina, yielding to a sudden fascination, followed in their wake. In this
fashion they crossed the hall and ascended the staircase, Tina keeping
well behind them. She knew where they were aiming for, and any little
doubt that she might have had was set at rest, when they turned into the
passage leading to her bedroom. A moaning cry of fear from one of the
children told her that they, too, knew by intuition of their coming
danger. Tina was now in an agony of mind as to what to do for the best.
That the intention of these hideous creatures--be they what they
might--phantasms or things of flesh and blood--was sinister, she had not
the slightest doubt; but how could she prevent them getting at her
children? The most she could do would be to shout to Hilda and tell her
to lock the two doors. But would that keep them out? She opened her
mouth and jerked out "Hilda!" She tried again, but her throat had
completely dried up, and she could not articulate another syllable. The
sound, however, though faint, had been sufficient to attract the
attention of the hindermost creature. It turned, and the light from the
moon, coming through the half-open door of her bedroom, shone on its
glittering eyes and white teeth. It sprang towards her. With one
convulsive bound Tina cleared the threshold of a room immediately behind
her, dashed the door to--locked it--barred it--flung a chair against it;
and stood in an agony, for which no words exist. She seemed to see, all
in a moment, herself safe, and her children--not a door closed between
them and those dreadful jaws! She then became stupefied with terror, and
a strange, dinning sound, like the pulsation of her heart, filled her
ears and shut out every sense.

"It is a devil! a devil!" she repeated mechanically; and then, forcing
herself out of the trance-like feeling that oppressed her, she combated
with the cowardice that prevented her rushing out--if only to die in an
attempt to save her children. She had not realized till then that it was
possible to care for them more even--much more even--than she had cared
for her dogs. She placed one hand on the lock, and looked round for some
weapon of defence. There was not a thing she could use--not a stanchion
to the window, not a rod to the bed. And even if there had been, how
futile in her puny grip! She glanced at her tiny white fingers with
their carefully trimmed and polished nails, and smiled--a grim smile of
irony. Then she placed her ear against the panels of the door and
listened--and from the other side came the sound of heavy panting and
the stealthy movement of hands. Suddenly a scream rang out, so clear and
vibrating, so full of terror, that her heart stood still and her blood
congealed. It was Hilda! Hilda shrieking "Mother!" There it was again,
"Mother! Mother! Help! Help!" Then a series of savage snarls and growls
and more shrieks--the combined shrieks of all three children. Shrieks
and growls were then mingled together in one dreadful, hideous
pandemonium, which all of a sudden ceased, and was succeeded by the loud
crunching and cracking of bones. At last that, too, ceased, and Tina
heard footsteps rapidly approaching her door. For a moment the room and
everything in it swam round her. She felt choked; the dinning in her
ears came again, it beat louder and louder and completely paralysed her.
A crash on the door panel, however, abruptly restored her faculties, and
the idea of escaping by the window for the first time entered her mind.
If her husband could use the window as a means of exit, why couldn't
she? Not a second was to be lost--the creatures outside were now
striving their utmost to get in. It was the work of a moment to throw
open the window, and almost before she knew she had opened it, she found
herself standing on the ground beneath. The night had grown darker; she
could not see the path; she knew that she was losing time, and yet that
all depended on her haste; she felt fevered with impatience, yet torpid
with terror. At length she disengaged herself from the broken, uneven
soil on to which she had dropped, and struggled forward. On and on she
went, not knowing where her next step would land her, and dreading every
moment to hear the steps of her pursuers. The darkness of the night
favoured her, and by dodging in and out the bushes and never keeping to
the same track, although still keeping a forward course, she
successfully eluded her enemies, whose hoarse cries gradually grew
fainter and fainter. By good luck she reached the high road, which
eventually brought her to Orsk; and there she sought shelter in a hotel.
In the morning, on learning from the landlord that a friend of hers, a
Colonel Majendie, was in the town, Tina sought him out, and into his
sympathizing ears poured the story of her adventures.

Now it so happened that a priest of the name of Rappaport, a friend of
the Colonel's, came in before Tina had finished her story, and on being
told what had happened, declared that Ivan Baranoff and his servants had
long been suspected of being werwolves. He then begged that before
anything was done to them he might be allowed to try his powers of
exorcism. The Colonel ridiculed the idea, but in the end was persuaded
to postpone his visit to the château till the evening, and to go there
with an escort, a quartette of his most trusted soldiers, and
accompanied by his friend the Rev. Father Rappaport. Accordingly, at
about nine o'clock the party set out, and, on arriving at the house,
found it in total darkness and apparently deserted.

But they had not waited long before a series of savage growls from the
adjacent thicket put them on their guard, and almost immediately
afterwards three werwolves stalked across the path and prepared to enter
the house. At a word from the Colonel the soldiers leaped forward, and
after a most desperate scuffle, in which they were all more or less
badly mauled, succeeded in securing their quarry. In more civilized
parts of the country the police would have been called in, but here,
where that good old law, "Might is right," still held good, a man in the
Colonel's position could do whatever he deemed most expedient, and
Colonel Majendie had made up his mind that justice should no longer be
delayed. The château had borne an ill reputation for generations. From
time immemorial Ivan Baranoff's ancestors had been suspected of
lycanthropy, and this last deed of the family was their crowning
atrocity.

"You may exorcize the devils first," the Colonel grimly remarked to the
priest, wiping the blood off his sleeves. "We will hang and quarter the
brutes afterwards."

To this the holy Father willingly agreed, for he did not care what
happened so long as his exorcism was successful.

The rites that were performed in connexion with this ceremony (and which
I understand are those most commonly observed in exorcizing all manner
of evil spirits) were as follows:--

A circle of seven feet radius was drawn on the ground in white chalk. At
the centre of the circle were inscribed, in yellow chalk, certain
magical figures representing Mercury, and about them was drawn, in white
chalk, a triangle within a circle of three feet radius--the centre of
the circle being the same as that of the outer circle. Within this inner
circle were then placed the three captive werwolves. It would be well to
explain here that in exorcism, as well as in the evocation of spirits,
great attention must be paid to the position of the stars, as astrology
exercises the greatest influence on the spirit world. The present
occasion, the reverend Father pointed out, was specially favourable for
the casting out of devils, since from 8.32 p.m. to 9.16 p.m. was under
the dominion of the great angel Mercury--the most bitter opponent of
all evil spirits; that is to say, Mercury was in 17° ♊. on the cusp
of Seventh House, slightly to south of due west.

     ☽ going to ♂ with ☿ in 14° ♊.
     ☿ to ♂ ♆ ☿ 130° ♄

Round the outer circle the reverend Father now proceeded to place, at
equal intervals, hand-lamps, burning olive oil. He then erected a rude
altar of wood, about a foot to the southeast of the circumference of the
inner circle. Exactly opposite this altar, and about 1-1/2 feet to the
far side of the circumference of the inner circle, he ordered the
soldiers to build a fire, and to place over it a tripod and pot, the
latter containing two pints of pure spring water.

He then prepared a mixture consisting of these ingredients:--

     2 drachms of sulphur.
     1/2 oz. of castoreum.
     6 drachms of opium.
     3 drachms of asafœtida.
     1/2 oz. of hypericum.
     3/4 oz. of ammonia.
     1/2 oz. of camphor.

When this was thoroughly mixed he put it in the water in the pot, adding
to it a portion of a mandrake root, a live snake, two live toads in
linen bags, and a fungus. He then bound together, with red tape, a wand
consisting of three sprigs taken, respectively, from an ash, birch, and
white poplar.

He next proceeded to pray, kneeling in front of the altar; and continued
praying till the unearthly cries of the toads announced the fact that
the water, in which they were immersed, was beginning to boil. Slowly
getting up and crossing himself, he went to the fire, and dipping a cup
in the pot, solemnly approached the werwolves, and slashing them
severely across the head with his wand, dashed in their faces the
seething liquid, calling out as he did so: "In the name of Our Blessed
Lady I command thee to depart. Black, evil devils from hell, begone!
Begone! Again I say, Begone!" He repeated this three times to the
vociferous yells of the smarting werwolves, who struggled so frantically
that they succeeded in bursting their bonds, and, leaping to their feet,
endeavoured to escape into the bushes. The soldiers at once rose in
pursuit and the priest was left alone. He had got rid of the flesh and
blood, and he presumed he had got rid of the devils. But that remained
to be proved.

In the chase that ensued one of the werwolves was shot, and,
simultaneously with death, metamorphosis into the complete form of a
huge grey wolf took place. The other two eluded their pursuers for some
time, but were eventually tracked owing to the discovery of the
half-eaten remains of an old woman and two children in a cave. True to
their lupine natures,[91:1] they showed no fight when cornered, and a
couple of well-directed bullets put an end to their existence--the same
metamorphosis occurring in their case as in the case of their companion.
With the death of the three werwolves the château, one would naturally
have thought, might have emerged from its ban. But no such thing. It
speedily acquired a reputation for being haunted.

And that it was haunted--haunted not only by werwolves but by all sorts
of ghastly phantasms--I have no doubt.

I was told, not long ago, that Tina, whose property it became, pulled it
down, and that another house, replete with every modern luxury--but
equally haunted[91:2]--now marks the site of the old château.


FOOTNOTES:

[91:1] The wolf and puma, alone among savage animals, give in directly
they are brought to bay.

[91:2] The hauntings in houses are often due to something connected with
the ground on which the houses are built.



CHAPTER VI

THE WERWOLF IN THE BRITISH ISLES


It is commonly known that there were once wolves in Great Britain and
Scotland. Whilst history tells us of a king who tried to get rid of them
by offering so much for every wolf's head that was brought to him, we
read in romance how Llewellyn slew Gelert, the faithful hound that,
having slain the wolf, saved his infant's life; and tradition has handed
down to us many other stories of them. But the news that werwolves, too,
once flourished in these climes will come as a surprise to many.

Yet Halliwell, quoting from a Bodleian MS., says: "Ther ben somme that
eten chyldren and men, and eteth noon other flesh fro that tyme that
thei be a-charmed with mannys flesh for rather thei wolde be deed; and
thei be cleped werewolfes for men shulde be war of them."

Nor is this the only reference to them in ancient chronicles, for
Gervase of Tilbury, in his "Otia Imperiala," writes:--

"Vidimus enim frequenter in Anglia per lunationes homines in lupos
mutari, quod hominum genus gerulphos Galli nominant, Angli vero
were-wulf dicunt." And Richard Verstegan, in his "Restitution of Decayed
Intelligence," 1605, says: "The were-wolves are certain sorcerers who
having anointed their bodies with an ointment which they make by the
instinct of the devil, and putting on a certain enchanted girdle, do not
only unto the view of others seem as wolves, but to their own thinking
have both the shape and nature of wolves, so long as they wear the said
girdle; and they do dispose themselves as very wolves in worrying and
killing, and eating most of human creatures."

In my investigations of haunted houses and my psychical research work
generally, I have come across much that I believe to be good evidence in
support of the testimony of these writers. For instance, in localities
once known to have been the favourite haunts of wolves, I have met
people who have informed me they have seen phantasms, in shape half
human and half beast, that might well be the earth-bound spirits of
werwolves.

A Miss St. Denis told me she was once staying on a farm, in
Merionethshire, where she witnessed a phenomenon of this class. The
farm, though some distance from the village, was not far off the railway
station, a very diminutive affair, with only one platform and a mere box
that served as a waiting-room and booking-office combined. It was,
moreover, one of those stations where the separate duties of
station-master, porter, booking-clerk, and ticket-collector are
performed by one and the same person, and where the signal always
appears to be down. As the platform commanded the only paintable view in
the neighbourhood, Miss St. Denis often used to resort there with her
sketch-book. On one occasion she had stayed rather later than usual, and
on rising hurriedly from her camp-stool saw, to her surprise, a figure
which she took to be that of a man, sitting on a truck a few yards
distant, peering at her. I say to her surprise, because, excepting on
the rare occasion of a train arriving, she had never seen anyone at the
station besides the station-master, and in the evening the platform was
invariably deserted. The loneliness of the place was for the first time
brought forcibly home to her. The station-master's tiny house was at
least some hundred yards away, and beyond that there was not another
habitation nearer than the farm. On all sides of her, too, were black,
frowning precipices, full of seams and fissures and inequalities,
showing vague and shadowy in the fading rays of the sun. Here and there
were the huge, gaping mouths of gloomy slate quarries that had long been
disused, and were now half full of foul water. Around them the earth was
heaped with loose fragments of rock which had evidently been detached
from the principal mass and shivered to pieces in the fall. A few trees,
among which were the black walnut, the slippery elm, and here and there
an oak, grew among the rocks, and attested by their dwarfish stature the
ungrateful soil in which they had taken root. It was not an exhilarating
scene, but it was one that had a peculiar fascination for Miss St.
Denis--a fascination she could not explain, and which she now began to
regret. The darkness had come on very rapidly, and was especially
concentrated, so it seemed to her, round the spot where she sat, and she
could make nothing out of the silent figure on the truck, save that it
had unpleasantly bright eyes and there was something queer about it. She
coughed to see if that would have any effect, and as it had none she
coughed again. Then she spoke and said, "Can you tell me the time,
please?" But there was no reply, and the figure still sat there staring
at her. Then she grew uneasy and, packing up her things, walked out of
the station, trying her best to look as if nothing had occurred. She
glanced over her shoulder; the figure was following her. Quickening her
pace, she assumed a jaunty air and whistled, and turning round again,
saw the strange figure still coming after her. The road would soon be at
its worst stage of loneliness, and, owing to the cliffs on either side
of it, almost pitch dark. Indeed, the spot positively invited murder,
and she might shriek herself hoarse without the remotest chance of
making herself heard. To go on with this _outré_ figure so unmistakably
and persistently stalking her, was out of the question. Screwing up
courage, she swung round, and, raising herself to her full height,
cried: "What do you want? How dare you?"--She got no further, for a
sudden spurt of dying sunlight, playing over the figure, showed her it
was nothing human, nothing she had ever conceived possible. It was a
nude grey thing, not unlike a man in body, but with a wolf's head. As it
sprang forward, its light eyes ablaze with ferocity, she instinctively
felt in her pocket, whipped out a pocket flash-light, and pressed the
button. The effect was magical; the creature shrank back, and putting
two paw-like hands in front of its face to protect its eyes, faded into
nothingness.

She subsequently made inquiries, but could learn nothing beyond the
fact that, in one of the quarries close to the place where the phantasm
had vanished, some curious bones, partly human and partly animal, had
been unearthed, and that the locality was always shunned after dusk.
Miss St. Denis thought as I did, that what she had seen might very well
have been the earth-bound spirit of a werwolf.

The case of another haunting of this nature was related to me last year.
A young married couple of the name of Anderson, having acquired, through
the death of a relative, a snug fortune, resolved to retire from
business and spend the rest of their lives in indolence and ease. Being
fond of the country, they bought some land in Cumberland, at the foot of
some hills, far away from any town, and built on it a large two-storied
villa.

They soon, however, began to experience trouble with their servants, who
left them on the pretext that the place was lonely, and that they could
not put up with the noises that they heard at night. The Andersons
ridiculed their servants, but when their children remarked on the same
thing they viewed the matter more seriously. "What are the noises like?"
they inquired. "Wild animals," Willie, the eldest child, replied. "They
come howling round the window at night and we hear their feet patter
along the passage and stop at our door." Much mystified, Mr. and Mrs.
Anderson decided to sit up with the children and listen. They did so,
and between two and three in the morning were much startled by a noise
that sounded like the growling of a wolf--Mr. Anderson had heard wolves
in Canada--immediately beneath the window. Throwing open the window, he
peered out; the moon was fully up and every stick and stone was plainly
discernible; but there was now no sound and no sign of any animal. When
he had closed the window the growling at once recommenced, yet when he
looked again nothing was to be seen. After a while the growling ceased,
and they heard the front door, which they had locked before coming
upstairs, open, and the footsteps of some big, soft-footed animal ascend
the stairs. Mr. Anderson waited till the steps were just outside the
room and then flung open the door, but the light from his acetylene lamp
revealed a passage full of moonbeams--nothing else.

He and his wife were now thoroughly mystified. In the morning they
explored the grounds, but could find no trace of footmarks, nothing to
indicate the nature of their visitant. It was now close on Christmas,
and as the noises had not been heard for some time, it was hoped that
the disturbances would not occur again. The Andersons, like all modern
parents, made idols of their children. They never did wrong, nothing was
too good for them, and everything they wanted they had. At Christmas,
perhaps, their authority was more particularly in evidence; at any rate,
it was then that the greatest care was taken that the menu should be in
strict accordance with their instructions. "What shall Santa Claus bring
you this time, my darlings?" Mr. Anderson asked, a week or so before the
great day arrived; and Willie, aged six, at once cried out: "What a fool
you are, daddy! It is all tosh about old Claus, there's no such person!"

"Wait and see!" Mr. Anderson meekly replied. "You mark my words, he will
come into your room on Christmas Eve laden with presents."

"I don't believe it!" Willie retorted. "You told us that silly tale last
year and I never saw any Claus!"

"He came when you were asleep, dearie," Mrs. Anderson ventured to
remark.

"Well! I'll keep awake this time!" Willie shouted.

"And we'll take the presents first and pinch old Claus afterwards,"
Violet Evelyn, the second child, joined in.

"And I'll prick his towsers wif pins!" Horace, aged three and a half,
echoed. "I don't care nothink for old Santa Claus!" and he pulled a long
nose in the manner his doting father had taught him.

Christmas Eve came at last--a typical old-fashioned Christmas with heaps
of snow on the ground and frost on the window-panes and trees. The
Andersons' house was warm and comfortable--for once in a way the windows
were shut--and enormous fires blazed merrily away in the grates. Whilst
the children spent most of the day viewing the good things in the larder
and speculating how much they could eat of each, and which would taste
the nicest, Mr. Anderson rehearsed in full costume the rôle of Santa
Claus. He had an enormous sack full of presents--everything the children
had demanded--and he meant to enter their room with it on his shoulder
at about twelve o'clock.

Tea-time came, and during the interval between that meal and supper all
hands--even Horace's--were at work, decorating the hall and staircases
with holly and mistletoe. After supper "Good King Wencelas," "Noël," and
one or two other carols were sung, and the children then decided to go
to bed.

It was then ten o'clock; and exactly two hours later their father,
elaborately clad as Santa Claus, and staggering, in the orthodox
fashion, beneath a load of presents, shuffled softly down the passage
leading to their room. The snow had ceased falling, the moon was out,
and the passage flooded with a soft, phosphorescent glow that threw into
strong relief every minute object. Mr. Anderson had got half-way along
it when on his ears there suddenly fell a faint sound of yelping! His
whole frame thrilled and his mind reverted to the scenes of his
youth--to the prairies in the far-off West, where, over and over again,
he had heard these sounds, and his faithful Winchester repeater had
stood him in good service. Again the yelping--this time nearer. Yes! it
was undoubtedly a wolf; and yet there was an intonation in that yelping
not altogether wolfish--something Mr. Anderson had never heard before,
and which he was consequently at a loss to define. Again it rang
out--much nearer this time--much more trying to the nerves, and the cold
sweat of fear burst out all over him. Again--close under the wall of the
house--a moaning, snarling, drawn-out cry that ended in a whine so
piercing that Mr. Anderson's knees shook. One of the children, Violet
Evelyn he thought, stirred in her bed and muttered: "Santa Claus! Santa
Claus!" and Mr. Anderson, with a desperate effort, staggered on under
his load and opened their door. The clock in the hall beneath began to
strike twelve. Santa Claus, striving hard to appear jolly and genial,
entered the room, and a huge grey, shadowy figure entered with him. A
slipper thrown by Willie whizzed through the air, and, narrowly missing
Santa Claus, fell to the ground with a clatter. There was then a deathly
silence, and Violet and Horace, raising their heads, saw two strange
figures standing in the centre of the room staring at one another--the
one figure they at once identified by the costume. He was Santa
Claus--but not the genial, rosy-cheeked Santa Claus their father had
depicted. On the contrary, it was a Santa Claus with a very white face
and frightened eyes--a Santa Claus that shook as if the snow and ice had
given him the ague. But the other figure--what was it? Something very
tall, far taller than their father, nude and grey, something like a man
with the head of a wolf--a wolf with white pointed teeth and horrid,
light eyes. Then they understood why it was that Santa Claus trembled;
and Willie stood by the side of his bed, white and silent. It is
impossible to say how long this state of things would have lasted, or
what would eventually have happened, had not Mrs. Anderson, anxious to
see how Santa Claus was faring, and rather wondering why he was gone so
long, resolved herself to visit the children's room. As the light from
her candle appeared on the threshold of the room the thing with the
wolf's head vanished.

"Why, whatever were you all doing?" she began. Then Santa Claus and the
children all spoke at once--whilst the sack of presents tumbled unheeded
on the floor. Every available candle was soon lighted, and mother and
father and Willie, Violet and Horace all spent the remainder of that
night in close company. On the following day it was proposed, and
carried unanimously, that the house should be put up for sale. This was
done at the earliest opportunity, and fortunately for the Andersons
suitable tenants were soon found. Before leaving, however, Mr. Anderson
made another and more exhaustive search of the grounds, and discovered,
in a cave in the hills immediately behind the house, a number of bones.
Amongst them was the skull of a wolf, and lying close beside it a human
skeleton, with only the skull missing. Mr. Anderson burnt the bones,
hoping that by so doing he would rid the house of its unwelcome visitor;
and, as his tenants so far have not complained, he believes that the
hauntings have actually ceased.

A lady whom I met at Tavistock some years ago told me that she had seen
a phantasm, which she believed to be that of a werwolf, in the Valley of
the Doones, Exmoor. She was walking home alone, late one evening, when
she saw on the path directly in front of her the tall grey figure of a
man with a wolf's head. Advancing stealthily forward, this creature was
preparing to spring on a large rabbit that was crouching on the ground,
apparently too terror-stricken to move, when the abrupt appearance of a
stag bursting through the bushes in a wild state of stampede caused it
to vanish. Prior to this occurrence, my informant had never seen a
ghost, nor had she, indeed, believed in them; but now, she assures me,
she is quite convinced as to their existence, and is of the opinion that
the sub-human phenomenon she had witnessed was the spirit of one of
those werwolves referred to by Gervase of Tilbury and Richard
Verstegan--werwolves who were still earthbound owing to their
incorrigible ferocity.

This opinion I can readily endorse, adding only that, considering the
number of werwolves there must once have been in England, it is a matter
of some surprise to me that phantasms are not more frequently seen.

Here is another account of this type of haunting narrated to me some
summers ago by a Mr. Warren, who at the time he saw the phenomenon was
staying in the Hebrides, which part of the British Isles is probably
richer than any other in spooks of all sorts.

"I was about fifteen years of age at the time," Mr. Warren said, "and
had for several years been residing with my grandfather, who was an
elder in the Kirk of Scotland. He was much interested in geology, and
literally filled the house with fossils from the pits and caves round
where we dwelt. One morning he came home in a great state of excitement,
and made me go with him to look at some ancient remains he had found at
the bottom of a dried-up tarn. 'Look!' he cried, bending down and
pointing at them, 'here is a human skeleton with a wolf's head. What do
you make of it?' I told him I did not know, but supposed it must be some
kind of monstrosity. 'It's a werwolf!' he rejoined, 'that's what it is.
A werwolf! This island was once overrun with satyrs and werwolves! Help
me carry it to the house.' I did as he bid me, and we placed it on the
table in the back kitchen. That evening I was left alone in the house,
my grandfather and the other members of the household having gone to the
kirk. For some time I amused myself reading, and then, fancying I heard
a noise in the back premises, I went into the kitchen. There was no one
about, and becoming convinced that it could only have been a rat that
had disturbed me, I sat on the table alongside the alleged remains of
the werwolf, and waited to see if the noises would recommence. I was
thus waiting in a listless sort of way, my back bent, my elbows on my
knees, looking at the floor and thinking of nothing in particular, when
there came a loud rat, tat, tat of knuckles on the window-pane. I
immediately turned in the direction of the noise and encountered, to my
alarm, a dark face looking in at me. At first dim and indistinct, it
became more and more complete, until it developed into a very perfectly
defined head of a wolf terminating in the neck of a human being. Though
greatly shocked, my first act was to look in every direction for a
possible reflection--but in vain. There was no light either without or
within, other than that from the setting sun--nothing that could in any
way have produced an illusion. I looked at the face and marked each
feature intently. It was unmistakably a wolf's face, the jaws slightly
distended; the lips wreathed in a savage snarl; the teeth sharp and
white; the eyes light green; the ears pointed. The expression of the
face was diabolically malignant, and as it gazed straight at me my
horror was as intense as my wonder. This it seemed to notice, for a
look of savage exultation crept into its eyes, and it raised one hand--a
slender hand, like that of a woman, though with prodigiously long and
curved finger-nails--menacingly, as if about to dash in the window-pane.
Remembering what my grandfather had told me about evil spirits, I
crossed myself; but as this had no effect, and I really feared the thing
would get at me, I ran out of the kitchen and shut and locked the door,
remaining in the hall till the family returned. My grandfather was much
upset when I told him what had happened, and attributed my failure to
make the spirit depart to my want of faith. Had he been there, he
assured me, he would soon have got rid of it; but he nevertheless made
me help him remove the bones from the kitchen, and we reinterred them in
the very spot where we had found them, and where, for aught I know to
the contrary, they still lie."

The peasant class in all parts of the British Isles are so sensitive to
ridicule, and so suspicious of being "got at," that it is very difficult
to extract any information from them with regard to the superphysical.
At first they invariably deny their belief in spirits, and it is only by
dint of the utmost persuasion unaccompanied by any air of
patronage--which the Celtic peasant detests--that one is finally able to
loosen their tongues as to uncanny occurrences, hauntings, and rumours
of hauntings, in their neighbourhood. In eliciting information of this
nature, I have, I think, by reason of my tactful manner, often succeeded
where others have failed.

In a village at the foot of Ben MacDhui a shepherd of the name of Colin
Graeme informed me that he remembered hearing his grandfather, who died
at the age of ninety, speak of an old man called Tam McPherson whom
he--the grandfather--had known intimately as a boy. This old man, so
Colin's grandfather said, had perfect recollections of a man in the
village called Saunderson being suspected of being a werwolf. He used to
describe Saunderson as "a mon with evil, leerie eyes, and eyebrows that
met in a point over his nose"; and went on to say that Saunderson lived
in a cave in the mountains where his forefathers, also suspected of
being werwolves, had lived before him, and that when on
his--Saunderson's--death this cave was visited by some of the villagers,
a quantity of queer bones--some human and some belonging to wolves--were
discovered lying in corners, partially covered with stones and loose
earth.

I have heard similar stories in Wales, and have been conducted to one or
two spots, one near Iremadac and the other on the Epynt Hills, where,
local tradition still has it, werwolves once flourished.

According to legend St. Patrick turned Vereticus, a Welsh king, into a
wolf, whilst the werwolf daughter of a Welsh prince was said to have
destroyed her father's enemies during her nocturnal metamorphoses. In
Ireland, too, are many legends of werwolves; and it is said of at least
some half-dozen of the old families that at some period--as the result
of a curse--each member of the clan was doomed to be a wolf for seven
years.



CHAPTER VII

THE WERWOLF IN FRANCE


In no country has the werwolf flourished as in France, where it is known
as the _loup garou_; where it has existed in all parts, in every age,
and where it is even yet to be found in the more remote districts. Hence
one could fill a dozen volumes with the stories, many of them well
authenticated, of French werwolves. As far back as the sixth century we
hear of them infesting the woods and valleys of Brittany and Burgundy,
the Landes, and the mountainous regions of the Côte d'Or and the
Cevennes.

Occasionally a werwolf would break into a convent and make its meal off
the defenceless nuns; occasionally it would select for its repast some
nice fat abbot waddling unsuspectingly home to his monastery.

Not all these werwolves were evilly disposed people; many, on the
contrary, were exceedingly virtuous, and owed their metamorphosis to
the vengeance of witch or wizard. When this was the case their piety
sometimes prevailed to such an extent that not even metamorphosis into
wolfish form could render it ineffective; and there are instances where
werwolves of this type have not only refrained from taking human life,
but have actually gone out of their way to protect it. Of such
instances, well authenticated, probably none would be more remarkable
than those I am about to narrate.


THE CASE OF THE ABBOT GILBERT, OF THE ARC MONASTERY, ON THE BANKS OF THE
LOIRE

Gilbert had been to a village fair, where the good vintage and hot sun
combined had proved so trying that on his way home, through a dense and
lonely forest, he had gone to sleep and been thrown from his horse. In
falling he had bruised and cut himself so prodigiously that the blood
from his wounds attracted to the spot a number of big wild cats. Taken
at a strong disadvantage, and without any weapons to defend himself,
Gilbert would soon have fallen a victim to the ferocity of these savage
creatures had it not been for the opportune arrival of a werwolf. A
desperate battle at once ensued, in which the werwolf eventually gained
the victory, though not without being severely lacerated.

Despite Gilbert's protestations, for he was loath to be seen in such
strange company, the werwolf accompanied him back to the monastery,
where, upon hearing the Abbot's story, it was enthusiastically welcomed
and its wounds attended to. At dawn it was restored to its natural
shape, and the monks, one and all, were startled out of their senses to
find themselves in the presence of a stern and awesome dignitary of the
Church, who immediately began to lecture the Abbot for his unseemly
conduct the previous day, ordering him to undergo such penance as
eventually, robbing him of half his size and all his self-importance,
led to his resignation.


THE CASE OF ROLAND BERTIN

André Bonivon, the hero of the other incident, was eminently a man of
war. He commanded a schooner called the "Bonaventure," which was engaged
in harassing the Huguenot settlements along the shores of the Gulf of
Lions, during the reign of Louis XIV. On one of his marauding
expeditions Bonivon sailed up an estuary of the Rhone rather further
than he had intended, and having no pilot on board, ran ashore in the
darkness. A thunderstorm came on; a general panic ensued; and Bonivon
soon found himself struggling in a whirlpool. Powerful swimmer though he
was, he would most certainly have been drowned had not some one come to
his assistance, and, freeing him from the heavy clothes which weighed
him down, dragged him on dry land. The moment Bonivon got on _terra
firma_, sailor-like, he extended his hand to grip that of his rescuer,
when, to his dismay and terror, instead of a hand he grasped a huge
hairy paw.

Convinced that he was in the presence of the Devil, who doubtless highly
approved of the thousand and one atrocities he had perpetrated on the
helpless Huguenots, he threw himself on his knees and implored the
forgiveness of Heaven.

His rescuer waited awhile in grim silence, and then, lifting him gently
to his feet, led him some considerable distance inland till they arrived
at a house on the outskirts of a small town.

Here Bonivon's conductor halted, and, opening the door, signed to the
captain to enter. All within was dark and silent, and the air was
tainted with a sickly, pungent odour that filled Bonivon with the
gravest apprehensions. Dragging him along, Bonivon's guide took him into
a room, and leaving him there for some seconds, reappeared carrying a
lantern. Bonivon now saw for the first time the face of his
conductor--it was that of a werwolf. With a shriek of terror Bonivon
turned to run, but, catching his foot on a mat, fell sprawling on the
floor.

Here he remained sobbing and shaking with fear till he was once more
taken by the werwolf and set gently on his feet.

To Bonivon's surprise a tray full of eatables was standing on the table,
and the werwolf, motioning to him to sit down, signed to him to eat.

Being ravenously hungry, Bonivon "fell to," and, despite his fears--for
being by nature alive to, and, by reason of his calling, forced to guard
against the treachery of his fellow creatures, he more than half
suspected some subtle design underlying this act of kindness--demolished
every particle of food. The meal thus concluded, Bonivon's benefactor
retired, locking the door after him.

No sooner had the sound of his steps in the stone hall ceased than
Bonivon ran to the window, hoping thereby to make his escape. But the
iron bars were too firmly fixed--no matter how hard he pulled, tugged
and wrenched, they remained as immovable as ever. Then his heart began
to palpitate, his hair to bristle up, and his knees to totter; his
thoughts were full of speculations as to how he would be killed and what
it would feel like to be eaten alive. His conscience, too, rising up in
judgment against him, added its own paroxysms of dismay, paroxysms which
were still further augmented by the finding of the dead body of a woman,
nude and horribly mutilated, lying doubled up and partly concealed by a
curtain. Such a discovery could not fail to fill his heart with
unspeakable horror; for he concluded that he himself, unless saved by a
miracle--a favour he could hardly hope for, considering his past
conduct--would undergo the same fate before morning. At a loss to know
what else to do, he sat upon the corner of the table, resting his chin
on the palms of his hands, and engaged in anticipations of the most
frightful nature.

Shortly after dawn he heard the sound of footsteps approaching the room;
the door slowly began to open: a little wider and a little wider, and
then, when Bonivon's heart was on the point of bursting, it suddenly
swung open wide, and the cold, grey dawn falling on the threshold
revealed not a werwolf, but--a human being: a man in the unmistakable
garb of a Huguenot minister!

The reaction was so great that Bonivon rolled off the table and went
into paroxysms of ungovernable laughter.

At length, when he had sobered down, the Huguenot, laying a hand on his
shoulder, said: "Do you know now where you are? Do you recognize this
room? No! Well, I will explain. You are in the house of Roland Bertin,
and the body lying over yonder is that of my wife, whom your crew
barbarously murdered yesterday when they sacked this village. They took
me with them, and it was your intention to have me tortured and then
drowned as soon as you got to sea. Do you know me now?"

Bonivon nodded--he could not have spoken to save his life.

"Bien!" the minister went on. "I am a werwolf--I was bewitched some
years ago by the woman Grénier, Mère Grénier, who lives in the forest at
the back of our village. As soon as it was dark I metamorphosed; then
the ship ran ashore, and every one leaped overboard. I saw you drowning.
I saved you."

The captain again made a fruitless effort to speak, and the Huguenot
continued:--

"Why did I save you?--you, who had been instrumental in murdering my
wife and ruining my home! Why? I do not know! Had I preferred for you a
less pleasant death than drowning, I could have taken you ashore and
killed you. Yet--I did not, because it is not in my nature to destroy
anything. I have never in my life killed an animal, nor, to my
knowledge, an insect; I love all life--animal life and vegetable
life--everything that breathes and grows. Yet I am a Huguenot!--one of
the race you hate and despise and are paid to exterminate. Assassin, I
have spared you. Be not ungenerous. Spare others."

The captain was moved. Still speechless, he seized the minister's hands
and wrung them. And from that hour to the day of his death--which was
not for many years afterwards--the Huguenots had no truer friend than
André Bonivon.


WERWOLVES AND WITCHES

Other instances of werwolves of a benignant nature are to be found in
the "Bisclaveret" in Marie de France's poem, composed in 1200 A.D.; and
in the hero of "William and the Werwolf" (translated from the French
about 1350).

To inflict the evil property of werwolfery upon those against whom
they--or some other--bore a grudge was, in the Middle Ages, a method of
revenge frequently resorted to by witches; and countless knights and
ladies were thus victimized. Nor were such practices confined to ancient
times; for as late as the eighteenth century a case of this kind of
witchcraft is reported to have happened in the vicinity of Blois.

In a village some three miles from Blois, on the outskirts of a forest,
dwelt an innkeeper called Antonio Cellini, who, as the name suggests,
was of Italian origin. Antonio had only one child, Beatrice, a very
pretty girl, who at the time of this story was about nineteen years of
age. As might be expected, Beatrice had many admirers; but none were so
passionately attached to her as Herbert Poyer, a handsome youth, and one
Henri Sangfeu, an extremely plain youth. Beatrice--and one can scarcely
blame her for it--preferred Herbert, and with the whole-hearted approval
of her father consented to marry him. Sangfeu was not unnaturally upset;
but, in all probability, he would have eventually resigned himself to
the inevitable, had it not been for a village wag, who in an idle moment
wrote a poem and entitled it

     "_Sansfeu the Ugly; or, Love Unrequited._"

The poem, which was illustrated with several clever caricatures of the
unfortunate Henri and contained much caustic wit, took like wildfire in
the village; and Henri, in consequence, had a very bad time. Eventually
it was shown to Beatrice, and it was then that the climax was reached.
Although Henri was present at the moment, unable to restrain herself,
she went into peals of laughter at the drawings, saying over and over
again: "How like him--how very like! His nose to a nicety! It is
certainly correct to style him Sansfeu--for no one could call him
Sansnez!"

Her mirth was infectious; every one joined in; only Henri slunk away,
crimson with rage and mortification. He hated Beatrice now as much as he
had loved her before; and he thirsted only for revenge.

Some distance from the village and in the heart of the forest lived an
old woman known as Mère Maxim, who was said to be a witch, and,
therefore, shunned by every one. All sorts of unsavoury stories were
told of her, and she was held responsible for several outbreaks of
epidemics--hitherto unknown in the neighbourhood--many accidents, and
more than one death.

The spot where she lived was carefully avoided. Those who ventured far
in the forest after nightfall either never came back at all or returned
half imbecile with terror, and afterwards poured out to their affrighted
friends incoherent stories of the strange lights and terrible forms they
had encountered, moving about amid the trees. Up to the present Henri
had been just as scared by these tales as the rest of the villagers; but
so intense was his longing for revenge that he at length resolved to
visit Mère Maxim and solicit her assistance. Choosing a morning when the
sun was shining brightly, he screwed up his courage, and after many bad
scares finally succeeded in reaching her dwelling--or, I might say, her
shanty, for by a more appropriate term than the latter such a
queer-looking untidy habitation could not be described. To his
astonishment Mère Maxim was by no means so unprepossessing as he had
imagined. On the contrary, she was more than passably good-looking, with
black hair, rosy cheeks, and exceedingly white teeth. What he did not
altogether like were her eyes--which, though large and well shaped, had
in them an occasional glitter--and her hands, which, though remarkably
white and slender, had very long and curved nails, that to his mind
suggested all sorts of unpleasant ideas. She was becomingly dressed in
brown--brown woolly garments, with a brown fur cap, brown stockings, and
brown shoes ornamented with very bright silver buckles. Altogether she
was decidedly chic; and if a little incongruous in her surroundings,
such incongruity only made her the more alluring; and as far as Henri
was concerned rather added to her charms.

At all events, he needed no second invitation to seat himself by her
side in the chimney-corner, and his heart thumped as it had never
thumped before when she encouraged him to put his arm round her waist
and kiss her. It was the first time a woman had ever suffered him to
kiss her without violent protestations and avowals of disgust.

"You are not very handsome, it is true," Mère Maxim remarked, "but you
are fat--and I like fat young men," and she pinched his cheeks playfully
and patted his hands. "Are you sure no one knows you have come to see
me?" she asked.

"Certain!" Henri replied; "I haven't confided in a soul; I haven't even
so much as dropped a hint that I intended seeing you."

"That is good!" Mère Maxim said. "Tell no one, otherwise I shall not be
able to help you. Also, on no account let the girl Beatrice think you
bear her animosity. Be civil and friendly to her whenever you meet; then
give her, as a wedding present, this belt and box of bonbons." So
saying, she handed him a beautiful belt composed of the skin of some
wild animal and fastened with a gold buckle, and a box of delicious pink
and white sugarplums. "Do not give her these things till the marriage
eve," she added, "and directly you have given them come and see
me--always observing the greatest secrecy." She then kissed him, and he
went away brimming over with passion for her, and longing feverishly for
the hour to arrive when he could be with her again.

All day and all night he thought of her--of her gay and sparkling
beauty, of her kisses and caresses, and the delightful coolness of her
thin and supple hands. His mad infatuation for her made him oblivious
to the taunts and jeers of the villagers, who seldom saw him without
making ribald allusion to the poem.

"There goes Sansfeu! alias Monsieur Grosnez!" they called out. "Why
don't you cut off your nose for a present to mademoiselle? She would
then have no need to buy a kitchen poker. Ha! ha! ha!" But their coarse
wit fell flat. Henri hardly heard it--all his thoughts, his burning
love, his unquenchable passion, were centred in Mère Maxim: in spirit he
was with her, alone with her, in the innermost recesses of the grim,
silent forest.

The marriage eve came; he handed Beatrice the presents, and ere she had
time to thank him--for the magnificence of the belt rendered her
momentarily speechless--he had flown from the house, and was hurrying as
fast as his legs could carry him to his tryst. The shadows of night were
already on the forest when he entered it; and the silence and solitude
of the place, the indistinct images of the trees, and their dismal
sighing, that seemed to foretell a storm, all combined to disturb his
fancy and raise strange spectres in his imagination. The shrill hooting
of an owl, as it rustled overhead, caused him an unprecedented shock,
and the great rush of blood to his head made him stagger and clutch
hold of the nearest object for support. He had barely recovered from
this alarm when his eyes almost started out of their sockets with fright
as he caught sight of a queer shape gliding silently from tree to tree;
and shortly afterwards he was again terrified--this time by a pale face,
whether of a human being or animal he could not say, peering down at him
from the gnarled and fantastic branches of a gigantic oak. He was now so
frightened that he ran, and queer--indefinably queer footsteps ran after
him, and followed him persistently until he reached the shanty, when he
heard them turn and leap lightly away.

On this occasion, the occurrence of Henri's second visit, Mère Maxim was
more captivating than ever. She was dressed with wonderful effect all in
white. She wore sparkling jewels at her throat and waist, buckles of
burnished gold on her shoes; her teeth flashed like polished ivory, and
her nails like agates. Henri was enraptured. He fell on his knees before
her, he caught her hands and covered them with kisses.

"How nice you look to-day, my sweetheart," she said; "and how fat! It
does my heart good to see you. Come in, and sit close to me, and tell me
how you have fared."

She led him in, and after locking and barring the door, conducted him
to the chimney-corner. And there he lay in her arms. She fondled him;
she pressed her lips on his, and gleefully felt his cheeks and arms. And
after a time, when, intoxicated with the joy of it all, he lay still and
quiet, wishing only to remain like that for eternity, she stooped down,
and, fetching a knot of cord from under the seat, began laughingly to
bind his hands and feet. And at each turn and twist of the rope she
laughed the louder. And when she had finished binding his arms and legs
she made him lie on his back, and lashed him so tightly to the seat
that, had he possessed the strength of six men, he could not have freed
himself.

Then she sat beside him, and moving aside the clothes that covered his
chest and throat, said:--

"By this time Beatrice--pretty Beatrice, vain and sensual Beatrice, the
Beatrice you once loved and admired so much--will have worn the belt,
will have eaten the sweets. She is now a werwolf. Every night at twelve
o'clock she will creep out of bed and glide about the house and village
in search of human prey, some bonny babe, or weak, defenceless woman,
but always some one fat, tender, and juicy--some one like you." And
bending low over him, she bared her teeth, and dug her cruel nails deep
into his flesh. A flame from the wood fire suddenly shot up. It
flickered oddly on the figure of Mère Maxim--so oddly that Henri
received a shock. He realized with an awful thrill that the face into
which he peered was no longer that of a human being; it was--but he
could no longer think--he could only gaze.



CHAPTER VIII

WERWOLVES AND VAMPIRES AND GHOULS


Throughout the Middle Ages, and even in the seventeenth century, trials
for lycanthropy were of common occurrence in France. Among the most
famous were those of the Grandillon family in the Jura, in 1598; that of
the tailor of Châlons; of Roulet, in Angers; of Gilles Garnier, in Dôle,
in 1573; and of Jean Garnier, at Bordeaux, in 1603. The last case was,
perhaps, the most remarkable of all. Garnier, who was only fourteen
years of age, was employed in looking after cattle. He was a handsome
lad, with dark, flashing eyes and very white teeth. As soon as it was
time for the metamorphosis to take place he used to go into some lonely
spot, and then, in the guise of a wolf, return, and run to earth
isolated women and children. One of his favourite haunts was a thicket
close to a pool of water. Here he used to lie and watch for hours at a
time. Once he surprised two girls bathing. One escaped, and fled home
naked, but the other he flung on the ground, and having shaken her into
submission, devoured a portion of her one day, and the rest of her the
next. He confessed to having eaten over fifty children. Nor did he
always confine himself to attacking the solitary few and defenceless;
for on several occasions, when hard pressed by hunger, he assailed a
whole crowd, and was once severely handled by a pack of young girls who
successfully drove him off with sharply pointed stakes. Far from wishing
to conceal his guilt, Jean Garnier was most eager to tell everything,
and to a court thronged with eager, attentive people, he related in the
most graphic manner possible his sanguinary experiences. One old woman,
he said, whom he found alone in a cottage, showed extraordinary agility
in trying to escape. She raced round tables, clambered over chairs,
crawled under a bed, and finally hid in a cupboard and held the door so
fast that he had to exert all his force to open it. "And then," he
added, "in spite of all my trouble she proved to be as tough as
leather----" and he made a grimace that provoked much laughter.

He complained bitterly of one child. "It made such a dreadful noise,"
he said, "when I lifted it out of its crib, and when I got ready for my
first bite it shrieked so loud it almost deafened me."

The name Grénier, like that of Garnier, was closely associated with
lycanthropy, and in Blois, where there were more instances of
lycanthropy than in any other part of France, every one called Grénier
or Garnier was set down as a werwolf.

Amongst the Vaudois lycanthropy was also widely prevalent, and many of
these werwolves were brought to trial and executed.


THE CASE OF SERGEANT BERTRAND

The case of Sergeant Bertrand, which is the last authenticated case of
this kind, occurred in 1847, when, on the 10th of July, an investigation
was held before a military council presided over by Colonel Manselon.
For some months the cemeteries in and around Paris had been the scenes
of frightful violations, the culprits (or culprit), in some
extraordinary manner, eluding every attempt made to ensnare them. At one
time the custodians of the cemeteries were suspected, then the local
police, and for a brief space suspicion fell even on the relations of
the dead. The first burial-place to be so mysteriously visited was the
Cemetery of Père Lachaise. Here, at night, those in charge declared
they saw a strange form, partly human and partly animal, glide about
from tomb to tomb. Try how they would they could not catch it--it always
vanished--vanished just like a phantom directly they came up to it; and
the dogs when urged to seize it would only bark and howl, and show
indications of the most abject terror.

Always when morning broke the ravages of this unsavoury visitant were
only too plainly visible--graves had been dug up, coffins burst open,
and the contents nibbled, and gnawed, and scattered all over the ground.
Expert medical opinion was sought, but with no fresh result. The
doctors, too, were agreed that the mutilations of the dead were produced
by the bites of what certainly seemed to be human teeth.

The sensation caused by this announcement was without parallel; and one
and all, old and young, rich and poor, were wanting to know whatever
sort of being it could be that possessed so foul an appetite. The watch
was doubled; all to no purpose. A young soldier was arrested, but on
declaring he had merely entered the cemetery to meet a friend, and
exhibiting no evidences of guilt, was let go.

At length the violation ceased in Père Lachaise and broke out elsewhere.
A little girl, greatly beloved by her relatives and friends, died, and
a big concourse of people attended the funeral. On the following
morning, to the intense indignation of every one, the grave was
discovered dug up, the coffin forced open, and the body half eaten. In
its wild fury at such an unheard-of atrocity the public called loudly
for the culprit. The father of the dead girl was first of all arrested,
but his innocence being quickly established, he was set free. Every
means was then taken to guard against any recurrence, but in spite of
all precautions the same thing happened again shortly afterwards; and
happened repeatedly. The fact that the cemetery was surrounded by very
high walls, and that iron gates, which were always kept shut, formed the
only legitimate entrance, added to the mystery, and made it seem
impossible that any creature of solid flesh and blood could be
responsible for the outrages.

Having observed that at one place, in particular, the wall, though
nearly ten feet high, showed signs of having been frequently scaled, an
old army officer set a trap there, consisting of a wire connected with
an explosive, which was so arranged that no one could climb over the
wall without treading on the wire and causing an explosion.

A strong posse of detectives kept watch, and at midnight a loud report
was heard. The detectives were not, however, as quick as their quarry.
They saw a man, or what they took to be a man, and fired at him, but he
was gone like a flash of lightning, scaling the wall with the agility of
a monkey. Finding a trail of blood, however, and pieces of torn uniform
accompanying the bloodstains, they concluded that the enemy was wounded,
and that the marauder was, moreover, a soldier.

Still, it is doubtful whether his identity would have been proved, had
not one of the grave-diggers of the cemetery chanced to overhear some
sappers of the 74th Regiment remark that on the preceding night one of
their comrades--a sergeant--had been conveyed to the military hospital
of Val de Grâce badly wounded. The matter was at once inquired into, and
the wounded soldier, Sergeant Bertrand, was found to be the author of
the long series of hideous violations. Bertrand freely confessed his
guilt, declaring that he was driven to it against his own will by some
external force he could not define, and which allowed him no peace. He
had, he said, in one night exhumed and bitten as many as fifteen bodies.
He employed no implements, but tore up the soil after the manner of a
wild beast, paying no heed to the bruising and laceration of his hands
so long as he could get at the dead. He could not describe what his
sensations were like when he was thus occupied; he only knew that he
was not himself but some ravenous, ferocious animal. He added, that
after these nocturnal expeditions he invariably fell into a profound
sleep, often before he could get home, and that always, during that
sleep, he was conscious of undergoing peculiar metamorphosis. When
interrogated, he informed the court of inquiry that, as a child, he
preferred the company of all kinds of animals to that of his fellow
creatures, and that in order to get in close touch with his four-footed
friends he used to frequent the most solitary and out-of-the-way
places--moors, woods, and deserts. He said that it was immediately after
one of these excursions that he first experienced the sensation of
undergoing some great change in his sleep, and that the following
evening, when passing close to a cemetery where the grave-diggers were
covering a body that had just been interred, yielding to a sudden
impulse, he crept in and watched them. A sharp shower of rain
interrupting their labours, they went away, leaving their task
unfinished. "At the sight of the coffin," Bertrand said, "horrible
desires seized me; my head throbbed, my heart palpitated, and had it not
been for the timely arrival of friends I should have then and there
yielded to my inclinations. From that time forth I was never
free--these terrible cravings invariably came on directly after sunset."

Medical men who examined Bertram unanimously gave it as their opinion
that he was sane, and could only account for his extraordinary nocturnal
actions by the supposition that he must be the victim of some strange
monomania. His companions, with whom he was most popular, all testified
to his amiability and lovable disposition. In the end he was sentenced
to a year's imprisonment, and after his release was never again heard
of. There can, I think, be little doubt, from what he himself said, that
he was in reality a werwolf. His preference for the society of animals
and love of isolated regions; his sudden fallings asleep and sensations
of undergoing metamorphosis, though that metamorphosis was spiritual and
metaphysical only, which is very often the case, all help to
substantiate that belief.


VAMPIRISM AND LYCANTHROPY

It has been asserted that Bertrand was a vampire; but there are
absolutely no grounds for associating him with vampirism. A vampire is
an Elemental that under certain conditions inhabits a dead body, whether
human or otherwise; and, thus incarcerated, comes out of a grave at
night to suck the blood of a living person. It never touches the dead.

A werwolf has already been defined. It has an existence entirely
separate from the vampire. The werwolf feeds on both the living and
dead, which it bites and mangles after the nature of all beasts of prey.

Vampirism is infectious; every one who has been sucked by a vampire, on
physical dissolution, becomes a vampire, and remains one until his
corpse is destroyed in a certain prescribed manner. Lycanthropy is not
infectious.

There are many well-authenticated cases of vampirism in France and
Germany. In a newspaper published in the reign of Louis XV there
appeared an announcement to the effect that Arnold Paul, a native of
Madveiga, being crushed to death by a wagon and buried, had since become
a vampire, and that he had been previously bitten by one. The
authorities being informed of the terror his visits were occasioning,
and several people having died with all the symptoms of vampirism, his
grave was opened; and although he had been dead forty days his body was
like that of a very full-blooded, living man.

Following the mode of exorcism traditionally observed on such occasions,
a stake was driven into the corpse, whereupon it uttered a frightful
cry--half human and half animal; after which its head was cut off, and
trunk and head burned. Four other bodies which had died from the
consequences of the bites, and which were found in the same perfectly
healthy condition, were served in a similar manner; and it was hoped
these vigorous measures would end the mischief. But no such thing; cases
of deaths from the same cause--_i.e._, loss of blood--still continued,
and five years afterwards became so rife that the authorities were
compelled to take the matter up for the second time. On this occasion
the graves of many people, of all ages and both sexes, were opened, and
the bodies of all those suspected of plaguing the living by their
nocturnal visits were found in the vampire state--full almost to
overflowing with blood, and free from every symptom of death. On their
being served in the same manner as the corpse of Arnold Paul the
epidemic of vampirism ceased, and no more cases of it have since been
reported as occurring in that district. A rumour of these proceedings
reaching the ears of Louis XV, he at once ordered his Minister at Vienna
to report upon them. This was done. The documents forwarded to the King
(and which are still in existence) give a detailed account of all the
occurrences to which I have referred. They bear the date of June 7,
1732, and are signed and witnessed by three surgeons and several other
persons.

The facts, which are indubitable, point to no other satisfactory
explanation saving that of vampirism--an explanation that finds ample
corroboration in thousands of like cases reported, at one time or
another, in every country in Eastern Europe.


GHOULISM AND LYCANTHROPY

Sergeant Bertrand has also been declared a ghoul. Ghoulism bears a
somewhat closer resemblance than vampirism to lycanthropy. A ghoul is an
Elemental that visits any place where human or animal remains have been
interred. It digs them up and bites them, showing a keen liking for
brains, which it sucks in the same manner as a vampire sucks blood.

Ghouls either remain in spirit form or steal the bodies of living
beings--living beings only--either human or animal. They can only do
this when the spirit of the living person, during sleep (either natural
or induced hypnotically), is separated from the material body; or, in
other words, when the spirit is projected. The ghoul then pounces on the
physical body, and, often refusing to restore it to its rightful owner,
the latter is compelled to roam about as a phantasm for just so long a
time as the ghoul chooses to inhabit the body it has stolen.


THE CASE OF CONSTANCE ARMANDE, GHOUL

_À propos_ of ghouls, the following incident was related to me as having
occurred recently in Brittany. A young girl named Constance Armande, in
a good station of life, much against the wishes of her family, took up
spiritualism and constantly attended séances. At these séances she
witnessed all sorts of phenomena--some in all probability produced by
mere trickery on the part of the medium or a confederate, whilst
others were, without doubt, the manifestations of _bona fide_
spirits--earthbound phantasms of the lowest and most undesirable
order--murderers, lunatics, Vice Elementals, and ghouls. It is most
unwise to risk coming in contact with such spirits, for when they have
once made your acquaintance they will attach themselves to you, and are
got rid of only with the greatest difficulty. They were most unremitting
in their persecution of Constance Armande; they followed her home, and
were always rapping on the walls of her room and disturbing and annoying
her. In short, she got no peace, either asleep or awake. In the night
she would often wake up screaming, and in an agony of mind rush into her
parents' room and implore their protection, declaring she had dreamed in
the most vivid manner possible that frightful-looking creatures, too
awful for her to describe, were trying to prevent her awaking in order
to keep her with them always. She told a spiritualist, and he informed
her that such dreams were not in reality dreams at all, but
projections--that she had, at séances, acquired the power of projection;
and, having no control over that power, she projected herself
unconsciously, the projection almost always taking place in her sleep.

A medical expert was also consulted, and in accordance with his advice
Constance Armande went to the seaside and resorted to every kind of
pleasure--balls, concerts, and theatres. But the annoyances still
continued, and she was seldom permitted to rest a whole night without
being disturbed in a most harrowing manner.

Being a really beautiful girl, she had countless admirers, and
eventually she became engaged to Alphonse Mabane, the only son of a very
wealthy widow.

Shortly before the day fixed for their marriage Madame Mabane was seized
with a fit of apoplexy and died. Every one, especially Constance
Armande, was overwhelmed with grief, whilst preparations were made for a
most impressive funeral.

On the afternoon of the day preceding that on which the funeral was to
take place Constance, complaining of a bad headache, went to lie down
on her bed, and two hours later strange footsteps were heard coming out
of her room and bounding down the stairs. Wondering who it could be,
Madame Armande ran to look, and was astonished beyond measure to see
Constance--but a Constance she hardly knew--a Constance with the glitter
of a ferocious beast in her eyes, and a grim, savage expression in the
corners of her mouth. She did not appear to notice her mother, but
passed her by with a light, stealthy tread, utterly unlike her usual
walk, crossed the hall, and went out at the front door. Madame Armande
was too startled to try and intercept her, or even to make any remark,
and returned to the drawing-room greatly agitated. As hour after hour
passed and Constance did not come home, her alarm increased, and she
mentioned the incident to her husband, who caused immediate inquiries to
be made. Just about the hour the family usually retired to rest there
came a violent ring at the front-door bell. It was Alphonse Mabane, pale
and ghastly.

"Have you found her?" Monsieur and Madame Armande cried, catching hold
of him in their agitation, and dragging him into the hall.

Alphonse nodded. "Let me sit down a moment first," he gasped. "It will
give me time to collect my senses. My nerves are all to pieces!"

He sank into a chair, and, burying his face in his hands, shook
convulsively. Monsieur and Madame Armande stood and watched him in
agonized silence. After some minutes--to the Armandes it seemed an
eternity--spent in this fashion, Alphonse raised his head. "Your
servant," he said, "came to my house at nine o'clock and asked if
Mademoiselle Constance was with me. I said 'No,' that I had not seen her
all day, and was much alarmed when I was informed that she had left home
early in the afternoon and had not yet returned. I said I would join in
the search for her, and was in my bedroom putting on my overcoat, when
there came a tap at my door, and Jacques, my valet, with a face as white
as a sheet, begged me to go with him upstairs. He led me to the door of
my mother's room, where she lay in her coffin, not yet screwed down.
'Hark!' he whispered, touching me on the sleeve, 'do you hear that?'

"I listened, and from the interior of the room came a curious noise like
munching--a steady gnaw, gnaw, gnaw. 'I heard it just now,' he
whispered, 'when I was going to shut the landing window--and other
sounds, too. Hush!'

"I held my breath, and heard distinctly the swishing and rustling of a
dress.

"'Have you been in?' I asked.

"He shook his head. 'I daren't,' he whispered. 'I wouldn't go in by
myself if you were to offer me a million pounds,' and he trembled so
violently that he had to lean against me for support.

"A great terror then seized me, and bidding Jacques follow, I crept
downstairs and summoned the rest of the servants. Armed with sticks and
lights, we then went in a body to my mother's room, and throwing open
the door, rushed in.

"The lid of the coffin was off, the corpse was lying huddled up on the
floor, and crouching over it was Constance. For God's sake don't ask me
to describe more--the sounds we heard explained everything. When she saw
us she emitted a series of savage snarls, sprang at one of the maids,
scratched her in the face, and before we could stop her, flew downstairs
and out into the street. As soon as our shocked senses had sufficiently
recovered we started off in pursuit, but have not been able to find the
slightest trace of her."

At the conclusion of Monsieur Mabane's story the search was continued.
The police were summoned, and a general hue and cry raised, with the
result that Constance was eventually found in a cemetery digging
frantically at a newly made grave.

At last brought to bay in the chase that ensued, fortunately for her
and for all concerned, she plunged into a river, was swept away by the
current, and drowned.

This case of Constance Armande seems to me to be clearly a case of
ghoulism. What the spiritualist had told her was correct--she had
projected herself unconsciously, and the hideous things she imagined
were phantoms in a dream were Elementals--ghouls--her projected spirit
encountered on the superphysical plane.

After sundry efforts to steal her body when she was thus separated from
it, one of them had at length succeeded, and, incarcerated in her
beautiful frame, had hastened to satisfy its craving for human carrion.



CHAPTER IX

WERWOLVES IN GERMANY


No country in the world is richer in stories of everything appertaining
to the supernatural than Germany. The Rhine is the favourite river of
nymphs and sirens, to whose irresistible and fatal fascinations so many
men have fallen victims. Along its shores are countless haunted castles,
in its woods innumerable terrifying phantoms.

The werwolf, however, seems to have confined itself almost entirely to
the Harz Mountains, where it was formerly most common and more dreaded
than any other visitant from the Unknown. But of these werwolves many of
the best authenticated cases have been told so often, that it is
difficult for me to alight on any that is not already well known.
Perhaps the following, though as striking as any, may be new to at least
a few of my readers.


THE CASE OF HERR HELLEN AND THE WERWOLVES OF THE HARZ MOUNTAINS

Two gentlemen, named respectively Hellen and Schiller, were on a walking
tour in the Harz Mountains, in the early summer of the year 1840, when
Schiller, slipping down, sprained his ankle and was unable to go on.
They were some miles from any village, in the centre of an extensive
forest, and it was beginning to get dark.

"Leave me here," cried the injured man to his friend, "while you see if
you can discover any habitation. I have been told these woods are full
of charcoal-burners' and wood-cutters' huts, so that if you walk
straight ahead for a mile or two, you are very likely to come across
one. Do go, there's a good fellow, and if you are too tired to return
yourself, send some one to carry me."

Hellen did not like leaving his comrade in such a dreary spot, alone and
helpless, but as Schiller was persistent he at length yielded, and
stepping briskly out, advanced along the track that had brought them
hither. Once or twice he halted, fancying he heard voices, and several
times his heart pulsated wildly at what he took to be the cry of a
wolf--for neither Schiller nor he had no weapons excepting
sheath-knives. At last he came to an open spot hedged in on all sides
by gloomy pines, the shadows from which were beginning to fall thick and
fast athwart the vivid greensward. It was one of those places--they are
to be found in pretty nearly every country--studiously avoided by local
woodsmen as the haunt of all manner of evil influences. Hellen
recognized it as such the moment he saw it, but as it lay right across
his path, and time was pressing, he had no alternative but to keep
boldly on. He was half-way across the spot when he was startled by a
groan, and looking in the direction of the sound, he saw a man seated on
the ground endeavouring to bandage his hand. Wondering why he had not
observed him before, but thankful to meet some one at last, Hellen went
up to him and asked what was the matter.

"I've broken my wrist," the man replied. "I was gathering sticks for my
fire to-morrow when I heard the howl of a wolf, and in my anxiety to
escape a conflict with the brute I climbed this tree. As I descended one
of the branches gave way, and I fell down with all my weight on my right
arm. Will you see if you can bind it for me? I'm a bit awkward with my
left hand."

"I will do my best," Hellen said, and kneeling beside the man, he took
off the bandages and wrapped them round again. "There," he exclaimed,
"I think that is better--at least it is the best I can do."

The stranger was now most profuse in his thanks, and when Hellen
informed him of Schiller's condition, at once cried out, "You must both
come to my cottage; it is only a short distance from here. Let us hasten
thither now, and my daughter, who is very strong, shall go back with you
and help you carry your friend. We are not rich, but we can make you
both fairly comfortable, and all we have shall be at your disposal. But
I wonder if you know what you have incurred by coming to this spot at
this hour?"

"Why, no," Hellen said, laughing. "What?"

"The gratification of two wishes--the first two wishes you make! Of
course, you will say it is all humbug, but, believe me, very queer
things do happen in this forest. I have experienced them myself."

"Well!" Hellen replied, laughing more heartily than before, "if I wish
anything at all it is that my wife were here to see how beautifully I
have bandaged your wrist."

"Where is your wife?" the stranger inquired.

"At Frankfort, most likely taking a final peep at the children in bed
before retiring to rest herself!" Hellen said, still laughing.

"Then you have children!" the stranger ejaculated, evidently
interested.

"Yes, three--all girls--and such bonny girls, too. Marcella, Christina,
and Fredericka. I wish I had them here for you to see."

"I should much like to see them, certainly," the stranger said. "And now
you have told me so much of interest about yourself, let me tell you
something of my own history in exchange. My name is Wilfred Gaverstein.
I am an artist by profession, and have come to live here during the
summer months in order to paint nature--nature as it really is--in all
its varying moods. Nature is my only god--I adore it. I don't believe in
souls. I love the trees and flowers and shrubs, the rivulets, the
fountains, the birds and insects."

"Everything but the wolves!" Hellen remarked jocularly. Hardly, however,
had he spoken these words before he had reason to alter his tone. "Great
heavens! do you hear that?" he cried. "There is no mistake about it this
time. It is a wolf, or may I never live to hear one again."

"You are right, friend," Wilfred said. "It is a wolf, and not very far
away, either. Come, we must be quick," and thrusting his arm through
that of Hellen, he hurried him along. After some minutes' fast walking
they came in sight of a neatly thatched whitewashed cottage, at the
entrance to which two women and several children were collected. "That's
my home," Wilfred said.

"And that's my wife!" Hellen cried, rubbing his eyes to make sure he was
not dreaming. "God in heaven, what's the meaning of it all? My wife and
children--all three of them! Am I mad?"

"It is merely the answer to your wishes," Wilfred rejoined calmly. "See,
they recognize you and are waving."

As one in a sleep Hellen now staggered forward, and was soon in the
midst of his family, who, rushing up to him, implored him to explain
what had happened, and how on earth they came to be there.

"I am just as much at sea as you are," Hellen said, feeling them each in
turn to make sure it was really they. "It's an insoluble mystery to me."

"And to us, too," they all cried. "A few minutes ago we were in our beds
in Frankfort, and then suddenly we found ourselves here--here in this
dreadful looking forest. Oh, take us away, take us home, do!"

Hellen was in despair. It was all like a hideous nightmare to him. What
was he to do?

"You must be my guests for to-night, at all events," Wilfred said; "and
in the morning we will discuss what is to be done. Fortunately we have
enough room to accommodate you all. There is food in abundance. Let me
introduce you to my daughter Marguerite," and the next moment Hellen
found himself shaking hands with a girl of about twenty years of age.
She was clad in what appeared to be a travelling dress, deeply bordered
with white fur, and wore a most becoming cap of white ermine. Her feet
were shod in long, pointed, and very elegant buckskin shoes, adorned
with bright silver buckles. Her hair, which was yellow and glossy, was
parted down the middle, and waved in a most becoming fashion low over
the forehead and ears; and her features--at least so Hellen
thought--were very beautiful. Her mouth, though a trifle large, had very
daintily cut lips, and was furnished with unusually white and even
teeth. But there was a peculiar furtive expression in her eyes, which
were of a very pretty shape and colour, that aroused Hellen's curiosity,
and made him scrutinize her carefully. Her hands were noticeably long
and slender, with tapering fingers and long, almond-shaped, rosy nails,
that glittered each time they caught the rays of the fast fading
sunlight. Hellen's first impression of her was that she was marvellously
beautiful, but that there was a something about her that he did not
understand--a something he had never seen in anyone before, a something
that in an ugly woman might have put him on his guard, but in this face
of such surpassing beauty a something he seemed only too ready to
ignore. Hellen was a good, and up to the present, certainly, a faithful
husband, but he was only a man after all, and the more he looked at the
girl the more he admired her.

At a word from Wilfred, Marguerite smilingly led the way indoors, and
showed the guests two bedrooms, small but exquisitely clean. There was a
double bed in one, and two single ones in the other. The bed-linen was
of the very finest material, and white as snow.

"I think," Wilfred remarked, "two of the girls can squeeze in one
bed--they are neither of them very big--though it does my heart good to
see them so bonny."

"And mine, too," Marguerite joined in, patting the three children on the
cheeks in turn, and drawing them to her and caressing them.

Mrs. Hellen, still dazed, and apparently hardly realizing what was
happening, stammered out her thanks, and the party then descended to the
kitchen to partake of a substantial supper that was speedily prepared
for them.

"Had you not better go and look for your friend now?" Wilfred observed,
just as Hellen was about to seat himself beside his wife and children.
"Marguerite will go with you, and on your return the three of you can
have your meal in here after the children have gone to bed."

Hellen readily assented, and kissing his wife and little ones, who
tearfully implored him not to be gone long, set out, accompanied by
Marguerite.

At each step they took, Marguerite's beauty became more irresistible.
The soft rays of the moon falling directly on her features enhanced
their loveliness, and Hellen could not keep his eyes off her. The
ominous cry of a night bird startled her; she edged timidly up to him;
and he had to exert all his self-control, so eager was he to clasp her
to him. In a strained, unnatural manner he kept up a flow of small-talk,
eliciting the information that she was an art student, and that she had
studied in Paris and Antwerp, had exhibited in Munich and Turin, and was
contemplating visiting London the following spring. They talked on in
this strain until Hellen, remembering their mission, exclaimed:--

"We must be very close to where I left Schiller. I will call to him."

He did so--not once, but many times; and the reverberation of his voice
rang out loud and clear in the silence of the vast, moon-kissed forest.
But there was no response, nothing but the rustling of branches and the
shivering of leaves.

"What's that?" Marguerite suddenly cried, clutching hold of Hellen's
arm. "There! right in front of us, lying on the ground. There!" and she
indicated the object with her gleaming finger-tip.

"It looks remarkably like Schiller," Hellen said. "Can he be asleep?"

Quickening their pace, they speedily arrived at the spot. It was
Schiller, or rather what had once been Schiller, for there was now very
little left of him but the face and hands and feet; the rest had only
too obviously been eaten. The spectacle was so shocking that for some
minutes Hellen was too overcome to speak.

"It must have been wolves!" he said at length. "I fancied I heard them
several times. Would to God I had never left him! What a death!"

"Horrible!" Marguerite whispered, and she turned her head away to avoid
so harrowing a sight.

"Well," Hellen observed in a voice broken with emotion, "it's no use
staying here. We can't be of any service to him now. I will gather the
remains together in the morning, and with the assistance of your father
see that they are decently interred. Come! let us be going." And
offering Marguerite his arm, they began to retrace their steps.

For some time Hellen was too occupied with thoughts of his friend's
cruel death to think of anything else, but the close proximity of
Marguerite gradually made itself felt, and by the time they had reached
the open clearing--the spot where he had encountered Wilfred--his
passion completely overpowered him. Throwing discretion to the winds,
and oblivious of wife, children, home, honour, everything save
Marguerite--the lustre of her eyes and the dainty curving of her
lips--he slipped his arm round her waist, and pressing her close to him,
smothered her in kisses.

"How dare you, sir!" she panted, slowly shaking herself free. "Aren't
you ashamed of such behaviour? What would your wife say, if she knew?"

"I couldn't help it," Hellen pleaded. "I'm not myself to-night. Your
beauty has bewitched me, and I would risk anything to have you in my
arms." He spoke so earnestly and looked at her so appealingly that she
smiled.

"I know I am beautiful," she said, and the intonation of her voice
thrilled him to the very marrow of his bones. "Dozens of men have told
me so. Consequently, since there seems to have been some excuse for
you, I forgive you, only----," but before she could say another word,
Hellen had again seized her, and this time he did not loosen his hold
till from sheer exhaustion he could kiss her no more.

"It's no use!" he panted. "I can't help it. I love you as I never loved
a woman before, and if you were to ask me to do so I would go to Hell
with you this very minute."

"It is dangerous to express such sentiments here," Marguerite said.
"Don't you know this spot is full of supernatural influences, and that
the first two things you wish for will be granted?"

"I have already wished," Hellen said. "I wished when I was here with
your father."

"Then wish again," Marguerite replied; "I assure you your wishes will be
fulfilled." And again she looked at him in a way that sent all the blood
in his body surging wildly to his head, and roused his passion in hot
and furious rebellion against his reason.

"I wish, then," he cried, seizing hold of her hands and pressing them to
his lips--"I wish every obstacle removed that prevents my having you
always with me--that is wish number one."

"And wish number two?" the girl interrogated, her warm, scented breath
fanning his cheeks and nostrils. "Won't you wish that you may be mine
for ever? Always mine, mine to eternity!"

"I will!" Hellen cried. "May I be yours always--yours to do what you
like with--in this life and the next."

"And now you shall have your reward," Marguerite exclaimed, clapping her
hands gleefully. "I will kiss you of my own free will," and throwing her
arms round his neck, she drew his head down to hers, and kissed him,
kissed him not once but many times.

       *       *       *       *       *

An hour later they left the spot and slowly made their way to the
cottage. As they neared it, loud screams for help rent the air, and
Hellen, to his horror, heard his wife and children--he could recognize
their individual voices--shrieking to him to save them.

In an instant he was himself again. All his old affection for home and
family was restored, and with a loud answering shout he started to rush
to their assistance. But Marguerite willed otherwise. With a dexterous
movement of her feet she got in his way and tripped him, and before he
had time to realize what was happening, she had flung herself on the top
of him and pinioned him down.

"No!" she said playfully, "you shall not go! You are mine, mine always,
remember, and if I choose to keep you here with me, here you must
remain."

He strove to push her off, but he strove in vain; for the slender,
rounded limbs he had admired so much possessed sinews of steel, and he
was speedily reduced to a state of utter impotence.

The shrieks from the cottage were gradually lapsing into groans and
gurgles, all horribly suggestive of what was taking place, but it was
not until every sound had ceased that Marguerite permitted Hellen to
rise.

"You may go now," she said with a mischievous smile, kissing him gaily
on the forehead and giving his cheeks a gentle slap. "Go--and see what a
lucky man you are, and how speedily your first wish has been gratified."

Sick with apprehension, Hellen flew to the cottage. His worst
forebodings were realized. Stretched on the floor of their respective
rooms, with big, gaping wounds in their chests and throats, lay his wife
and children; whilst cross-legged, on a chest in the kitchen, his dark
saturnine face suffused with glee, squatted Wilfred.

"Fiend!" shouted Hellen. "I understand it all now. I have been dealing
with the Spirits of the Harz Mountains. But be you the Devil himself
you shan't escape me," and snatching an axe from the wall, he aimed a
terrific blow at Wilfred's head.

The weapon passed right through the form of Wilfred, and Hellen, losing
his balance, fell heavily to the ground. At this moment Marguerite
entered.

"Fool!" she cried; "fool, to think any weapon can harm either Wilfred or
me. We are phantasms--phantasms beyond the power of either Heaven or
Hell. Come here!"

Impelled by a force he could not resist, Hellen obeyed--and as he gazed
into her eyes all his blind infatuation for her came back.

"We must part now," she said; "but only for a while--for remember, you
belong to me. Here is a token"--and she thrust into his hand a wisp of
her long, golden hair. "Sleep on it and dream of me. Do not look so sad.
I shall come for you without fail, and by this sign you shall know when
I am coming. When this mark begins to heal," she said, as, with the nail
on the forefinger of the right hand, she scratched his forehead, "get
ready!"

There was then a loud crash--the room and everything in it swam before
Hellen's eyes, the floor rose and fell, and sinking backwards he
remembered no more.

       *       *       *       *       *

When he recovered he was lying in the centre of the haunted plot. There
was nothing to be seen around him except the trees--dark lofty pines
that, swaying to and fro in the chill night breeze, shook their sombre
heads at him. A great sigh of relief broke from him--his experiences of
course had only been a dream. He was trying to collect his thoughts,
when he discovered that he was holding something tightly clasped in one
of his hands. Unable to think what it could be, he rose, and held it in
the full light of the moon. He then saw that it was a tuft of white
fur--the fur of some animal. Much puzzled, he put it in his pocket, and
suddenly recollecting his friend, set out for the place where he had
left him. "I shall soon know," he said to himself, "whether I have been
asleep all this time--God grant it may be so!" His heart beat fearfully
as he pressed forward, and he shouted out "Schiller" several times. But
there was no reply, and presently he came upon the remains, just as he
had seen them when accompanied by Marguerite. Convinced now that all
that had taken place was grim reality, he went back along the route
Schiller and he had taken the preceding day, and in due time reached the
village. To the landlord of the inn where they had stayed he related
what had happened. "I am truly sorry for you," the landlord said; "your
experience has indeed been a terrible one. Every one here knows the
forest is haunted in that particular spot, and we all give it as wide a
berth as possible. But you have been most unfortunate, for Wilfred and
Marguerite, who are werwolves, only visit these parts periodically. I
last heard of them being seen when I was about ten years of age, and
they then ate a pedlar called Schwann and his wife."

As soon as Schiller's remains had been brought to the village and
interred in the cemetery, Hellen, armed to the teeth and accompanied by
several of the biggest and strongest hounds he could hire--for he could
get none of the villagers to go with him--spent a whole day searching
for Wilfred's cottage. But although he was convinced he had found the
exact spot where it had stood, there were now no traces of it to be
seen.

At length he returned to the village, and on the following morning set
out for Frankfort. On his arrival home he was immediately apprised of
the fact that a terrible tragedy had occurred in his house. His wife and
children had been found dead in their beds, with their throats cut and
dreadful wounds in their chests, and the police had not been able to
find the slightest clue to the murderers. With a terrible sinking at the
heart Hellen asked for particulars, and learned, as he knew only too
well he would learn, that the date of the tragedy was identical with
that of his adventure in the forest.

He tried hard to persuade himself that the coincidence was a mere
coincidence; but--he knew better. Besides, there was the scratch!--the
scratch on his forehead.

Moreover, the scratch remained. It remained fresh and raw till a few
days prior to his death, when it began to heal. And on the day he died
it had completely healed.



CHAPTER X

A LYCANTHROPOUS BROOK IN THE HARZ MOUNTAINS; OR, THE CASE OF THE
COUNTESS HILDA VON BREBER


Another case of lycanthropy in Germany, connected with the Harz
Mountains, occurred somewhere about the beginning of the last century.

Count Von Breber, chief of the police of Magdeburg, whilst away from
home on a holiday with his young and beautiful wife, the Countess Hilda,
happened to pass a night in the village of Grautz, in the centre of the
Harz Mountains.

In the course of a conversation with the innkeeper, the Countess
remarked: "On our way here this morning we crossed a brook, and
experienced the greatest difficulty in persuading our dogs to go into
the water. It is most unusual, as they are generally only too ready for
a dip. Can you in any way account for it?"

"Were there two very tall poplars, one on either side of the brook?" the
innkeeper asked; "and did you notice a peculiar--one cannot describe it
as altogether unpleasant--smell there?"

"We did!" the Count and Countess exclaimed in chorus.

"Then it was the spot locally known as Wolf Hollow," the innkeeper said.
"No one ventures there after dark, as it has a very evil reputation."

"Stuff and nonsense!" the Count snapped.

"That is as your honour pleases," the innkeeper said humbly. "We village
folk believe it to be haunted; but, of course, if the subject appears
ridiculous to you, I will take care I do not refer to it again."

"Please do!" the Countess cried. "I love anything to do with the
supernatural. Tell us all about it."

The innkeeper gave a little nervous cough, and glancing uneasily at the
Count, whose face looked more than usually stern in the fading sunlight,
observed: "They do say, madam, that whoever drinks the water of that
stream----"

"Yes, yes?" the Countess cried eagerly.

"Suffers a grave misfortune."

"Of what nature?" the Countess demanded; but before the innkeeper could
answer, the Count cut in:--

"I forbid you to say another word. The Countess has drunk the water
there, and your cock-and-bull stories will frighten her into fits.
Confess it is all made up for the benefit of travellers like ourselves."

"Yes, your honour!" the innkeeper stammered, his knees shaking; "I
confess it is mere talk, but we all be--be--lieve it."

"That will do--go!" the Count cried; and the innkeeper, terrified out of
his wits, flew out of the room.

Some minutes later mine host received a peremptory summons to appear
before the Count, who was alone and scowling horribly, in the best
parlour. He had barely got inside the room before the Count burst out
wrathfully:--

"I've sent for you, sir, in order to impress upon you the fact that if
either you or your minions mention one word about that brook to the
Countess, or to her servants--mark that--I will have the breath flogged
out of your body and your tongue snipped. Do you hear?"

"Y--yes, your honour," the innkeeper cried. "I ful--fully
un--understand, and if her ladyship asks me any--anything abou--out the
br--br--brook, I will lie."

"Which won't trouble you much, eh?"

"N--n--o, your honour! I mean y--yes, your honour! It will be a burden
on my con--conscience, but I will do anything to pl--please your
honour."

The interview then terminated, and the innkeeper, bathed in perspiration
and wishing his lot in life anything but what it was, hastened to
prepare dinner.

"I hope nothing dreadful will happen to me; I feel that something will,"
the Countess said, as she let down her long beautiful hair that night.
"Carl, why did you let me drink the water?"

"The water be ----!" the Count growled. "Didn't you hear what the
innkeeper said?--that the story was mere invention! If you believe all
the idle tales you hear, you will soon be in an asylum. Hilda, I'm
ashamed of you!"

"And I'm ashamed of myself," the Countess cried, "so there!" and she
flung her arms round his neck and kissed him.

The following morning they left the inn, and, retracing their steps,
journeyed homewards. The Count looked at his wife somewhat critically;
she was very pale, and there were dark rims under her eyes.

"I do believe, Hilda," he observed with an assumed gaiety, "you are
still worrying about that water!"

"I am," she replied; "I had such queer dreams."

He asked her to narrate them, but she refused; and as her sleep now
became constantly disturbed, and she was getting thin and worried, the
Count determined that as soon as he reached home he would call in a
doctor. The latter, examining the Countess, attributed the cause of her
indisposition to dyspepsia, and ordered her a diet of milk food. But she
did not get better, and now insisted upon sleeping alone, choosing a
bedroom situated in a secluded part of the house, where there was
absolute silence.

The Count remonstrated. "You might at least let me occupy the room next
to you!" he said.

"No," she replied; "I should hear you if you did. I am sensible now of
the very slightest sounds, and besides disturbing me, they are a source
of the greatest annoyance. I feel I shall never get well again unless I
can have complete rest and quiet. Do let me!" and she fixed her big blue
eyes on him so earnestly, that he vowed he would see that all her
wishes, no matter how fanciful, were gratified.

"I hope she won't go mad!" he said to himself; "her behaviour is odd, to
say the least of it. Odd!--wholly inexplicable."

It was rather too bad that just now, when his mind was harassed with
misgivings at home, he should also be bothered with disturbances outside
his own home. But so it was. Events of an unprecedented nature were
taking place in the town, and it fell to his lot to cope with them.
Night after night children--mostly of the poorer class--disappeared, and
despite frantic yet careful and thorough searches, no clue as to what
had befallen them had, so far, been discovered. The Count doubled the
men on night duty, but in spite of these and other extraordinary
precautions the disappearances continued, and the affair--already of the
utmost gravity--promised to be one that would prove disastrous, not
merely to the heads of families, but to the head of the police himself.
So long as the missing ones had been of the lower orders only, the Count
had not had much to fear--the murmurings of their parents could easily
be held in check--but now that a few of the children of the rich had
been spirited away, there was every likelihood of the matter reaching
the ears of the Court. One evening, when the Count had hardly recovered
his equanimity after a stormy interview with Herr Meichen, the banker,
whose three-year-old daughter had vanished, and a still more distressing
scene with Otto Schmidt, the lawyer, whose six-year-old daughter had
disappeared, his patience was called upon to undergo a still further
trial in consequence of a visit from General Carl Rittenberg, a person
of the greatest importance, not only in the town, but in the whole
province. Purple in the face with suppressed fury, the General burst
into the room where the head of the police sat.

"Count!" he cried, striking the table with his fist, "this is beyond a
joke. My child--my only child--Elizabeth, whom my wife and I
passionately love, has been stolen. She was walking by my side in
Frederick Street this afternoon, and as it suddenly became foggy, I left
her a moment to hail a vehicle to take us home. I wasn't gone from her
more than half a minute at the most, but when I returned she had gone. I
searched everywhere, shouting her name; and passers by, compassionate
strangers, joined me in my search; but though we have looked high and
low not a trace of her have we been able to discover. I have not told
her mother yet. God help me--I dare not! I dare not even show my face at
home without her--my wife will never forgive me----"; and so great was
his emotion that he buried his face in his hands, and his great body
heaved and shook. Then he started to his feet, his eyes bulging and
lurid. "Curse you!" he shrieked; "curse you, Count! it's all your fault!
Day after day you've sat here, when you ought to have been hunting up
these rascally police of yours. You've no right to rest one second--not
one second, do you hear?--till the mystery surrounding these poor lost
children has been cleared up, and, living or dead--God forbid it should
prove to be the latter!--they are restored to their parents. Now, mark
my words, Count, unless my child Elizabeth is found, I'll make your name
a byword throughout the length and breadth of the country--I'll----";
but words failed him, and, shaking his fist, he staggered out of the
room.

The Count was much perturbed. The General was one of the few people in
the town who really had it in their power to do him harm--the one man
above all others with whom he had hitherto made it his business to keep
in. He had not the least doubt but that the General meant all he said,
and he recognized only too well that his one and only hope of salvation
lay in the recovery of Elizabeth. But, God in heaven, where could he
look for her? Sick at heart, he marshalled every policeman in the force,
and within an hour every street in Magdeburg was being subjected to a
most rigorous search. The Count was just quitting his office, resolved
to join in the hunt himself, when a shabbily dressed woman brushed past
the custodian at the door, and racing up to him, flung herself at his
feet.

"What the devil does she want?" the Count demanded savagely. "Who is
she?"

"Martha Brochel, your honour, a poor half-witted creature, who was one
of the first in the town to lose a child," the door-porter replied; "and
the shock of it has driven her mad!"

"Mad! mad! Yes! that is just what I am--mad!" the woman broke out.
"Everything is in darkness. It is always night! There are no houses, no
chimneys, no lanterns, only trees--big, black trees that rustle in the
wind, and shake their heads mockingly. And then something hideous comes!
What is it? Take it away! Take it away! Give her back to me!" And as
Martha's voice rose to a shriek, she threw her hands over her head, and,
clenching them, growled and snarled like a wild animal.

"Put her outside!" the Count said with an impatient gesture; "and take
good care she does not get in here again."

"No! Don't turn me away! Don't! don't!" Martha screamed; "I forgot what
it was I wanted to tell you--but I remember now. I've seen it!--seen the
thing that stole my child. There is light--light again! Oh! hear me!"

"Where have you seen it, Martha?" the porter inquired; and looking at
the Count, he said respectfully: "It is just possible, your honour,
this woman might be of use to us, and that she has actually seen the
person who stole her child."

"Rubbish! What right has she to have children?" the Count snapped, and
he spurned the supplicant with his boot.

The moment she was in the street, however, the head of the police was
after her. Keeping close behind her, he resolutely dogged her steps. The
evening was now far advanced, and the fog so dense that the Count,
though he knew the city, was soon at a total loss as to his whereabouts.
But on and on the woman went, now deviating to the right, now to the
left; sometimes pausing as if listening, then tearing on again at such a
rate that the Count was obliged to run to keep up with her. Suddenly she
uttered a shrill cry:

"There it is! There it is! The thing that took my child!" and the figure
of what certainly appeared to be a woman, muffled, and carrying a sack
on her shoulder, glided across the road just in front of them and
disappeared in the impenetrable darkness. Martha sped after her, and the
Count, his hopes raised high, followed in hot pursuit. He failed to
recognize the ground they were traversing, and presently they came to a
high wall, over which Martha scrambled with the agility of an acrobat.
The Count, in attempting to imitate her, damaged his knee and tore his
clothes, but he also landed safely on the other side. Then on they went,
Martha with unabated energy, the Count horribly exhausted, and beginning
to think of turning back, when they were abruptly brought to a
standstill. The walls of some building loomed right ahead of them. The
object of their pursuit, again visible, darted through a doorway; whilst
Martha, with a loud cry of triumph, sprang in after her; but before the
Count could cross the threshold the door was slammed and locked in his
face. Then he heard a chorus of the most appalling sounds--sounds so
strange and unearthly that his blood turned to ice and his hair rose
straight on end. Rushing footsteps mingled with peculiar soft
patterings; agonized human screams coupled with the growls and snappings
of an animal; a heavy thud; gurgles; and then silence.

The Count's courage revived: he hurled himself against the door; it gave
with a crash, and the next moment he was inside. But what a sight met
his eyes! The place, which somehow or the other seemed oddly familiar to
him, was a veritable shambles--floor, walls, and furniture were sodden
with blood. In every corner were mangled human remains; whilst stretched
on the ground, opposite the doorway, lay the body of Martha, her face
unrecognizable and her breast and stomach ripped right open. This was
terrible enough, but more terrible by far was the author of it all, who,
having cast aside wraps, now stood fully revealed in the yellow glow of
a lantern. What the Count saw was a monstrosity--a thing with a woman's
breast, a woman's hair, golden and curly, but the face and feet were
those of a wolf; whilst the hands, white and slender, were armed with
long, glittering nails, cruelly sharp and dripping with blood.

To the Count's astonishment the creature did not attack him, but
uttering a low plaintive cry, veered round and endeavoured to escape.
But escape was the very last thing Van Breber would permit. Whatever the
thing was--beast or devil--it had caused him endless trouble, and if
allowed to get away now, would go on with its escapades, and so bring
about his ruin. No! he must kill it. Kill it even at the risk of his own
life. With a shout of wrath he plunged his sword up to its hilt in the
thing's back.

It fell to the floor and the Count bent over it curiously. Something was
happening--something strange and terrifying; but he could not look--he
was forced to shut his eyes. When he opened them he no longer saw the
hairy visage of a wolf--he was gazing fondly into the dying eyes of his
beautiful and much-loved wife. With a rapidity like lightning, he
recognized his surroundings. He was in a long disused summer-house that
stood in a remote corner of his own grounds!

"God help me and you, too!" the Countess Hilda whispered, clasping him
fondly in her arms. "It was the water!--the water I drank in the Harz
Mountains! I have been bewitched----"; and kissing him feverishly on the
lips, she sank back--dead.



CHAPTER XI

WERWOLVES IN AUSTRIA-HUNGARY AND THE BALKAN PENINSULA


THE CASE OF THE FAMILY OF KLOSKA AND THE LYCANTHROPOUS FLOWER

In the mountainous regions of Austria-Hungary and the Balkan Peninsula
are certain flowers credited with the property of converting into
werwolves whoever plucks and wears them. Needless to say, these flowers
are very rare, but I have heard of their having been found,
comparatively recently, both in the Transylvanian Alps and the Balkans.
A story _à propos_ of one of these discoveries was told me last summer.

Ivan and Olga were the children of Otto and Vera Kloska--the former a
storekeeper of Kerovitch, a village on the Roumanian side of the
Transylvanian Alps. One morning they were out with their mother,
watching her wash clothes in a brook at the back of their house, when,
getting tired of their occupation, they wandered into a thicket.

"Let's make a chaplet of flowers," Olga said, plucking a daisy. "You
gather the flowers and I'll weave them together."

"It's not much of a game," Ivan grumbled, "but I can't think of anything
more exciting just now, so I'll play it. But let's both make wreaths and
see which makes the best."

To this Olga agreed, and they were soon busily hunting amidst the grass
and undergrowth, and scrambling into all sorts of possible and
impossible places.

Presently Ivan heard a scream, followed by a heavy thud, and running in
the direction of the noise, narrowly avoided falling into a pit, the
sides of which were partly overgrown with weeds and brambles.

"It's all right," Olga shouted; "I'm not hurt. I landed on soft ground.
It's not very deep, and there's such a queer flower here--I don't know
what it is; I've never seen one like it before."

Ivan's curiosity thus aroused, he carefully examined the sides of the
pit, and, selecting the shallowest spot, lowered himself slowly over and
then dropped. It was nothing of a distance, seven or eight feet at the
most, and he alighted without mishap on a clump of rank, luxuriant
grass. "See! here it is," his sister cried, pointing to a large, very
vivid white flower, shaped something like a sunflower, but soft and
pulpy, and full of a sweet, nauseating odour. "It's too big to put in a
wreath, so I'll wear it in my buttonhole."

"Better not," Ivan said, snatching it from her; "I don't like it. It's a
nasty-looking thing. I believe it's a sort of fungus."

Olga then began to cry, and as Ivan was desirous of keeping the peace,
he gave her back the flower. She was a prepossessing child, with black
hair and large dark eyes, pretty teeth and plump, sunburnt cheeks. Nor
was she altogether unaware of her attractions, for even at so early an
age she had a goodly share of the inordinate vanity common to her sex,
and liked nothing better than appearing out-of-doors in a new frock
plentifully besprinkled with rosettes and ribbons. The flower, she told
herself, would look well on her scarlet bodice, and would be a good
set-off to her black hair and olive complexion. All this was, of course,
beyond the comprehension of Ivan, who regarded his sister's weakness
with the most supreme contempt, and for his own part was never so happy
as when skylarking with other boys and getting into every conceivable
kind of mischief. Yet for all that he was in the main sensible, almost
beyond his years, and extremely fond, and--though he would not admit
it--proud of Olga.

She fixed the flower in her dress, and imitating to the best of her
knowledge the carriage of royalty, strutted up and down, saying "Am I
not grand? Don't I look nice? Ivan--salute me!"

And Ivan was preparing to salute her in the proper military style,
taught him by a great friend of his in the village, a soldier in the
carabineers for whom he had an intense admiration, when his jaw suddenly
fell and his eyes bulged.

"Whatever is the matter with you?" Olga asked.

"There's nothing the matter with me," Ivan cried, shrinking away from
her; "but there is with you. Don't! don't make such faces--they frighten
me," and turning round, he ran to the place where he had made his
descent and tried to climb up.

Some minutes later the mother of the children, hearing piercing shrieks
for help, flew to the pit, and, missing her footing, slipped over the
brink, and falling some ten or more feet, broke one of her legs and
otherwise bruised herself. For some seconds she was unconscious, and the
first sight that met her eyes on coming to was Ivan kneeling on the
ground, feebly endeavouring to hold at bay a gaunt grey wolf that had
already bitten him about the legs and thigh, and was now trying hard to
fix its wicked white fangs into his throat.

"Help me, mother!" Ivan gasped; "I'm getting exhausted. It's Olga."

"Olga!" the mother screamed, making frantic efforts to come to his
assistance. "Olga! what do you mean?"

"It's all owing to a flower--a white flower," Ivan panted; "Olga would
pluck it, and no sooner had she fixed it on her dress than she turned
into a wolf! Quick, quick! I can't hold it off any longer."

Thus adjured the wretched woman made a terrific effort to rise, and
failing in this, clenched her teeth, and, lying down, rolled over and
over till she arrived at the spot where the struggle was taking place.
By this time, however, the wolf had broken through Ivan's guard, and he
was now on his back with his right arm in the grip of his ferocious
enemy.

The mother had not a knife, but she had a long steel skewer she used for
sticking into a tree as a means of fastening one end of her washing
line. She wore it hanging to her girdle, and it was quite by a miracle
it had not run into her when she fell.

"Take care, mother," Ivan cried, as she raised it ready to strike;
"remember, it is Olga."

This indeed was an ugly fact that the woman in her anxiety to save the
boy had forgotten. What should she do? To merely wound the animal would
be to make it ten times more savage, in which case it would almost
inevitably destroy them both. To kill it would mean killing Olga. Which
did she love the most, the boy or the girl? Never was a mother placed in
such a dilemma. And she had no time to deliberate, not even a second.
God help her, she chose. And like ninety-nine out of a hundred mothers
would have done, she chose the boy; he--he at all costs must be saved.
She struck, struck with all the pent-up energy of despair, and in her
blind, mad zeal she struck again.

The first blow, penetrating the werwolf's eye, sank deep into its brain,
but the second blow missed--missed, and falling aslant, alighted on the
form beneath.

An hour later a villager on his way home, hearing extraordinary sounds
of mirth, went to the side of the pit and peeped over.

"Vera Kloska!" he screamed; "Heaven have mercy on us, what have you
there?"

"He! he! he!" came the answer. "He! he! he! My children! Don't they look
funny? Olga has such a pretty white flower in her buttonhole, and Ivan a
red stain on his forehead. They are deaf--they won't reply when I speak
to them. See if you can make them hear."

But the villager shook his head. "They'll never hear again in this
world, mad soul," he muttered. "You've murdered them."

       *       *       *       *       *

Besides this white flower there is a yellow one, of the same shape and
size as a snapdragon; and a red one, something similar to an ox-eyed
daisy, both of which have the power of metamorphosing the plucker and
wearer into a werwolf. Both have the same peculiar vividness of colour,
the same thick, sticky sap, and the same sickly, faint odour. They are
both natives of Austria-Hungary and the Balkan Peninsula, and are
occasionally to be met with in damp, marshy places.

Certain flowers (lilies-of-the-valley, marigolds, and azaleas), as also
diamonds, are said to attract werwolves, thus proving a source of danger
to those who wear them. And _à propos_ of this magnetic property of
diamonds the following anecdote comes to me from the Tyrol:--


A WERWOLF IN INNSBRUCK

Madame Mildau was one of the prettiest women in Innsbruck. She had
golden hair, large violet eyes, a smile that would melt a Loyola, and
diamonds that set every woman's mouth watering. With such inducements to
seduction, how could Madame Mildau help delighting in balls and fêtes,
and in promenading constantly before the public? She revelled in a
universal admiration--she aimed at a monopoly--and she lived wholly and
solely to exact homage. To be deprived of any single opportunity of
displaying her charms and consequent triumphs would indeed have been a
hardship, and to nothing short of a very serious indisposition would
Madame Mildau have sacrificed her pleasure.

Now it so happened that three of the most brilliant entertainments of
the season fell on the same night, and Madame Mildau, with all the
unreason of her sex, desired to attend each one of them.

"I have accepted these three invitations," she informed her husband,
"and to these three balls I mean to go. I shall apportion the time
equally between them. You forget," she added, "that the success of these
entertainments really depends on me. Crowds go only to see me, and I
should never forgive myself if I disappointed them."

But her husband, with the perversity characteristic of gout and middle
age, combined, no doubt, with a not unnatural modicum of jealousy,
maintained that one such fête should be sufficient amusement for one
night. She might take her choice of one; he would on no account permit
her to attend all three. Much to his surprise and delight Madame Mildau
made no scene, but graciously submitted after a few mild protestations.
A little later her husband remarked encouragingly:--

"I congratulate you, Julia, on your philosophy and self-restraint. In
yielding to my wishes you have pleased me immeasurably, and I should
like to show my gratification in some substantial manner. As it is some
months since I gave you a present, I have resolved to make you one now.
You may choose what you like."

"I have chosen," Madame Mildau replied calmly.

"What, already!" her husband cried. "You sly creature. You have been
keeping this up your sleeve. What is it?"

"A diamond tiara," was the cool reply. "The one you said you could not
afford last Christmas."

"Mon Dieu!" her husband gasped. "I shall be ruined."

"You will be ruined if you do not give it to me," Madame Mildau replied,
"for in that case I should leave you. I couldn't live with a liar."

Her husband wrung his hands. He implored her to choose something else,
but it was of no avail, and within two hours Madame Mildau had visited
the jeweller and the tiara was hers.

The eventful day came at last, and Madame Mildau, escorted by her
husband, attended one of the most popular balls of the season. She did
not wear her tiara. There had been several highway jewellery robberies
in the neighbourhood of late, and she pleased her husband immensely by
leaving her diamonds carefully locked up at home.

"You are prudence itself," he said, gazing at her in admiration. "And as
a reward you shall dance all the evening whilst I look on and admire
you."

But soon Madame Mildau could dance no longer. She had a very bad
headache, and begged her husband to take her home. M. Mildau was very
sympathetic. He was very sorry for his wife, and suggested that she
should take some brandy. She readily agreed that a little brandy might
do her good, and they took some together in their bedroom, after which
madame's husband remembered little more. He had a vague notion that his
wife was rolling his neck-handkerchief round his forehead in the form of
a Turkish turban, and patting him on the cheeks and smilingly wishing
him a thousand pleasant dreams, and then--all was a blank. He might as
well have been dead. With madame it was otherwise. The headache was, of
course, a ruse. The brandy she had given her husband had been well
drugged, and no sooner had she made sure it had taken effect than she
snapped her daintily manicured finger-tips in the air, and retiring to
her dressing-room, changed the dress she was wearing for one ten times
more costly and beautiful--a dress of rose-coloured gauze, upon which a
drapery of lace was suspended by agraffes of diamonds. A wreath of pale
roses, that seemed to have been bathed in the dew of the morning, the
better to harmonize with the delicate complexion of her lovely face,
nestled in her hair, and above it, more magnificent than anything yet
seen in Innsbruck, and setting off to perfection the dazzling lustre of
her yellow curls, the tiara of diamonds.

After a final survey of herself in the glass, she slipped on her cloak,
and stole softly out to join her intimate friend, the Countess Linitz,
who was also going to the ball. All things so far had worked wonderfully
well; not even a servant suspected her. In order to avoid trusting her
secret to anyone in the house, she had employed a stranger to hire an
elegant carriage, which was in waiting for her at a discreet distance
from the front door. The ball at which Madame Mildau soon arrived with
her friend was much more to her liking than the one to which she had
been previously escorted by her husband. The music was more harmonious,
the conversation more amiable, the dresses more elaborate, and, what
was more important than all, Madame Mildau's success was even more
instantaneous and complete. The whole room--host, guests, musicians,
even waiters--one and all were literally dumbfounded at the
extraordinary beauty of her face and costume, to say nothing of her
jewels. Such an entrancing spectacle was without parallel in a ballroom
in Innsbruck; and when she left, before the entertainment was over, all
the life, the light, the gaiety went with her.

But it was at the third ball, to which the same equipage surreptitiously
bore her, that Madame Mildau's enjoyment and triumphs reached their
zenith; and it was only towards the close of that entertainment--when
she felt, by that revelation of instinct which never deceives women on
similar occasions, that it was time to depart; that the brilliancy of
her eyes, no less than the beauty of her dress, was fading; that her
lips, parched with fatigue, had lost that humid red which rendered them
so pretty and inviting, and that the dust had taken the beautiful gloss
off her hair--that she experienced, for the first time, a sentiment of
uneasiness in reviewing the rashness of her conduct. How was it
possible, she asked herself, to prevent a casual acquaintance--her
friends she could warn--letting out in conversation before her husband
that she had been to these balls. And supposing he thus got to know of
her deceit, what then?

This idea--the idea of being found out--with all its consequences, rose
before her. Her exhausted imagination could find nothing to oppose it,
nothing to relieve the feeling of depression which took possession of
her, and she almost felt remorse when she threw herself into her
carriage. It was a very dark night, cold and windy, and she was only too
thankful to nestle close into the soft cushions at her back, and bury
her face in the warm fur of her costly wrap. For some minutes she
remained absorbed in thought; but it was not long before the monotonous
rumble, rumble of the carriage produced a sensation of drowsiness, from
which she was rudely awakened by the sound of a cough. Glancing in the
direction from whence it came, to her utmost dismay and astonishment she
saw, seated in the opposite corner of the vehicle, a young man of good,
if somewhat peculiar appearance, and extremely well dressed. Madame
Mildau instantly took in all the disadvantages of her situation, and,
overwhelmed by the imprudence of her conduct, exclaimed in a tone in
which dignity and terror struggled for mastery, "Sir, what audacity!"

"Yes, indeed, what audacity!" the stranger replied, affecting to be
shocked. "What pride! What a love of display!" and he rolled his big
eyes at her and bared his teeth.

"But, sir," Madame Mildau cried in horror, concluding that the unknown
was a madman, "this is _my_ carriage. I beg you will depart--I beseech
you--I command you. I will summon my servants."

"That will be a vain waste of valuable breath," replied the young man
coolly. "You may call your servants--but there is only one, and he is
mine. He will not answer you."

"Where am I, then? How infamous!" exclaimed Madame Mildau, and she burst
into tears. "Oh, how cruelly punished I am!"

"It is true, madame, you will be punished for having been agreeable,
gay, and brilliant to-night without the consent of your husband; but at
present he knows nothing about it, for at this moment he reposes in the
sleep of the just, confident that you are enjoying the same repose close
to him. As to yourself, madame, why this fear? You will have nothing to
dread, I assure you, from my indiscretion; but, as you may be aware,
there is no fault, however small, that has not its expiation. Nay, do
not weep. Am I so ugly? Why should you dread me so, madame? I am a great
admirer of your charms, desirous to know you better. Nay, have no
suspicions as to my morality--I am no profligate. I came to the ball
to-night for quite another purpose."

"Sir, I understand you. You are employed by my husband. A spy!
Detestable!"

"Stop, madame," the stranger said, laying his hand gently on hers.
"Debase not the dignity of man by imagining for one instant that there
is anyone who would lend himself so readily to act the odious part you
impute to me. I am no spy."

"In Heaven's name, then," Madame Mildau exclaimed, "what brings you
here? What do you want? Who are you?"

"One at a time, madame," the young man ejaculated. "To begin with, it
was those diamonds of yours--those rings on your soft and delicate
fingers, those bracelets on your slender rounded wrists, that necklace
and pendant on your snowy breast, and over and above all that splendid
tiara on your matchless hair. It was the sight of all those bright and
gleaming stars that attracted me, just as the light of a candle attracts
a moth. I could not resist them."

"Then you--you are a robber!" stammered the lady, ready to faint with
terror.

"Wrong again!" the young man said; "I admire your jewels, it is true,
but I am no thief."

"Then, in mercy's name, what are you?" demanded the lady.

"Well!" the stranger replied, speaking with a slight snarl, "I am a man
now, but I shall soon change."

"A man and will soon change?" Madame Mildau cried; "oh, you're mad,
mad--and I'm shut up in here with a lunatic! Help! help!"

"Calmly, calmly," the stranger exclaimed, lifting her hands to his lips
and kissing them. "I'm perfectly sane, and at present perfectly
harmless. Now tell me, madame--and mind, be candid with me--why don't
you love your husband?"

"How do you know I don't?" Madame Mildau faltered.

"Tut, tut!" the young man said. "Anyone could see that with half an eye.
Besides, consider your conduct to-night! Answer my questions."

"Well, you see!" Madame Mildau stammered, having come to the conclusion
that even if the man were not mad it would be highly impolitic to
provoke him, "I'm so much younger than he is. I'm only twenty-three,
whereas he is forty-five. Besides, he detests all amusements, and I love
them--especially dances. He is too fat to----"

"Are you sure he is fat? Will you swear he is fat?" the stranger asked,
grasping her hands so tightly that she screamed.

"I swear it!" she said, "he is quite the fattest man I know."

"And tender! But no, he can't be very tender!"

"What questions to ask!" Madame Mildau said. "How do I know whether he
is tender! Besides, what does it concern you?"

"It concerns me much," the young man retorted; "and you, too, madame.
You asked me just now a question concerning myself. Your curiosity shall
be satisfied. I am a werwolf. My servant on the box who took the place
of your employé is a werwolf. In an hour the metamorphosis will take
place. You are out here in the Wood of Arlan alone with us."

"In the Wood of Arlan!"

"Yes, madame, in the Wood of Arlan, which is, as you know, one of the
wildest and least frequented spots in this part of the Tyrol. We are
both ravenously hungry, and--well, you can judge the rest!"

Madame Mildau, who regarded werwolves in the same category as satyrs and
mermaids, was once more convinced that she had to deal with a lunatic,
but thinking it wisest to humour him, she said, "I shouldn't advise you
to eat me. I'm not at all nice. I'm dreadfully tough."

"You're not that," the young man said, "but I'm not at all sure that
the paint and powder on your cheeks might not prove injurious. Anyhow, I
have decided to spare you on one condition!"

"Yes! and that is?" Madame Mildau exclaimed, clapping her hands
joyfully.

"That you let me have your husband instead. Give me the keys of your
house, and my man and I will fetch him. Did you leave him sound asleep?"

"Yes!" Madame Mildau faltered.

"In other words you drugged him! I knew it! I can read it in your eyes.
Well--so much the better. Your foresight has proved quite providential.
We will bind you securely and leave you here whilst we are gone, and
when we return with your husband you shall be freed, and my man shall
drive you home. The key?"

Madame Mildau gave it him. With the aid of his servant--a huge man, well
over six feet and with the chest and limbs of a Hercules--the stranger
then proceeded to gag and bind Madame Mildau hand and foot, and lifting
her gently on to the road, fastened her securely to the trunk of a tree.

"Au revoir!" he exclaimed, kissing her lightly on the forehead. "We
shan't be long! These horses go like the wind."

The next moment he was gone. For some seconds Madame Mildau struggled
desperately to free herself; then, recognizing the futility of her
efforts, resigned herself to her fate. At last she heard the clatter of
horses' hoofs and the rumble of wheels, and in a few minutes she was
once again free.

"Quick!" the stranger said, leading her by the arm, "there's not a
moment to lose. The transmutation has already begun. In a few seconds we
shall both be wolves and your fate will be sealed. We've got your
husband, and, fortunately for you, he is as you described him, nice and
plump. If you want to take a final peep at him, do so at once; it's your
last chance."

But Madame Mildau had no such desire. She moved aside as her husband,
clad in his pyjamas and still sleeping soundly, was lifted out of the
vehicle and placed on the ground, and then, hurriedly brushing past him,
was about to enter the carriage, when the young man interposed.

"On the box, madame. We could not find you a coachman--you must drive
yourself; and as you value your life, drive like the----"

But madame did not wait for further instructions. Springing lightly on
the box, she picked up the reins, and with a crack of the whip the
horses were off. A minute later, and the wild howl of wolves, followed
by a piercing human scream, rang out in the still morning air.

"That's my husband! I recognize his voice," Madame Mildau sighed. "Ah,
well! thank God, the man wasn't a robber. My diamonds are safe."



CHAPTER XII

THE WERWOLF IN SPAIN


Werwolves are, perhaps, rather less common in Spain than in any other
part of Europe. They are there almost entirely confined to the
mountainous regions (more particularly to the Sierra de Guadarrama, the
Cantabrian, and the Pyrenees), and are usually of the male species.
Generally speaking the property of lycanthropy in Spain appears to be
hereditary; and, as one would naturally expect in a country so
pronouncedly Roman Catholic, to rid the lycanthropist of his unenviable
property it is the custom to resort to exorcism. Though they are
extremely rare, both flowers and streams possessing the power of
transmitting the property of werwolfery are to be found in the
Cantabrian mountains and the Pyrenees.

And in Spain, as in Austria-Hungary, precious stones--particularly
rubies--not infrequently, and often with disastrous results, attract
the werwolf.

The following case of a Spanish werwolf may be taken as typical:--

In the month of September, 1853, a young man, one Paul Nicholas, arrived
from Paris at Pamplona, and took up his abode at l'Hôtel Hervada.

He was rich, idle, sleek; and the sole object of his stay at Pamplona
was the pursuit of some little adventure wherewith he might be
temporarily employed, and whereof perchance he might afterwards boast.
Well, in the hotel there had arrived, a day or two before Monsieur
Nicholas, a young and beautiful lady, the effect of whose personal
attractions was intensified by certain mysterious circumstances. No one
knew her; she had no one with her--not even a servant to be bribed--and
although eminently fitted to shine in society, she went neither to the
opera nor the dance. As may be readily understood, she was soon the sole
topic of conversation in the hotel. Every one talked of her rare beauty,
elegance, and musical genius, and immediately after dinner, when she
retired to her room, many of the guests would steal upstairs after her,
and, stationing themselves outside her door, would remain there for
hours to listen to her singing.

Paul Nicholas's head was completely turned. To have such a neighbour,
with the face and voice of an angel, and yet not to know her! It was
enough to drive him wild. At last, to every one's surprise, the
mysterious lady, apparently so exclusive, permitted the advances of a
very commonplace, middle-aged gentleman with hardly a hair on his head
and a paunch that was voted quite disgusting.

The friendship between the two ripened fast. In defiance of all
conventionality, the lady took to sitting out late at night with her
elderly admirer, and, with an absolute disregard of decorum, accompanied
him on long excursions. Finally, she went away with him altogether. On
the occasion of this latter event every one in the hotel heaved a sigh
of relief, saving Paul.

Paul was disconsolate. He stayed on, hovering about the places she had
most frequented, and hoping to see in every fresh arrival at the hotel
his adored one come back. His pitiable condition gained no sympathy.

"Silly fellow!" was the general comment. "He is desperately in love! And
with such a creature! What an idiot!"

But Paul's patience was at length rewarded, his devotion apparently
justified, for the lady returned, unaccompanied; and so great was the
charm of her personality that within two days of her reappearance she
had completely won back the hearts of her fellow-guests. Again every
one raved of her.

Meanwhile, Paul Nicholas became more enamoured than ever. He bought a
guitar, and composed love lyrics--which he sang outside her door, from
morning till night, with all that wealth of tenderness so uniquely
expressible in a human voice--but it was all in vain. For the lady,
whose name had at last leaked out--it was Isabelle de Nurrez--had
yielded to the attentions of another stout, middle-aged gentleman, with
whom in due course she departed.

This was too much even for her most ardent admirers. Every guest in the
hotel protested, and petitioned that she might not be readmitted.

But mine host shook his head with scant apology. "I cannot help it," he
said. "The lady pays more for her rooms than all the rest of you put
together, so why should I turn her out? After all, if she likes to have
many sweethearts, why shouldn't she? It is her own concern, neither
yours nor mine. It harms no one!"

And some of the guests, seeing logic in their landlord's views,
remained; others went. As for Paul, he was immeasurably shocked at the
bad taste of his adored one; but he stayed on, and within a few days, as
he had fondly hoped, the fickle creature returned--and, as before,
returned alone. It was then that he resolved on writing to her. With a
crow-quill almost as fine as the long silky eyelashes of Isabella, on a
sheet of paper whose border of Cupids, grapes, vases, and roses left
little--too little--space for writing, he indited his letter, which,
when completed, he sealed with a seal of azure blue wax, bearing the
device of a dove ready for flight. And so scented was this epistle that
it perfumed the entire hotel in its transit by means of a servant (well
paid for the purpose) to mademoiselle's room. Again--this time for an
endless amount of trouble and expense--Paul was rewarded. When next he
met mademoiselle, and an opportune moment arrived, she looked at him,
and as her lovely eyes scanned his manly, if somewhat portly figure, she
smiled--smiled a smile of satisfaction which meant much. Paul Nicholas
was in ecstasies. He hardly knew how to contain himself; he sighed,
radiated, and wriggled about to such an extent that the attention of
every one in the place was directed to him; whereupon Mlle de Nurrez
turned very red and frowned. Paul's expectations now sank to zero; for
the rest of the day he was almost too miserable to live. But Mlle de
Nurrez, no doubt perceiving him to be truly penitent for having so
embarrassed her, forgave him, and on his way to dinner he received a
note in her own pretty handwriting giving him permission to make her
acquaintance without any further introduction. The way thus paved,
Monsieur Paul Nicholas, overjoyed, lost no time in seeking out the lady.
She was singing a wild sweet song as he entered her sitting-room, and
her back, turned to the door, gave him an opportunity of observing, as
she leant over her guitar, the most exquisite shoulders and the
prettiest-shaped head in the world. With graceful confusion she rose to
greet him, and her long eyelashes fell over eyes black and brilliant as
those that awakened the furore of two continents--the eyes of Lola
Montez. She was dressed in white; her rich dark hair was held in place
with combs of gold; her girdle was of gold, and so also were the massive
bracelets on her arms, which--so perfect was their symmetry--might well
have been fashioned by a sculptor.

Monsieur Paul Nicholas, with the air of a prince, escorted her to the
dining-room; and over champagne, coffee, and liqueurs their friendship
grew apace. Some hours later, when ensconced together in a cosy retreat
on the terrace, and the fast disappearing lights in the hotel windows
warned them it would soon be prudent to retire, Mlle de Nurrez exclaimed
with a sigh:--

"You have told me so much about yourself, whilst I--I have told you
nothing in return. Alas! I have a history. My parents are dead--my
mother died when I was a baby, and my father, who was a very wealthy
man--having accumulated his money in the business of a cork merchant
which he carried on for years in Portugal--died just six months ago. He
was on a voyage for his health in the Mediterranean, when he formed an
acquaintance with a young Hindu, Prince Dajarah who soon acquired
unbounded influence over him. My father died on this voyage, and--God
forgive my suspicions!--but his death was strange and sudden. On opening
his will, it was found that all his property was left to me--but only on
the condition that I married Prince Dajarah."

"Marry a black man! Mon Dieu, how terrible!" Paul Nicholas cried.

"You are right. It was terrible!" Mlle de Nurrez went on. "And if I
refused to marry Prince Dajarah, he, according to the will, would
inherit everything. Well, Prince Dajarah was persistent; he declared
that it was my duty to marry him, to fulfil my father's dying wish. It
was in vain that I implored his mercy--that I told him I could never
return his affections. And at last, finding that upon Prince Dajarah
neither remonstrance nor reproach had any effect, I fled to a town some
ten miles distant from this hotel, taking with me what money and
jewellery I possessed.

"Alas! he soon discovered my whereabouts, and with the sole object of
continuing his persecution of me, speedily established himself in the
house--which, unfortunately for me, happened to be vacant--next to mine.
My money is nearly exhausted, I have no resources, and unless some one
intervenes, some one brave and fearless, some one who really loves me, I
shall undoubtedly be forced into a marriage with this odious wretch.
Heavens, the bare idea of it is poisonous! You remember the two men who
paid such marked attentions to me a short time ago?"

Paul Nicholas nodded. His emotion was such he could not speak.

"They both imagined they were in love with me. They swore they would
confront the black tyrant and kill him; but when they were put to the
test--when I took them and pointed him out to them--they went white as a
sheet, and--fled."

"Why torture me thus?" Paul Nicholas cried. "Tell me--only tell me what
it is you want me to do!"

"Do you love me?"

"More than my life."

"More than your soul?"

"More than my soul."

"Will you save me from a fate more horrible than death?"

"If I go to Hell for you--yes!" Paul said, gazing on a face lovely as a
dream.

"You must come with me to his house to-morrow then! You must come armed.
You must kill him."

"Kill him!" Paul cried, turning pale.

"Well?"

"But it will be murder--assassination."

"Murder, to kill him--a tyrant--a black man! Bah! Are you too a coward?"
And she sprang to her feet, the veins swelling on her white brow, her
cheeks colouring, her eyes flashing fire, as if she, at least, knew not
the meaning of fear. "Sooner than let such a wretch inherit my father's
wealth," she cried out, "I will kill him myself--kill him, or perish in
the attempt."

Paul Nicholas encountered the earnest gaze of her large, bright eyes,
the pleading of her beautiful mouth, and the sweetness of her breath
fanned his nostrils. A terrific wave of passion swept over him. He loved
as he had never loved before--as he had never deemed it possible to
love: and in his mad worship of the woman he believed to be as pure as
she was fair, he forgot that the devil hides safest where he is least
suspected. Seizing her small white hands in his, he swore upon them to
do her will; and he would have gone on making all sorts of wild,
impassioned speeches had not Mlle de Nurrez reminded him that it was
past locking-up time.

She crossed the main hall of the hotel with him, and as she turned to
bid him good night prior to ascending to her quarters, her eyes met
his--met his in one long, lingering glance that he assured himself could
only have meant love.

Next morning the guests in the hotel received another shock. Mlle de
Nurrez had gone off again--this time with Monsieur Paul Nicholas--that
good-looking, well-to-do young man, at whom all the matrons with
marriageable daughters had in vain cast longing eyes.

Now, although Paul Nicholas had little knowledge of geography, he could
not help remarking, as he journeyed with Mlle Nurrez, that their route
was in an exactly opposite direction to that leading to the town which
his companion had named to him as her place of residence. He pointed out
his difficulty, but Mlle de Nurrez only laughed.

"Wait!" she said. "Wait and see. We shall get there all right. You must
trust to my wit."

Paul Nicholas made no further comment. He was already in the seventh
heaven--that was enough for him; and leaning back, he continued gazing
at her profile.

The afternoon passed away, the sun sank, and night and its shadows moved
solemnly on them. Gradually the roadside trees became distinguishable
only as deeper masses of shadow, and Paul Nicholas could only tell they
were trees by the peculiar sodden odour that, from time to time,
sluggishly flowed in at the open window of the carriage. Of necessity,
they were proceeding slowly--the road was for the most part uphill, and
the horses, though tough and hardy natives of the mountains, had begun
to show signs of flagging. They did not pass by a soul, and even the
sighs of astonished cattle, whose ruminating slumbers they had routed,
at last became events of the greatest rarity. At each yard they advanced
the wildness of the country increased, and although the landscape was
hidden, its influence was felt. Paul Nicholas knew, as well as if he had
seen them, that he was in the presence of grotesque, isolated boulders,
wide patches of bare, desolate soil, gaunt trees, and profound
straggling fissures.

Being so long confined in a limited space, although in that space was a
paradise, he felt the exquisite agony of cramp, and when, after sundry
attempts to stretch himself, he at length found a position that afforded
him temporary relief, it was only to become aware of a more refined
species of torture. The springs of the carriage rising and falling
regularly, produced a rhythmical beat, which began to painfully absorb
his attention, and to slowly merge into a senseless echo of one of his
observations to Mlle de Nurrez. And when he was becoming reconciled to
this inferno, another forced itself upon him. How quiet the driver was!
Was there any driver? He couldn't see any. Possibly, nay, probably--why
not?--the driver was lying gagged and bound on the roadside, and a
bandit, one of the notorious Spanish bandits, against whom his friends
in Paris had so emphatically warned him, was on the box driving him to
his obscure lair in the heart of the mountains. Or was the original
driver himself a bandit, and the beautiful girl reclining on the
cushions a bandit's daughter? He dozed, and on coming to his waking
senses again, discovered that the darkness had slightly lifted. He could
see the distant horizon, defined by inky woods, outlined on a lighter
sky. A few stars, scattered here and there in this tableau, whilst
emphasizing the vastness of the space overhead--a vastness that was
positively annihilating--at the same time conveyed a sense of solitude
and loneliness, in perfect harmony with the trees, and rocks, and
gorges. The effect was only transitory, for with a suddenness almost
reminding one of stage mechanism, the moon burst through its temporary
covering of clouds, and in a moment the whole country-side was illumined
with a soft white glow. It was a warm night, and the breeze that rolled
down from the mountain peaks, so remote and passionless, was charged to
overflowing with resinous odours, mingled with which, and just strong
enough to be recognizable, was the faint, pungent smell of decay. A
couple of hares, looking somewhat ashamed of themselves, sprang into
upright positions, and with frightened whisks of their tails disappeared
into a clump of ferns. With a startled hiss a big snake drew back under
cover of a boulder, and a hawk, balked of its prey by the sudden
brilliant metamorphosis, uttered an indignant croak. But none of these
protests against the moon's innocent behaviour were heeded by Paul
Nicholas, whose whole attention was riveted on a large sombre building
standing close by the side of the road. At the first glimpse of the
place, so huge, grim, and silent, he was seized with a sensation of
absolute terror. Nothing mortal could surely inhabit such a house. The
dark, frowning walls and vacant, eye-like windows threw back a thousand
shadows, and suggested as many eerie fancies--fancies that were
corroborated by a few rank sedges and two or three white trunks of
decayed trees that rose up on either side of the building; but of
life--human life--there was not the barest suspicion.

"What a nightmare of a house!" Paul Nicholas exclaimed, gazing with a
shudder upon the remodelled and inverted images of the grey sedge, the
ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant, eye-like windows in a black and
lurid tarn that lay in unruffled lustre along the edge of the wood.

"It's where he lives!" Mlle de Nurrez whispered.

"What! do you mean to say that it is to this house you have brought me?"
Paul shrieked. "To this awful, deserted ghostly mansion! Why have you
lied to me?"

"I was afraid you wouldn't care to come if I described the place too
accurately," Mlle de Nurrez said. "Forgive me--and pity me, too, for it
is here that Prince Dajarah would have me spend my life."

Paul trembled.

"For God's sake, don't desert me!" Mlle de Nurrez exclaimed, laying her
hand softly on his shoulder. "Think of the terrible fate that will
befall me! Think of your promises, your vows!"

But Paul Nicholas did not respond all at once. His brain was in a
whirl. He had been deceived, cruelly deceived! And with what motive? Was
Mlle de Nurrez's explanation genuine? Could there be anything genuine
about a girl who told an untruth? Once a liar always a liar! Did not
that maxim hold good? Was it not one he had heard repeatedly from
childhood? What should he do? What could he do? He was here, alone with
this woman and her coachman, in one of the wildest and most outlandish
regions of Spain. God alone knew where! To attempt to return would be
hopeless--sheer imbecility; he would most certainly get lost on the
mountains, and perish from hunger and thirst, or fall over some
precipice, or into the jaws of a bear; or, at all events, come to some
kind of an untimely end. No! there was no alternative, he must remain
and trust in Mlle de Nurrez. But the house was appalling; he did not
like looking at it, and the bare thought of its interior froze his
blood. Then he awoke to the fact that she was still addressing him, that
her soft hands were lying on his, that her beautiful eyes were gazing
entreatingly at him, that her full ripe lips were within a few inches of
his own. The moon lent her its glamour, and his old love reasserting
itself with quick, tempestuous force, he drew her into his arms and
kissed her repeatedly. Some minutes later and they had crossed the
threshold of the mansion. All was as he had pictured it--grim and
hushed, and bathed in moonbeams.

The coachman led the way, and with muffled, stealthy footstep conducted
them across dark halls and along intricate passages, up long and winding
staircases--all bare and cold; through vast gloomy rooms, the walls and
floors of which were of black oak, the former richly carved, and in
places hung with ancient tapestry, displaying the most grotesque and
startling devices. The windows, long, narrow, and pointed, with
trellised panes, were at so great a height from the ground that the
light was limited, and whilst certain spots were illuminated, many of
the remoter angles and recesses were left in total darkness. Monsieur
Paul Nicholas did not attempt to explore. At each step he took he fully
anticipated a something, too dreadful to imagine, would spring out on
him. The rustling of drapery and the rattling of phantasmagoric armorial
trophies, in response to the vibration of their footsteps, made his hair
stand on end, and he was reduced to a state of the most abject terror
long before they arrived at their destination.

At last he was ushered into a small, bare, dimly lighted room. From the
centre of the ceiling was suspended an oil lamp, and immediately under
it was a marble table. Walls and floor were composed of rough uncovered
granite. The atmosphere was fetid, and tainted with the same peculiar,
pungent odour noticeable outside.

"This is the room," Mlle de Nurrez said. "Prince Dajarah will be here in
a minute. Have you your pistol ready?"

"Yes, see!" and Paul Nicholas pulled it out from his coat-pocket and
showed it her.

"Have you any other weapons?" she asked, examining it curiously.

"Yes, a sheath-knife," Paul Nicholas replied a trifle nervously.

"Let me look at it," Mlle de Nurrez exclaimed. "I have a weakness for
knives--a rather uncommon trait in a woman, isn't it?"

He handed it to her, and she fingered the blade cautiously. Then with a
sudden movement she leaped away from him.

"Fool!" she cried. "Do you think I could ever love a man as fat as you?
The story I told you was a lie from beginning to end. I don't remember
either of my parents--my mother ran away from home when I was two, and
my father died the following year. I married entirely of my own free
will--married the man I loved, and he--happened to be a werwolf!"

"A werwolf!" Paul Nicholas shrieked. "God help me! I thought there were
no such things!"

"Not in France, perhaps," Mlle de Nurrez said derisively; "but in Spain,
in the Pyrenees, many! At certain times of the year my husband won't
touch animal food, and if I didn't procure him human flesh he would die
of starvation, or in sheer despair eat me. Here he is."

And as she spoke the door opened, and on the threshold stood a
singularly handsome young man clad in the gay uniform of a Carlist
general.

"Capital!" he exclaimed, as his eyes fell on Paul. "Magnificent! He is
quite as fat as the other two. How clever of you, darling!" and throwing
his arms round her, he embraced her tenderly. A few seconds later and he
suddenly thrust her from him.

"Quick! quick!" he cried. "Run away, darling! run away instantly. I can
feel myself changing!" and he pushed her gently to the door.

Mlle de Nurrez took one glance at Paul as she left the room. "Poor
fool!" she said, half pityingly, half mockingly. "Poor fat fool! Though
you may no longer believe in women you will certainly believe in
werwolves--now." And as the door slammed after her, the wildest of
shrieks from within demonstrated that, for once in her life, Mlle de
Nurrez had spoken the truth.



CHAPTER XIII

THE WERWOLF IN BELGIUM AND THE NETHERLANDS


Belgium abounds in stories of werwolves, all more or less of the same
type. As in France, the werwolf, in Belgium, is not restricted to one
sex, but is, in an equal proportion, common to both.

By far the greater number of werwolfery cases in this country are to be
met with amongst the sand-dunes on the sea coast. They also occur in the
district of the Sambre; but I have never heard of any lycanthropous
streams or pools in Belgium, nor yet of any wolf-producing flowers, such
as are, at times, found in the Balkan Peninsula.

Though the property of lycanthropy here as elsewhere has been acquired
through the invocation of spirits--the ceremony being much the same as
that described in an earlier chapter--nearly all the cases of werwolfery
in Belgium are hereditary.

In Belgium, as in other Roman Catholic countries, great faith is
attached to exorcism, and for the expulsion of every sort of "evil
spirit" various methods of exorcism are employed. For example, a werwolf
is sprinkled with a compound either of 1/2 ounce of sulphur, 4 drachms
of asafœtida, 1/4 ounce of castoreum; or of 3/4 ounce of hypericum in
3 ounces of vinegar; or with a solution of carbolic acid further diluted
with a pint of clear spring water. The sprinkling must be done over the
head and shoulders, and the werwolf must at the same time be addressed
in his Christian name. But as to the success or non-success of these
various methods of exorcism I cannot make any positive statement. I have
neither sufficient evidence to affirm their efficacy nor to deny it. Rye
and mistletoe are considered safeguards against werwolves, as is also a
sprig from a mountain ash. This latter tree, by the way, attracts evil
spirits in some countries--Ireland, India, Spain, for instance--and
repels them in others. It was held in high esteem, as a preservative
against phantasms and witches, by the Druids, and it may to this day be
seen growing, more frequently than any other, in the neighbourhood of
Druidical circles, both in Great Britain and on the Continent.

In many parts of Belgium the peasantry would not consider their house
safe unless a mountain ash were growing within a few feet of it.


A CASE OF WERWOLVES IN THE ARDENNES

A case of werwolfery is reported to have happened, not so long ago, in
the Ardennes. A young man, named Bernard Vernand, was returning home one
night from his work in the fields, when his dog suddenly began to bark
savagely, whilst its hair stood on end. The next moment there was a
crackle in the hedge by the roadside, and three trampish-looking men
slouched out. They looked at Vernand, and, remarking that it was
beautiful weather, followed closely at his heels.

Vernand noticed that the eyebrows of all three met in a point over their
noses, a peculiarity which gave them a very singular and unpleasant
appearance. When he quickened his pace, they quickened theirs; whilst
his dog still continued to bark and show every indication of excessive
fear. In this way they all four proceeded till they came to a very dark
spot in the road, where the trees nearly met overhead. The sound of
their footsteps then suddenly ceased, and Vernand, peeping stealthily
round, perceived to his horror lurid eyes--that were not the eyes of
human beings--glaring after him. His dog took to its heels and fled,
and, ignominious though he felt it to be, Vernand followed suit. The
next moment there was a chorus of piercing whines, and a loud pattering
of heavy feet announced the fact that he was pursued.

Fortunately Vernand was a fast runner--he had carried off many prizes in
races at the village fair--and now that he was running for his life, he
went like the wind.

But his pursuers were fleet of foot, too, and, despite his pace, they
gradually gained on him. Happily for Vernand, he retained a certain
amount of presence of mind, and possessing rather more wit than many of
the peasants, he suddenly bethought him of a possible avenue of escape.
In a conversation with the pastor of the village some months before, the
latter had told him how an old woman had once escaped from a wode[215:1]
by climbing up a mountain ash. And if, reasoned Vernand, the ash is a
protection against one form of evil spirits, why not against another? He
recollected that there was an ash-tree close at hand, and diverting his
course, he instantly headed for it. Not a moment too soon. As he swarmed
up the slender trunk, his pursuers--three monstrous werwolves--came to a
dead halt at the foot of the tree. However, after giving vent to the
disappointment of losing their supper in a series of prodigious howls,
they veered round and bounded off, doubtless in pursuit of a less
knowing prey.


A SIMILAR CASE NEAR WATERLOO

A similar case once happened to a young man when returning from Quatre
Bras to Waterloo. He was attacked by three werwolves and saved himself
by leaping into a rye-field.


A CASE ON THE SAND-DUNES

The following story of werwolfery is of traditional authenticity only:--

Von Grumboldt, a young man of good appearance, and his sweetheart, Nina
Gosset, were out walking together one evening on the sand-dunes near
Nina's home, when Von Grumboldt uttered an exclamation of astonishment,
and bending down, picked up something which he excitedly showed to Nina.
It was a girdle composed of dark, plaited hair fastened with a plain
gold buckle. To the young man's surprise Nina shrank away from it.

"Oh!" she cried, "don't touch it! I don't know why--but it gives me such
a horrid impression. I'm sure there is an unpleasant history attached to
it."

"Pooh!" Von Grumboldt said laughingly; "that's only your fancy. I think
it would look remarkably well round your waist," and he made pretence
to encircle her with it.

Nina, turning very white, fainted, and Von Grumboldt, who was really
very much in love with her, was greatly alarmed. He ran to a brook,
fetched some water, and sprinkled her forehead with it. To his intense
relief his sweetheart soon came to. As soon as she could speak she
implored him, as he valued her life, on no account to touch her with the
girdle. To this request Von Grumboldt readily assented, and whistling to
his dog--a big collie--in spite of Nina's protests and the animal's
frantic struggles, he playfully fastened the belt round the creature's
body. Then turning to Nina he began: "Doesn't Nippo (that was the
collie's name) look fine----" and suddenly left off. The expression in
Nina's eyes made his blood run cold.

"For Heaven's sake," he cried, "what is it? What's the matter?"

White as death again, Nina pointed a finger, and Von Grumboldt, looking
in the direction she indicated, saw--not Nippo, but an awful-looking
thing in Nippo's place--a big black object, partly dog and partly some
other animal, that grew and grew until, within a few seconds, it had
grown to at least thrice Nippo's size. With a hideous howl it rushed at
Von Grumboldt. The latter, though a strong athletic young man, was
speedily overcome, and being dashed to the ground, would soon have been
torn to pieces had not Nina, recovering from a temporary helplessness,
come to the rescue.

Catching hold of the girdle round the creature's body, she unclasped the
buckle, and in a trice the evil thing had vanished; and there was Nippo,
his own self, standing before them.

"It is a werwolf belt!" Nina exclaimed, throwing it away from her. "You
see, I was right; it is devilish, and no doubt belongs to some one near
here who practises Black Magic--Mad Valerie, perhaps. This cross that I
wear round my neck, which is made of yew, no doubt warned me of this
danger and so saved me from an awful fate. You smile!--but I am certain
of it. The yew-tree is just as efficacious in the case of evil spirits
as the ash!"

"What shall we do with the beastly thing?" Von Grumboldt asked. "It
doesn't seem right to leave it here, in case some one else, with less
sense than you, should find it and a dreadful catastrophe result."

"We must burn it," Nina said. "That's the only way of getting rid of the
evil influence. Let us do so at once."

Von Grumboldt was nothing loath, and in a few minutes all that remained
of the lycanthropous girdle was a tiny heap of ashes.

To burn the object to which the lycanthropous property is attached is
the only recognized method of destroying that property. I have had many
proofs, too, of the efficacy of burning in the case of superphysical
influences other than lycanthropy; such, for example, as haunted
furniture, trees, and buildings; and I am quite sure the one and only
way to get rid of an occult presence attached to any particular object
is to burn that object.

I have been told of "burning" having been successfully practised in the
following cases:--

     _Case No. 1._--A barrow in the North of England that had long
     been haunted by a Barrowian order of Elemental. (The barrow
     was excavated, and when the remains therein had been burnt,
     the hauntings ceased.)

     _Case No. 2._--A cave in Wales haunted by the phantasm of a
     horse, though, whether the real spirit of the horse or merely
     an Elemental I cannot say. (On the soil in the cave being
     excavated, and the several skeletons, presumably of
     prehistoric animals, found being burnt, there were no longer
     any disturbances.)

     _Case No. 3._--A house in London containing an oak chest,
     attached to which was the phantasm of an old woman, who used
     to disturb the inmates of the place nightly. (On the chest
     being burnt she was seen no more.)

     _Case No. 4._--A tree in Ireland, haunted every night by a
     Vagrarian. (Immediately after the tree had been burnt the
     manifestations ceased.)

Burial is a great mistake. As long as a single bone remains, the spirit
of the dead person may still be attracted to it, and consequently remain
earthbound; but when the corpse is cremated, and the ashes scattered
abroad, then the spirit is set free. And, for this reason alone, I
advocate cremation as the best method possible of dealing with a corpse.

Before concluding this chapter on the werwolf in Belgium, let me add
that werwolfery was not the only form of lycanthropy in that country.
According to Grimm, in his "Deutsche Sagen," two warlocks who were
executed in the year 1810 at Liége for having, under the form of
werwolves, killed and eaten several children, had as their colleague a
boy of twelve years of age. The boy, in the form of a raven, consumed
those portions of the prey which the warlocks left.


WERWOLVES IN THE NETHERLANDS

Cases of werwolves are of less frequent occurrence in Holland than in
either France or Belgium. Also, they are almost entirely restricted to
the male sex.

Exorcism here is seldom practised, the working of a spell being the
usual means employed for getting rid of the evil property. The procedure
in working the spell is as follows:--

First of all, a night when the moon is in the full is selected. Then at
twelve o'clock the werwolf is seized, securely bound, and taken to an
isolated spot. Here, a circle of about seven feet in diameter is
carefully inscribed on the ground, and in the exact centre of it the
werwolf is placed, and so fastened that he cannot possibly get away.
Then three girls--always girls--come forward armed with ash twigs with
which they flog him most unmercifully, calling out as they do so:--

     "Greywolf ugly, greywolf old,
      Do at once as you are told.
      Leave this man and fly away--
      Right away, far away,
      Where 'tis night and never day."

They keep on repeating these words and whipping him; and it is not until
the face, back, and limbs of the werwolf are covered with blood that
they desist.

The oldest person present then comes forward and gives the werwolf a
hearty kick, saying as he (or she) does so:--

     "Go, fly, away to the sky;
      Devil of greywolf, thee we defy.
      Out, out, with a howl and yell,
      'Twill carry thee faster and surer to hell."

Every one present then dips a cup or mug in a concoction of sulphur,
tar, vinegar, and castoreum, just removed from boiling-point, and,
forming a circle round the werwolf, they souse him all over with this
unpleasant and painfully hot mixture, calling out as they do so:--

          "Away, away, shoo, shoo, shoo!
           Do you think we care a jot for you?
     We'll whip thee again, with a crack, crack, crack!
     Scourge thee and beat thee till thou art black;
     Fool of a greywolf, we have thee at last,
     Back to thy hell home, out of him fast--
               Fast, fast, fast!
           Our patience won't last.
         We'll scratch thee, we'll prick thee,
         We'll prod thee, we'll scald thee.
           Fast, fast, out of him, fast!"

They keep on shouting these words over and over again till the liquid
has given out and the clock strikes one; when, with a final blow or kick
at the prostrate werwolf, they run away.

The evil spirit is then said to leave the man, who quickly recovers his
proper shape, and with a loud cry of joy rushes after his friends and
relations.

When the Spaniards invaded Holland they resorted to a surer, if a
somewhat more drastic, mode of getting rid of lycanthropy--they burned
the subject possessed of it.

One of the best known cases of a werwolf in the Netherlands is as
follows:--

A young man, whilst on his way to a shooting match at Rousse, was
suddenly startled by hearing loud screams for help proceeding from a
field a few yards distant. To jump a dike and scramble over a low wall
was but the work of a few seconds, and in less time than it takes to
tell, the young man, whose name was Van Renner, found himself face to
face with a huge grey wolf. Quick as thought, he fitted an arrow to his
bow, and shot. The missile struck the wolf in the side, and with a howl
of pain the wounded creature turned tail and fled for his life.

All might now have ended like some delightful romance, for the rescued
one proved to be an exceedingly attractive maiden, with bright yellow
hair and big blue eyes; but unfortunately--or perhaps fortunately, who
knows?--the girl had a husband, and Van Renner a wife; and so, instead
of the incident being the prelude to a love affair, it was merely an
occasion for grateful acknowledgment--and--farewell. On his return home
that evening Van Renner was met with an urgent request to visit his
friend, the Burgomaster. He hastened to obey the summons, and found the
Burgomaster in bed, suffering agonies of pain from a wound which he had
received in his side some hours previously.

"I can't die without telling you," he whispered, clutching Van Renner by
the hand. "God help me, I'm a werwolf! I've always been one. It's in my
family--it's hereditary. It was your arrow that has wounded me fatally."

Van Renner was too aghast to speak. He was really fond of the
Burgomaster, and to think of him a werwolf--well! it was too dreadful to
contemplate. The dying man gazed eagerly, hungrily, piteously into his
friend's face.

"Don't say you hate me," he cried. "There is little hope for me, if any,
in the next world; and in all probability I shall either go direct to
hell or remain earthbound; but, for God's sake, let me die in the
knowledge that I leave behind me at least one friend!"

Van Renner tried hard to speak; he made every effort to speak; his lungs
swelled, his tongue wobbled, the muscles of his lips twitched; but not a
syllable could he utter--and the Burgomaster died.


FOOTNOTES:

[215:1] A phantom horseman, that goes hunting on certain nights in the
year, accompanied by phantom dogs. The author has witnessed the
phenomenon himself.



CHAPTER XIV

THE WERWOLVES AND MARAS OF DENMARK


Since so much has already been written upon the subject of werwolves in
Denmark, it is my intention only to touch upon it briefly. It is, I
believe, generally acknowledged that, at one time, werwolves were to be
met with almost daily in Denmark, and that they were almost always of
the male sex; but I can find no records of any particular form of
exorcism practised by the Danes with the object of getting rid of the
werwolf, nor of any spell used by them for the same purpose; neither
does there appear to be, amongst their traditions, any reference to a
lycanthropous flower or stream. Opinions differ as to whether werwolves
are yet to be found in Denmark, but, from all I have heard, I am
inclined to think that they still exist in the more remote districts of
that country.

The following case may be regarded as illustrative of a typical Danish
werwolf:--


THE CASE OF PETER ANDERSEN, WERWOLF

Peter Andersen, who was a werwolf by descent, his ancestors having been
werwolves for countless generations, fell in love with a beautiful young
girl named Elisa, and without telling her he was a werwolf, for fear
that she would give him up, married her.

Shortly after his marriage, he was returning home one evening with Elisa
from a neighbouring fair, where there had been much merrymaking, when,
suddenly feeling that the metamorphosis was coming on, he got down from
the cart in which they were driving, and said to his wife, very
earnestly, "If anything comes towards you, do not be afraid, and do not
hurt it; merely strike it with your apron." He then ran off at a great
rate into the fields, leaving Elisa very much surprised and impressed. A
few minutes afterwards she heard the howl of a wild animal, and, while
she was holding in the horse and endeavouring to pacify it, a huge grey
wolf suddenly leaped into the road and sprang at her.

Recollecting what her husband had told her, with wonderful presence of
mind she whipped off her apron and struck the wolf in the face with it.
The animal tore at the apron, and biting a piece out of it, turned tail
and ran away. Some time afterwards Andersen returned, and holding out to
Elisa the missing piece of her apron, asked if she guessed how he came
by it.

"Good God, man!" Elisa cried, the pupils of her eyes dilating with
terror, "it was you! I know it by the expression in your face. Heaven
preserve me! You're a werwolf!"

"I was a werwolf," Peter said, "but thanks to your brave action in
throwing the apron in my face, I am one no longer. I know I did wrong in
not telling you of my misfortune before we were married, but I dreaded
the idea of losing you. Forgive me, forgive me, I implore you!" and
Elisa, after some slight hesitation, granted his request.

This method of getting rid of the lycanthropous spirit seems to have
been (and still to be) the one most in vogue in Denmark.

Another well-known story, of a similar kind, is to the effect that while
a party of haymakers were at work in a field, a man, who, like Andersen,
had kept the fact of his being a werwolf from his family, feeling that
he was about to be transmuted, gave his son injunctions that if an
animal approached him he was on no account to hurt it, but merely to
throw his hat at it. The boy promising to obey, the father hastily left
the field. Some minutes later a grey wolf appeared, swimming a stream.
It rushed at the boy, who, mad with terror, forgot his father's
instructions, and struck at it with a pitchfork.

The prongs of the fork, entering the wolf's side, pierced its heart; and
transmutation again taking place, to the horror of all present there lay
on the ground, not the body of a beast, but the corpse of the boy's
father.

In Denmark it is said that if a woman stretches between four sticks the
membrane of a newly born foal, and creeps through it naked, she will
bring forth children without pain, but all the boys will be werwolves
and the girls maras.

As is the case with the werwolf of other countries, the Danish werwolf
retains its human form by day; but after sunset, unlike the werwolf of
any other nationality, it sometimes adopts the shape of a dog on three
legs before it finally metamorphoses into a wolf.

In addition to these methods (alluded to above) of expelling a
lycanthropous spirit in Denmark, there may be added that of addressing
the obsessed person as a werwolf and reproaching him roundly. But as I
have no proof of the effectiveness of this crude mode of exorcism, I
cannot commit myself to any verdict with regard to it.


MARAS

The mara, to which I have briefly alluded in a foregoing chapter, is to
be met with in Denmark almost as often as the werwolf; and the
superphysical property, characteristic of the mara no less than of the
werwolf, justifies me in a somewhat detailed description of the former
here.

A mara is popularly understood to be a woman by day and at night a
spirit that torments human beings and horses by sitting astride them and
causing them nightmare.

In the main I agree with this definition; though I am inclined to think
that the mara is, in reality, less hoydenish and more subtle and complex
than public opinion would have us believe. In all probability maras are
women who have either inherited or, by the practice of Black Magic,
acquired the faculty of a certain species of projection--differing from
the projection which is common to both sexes in the following points,
viz., that it can always be accomplished (during certain hours) at will;
that it is invariably practised with the sole desire to do ill; that the
projected spirit is fully conscious of all that is happening around it;
and that it possesses most--if not all--of the faculties, motives, and
nervous susceptibilities of the physical body.

Whatever may be the character of the mara by day, she is essentially
mischievous by night--owing, no doubt, to the fact that this faculty of
projection has come to her through the occult powers inimical to man.

From the complexity of their nature, maras present the same difficulty
of classification as werwolves--both are human, both are Elemental, and
consequently both are an anomaly.

The belief in maras is still prevalent in all parts of Scandinavia,
including Jutland, whence comes the following case which I quote for the
purpose of comparison.


A CASE OF A MARA IN JUTLAND

Some reapers in a field, near a village in Jutland, came one evening
upon a naked woman lying under a hedge, apparently asleep. Much
surprised, they regarded her closely, and at length coming to the
conclusion that her sleep was not natural, they summoned a shepherd who
was generally regarded as very intelligent. On seeing the woman the
shepherd at once said, "She is not a real person, though she looks like
one. She is a mara, and has stripped for the purpose of riding some one
to-night." At this there was loud laughter, and the reapers said, "Tell
us another, Eric. A mara indeed! If this isn't a woman, our mothers are
not women, for she is just as much of flesh and blood as they are."
"All right," the shepherd replied, "wait and see." And bending over her,
he whispered something in her ear, whereupon a queer little animal about
two inches long came out of the grass, and running up her body,
disappeared in her mouth. Then Eric pushed her, and she rolled over
three times, then sprang to her feet, and with a wild startled cry
leaped a high bush and disappeared. Nor could they, when they ran to the
other side of the bush, find any traces of her.

Another recorded case is the following:


THE MARA OF VILVORDE

Christine Jansen had two lovers--Nielsen and Osdeven. Nielsen, who was a
very good-looking young man, began to suffer from nightmare. He had the
most appalling dreams of being strangled and suffocated, and they at
last grew so frightful, and proved such a strain on his nerves, that he
was forced to consult a doctor. The doctor attributed the cause to
indigestion, and prescribed a special diet for him. But it was all of no
avail; the bad dreams still continued, and Nielsen's health became more
and more impaired.

At length, when he was almost worn out, having spent the greater part of
many nights reading instead of sleeping, in order to avoid the
frightful visions, he happened to mention his insufferable condition to
Osdeven. Far from ridiculing his rival, Osdeven, with great earnestness,
encouraged him to relate everything that had happened to him in his
sleep; and when Nielsen had done so, exclaimed, "I'll tell you what it
is--these dreams you have are not ordinary nightmares; they are due to a
mara--I know their type well."

"To a mara!" Nielsen cried; "how ridiculous! Why not say to a
mise--or--grim? It would be equally sensible; they are all idle
superstitions."

"So you say now," Osdeven rejoined, "but wait! When you get into bed
to-night, lie on your back, and in your right hand hold a sharp knife on
your breast, the point upwards. Remain in this attitude from between
eleven o'clock till two, and see what happens."

Nielsen laughed, but all the same decided to do as Osdeven suggested.
Night came, and, knife in hand, he lay in his bed.

Minutes passed, and nothing happening, he was beginning to think what a
fool he was for wasting his time thus, when suddenly he perceived
bending over him the luminous figure of a beautiful nude woman, whom, to
his utter astonishment, he identified as Christine Jansen--Christine
Jansen in all but expression. The expression in the eyes he now looked
into was not human--it was hellish. The figure got on the bed and was
in the act of sitting astride him, when it came in contact with the
knife. Then it uttered a frightful scream of baffled rage and pain, and
vanished.

Nielsen, shaking with terror and dreading another visitation, struck a
light. The point of his knife was dripping with blood.

An hour later, overcome with weariness, he fell asleep, and for the
first time for weeks his slumber was sound and undisturbed. Awaking in
the morning much refreshed, he would have attributed his experience to
imagination or to a dream, had it not been for the spots of blood on the
bedclothes and the stains on his knife, and this evidence, as to the
reality of what had happened, was strengthened by his discovery of
certain circumstances in connexion with Miss Jansen, towards whom his
sentiments had now undergone a complete change.

Curious to learn if anything had befallen her, he made cautious
inquiries, and was informed that owing to a sudden indisposition--the
nature of which was carefully hidden from him--she had been ordered
abroad, where, in all probability, she would remain indefinitely.

Nielsen now had no more nightmare, and he and Osdeven, becoming firm
friends, agreed that the next time they fell in love they would take
good care it was not with a mara.

Another method of getting rid of maras was to sprinkle the air with
sand, at the same time uttering a brief incantation. For example, in a
village on the borders of Schleswig-Holstein, a woman who suffered
agonies from nightmare consulted a man locally reported to be well
versed in occult matters.

"Make your mind easy," said this man, after she had described her dreams
to him; "I will soon put an end to your disturbances. It is a mara that
is tormenting you. Don't be frightened if she suddenly manifests herself
when I sprinkle this sand, for there will be nothing very alarming in
her appearance, and she won't be able to harm you." He then proceeded to
scatter several handfuls about the room, repeating as he did so a brief
incantation.

He was still occupied thus, when, without a moment's warning, the figure
of a very tall, naked woman appeared crouching on the bed. With a yell
of rage she leaped on to the floor, her eyes flashing, and her lips
twitching convulsively; and raising her hands as if she would like to
scratch the incantator's face to pieces, she rushed furiously at him.

Far from being intimidated, however, he quite coolly dashed a handful of
sand in her eyes, whereupon she instantly disappeared. "Now," he said,
turning to the lady, who was half dead with terror, "you won't have the
nightmare again"--which prophecy proved to be correct.

These instances will, I think, suffice to show the similarity between
werwolves and maras. Both anomalies are dependent on properties of an
entirely baneful nature; and both properties are either hereditary,
having been established in families through the intercourse of those
families in ages past with the superphysical Powers inimical to man; or
are capable of being acquired through the practice of Black Magic.



CHAPTER XV

WERWOLVES IN NORWAY AND SWEDEN


As in Denmark, werwolves were once so numerous in Norway and Sweden,
that these countries naturally came to be regarded as the true home of
lycanthropy.

With the advent of the tourist, however, and the consequent springing up
of fresh villages, together with the gradual increase of native
population, Norway and Sweden have slowly undergone a metamorphosis,
with the result that it is now only in the most remote districts, such
as the northern portion of the Kiolen Mountains and the borders of
Lapland, that werwolves are to be found.

Here, amid the primitive solitude of vast pine forests, flow
lycanthropous rivers; here, too, grow lycanthropous shrubs and flowers.

Werwolfery in Norway and Sweden is not confined to one sex; it is common
to both; and in these countries various forms of spells, both for
invoking and expelling lycanthropous spirits, are current.

As far as I can gather, a Norwegian or Swedish peasant, when he wishes
to become a werwolf, kneels by the side of a lycanthropous stream at
midnight, having chosen a night when the moon is in the full, and
incants some such words as these:--

     "'Tis night! 'tis night! and the moon shines white
        Over pine and snow-capped hill;
      The shadows stray through burn and brae
        And dance in the sparkling rill.

     "'Tis night! 'tis night! and the devil's light
        Casts glimmering beams around.
      The maras dance, the nisses prance
        On the flower-enamelled ground.

     "'Tis night! 'tis night! and the werwolf's might
        Makes man and nature shiver.
      Yet its fierce grey head and stealthy tread
        Are nought to thee, oh river!
            River, river, river.

     "Oh water strong, that swirls along,
        I prithee a werwolf make me.
      Of all things dear, my soul, I swear,
        In death shall not forsake thee."

The supplicant then strikes the banks of the river three times with his
forehead; then dips his head into the river thrice, at each dip gulping
down a mouthful of the water. This concludes the ceremony--he has
become a werwolf, and twenty-four hours later will undergo the first
metamorphosis.

Lycanthropous water is said, by those who dwell near to it, to differ
from other water in subtle details only--details that would, in all
probability, escape the notice of all who were not connoisseurs of the
superphysical. A strange, faint odour, comparable with nothing,
distinguishes lycanthropous water; there is a lurid sparkle in it,
strongly suggestive of some peculiar, individual life; the noise it
makes, as it rushes along, so closely resembles the muttering and
whispering of human voices as to be often mistaken for them; whilst at
night it sometimes utters piercing screams, and howls, and groans, in
such a manner as to terrify all who pass near it. Dogs and horses, in
particular, are susceptible to its influence, and they exhibit the
greatest signs of terror at the mere sound of it.

Another means of becoming a werwolf, resorted to by the Swedish and
Norwegian peasant, consists in the plucking and wearing of a
lycanthropous flower after sunset, and on a night when the moon is in
the full. Lycanthropous flowers, no less than lycanthropous water,
possess properties peculiar to themselves; properties which are,
probably, only discernible to those who are well acquainted with them.
Their scent is described as faint and subtly suggestive of death, whilst
their sap is rather offensively white and sticky. In appearance they are
much the same as other flowers, and are usually white and yellow.

Yet another method of acquiring the property of lycanthropy consists in
making: first, a magic circle on the ground, at twelve o'clock, on a
night when the moon is in the full (there is no strict rule as to the
magnitude of the circle, though one of about seven feet in diameter
would seem to be the size most commonly adopted); then, in the centre of
the circle, a wood fire, heating thereon an iron vessel containing one
pint of clear spring water, and any seven of the following ingredients:
hemlock (1/2 ounce to 1 ounce), aloe (30 grains), opium (2 to 4-1/2
drachms), mandrake (1 ounce to 1-1/2 ounces), solanum (1/2 ounce), poppy
seed (1/2 ounce to 1 ounce), asafœtida (3/4 ounce to 1 ounce), and
parsley (2 to 3 ounces).

Whilst the mixture is heating, the experimenter prostrates himself in
front of the fire and prays to the Great Spirit of the Unknown to confer
on him the property of metamorphosing, nocturnally, into a werwolf. His
prayers take no one particular form, but are quite extempore; though he
usually adds to them some such recognised incantation as:--

     "Come, spirit so powerful! come, spirit so dread,
      From the home of the werwolf, the home of the dead.
      Come, give me thy blessing! come, lend me thine ear!
      Oh spirit of darkness! oh spirit so drear!

     "Come, mighty phantom! come, great Unknown!
      Come from thy dwelling so gloomy and lone.
      Come, I beseech thee; depart from thy lair,
      And body and soul shall be thine, I declare.

     "Haste, haste, haste, horrid spirit, haste!
      Speed, speed, speed, scaring spirit, speed!
      Fast, fast, fast, fateful spirit, fast!"

He then makes the following formal declaration:--

"I (here insert name) offer to thee, Great Spirit of the Unknown, this
night (here insert date), my body and soul, on condition that thou
grantest me, from this night to the hour of my death, the power of
metamorphosing, nocturnally, into a wolf. I beg, I pray, I implore
thee--thee, unparalleled Phantom of Darkness, to make me a werwolf--a
werwolf!"--and striking the ground three times with his forehead, he
gets up. As soon as the concoction in the vessel is boiling, he dips a
cup into it, and sprinkles the contents on the ground, repeating the
action until he has sprinkled the whole interior of the circle.

Then he kneels on the ground close to the fire, and in a loud voice
cries out, "Come, oh come!" and, if he is fortunate, a phantom suddenly
manifests itself over the fire. Sometimes the phantom is indefinite--a
cylindrical, luminous, pillar-like thing, about seven feet in height,
having no discernible features; sometimes it assumes a definite shape,
and appears either as a monstrous hooded figure with a death's head, or
as a sub-human, sub-animal type of Elemental.

Whatever form the Unknown adopts, it is invariably terrifying. It never
speaks, but indicates its assent by stretching out an arm, or what
serves as an arm, and then disappears. It never remains visible for more
than half a minute. As soon as it vanishes the supplicant, who is always
half mad with terror, springs from the ground and rushes home--or
anywhere to get again within reach of human beings. By the morning,
however, all his fears have departed; and at sunset he creeps off into
the forest, or into some equally secluded spot, to experience, for the
first time, the extraordinary sensations of metamorphosing into a wolf,
or, perhaps, a semi-wolf, _i.e._, a creature half man and half wolf; for
the degree of metamorphosis varies according to locality. The hour of
metamorphosis also varies according to locality--though it is at sunset
that the change most usually takes place, the transmutation back to man
generally occurring at dawn.

When a werwolf, in human shape at the time, is killed, he sometimes
(not always) metamorphoses into a wolf, and if in wolf's form at the
time he is killed he sometimes (not always) metamorphoses into a human
being--here again the nature of the transmutation depending on locality.

In certain of the forests of Sweden dwell old women called Vargamors,
who are closely allied to werwolves, and exercise complete control over
all the wolves in the neighbourhood, keeping the latter well supplied in
food. As an illustration of the Vargamor I have chosen the following
story:--


LISO OF SOROA

Liso was thoroughly spoilt. Every one had told her how beautiful she was
from the day she had first learned to walk, and, consequently, it was
only natural that when she grew up she cared for no one but herself, and
for nothing so much as gazing at herself in the looking-glass and
expatiating on the loveliness of her own reflection. As a girl at home
she was allowed to do precisely what she liked--neither father nor
mother, relatives (with one exception) nor friends ever thwarted her;
and when she married it was the same: her husband bowed down to her, and
was always ready to indulge her every wish and whim.

She had three children, two boys and a girl, whom she occasionally
condescended to notice; but only when there was nothing else at hand to
entertain her.

The one person of whom Liso stood in awe was her aunt, a rich old lady
with distinct views of her own, and a vigorous method of expressing
them. Now, one of the old lady's peculiar ideas--at least peculiar in
Liso's estimation--was that woman was made to be man's helpmate, and
that married women should think of their husbands first, their children
next, and themselves last--an order of consideration which Liso thought
was exactly the reverse of what it should be.

Had her aunt been poor, it is quite certain that Liso would have had
nothing whatsoever to do with her. But circumstances alter cases. This
aunt was rich, and, moreover, had no one more nearly related to her than
Liso.

One day, in the depth of winter, Liso received a letter from her aunt
containing a pressing invitation to start off at once on a visit to the
latter at Skatea, a small town some twelve miles from Soroa. "Bring your
children," so the letter ran, "I should so love to see them, and stay
the night." Liso was greatly annoyed. She had just arranged a meeting
with one of her numerous lovers, and this invitation upset everything.
However, as it was of vital importance to her to keep in with her aunt,
she at once decided to put off her previous engagement and take her
children to see their rich old relative.

Hoping that her lover might perhaps join her on the road and thus
convert a boring journey into a pleasant pastime, Liso, in spite of her
husband's entreaties, refused to take a servant, and insisted upon
driving herself. As she had anticipated, her lover met her on the
outskirts of the town, but, to her chagrin, was unable to accompany her
any part of the way to Skatea. He was most profuse in his apologies,
adding, "I wish you weren't going; I hear the road you will be
traversing is infested with bears and wolves."

"Thank you!" she exclaimed mockingly, "I am not afraid, if you are. I
can quite understand now why you cannot come. Good-bye!" And with a
haughty inclination of her head she drove off, without deigning to
notice the young man's outstretched hand. Liso was now in a very bad
temper; and, having no other means of venting it, savagely silenced the
children whenever they attempted to speak.

The vehicle in which the party travelled was a light sledge, drawn by
one horse only--a beast of matchless beauty and size, which, under
ordinary circumstances, could cover twelve miles in an almost
inconceivably short space of time. But now, owing to a heavy fall of
snow, the track, though well beaten, was heavy, and the piled-up snow
on each side so deep that to turn back, without the risk of sticking
fast, was an impossibility.

The first half of the journey passed without accident, and they were
skirting the borders of a pine forest when Liso suddenly became
conscious of a suspicious noise behind her. Looking round, she saw, to
her horror, a troop of gaunt grey wolves issue from the forest and
commence running after the sledge. She instantly slashed the horse with
her whip, and the next moment the chase began in grim earnest. But,
gallop as fast as it would, the horse could not outpace the wolves, whom
hunger had made fleet as the wind, and it was not many minutes before
two of the biggest of them appeared on either side of the vehicle.
Though their intention was, in all probability, only to attack the
horse, yet the safety both of Liso and the children depended on the
preservation of the animal.

It was indeed a beautiful creature, and the danger only enhanced its
value; it seemed, in fact, almost entitled to claim for its preservation
an extraordinary sacrifice. And Liso did not hesitate. It was one life
against three--the world would excuse her, if God did not.

"You, Charles," she said hoarsely, "you are the eldest; it is your duty
to go first"--and before Charles had time to realize what was
happening, she had gripped him round the waist, and with strength
generated by the crisis hurled him into the snow. She did not see where
he fell--the sledge was moving far too fast for that; but she heard the
sound of the concussion, and then frantic screaming, accompanied by
howls of triumph and joyful yapping. There was a momentary lull--only
momentary--and then the patting footsteps recommenced.

Nearer and nearer they came, until she could hear a deep and regular
pant, pant, pant, drowned every now and then by prolonged howls and
piercing, nerve-racking whines. Once again two murder-breathing forms
are racing along at the side of the sledge, biting and snapping at the
horse's legs with their gleaming, foam-flecked jaws.

"George," Liso shouted, "you must go now. You are a boy, and boys and
men should always die to save their sisters." But George, though
younger, was not so easy to dispose of as Charles. Charles had been
taken unawares, but George guessed what was coming and was on his guard.

"No, no," he cried, clinging on to the sledge with both his chubby
hands. "The wolves will eat me! Take sissy."

"Wretch!" shrieked Liso, boxing his ears furiously. "Selfish little
wretch! So this is the result of all the kindness I have lavished on
you. Let go at once"--and tearing at his baby wrists with all her
might, she succeeded in loosening them, and the next instant he was in
the road.

Then there was a repetition of what had happened before--a few wild
screeches, savage howls of triumph, and snarls and grunts that suggested
much. Then--comparative quiet, and then--patterings. Mad with fear, Liso
stood up and lashed the horse. God of mercy! there was now only one more
life between hers and the fate that, of all fates in the world, seemed
to her just then to be the most dreadful. With the thick and gloomy
forest before and behind her, and the nearer and nearer trampling of her
ravenous pursuers, she almost collapsed from sheer anguish; but the
thought of all her beauty perishing in such an ignominious and painful
fashion braced her up. Perhaps, too--at least, let us hope
so--underlying it all, though so much in the background, there was a
genuine longing to save the little mite--her exact counterpart, so
people said--that nestled its sunny head in the folds of her soft and
costly sealskin coat.

She did not venture to look behind her, only in front--at the seemingly
never-ending white track; at the dense mass of trees--trees that shook
their heads mockingly at her as the wind rustled through them; at the
great splash of red right across the sky, so horribly remindful of
blood that she shuddered. Night birds hoot; wild cats glare down at her;
and shadows of every kind glide noiselessly out from behind the great
trunks, and await her approach with inexplicable flickerings and
flutterings.

All at once two rough paws are laid on her shoulders, and the wide-open,
bloody jaws of an enormous wolf hang over her head. It is the most
ferocious beast of the troop, which, having partly missed its leap at
the sledge, is dragged along with it, in vain seeking with its hinder
legs for a resting-place to enable it to get wholly on to the frail
vehicle. Liso looks down at the little girl beside her and their eyes
meet.

"Not me! not me!" the tiny one cried, clutching hold of her wrist in its
anxiety. "I have been good, have I not? You will not throw me into the
snow like the others?" Liso's lips tightened. The weight of the body of
the wolf drew her gradually backwards--another minute and she would be
out of the sledge. Her life was of assuredly more value than that of the
child. Besides, one so young would not feel the horrors of death so
acutely as she would, who was grown up. Anything rather than such a
devilish ending. Providence willed it--Providence must bear the
responsibility. And, steeling her soul to pity, she snatches up her
daughter and throws her into the gleaming jaws of the wolf, which,
springing off the sledge, hastily departs with its prey into the forest,
where it is followed by hosts of other wolves. Exhausted, stunned,
senseless--for her escape has been extremely narrow--Liso drops the
reins, and, sinking back into the luxurious cushions of the vehicle,
gives a great sigh of relief and shuts her eyes.

Meantime the trees grow thinner, and an isolated house, to which a
side-road leads, appears at no great distance off. The horse, left to
itself, follows this new path; it enters through an open gate, and,
panting and foaming, comes to a dead halt before a ponderous oak door
studded with huge iron nails. Presently Liso recovers. She finds herself
seated before a roaring fire; and a woman with a white face, dark,
piercing eyes, and a beak-like nose, is bending over her. The woman
presents such an extraordinary spectacle that Liso is oblivious of
everything else, and gazes at her with a cold sensation of fear creeping
down her spine.

"You've had a narrow escape," the woman presently exclaims in peculiarly
hoarse tones. "And the danger is not over yet! Listen!" To Liso's terror
an inferno of howls and whines sounds from the yard outside, and she
sees, gleaming in at her through the window-panes, scores of wild, hairy
faces with pale, lurid eyes. "They are there!" the woman remarks, a
saturnine smile in her eyes and playing round her lips. "There--all
ready to rend and tear you to pieces as they did your children--your
three pretty, loving children. I've only to open the door, and in they
will rush!"

"But you won't," Liso gasped feebly. "You won't be so cruel. Besides,
they could eat you, too."

"Oh no, they couldn't," the woman laughed. "I'm a Vargamor. Every one of
these wolves knows me and loves me as a mother. With you it is very
different. Shall I----?"

"Oh no! for pity's sake spare me!" Liso cried, throwing herself at the
woman's feet and catching hold of her hands. "Spare me, and I will do
anything you want."

"Well," said the woman, after some consideration, "I will spare you on
one condition, namely, that you live with me and do the housework; I'm
getting too old for it."

"I suppose I may see my family occasionally?" Liso said.

"No!" the old woman snapped, "you may not. You must never go out of
sight of this house. Now, what do you say? Recollect, it is either that
or the wolves! Quick," and she hobbled to the door as she spoke.

"I've chosen!" Liso shrieked. "I'll stay with you. Anything rather than
such an awful death. Tell me what I have to do and I'll begin at once."

The old woman took her at her word. She speedily set Liso a task, and
from that time onward, kept her so continuously employed, not allowing
her a moment to herself, that her life soon became unbearable. She tried
to escape, but each time she left the house the fierce howling of the
wolves sent her back to it in terror, and she discovered that, night and
day, certain of the beasts were supervising her movements. After she had
been there a week the old woman said to her, "I fear it is useless to
think of keeping you any longer! Times are bad--food is scarce. The
wolves are hungry--I must give you to them."

But Liso fell on her knees and pleaded so hard that the Vargamor
relented, "Well, well!" she said, "I will spare you, provided you can
procure me a substitute. If you like to sit down and write to some one I
will see that the note is delivered."

Then Liso, almost beside herself at the thought of the hungry wolves,
sat down and wrote a letter to her husband, telling him she had met with
an accident, and desiring him to come to her at once. She dared not give
him the slightest hint as to what had actually befallen her, as she knew
the old woman would read the letter.

When she had finished her note, the Vargamor took it, and for the next
twelve hours Liso had a very anxious time.

"If he doesn't come soon," the old woman at length said to her, with an
evil chuckle, "I shall have to let the wolves in. They are famishing;
and I, too, want something tastier than rabbits and squirrels."

The minutes passed, and Liso was nearly fainting with suspense, when
there suddenly broke on her ears the distant tramp of horses' feet; and
in a very few moments a droshky dashed up to the door.

"Call him in here," the Vargamor said, "and run up and hide in your
bedroom. My pets and I will enjoy him all the better by the fire, and
there won't be so much risk of them being hurt."

Liso, afraid to do otherwise, ran up the rickety ladder leading to her
room, shouting as she did so, "Oscar! Oscar! come in, come in."

The joyful note in her husband's voice as he replied to her invitation
struck a new chord in Liso's nature--a chord which had been there all
the time, but had got choked and clogged through over-indulgence. Full
of a courage that dared anything in its determination to save him, she
crept cautiously down the stairs, and just as he crossed the threshold,
and the Vargamor was about to summon the wolves, she dashed up to the
old woman and struck her with all her might. Then, seizing her husband,
she dragged him out of the house, and, hustling him into the carriage,
jumped in by his side and told the coachman to drive home with the
utmost speed.

All this was done in less time than it takes to tell, and once again the
familiar sounds of pattering--patterings on the snow in the wake of the
carriage--fell on Liso's ears, and all the old horrors of the preceding
journey came back to her with full force.

Slowly, despite the fact that there were two horses now, the wolves
gained on them, and once again the same harrowing question arose in
Liso's mind. Some one must be sacrificed. Which should it be? The
coachman! without doubt the coachman. He was only a poor, uneducated
man, a hireling, and his life was as nothing compared either with that
of her husband or her own.

But she now remembered that Oscar, though usually a mere straw in her
hands, and ready to do anything she asked him, had one or two
peculiarities--fondness for children and animals, and a great respect
for life--life in every grade. Would he consent to sacrifice the
coachman? And as she glanced at him, a feeling of awe came over her.
What a big, strong man this husband of hers was, and what strength he
had--strength of all kinds, physical as well as mental--if he cared to
exert it. But then he loved, worshipped, and adored her; he would never
treat her with anything but the utmost deference and kindness, no matter
what she said or did. Still, when she got ready to whisper the fatal
suggestion in his ear, her heart failed her. And then the new something
within her--that something that had already spoken and seemed inclined
to be painfully officious--once more asserted itself. The coachman was
married, he had children--four people dependent on him, four hearts that
loved him! With her it was different: no one was actually dependent on
her--there were no children now! Nothing but the memory of them!
Memory--what a hateful thing it was! She had forced them to give her
their lives; would it not be some atonement for her act if she were now
to offer hers? She made the offer--breathed it with a shuddering soul
into her husband's ears--and with a great round oath he rejected it.

"What! You! Let you be thrown to the wolves?" he roared. "No--sooner
than that, ten thousand times sooner, I will jump out! But I don't think
there is any need. Knowing there were wolves about, I brought arms. If
occasion arises we can easily account for half of them. But we shall
outdistance them yet."

He spoke the truth. Bit by bit the powerful horses drew away from the
pack, and ere the last trees of the forest were passed, the howlings
were no longer heard and all danger was at an end.

Then, and not till then, did Oscar learn what had become of the
children.

He listened to Liso's explanation in silence, and it was not until she
had finished that the surprise came. She was anticipating
commiseration--commiseration for the awful hell she had undergone. She
little guessed the struggle that was taking place beneath her husband's
seemingly calm exterior. The revelation came with an abruptness that
staggered her. "Woman!" he cried, "you are a murderess. Sooner than have
sacrificed your children you should have suffered three deaths
yourself--that is the elementary instinct of all mothers, human and
otherwise. You are below the standard of a beast--of the Vargamor you
slew. Go! go back to those parents who bore you, and tell them I'll have
nought to do with you--that I want a woman for my wife, not a
monstrosity."

He bade the coachman pull up, and, alighting, told the man to drive Liso
to the home of her parents.

But Liso did not hear him--she sat huddled up on the seat with her eyes
staring blankly before her. For the first time in her life she was
conscious that she loved!



CHAPTER XVI

WERWOLVES IN ICELAND, LAPLAND, AND FINLAND


The Bersekir of Iceland are credited with the rare property of dual
metamorphosis--that is to say, they are credited with the power of being
able to adopt the individual forms of two animals--the bear and the
wolf.

For substantiation as to the _bona-fide_ existence of this rare property
of dual metamorphosis one has only to refer to the historical literature
of the country (the authenticity of which is beyond dispute), wherein
many cases of it are recorded.

The following story, illustrative of dual metamorphosis, was told to me
on fairly good authority.

A very unprepossessing Bersekir, named Rerir, falling in love with
Signi, the beautiful daughter of a neighbouring Bersekir, proposed to
her and was scornfully rejected. Smarting under the many insults that
had been heaped on him--for Signi had a most cutting tongue--Rerir, who,
like most of the Bersekir, was both a werwolf and a wer-bear, resolved
to be revenged. Assuming the shape of a bear--the animal he deemed the
more formidable--Rerir stole to the house where Signi and her parents
lived, and climbing on the roof, tore away at it with his claws till he
had made a hole big enough to admit him. Dropping through the aperture
he had thus effected, he alighted on the top of some one in bed--one of
the servants of the house--whom he hugged to death before she had time
to utter a cry. He then stole out into the passage and made his way,
cautiously and noiselessly, to the room in which he imagined Signi
slept. Here, however, instead of finding the object of his passions, he
came upon her parents, one of whom--the mother--was awake; and aiming a
blow at the latter's head, he crushed in her skull with one stroke of
his powerful paw. The noise awoke Signi's father, who, taking in the
situation at a glance, also metamorphosed into a bear and straightway
closed with his assailant. A desperate encounter between the two
wer-animals now commenced, and the whole household, aroused from their
slumber, came trooping in. For some time the issue of the combat was
dubious, both adversaries being fairly well matched. But at length
Rerir began to prevail, and Signi's father cried out for some one to
help him. Then Signi, anxious to save her parent's life, seized a knife,
and, aiming a frantic blow, inadvertently struck her father, who
instantly sank on the ground, leaving her at the mercy of his furious
opponent.

With a loud snarl of triumph, Rerir rushed at the girl, and was bearing
her triumphantly away, when the cook--an old woman who had followed the
fortunes of the Bersekir all her life--had a sudden inspiration.
Standing on a shelf in the corner of the room was a jar containing a
preparation of sulphur, asafœtida, and castoreum, which her mistress
had always given her to understand was a preventive against evil
spirits. Snatching it up, she darted after the wer-bear and flung the
contents of it in its face, just as it was about to descend the stairs
with Signi. In a moment there was a sudden and startling metamorphosis,
and in the place of the bear stood the ugly, misshapen man, Rerir.

The hunchback now would gladly have departed without attempting further
mischief; for although the household boasted no man apart from its
incapacitated master, there were still three formidable women and some
big dogs to be faced.

But to let him escape, after the irreparable harm he had done, was the
very last thing Signi would permit; and with an air of stern authority
she commanded the servants to fall on him with any weapons they could
find, whilst she would summon the hounds.

Now, indeed, the tables were completely turned. Rerir was easily
overpowered and bound securely hand and foot by Signi and her servants,
and after undergoing a brief trial the following morning he was
summarily executed.

Those Icelanders who possessed the property of metamorphosis into wolves
and bears (they were always of the male sex), more often than not used
it for the purpose of either wreaking vengeance or of executing justice.
The terrible temper--for the rage of the Bersekir has been a byword for
centuries--commonly attributed to Icelanders and Scandinavians in
general, is undoubtedly traceable to the werwolves and wer-bears into
which the Bersekirs metamorphosed.

It is said that in Iceland there are both lycanthropous streams and
flowers, and that they differ little if at all from those to be met with
in other countries.


THE WERWOLVES OF LAPLAND

In Lapland werwolves are still much to the fore. In many families the
property is hereditary, whilst it is not infrequently sought and
acquired through the practice of Black Magic. Though, perhaps, more
common among males, there are, nevertheless, many instances of it among
females.

The following case comes from the country bordering on Lake Enara.

The child of a peasant woman named Martha, just able to trot alone, and
consequently left to wander just where it pleased, came home one morning
with its forehead apparently licked raw, all its fingers more or less
injured, and two of them seemingly sucked and mumbled to a mere pulp.

On being interrogated as to what had happened, it told a most astounding
tale: A very beautiful lady had picked it up and carried it away to her
house, where she had put it in a room with her three children, who were
all very pretty and daintily dressed. At sunset, however, both the lady
and her children metamorphosed into wolves, and would undoubtedly have
eaten it, had they not satiated their appetites on a portion of a girl
which had been kept over from the preceding day. The newcomer was
intended for their meal on the morrow, and obeying the injunctions of
their mother, the young werwolves had forborne to devour the child,
though they had all tasted it.

The child's parents were simply dumbfounded--they could scarcely credit
their senses--and made their offspring repeat its narrative over and
over again. And as it stuck to what it had said, they ultimately
concluded that it was true, and that the lady described could be none
other than Madame Tonno, the wife of their landlord and patron--a person
of immense importance in the neighbourhood.

But what could they do? How could they protect their children from
another raid?

To accuse the lady, who was rich and influential, of being a werwolf
would be useless. No one would believe them--no one dare believe
them--and they would be severely punished for their indiscretion. Being
poor, they were entirely at her mercy, and if she chose to eat their
children, they could not prevent her, unless they could catch her in the
act.

One evening the mother was washing clothes before the door of her house,
with her second child, a little girl of four years of age, playing about
close by. The cottage stood in a lonely part of the estate, forming
almost an island in the midst of low boggy ground; and there was no
house nearer than that of M. Tonno. Martha, bending over her wash-tub,
was making every effort to complete her task, when a fearful cry made
her look up, and there was the child, gripped by one shoulder, in the
jaws of a great she-wolf, the arm that was free extended towards her.
Martha was so close that she managed to clutch a bit of the child's
clothing in one hand, whilst with the other she beat the brute with all
her might to make it let go its hold. But all in vain: the relentless
jaws did not show the slightest sign of relaxing, and with a saturnine
glitter in its deep-set eyes it emitted a hoarse burr-burr, and set off
at full speed towards the forest, dragging the mother, who was still
clinging to the garment of her child, with it.

But they did not long continue thus. The wolf turned into some low-lying
uneven track, and Martha, falling over the jagged trunk of a tree, found
herself lying on the ground with only a little piece of torn clothing
tightly clasped in her hand. Hitherto, comforted by Martha's presence,
the little one had not uttered a sound; but now, feeling itself
deserted, it gave vent to the most heartrending screams--screams that
abruptly disturbed the silence of that lonely spot and pierced to the
depths of Martha's soul. In an instant she rose, and, dashing on,
bounded over stock and stone, tearing herself pitiably, but heeding it
not in her intense anxiety to save her child. But the wolf had now
increased its speed; the undergrowth was thick, the ground heavier, and
soon screams became her only guide. Still on and on she dashed, now
snatching up a little shoe which was clinging to the bushes, now
shrieking with agony as she saw fragments of the child's hair and
clothes on the low jagged boughs obstructing her path. On, on, on, until
the screams grew fainter, then louder, and then ceased altogether.

Late that night the husband, Max, found his wife lying dead, just
outside the grounds of his patron's château. Guessing what had happened,
and having but one thought in his mind--namely, revenge--Max, arming
himself with the branch of a tree, marched boldly up to the house, and
rapped loudly at the door.

M. Tonno answered this peremptory summons himself, and demanded in an
angry voice what Max meant by daring to announce himself thus.

Max pointed in the direction of the corpse. "That!" he shrieked; "that
is the reason of my visit. Madame Tonno is a werwolf--she has murdered
both my wife and child, and I am here to demand justice."

"Come inside," M. Tonno said, the tone of his voice suddenly changing.
"We can discuss the matter indoors in the privacy of my study." And he
conducted Max to a room in the rear of the house.

But no sooner had Max crossed the threshold than the door was slammed
on him, and he found himself a prisoner. He turned to the window, but
there was no hope there--it was heavily barred. But although a
peasant--and a fool, so he told himself, to have thus deliberately
walked into a trap--Max was not altogether without wits, and he searched
the room thoroughly, eventually discovering a loose board. Tearing it
up, he saw that the space under the floor--that is to say, between the
floor and the foundation of the house--was just deep enough for him to
lie there at full length. Here, then, was a possible avenue of escape.
Setting to work, he succeeded, after much effort, in wrenching up
another board, and then another, and getting into the excavation thus
made, he worked his way along on his stomach, until he came to a
grating, which, to his utmost joy, proved to be loose. It was but the
work of a few minutes to force it out and to dislodge a few bricks, and
Max was once again free. His one idea now was to tell his tale to his
brother peasants and rouse them to immediate action, and with this end
in view he set off running at full speed to the nearest settlement.

The peasants of Lapland are slow and stolid and take a lot of rousing,
but when once they are roused, few people are so terrible.

Fortunately for Max, he was not the only sufferer; several other people
in the neighbourhood had lately lost their children, and the story he
told found ready credence. In less than an hour a large body of men and
women, armed with every variety of weapon, from a sword to a pitchfork,
had gathered together, and setting off direct to the château, they
surrounded it on all sides, and forcing an entrance, seized M. Tonno and
his werwolf wife and werwolf children, and binding them hand and foot,
led them to the shores of Lake Enara and drowned them. They then went
back to the house and, setting fire to it, burned it to the ground, thus
making certain of destroying any werwolf influence it might still
contain.

With this wholesale extermination a case that may be taken as a
characteristic type of Lapland lycanthropy in all its grim and sordid
details concludes.


FINLAND WERWOLVES

Finland teems with stories of werwolves--stories ancient and modern, for
the werwolf is said to still flourish in various parts of the country.

The property is not restricted to one sex; it is equally common to both.
Spells and various forms of exorcism are used, and certain streams are
held to be lycanthropous.

However, in Finland as in Scandinavia, it is very difficult to procure
information as to werwolves. The common peasant, who alone knows
anything about the anomaly, is withheld by superstition from even
mentioning its name; and if he mentions a werwolf at all, designates him
only as the "old one," or the "grey one," or the "great dog," feeling
that to call this terror by its true name is a sure way to exasperate
it. It is only by strategy one learns from a peasant that when a fine
young ox is found in the morning breathing hard, his hide bathed in
foam, and with every sign of fright and exhaustion, while, perhaps, only
one trifling wound is discovered on the whole body, which swells and
inflames as if poison had been infused, the animal generally dying
before night; and that when, on examination of the corpse, the
intestines are found to be torn as with the claws of a wolf, and the
whole body is in a state of inflammation, it is accounted certain that
the mischief has been caused by a werwolf.

It is thus a werwolf serves his quarry when he kills for the mere love
of killing, and not for food.

In Finland, perhaps more than in other countries, werwolves are credited
with demoniacal power, and old women who possess the property of
metamorphosing into wolves are said to be able to paralyse cattle and
children with their eyes, and to have poison in their nails, one wound
from which causes certain death.

To illustrate the foregoing I have selected an incident which happened
near Diolen, a village on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Finland, at
the distance of about a hundred wersts from the ancient city of Mawa.
Here vegetation is of a more varied and luxuriant kind than is usually
found in the Northern latitude; the oak and the bela, intermingled with
rich plots of grass, grow at the very edge of the sea--a phenomenon
accountable for by the fact that the Baltic is tideless.

For about half a werst in breadth, the shore continues a level,
luxuriant stretch, when it suddenly rises in three successive cliffs,
each about a hundred feet in height, and placed about the same space of
half a werst, one behind the other, like huge steps leading to the
table-land above. In some places the rocks are completely hidden from
the view by a thick fence of trees, which take root at their base, while
each level is covered by a minute forest of firs, in which grow a
variety of herbs and shrubs, including the English whitethorn, and wild
strawberries.

It was to gather the latter that Savanich and his seven-year-old son,
Peter, came one afternoon early in summer. They had filled two baskets
and were contemplating returning home with their spoil, when Caspan, the
big sheepdog, uttered a low growl.

"Hey, Caspan, what is it?" Peter cried. "Footsteps! And such curious
ones!"

"They are curious," Savanich said, bending down to examine them. "They
are larger and coarser than those of Caspan, longer in shape, and with a
deep indentation of the ball of the foot. They are those of a wolf--an
old one, because of the deepness of the tracks. Old wolves walk heavy.
And here's a wound the brute has got in its paw. See! there is a slight
irregularity on the print of the hind feet, as if from a dislocated
claw. We must be on our guard. Wolves are hungry now: the waters have
driven them up together, and the cattle are not let out yet. The beast
is not far off, either. An old wolf like this will prowl about for days
together, round the same place, till he picks up something."

"I hope it won't attack us, father," Peter said, catching hold of
Savanich by the hand. "What should you do if it did?"

But before Savanich could reply, Caspan gave a loud bark and dashed into
the thicket, and the next moment a terrible pandemonium of yells, and
snorts, and sharp howls filled the air. Drawing his knife from its
sheath, and telling Peter to keep close at his heels, Savanich followed
Caspan and speedily came upon the scene of the encounter. Caspan had
hold of a huge grey wolf by the neck, and was hanging on to it like grim
death, in spite of the brute's frantic efforts to free itself.

There was but little doubt that the brave dog would have, eventually,
paid the penalty for its rashness--for the wolf had mauled it badly, and
it was beginning to show signs of exhaustion through loss of blood--had
not Savanich arrived in the nick of time. A couple of thrusts from his
knife stretched the wolf on the ground, when, to his utmost horror, it
suddenly metamorphosed into a hideous old hag.

"A werwolf!" Savanich gasped, crossing himself. "Get out of her way,
Peter, quick!"

But it was too late. Thrusting out a skinny hand, the hag scratched
Peter on the ankle with the long curved, poisonous nail of her
forefinger. Then, with an evil smile on her lips, she turned over on her
back, and expired. And before Peter could be got home he, too, was dead.



CHAPTER XVII

THE WERWOLF IN RUSSIA AND SIBERIA


The ideal home of all things weird and uncanny--is cold, grey, gaunt,
and giant Russia. Nowhere is the werwolf so much in evidence to-day as
in the land of the Czar, where all the primitive conditions favourable
to such anomalies, still exist, and where they have undergone but little
change in the last ten thousand years.

A thinly-populated country--vast stretches of wild uncultivated land,
full of dense forests, rich in trees most favourable to Elementals, and
watered by deep, silent tarns, and stealthily moving streams,--its very
atmosphere is impregnated with lycanthropy.

At the base of giant firs and poplars, or poking out their heads
impudently, from amidst brambles and ferns, are werwolf flowers--flowers
with all the characteristics of those found in Hungary and the Balkan
Peninsula, but of a greater variety. There are, for example, in
addition to the white, yellow, and red species, those of a bluish-white
hue, that emit a glow at night like the phosphorescent glow emanating
from decaying animal and vegetable matter; and those of a brilliant
orange, covered with black, protruding spots, suggestive of some
particularly offensive disease, that show a marked preference for damp
places, and are specially to be met with growing in the slime and mud at
the edge of a pool, or in the soft, rotten mould of morasses.

Werwolves haunt the plains, too--the great barren, undulating deserts
that roll up to the foot of the Urals, Caucasus, Altai, Yablonoi, and
Stanovoi Mountains--and the Tundras along the shores of the Arctic
Ocean--dreary swamps in summer and ice-covered wastes in winter. Here,
at night, they wander over the rough, stony, arid ground, picking their
way surreptitiously through the scant vegetation, and avoiding all
frequented localities; pausing, every now and then, to slake their
thirst in deep sunk wells, or to listen for the sounds of quarry. Hazel
hen, swans, duck, geese, squirrels, hares, elk, reindeer, roes,
fallowdeer, and wild sheep, all are food to the werwolf, though nothing
is so heartily appreciated by it as fat tender children or young and
plump women.

In its nocturnal ramblings the werwolf often encounters enemies--bears,
wolves, and panthers--with which it struggles for dominion--dominion of
forest, plain and mountain; and when the combat ends to its
disadvantage, its metamorphosed corpse is at once devoured by its
conqueror.

Of all parts of Russia, the werwolf loves best the Caucasus and Ural
Mountains. They are to Russia what the Harz Mountains were to Germany,
centuries ago--the head-quarters of all manner of psychic phenomena, the
happy hunting ground of phantom and fairy; and over them still lingers,
almost, if not quite, as forcibly as ever, the glamour and mystery
inseparable from the superphysical.

Times without number have the great black beetling crags of these
mountains been scaled by the furry, sinewy feet of werwolves; times
without number have the shadows of these anomalies fallen on the
moon-kissed, snowy peaks, towering high into the sky, or mingled with
the rank and dewy herbage in the pine-clad valleys, and narrow abysmal
gorges deep down below.

It was here, in these lone Russian mountains, so legend relates, that
Peter and Paul turned an impious wife and husband, who refused them
shelter, into wolves: but Peter and Paul, apparently, had not the
monopoly of this power; for it was here, too, in a Ural village, that
the Devil is alleged to have metamorphosed half a dozen men into wolves
for not paying him sufficient homage.

There is no restriction as to the sex of werwolves in Russia and
Siberia--male and female werwolves are about equal in number, though
perhaps there is a slight preponderance in favour of the female.
Vargamors are to be encountered in almost all the less frequented woody
regions, but more especially in those in the immediate vicinity of the
Urals and Caucasus.

Though many of the werwolves inherit the property, many, too, have
acquired it through direct intercourse with the superphysical; and the
invocation of spirits, whether performed individually or collectively,
is far from uncommon.

Black Magic is said to be practised in the Urals, Caucasus, Yerkhoiansk,
and Stanovoi Mountains; in the Tundras, the Plains of East Russia, the
Timan Range, the Kola Peninsula, and various parts of Siberia.

I am told that the usual initiating ceremony consists of drawing a
circle, from seven to nine feet in radius, in the centre of which circle
a wood fire is kindled--the wood selected being black poplar, pine or
larch, never ash. A fumigation in an iron vessel, heated over the fire,
is then made out of a mixture of any four or five of the following
substances: Hemlock (2 to 3 ounces), henbane (1 ounce to 1-1/2 ounces),
saffron (3 ounces), poppy seed (any amount), aloe (3 drachms), opium
(1/4 ounce), asafœtida (2 ounces), solanum (2 to 3 drachms), parsley
(any amount).

As soon as the vessel is placed over the fire so that it can heat, the
person who would invoke the spirit that can bestow upon him the property
of metamorphosing into a wolf kneels within the circle, and prays a
preliminary impromptu prayer. He then resorts to an incantation, which
runs, so I have been told, as follows:--

     "Hail, hail, hail, great wolf spirit, hail!
      A boon I ask thee, mighty shade. Within this circle I have made,
      Make me a werwolf strong and bold,
      The terror alike of young and old.
      Grant me a figure tall and spare;
      The speed of the elk, the claws of the bear;
      The poison of snakes, the wit of the fox;
      The stealth of the wolf, the strength of the ox;
      The jaws of the tiger, the teeth of the shark;
      The eyes of a cat that sees in the dark.
      Make me climb like a monkey, scent like a dog,
      Swim like a fish, and eat like a hog.
      Haste, haste, haste, lonely spirit, haste!
      Here, wan and drear, magic spell making,
      Findest thou me--shaking, quaking.
      Softly fan me as I lie,
      And thy mystic touch apply--
      Touch apply, and I swear that when I die,
      When I die, I will serve thee evermore,
      Evermore, in grey wolf land, cold and raw."

The incantation concluded, the supplicant then kisses the ground three
times, and advancing to the fire, takes off the iron vessel, and
whirling it smoking round his head, cries out:--

     "Make me a werwolf! make me a man-eater!
      Make me a werwolf! make me a woman-eater!
      Make me a werwolf! make me a child-eater!
      I pine for blood! human blood!
      Give it me! give it me to-night!
      Great Wolf Spirit! give it me, and
      Heart, body, and soul, I am yours."

The trees then begin to rustle, and the wind to moan, and out of the
sudden darkness that envelops everything glows the tall, cylindrical,
pillar-like phantom of the Unknown, seven or eight feet in height. It
sometimes develops further, and assumes the form of a tall, thin
monstrosity, half human and half animal, grey and nude, with very long
legs and arms, and the feet and claws of a wolf. Its head is shaped like
that of a wolf, but surrounded with the hair of a woman, that falls
about its bare shoulders in yellow ringlets. It has wolf's ears and a
wolf's mouth. Its aquiline nose and pale eyes are fashioned like those
of a human being, but animated with an expression too diabolically
malignant to proceed from anything but the superphysical.

It seldom if ever speaks, but either utters some extraordinary noise--a
prolonged howl that seems to proceed from the bowels of the earth, a
piercing, harrowing whine, or a low laugh full of hellish glee, any of
which sounds may be taken to express its assent to the favour asked.

It only remains visible for a minute at the most, and then disappears
with startling abruptness. The supplicant is now a werwolf. He undergoes
his first metamorphosis into wolf form the following evening at sunset,
reassuming his human shape at dawn; and so on, day after day, till his
death, when he may once more metamorphose either from man form to wolf
form, or vice versa, his corpse retaining whichever form has been
assumed at the moment of death. However, with regard to this final
metamorphosis there is no consistency: it may or may not take place. In
the practice of exorcism, for the purpose of eradicating the evil
property of werwolfery, all manner of methods are employed. Sometimes
the werwolf is soundly whipped with ash twigs, and saturated with a
potion such as I described in a previous chapter; sometimes he is made
to lie or sit over, or lie or stand close beside, a vessel containing a
fumigation mixture composed of sulphur, asafœtida, and castoreum, or
hypericum and vinegar; or sometimes, again, he is well whipped and
rubbed all over with the juice of the mistletoe berry. Occasionally a
priest is summoned, and then a formal ceremony takes place.

An altar is erected. On it are placed lighted candles, a Bible, a
crucifix. The werwolf, in wolf form, bound hand and foot, is then placed
on the ground at the foot of the altar, and fumigated with incense and
sprinkled with holy water. The sign of the cross is made on his
forehead, chest, back, and on the palms of his hands. Various prayers
are read, and the affair concludes when the priest in a loud voice
adjures the evil influence to depart, in the name of God the Father, the
Son, the Holy Ghost, and the Virgin Mary.

I have never, however, heard of any well-authenticated case testifying
to the efficacy of this or of any other mode of exorcism. As far as I
know, once a werwolf always a werwolf is an inviolable rule.

Apparently women are more desirous of becoming werwolves than men, more
women than men having acquired the property of werwolfery through their
own act. In the case of women candidates for this evil property, the
inspiring motive is almost always one of revenge, sometimes on a
faithless lover, but more often on another woman; and when once women
metamorphose thus, their craving for human flesh is simply
insatiable--in fact, they are far more cruel and daring, and much more
to be dreaded, than male werwolves. The following story seems to bear
out the truth of this assertion:--


THE CASE OF IVAN OF SHIGANSKA

Shiganska was--for it no longer exists, having been obliterated about
fifty years ago by a blizzard--a small village on the left bank of the
Petchora, about a hundred miles from its mouth.

Owing chiefly to the character of the adjacent country, Shiganska was
wanting in every beauty and variety that charms the eye. It was situated
on a stretch of flat land between two mountain ranges, _i.e._, the Ural
on one side and the Taman on the other, and surrounded by a wood so
thick that it was with the greatest difficulty anyone could force a way
into it, supposing they had been sufficiently fortunate to escape
sticking fast in the morasses of soft, rotten mould, that lie hidden in
the least suspicious looking places, on its borders. Here were to be
found lycanthropous blue and white flowers, which those desirous of
becoming werwolves sought from far and wide, some even coming from
Siberia, and some from away down South as far as Astrakan. And the woods
abounded not only in werwolves, but in all sorts of supernatural
horrors--phantoms of the dead, _i.e._ (of murderers and suicides) Vice
Elementals and Vagrarians, vampires and ghouls; no region in Russia
boasted so many, and for this reason it was scrupulously avoided by all
sensible people after sunset.

Ivan, like most of the male inhabitants of Shiganska, lived by the
chase: the black fox, the sable, the fox with the dark-coloured throat,
the red fox, white fox, squirrel, ermine, and black bear alike fell
victims to his gun; whilst in the Petchora, when the weather permitted
it, he caught, besides many other kinds of fish, a goodly proportion of
salmon, nelma (a kind of salmon trout), bleak, sturgeon, sterlet, tochü,
muksun, omul, and _Salmo Lavaretus_.

It was a good living, that of the chase, albeit fraught with grave
dangers; and Ivan, thanks to his exceptional powers with the rod as well
as the rifle, was on the high road to prosperity.

He lived with his mother and two sisters in a pretty house about a kös
from Shiganska, and facing it was a level stretch of reed-grass
terminating in the hemlock-covered banks of the Petchora. A few trees,
chiefly birch and larch, dotted about the reed-grass afforded a
delightful shade from the fierce heat of the short summer sun; and birds
of all sorts, whose singing was a source of the keenest delight to Ivan
and his sisters, made their homes in them.

Unlike any other hunter in Shiganska, Ivan was fond of poetry and
music; moreover, he had a dreamy disposition, and when his day's work
was done he was content--nay, more than content--to watch the changing
colours in the sky, or see in the glowing embers of the charcoal fire
strange scenes and wildly familiar faces.

One morning, in the month of April, Ivan set off to the woods, gun in
hand, accompanied by his old and faithful dog, Dolk, in search of big
game. He paused every now and then to look at the ice on the summits of
the distant mountains. The sunlight falling on it imparted to it many
different hues, and made it sparkle like flaming jewels. He stopped
repeatedly to listen to the croaking of the raven, the cawing of the
crows, and the piping of the bullfinches--sounds of which he was never
weary, and never tired of trying to interpret.

On this occasion, as usual, it was not until long after noon that he
began seriously to think of looking for his quarry, and it was not until
he had searched for some time that he at length came upon the tracks of
a wild reindeer. Loosing Dolk, and tightening the buckles of his
snow-shoes, he set to work to stalk the animal, and eventually sighted
it browsing on a clump of reed-grass that grew on the bank of a mountain
stream. The chase now began in earnest. It was a beautiful animal, and
Ivan strained every effort to get within shooting range by leaping from
rock to rock, and springing over stream after stream. In this manner he
had progressed for more than a kös, when blood from the feet of the
reindeer began to be visible on the fresh frozen snow; from its
faltering pace the poor creature was evidently tired out, and Dolk was
drawing closer and closer to it. In these circumstances Ivan was
counting on the likelihood of his soon being near enough to fire, when
suddenly the joyful barking of the dog changed to a prodigious howl of
agony. With redoubled speed Ivan pushed ahead, and, presently, at a
distance of about two gunshots, he saw two small black objects lying on
the snow covered with blood.

They were the remains of Dolk, who, having come up with the reindeer and
driven it into a small brook, was keeping it there until Ivan arrived,
when a hungry wolf had leaped down the side of a rock and, seizing him
in his powerful jaws, had bitten him in half. The wolf had evidently
intended to eat Dolk, but, catching sight of Ivan, had made off.

Ivan was inconsolable. Dolk had hunted with him as a puppy of six months
old, and for eight years the dog had never let him know a hungry day.
Ivan had been offered ten reindeer for him, but he would not have parted
with him for any number, and without Dolk he knew not how to show
himself at home, for both his mother and sisters were devoted to the
faithful animal.

Determined on vengeance, Ivan followed the wolf's tracks, which led, by
an unfamiliar path, to the mouth of a vast and gloomy cavern. There he
lost sight of them, and he was deliberating what to do next, when a loud
peal of silvery laughter broke on his ears and awoke the silent echoes
of the grim walls around him. Ivan started in open-mouthed astonishment.
Standing before him was a girl more lovely--ten thousand times more
lovely--than any woman he had hitherto seen. To the magic of a beautiful
form in woman--the necromancy of female grace--there was no more ready
and willing subject than Ivan; and here, at last, he had found grace
personified, incarnate, the highest ideal of all his wildest and most
cherished dreams. His most magnificent "castle" had never contained a
princess half as fair as this one. Her figure was rather above the
medium height, supple and slender. Her feet and hands were small, her
wrists well rounded, her fingers long and white, and tipped with pink
and glossy almond-shaped nails--if anything a trifle too long. But it
was her face that so attracted Ivan as to almost hold him
spellbound--the neat and delicately moulded features all in perfect
harmony; the daintily cut lips; the white gleaming teeth; the low
forehead crowned with golden curls; the long, thick-lashed, blue eyes
that looked steadily into his, and seemed to read his very soul.

Moreover, in her blue eyes there was bewildering depth; a sense of
coldness that was positively benumbing, and which was reminiscent of the
blue petrifying waters of the Ural Lakes; a magnetism that was
paralysing, that held in complete obeisance both mind and limb, and was
comparable to nothing so nearly as the hypnotic influence of the tiger
or snake, but which differed from the latter inasmuch as its
inspirations were just as delightful as those of the tiger and snake are
harrowing and terrifying.

She was clad from head to foot in fur--white fur--but neither her dress
nor her presence excited any other thoughts in Ivan except those of
intense admiration--admiration which surged through every pore of his
skin.

"Well!" she demanded, "what brings you here, my good man? There is no
game in this cave."

"Isn't there?" Ivan stammered, his eyes looking at her adoringly. "All
the same I would cheerfully forgo all the pleasures of the chase to come
here."

"You are very gallant for a huntsman, sir," the girl replied with a
smile; "but for your own sake I must urge you to go away at once. I live
here with my father--a confirmed recluse who detests the sight of human
beings; were he to discover me talking to one I should get into sad
trouble, and with regard to you I could not say what might happen."

But Ivan came of a race that paid little heed to any warning when once
their blood was fired; consequently, despite the repeated admonitions of
his beautiful companion--admonitions which her eyes seemed to
contradict--he stayed and stayed, whilst--forgetful of mother and
sisters, home, and even Dolk--he made a passionate avowal of his love.
The afternoon quickly passed, and the sun was beginning to set, when the
girl, whose name he had learned was Breda, almost pushed him out of the
cavern.

"If you don't go now," she urged, "I may never see you again."

"And would you care?" he asked.

"Perhaps," she replied; "perhaps, just a little--a wee, wee bit. You
see, I don't get the opportunity of meeting many people!"

He caught her by the hand and kissed it passionately; and with the sound
of her light, intoxicating laughter thrilling through his soul, he
descended to the bed of the mountain streamlet, and turned his steps
blithely towards home.

That was the beginning, but not the end. He courted her--he married her
and she came to live with his mother and sisters, who for his sake tried
to like her and even pretended that they did like her. But in secret
they said to one another, "She has no heart; she is cold as an icicle;
her lips are thin and cruel. She would serve Ivan badly if we were not
here to check her."

And Breda certainly had her idiosyncrasies. She preferred raw to cooked
meat, and would not sleep in the same room as her husband. She grew very
angry when Ivan expostulated, saying, "You promised you would never
thwart me. If you do not keep your word, I shall despise you, scorn you,
hate you." And Ivan, who loved his wife beyond anything, yielded.

Some weeks after their marriage, neighbours complained of losing cattle
and horses. They said there was a wolf about, and that its tracks, which
they had followed, always ended under the walls of Ivan's house. They
asked Ivan if he had not heard the brute. But he had heard nothing, he
slept very soundly. Then they inquired of Ivan's sisters and mother, who
also replied in the negative; but there was hesitation in their voices,
and they looked very frightened and ashamed. And then people began to
talk. They looked at Breda curiously, and finally they cut her. One
night, when there was a downfall of snow, and the wind howled down the
chimneys of Ivan's house and blew the snow, with heavy thumps against
the window-panes, Ivan, who could not sleep for the storm, heard the
door of Breda's room open very softly, and light steps steal stealthily
down the passage. Then there came a half-suppressed, half-smothered cry,
a groan, and all was still. Ivan got out of bed and opened his door, but
his wife's voice called to him from the darkness and bade him go back.

"Do not be alarmed and make a fuss," she said; "I was ill a moment ago,
but am quite well again now. Go back to bed at once, or I shall be very
angry." And Ivan obeyed her.

In the morning his eldest sister, Beata, was found dead in bed, her
throat, breast, and stomach slit open, as is the custom with wolves, and
her flesh all mangled and eaten.

Breda took no food that day, and Ivan's mother and other sister,
Malvina, looked at her out of the corner of their eyes and shuddered.
But Ivan said nothing. A week later the same fate befell Malvina. Then
Ivan's mother spoke. She told him that he must assuredly be under some
evil spell, or he would never remain idle whilst his sisters' destroyer
was at large, and she adjured him, by all that he held holy, not to
allow himself a moment's rest till he had had ample vengeance for the
loss of two such valuable lives.

Roused at last, Ivan, instead of going to bed, sat up, gun in hand, and
watched. He passed many nights thus, and his patience was well nigh
exhausted when, during one of the vigils, he fell asleep, dreaming as
usual of the blue eyes and golden curls of Breda, whose beauty held him
just as much enthralled as ever. From this slumber he was awakened by
loud screams for help. Seizing his gun, and taking a random aim at a
huge white wolf as he went (though without stopping to see the effects
of the shot), he ran to his mother's bedside. She was dead. Her throat
and body were slit; but she was not eaten.

Wild with grief and thirsting for revenge, Ivan started off in pursuit
of the wolf, and discovered, in the passage, a track of blood which
terminated at his wife's door. Receiving no reply when he asked for
admittance, he entered the room and found Breda lying on the floor, in
her nightdress, the blood streaming from a wound in her shoulder. Ivan
knelt down and examined her. She had been struck by a bullet, and the
bullet fitted the bore of his gun.

He knew the truth then--the truth he might have known all along, had he
not, in his blind love, thrust it far from him--and, in the sudden
alteration of his feeling, he raised his knife to kill her. But Breda
opened her eyes, and the weapon fell from his hand.

"You know part of my secret now," she whispered, "but you don't know
everything. I am a werwolf, not by inheritance, but of my own free will.
In order to become one I ate the blue flowers in the wood. I did so to
be avenged on my husband."

"Your husband!" Ivan cried; "good God! then you were a widow when I met
you?"

"Yes," Breda said slowly and with apparent effort. "I was forced into my
first marriage by my all too worldly parents, and my husband ill-used
and beat me!"

"The devil! the cold-hearted, cowardly devil!" Ivan ejaculated, "I would
have killed him."

"That is what I did," Breda remarked; "I did kill him, and it was in
order to make certain of killing him that I became a werwolf."

"Did you eat him?" Ivan asked, horribly fascinated.

"Don't ask questions," Breda said, averting her eyes, "and for God's
sake don't lose any more time. As you love me, screen me from detection;
hide all traces of to-night's handiwork as quickly as possible."

As usual, Ivan did as she requested him, and giving out that his mother
had died suddenly, from heart failure, he had her interred with as
little publicity as possible.

Before very long, however, the neighbours began to ask such pointed
questions, that Ivan now lived in a state of chronic suspense. He feared
every moment that the truth would leak out, and that his beautiful young
wife would receive condign punishment.

At last, finding such a state of apprehension intolerable, he confided
in an old man who was reputed a sage and metaphysician--one who was
extremely well versed in all matters appertaining to the spiritual
world. "There is only one course to pursue," the old man said, "you must
have the evil spirit in her exorcized, and you must have it done
immediately. Otherwise, she will continue her depredations, and your
good neighbours will find her out and kill her. They more than half
suspect her now, and are talking of paying a visit some night, when you
are snug and safe in bed, to the cemetery, to see if the story you told
them about your mother's and sisters' sudden deaths is correct."

"What kind of exorcism would you use?" Ivan inquired nervously. "You
would not hurt her?"

"The form of exorcism I should make use of would do her no lasting
harm," the old man said feelingly; "you can rely on me for that."

"But is exorcism always effectual?" Ivan persisted.

"When exorcism is ineffectual it is the exception, not the rule," the
old man replied, "and there are very few cases of exorcism being
employed ineffectually upon those who have become werwolves through the
practice of magic, or the medium of flowers or of water."

"Should my wife refuse to undergo the ceremony, what would you advise
then?" Ivan asked.

"Strategy and force," the old man said, "anything to prevent her
continuing in her demoniacal ways, and being burned or drowned by an
infuriated mob."

Thus admonished, Ivan, without delay, broached the matter to Breda. But
she was so angry with him for having dared even to mention exorcism,
that he thought it best to act on the advice of the old occultist and to
catch her unawares. Consequently, one evening, when the moon was in the
full, and she had just changed into wolf form, he stole into her room
accompanied by the old man and two assistants. After a desperate
struggle, Ivan and the three exorcists overpowered her, and bound her so
securely that she could not move.

They then took her out of doors, to a lonely spot at the back of the
house, and placed her in the centre of an equilateral triangle that had
been carefully marked on the ground, in red chalk. At seven or eight
feet to the west of the triangle they then kindled a wood fire, and
placed over it a vessel containing a fumigation mixture of hypericum,
vinegar, sulphur, cayenne, and mountain ash berries.

The old man then knelt down, and crossing himself on his forehead and
chest, prayed vigorously, until the preparation in the pot began to give
off strong fumes. He then arose, and both he and his assistants took up
specially prepared switches, cut from a mountain ash, and gripping them
tightly in their hands, approached the recumbent form of the werwolf.
This, however, was more than Ivan could stand--he had objected strongly
enough to the fumigation, which, being nauseous and irritating, had made
his wolf-wife gasp and choke; but when it came to flogging her--well, it
turned him sick and cold. He forgot discretion, prudence, everything,
saving the one great fact--monstrous, incredible, abominable--that the
being he loved, adored, and worshipped was about to be beaten with rods!
With a shout of wrath he rushed at the trio, and snatching their wands
from them, laid them so soundly about their backs that they all three
fled from the ground, shrieking with pain and terror. Then he knelt by
his prostrate wife, and cutting the thongs that bound her, set her free.
She rose on her feet a huge, white wolf. Regarding him steadily for a
moment from out of her gleaming grey eyes, she swung slowly round, and
with one more look, more human than animal, she darted swiftly away, and
was speedily lost in the gloom.



METHUEN'S POPULAR NOVELS

AUTUMN 1912


THE BIG FISH

By H. B. Marriott Watson, Author of 'Alise of Astra.' Crown 8vo, 6s.
[July

This strange tale of adventure in the mountains of Peru has a certain
basis in fact. 'The Big Fish' is the name by which the lost treasure of
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HER SERENE HIGHNESS

By Philip Laurence Oliphant. Cr. 8vo, 6s. [July

Disillusioned, and disgusted with Western civilization, the hero of this
story, a man of remarkable force and quality, turns to the ideals of the
East, becomes to all intents an Oriental, and makes for himself a great
position as the white ruler of a black people in Central India. His wife
deserted him in early life under a misunderstanding, goes in search of
him, and finding him at last, throws in her lot with his, and succeeds
in winning him back; but not until through jealousy and other passions,
he is forced to witness the sacrifice of his power and fly for very
life.


JUDITH LEE: Some Pages from her Life

By Richard Marsh, Author of 'A Royal Indiscretion.' With Four
Illustrations. Crown 8vo, 6s. [July

The world has already been introduced to the famous female detective
Judith Lee in the pages of the Strand Magazine, where her popularity
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system to the deaf and dumb, as soon almost as she learnt to speak she
learnt to read what people were saying by watching their lips. Devoting
her whole life to the improvement of a very singular natural aptitude,
and employing it in the discovery and frustration of crime, she has
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delight, and a very encyclopædia of adventure.


THE OAKUM PICKERS

By L. S. Gibson, Author of 'The Heart of Desire.' Crown 8vo, 6s. [July

A story treating of modern social life, and incidentally of the
hardships inflicted by certain phases of the Divorce Laws upon the
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own way, are so human and sympathetic that the reader can hardly fail to
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sketch of a fascinating, if worthless, type.


HAUNTING SHADOWS; or, The House of Terror

By M. F. Hutchinson. Crown 8vo, 6s. [August

An English girl, brought up under harsh surroundings, considers that
opportunity suddenly opens the doors of Life. But these doors swing back
to the accompaniment of sinister and terrible things. The very threshold
of the new life is a place of terror. A harsh and inexorable fate forces
her reluctant feet along a difficult way, where it seems as if none of
the joys of existence can lighten the darkness. The story shows with
what results to herself and others Elaine Westcourt became an inmate of
the 'House of Terror.'


A WILDERNESS WOOING

By W. Victor Cook, Author of 'Anton of the Alps.' Crown 8vo, 6s.
[August

A thrilling story of the early French-Canadian pioneers, and the
romantic adventures of a young heir to an English earldom. The novel,
which is full of excitement and dramatic incident, presents a series of
vivid pictures of the days when the great pathfinder La Salle was
carrying the lilies of France at utmost hazard into the Western wilds.
The love interest is strong, and attractively handled, and even such
strange-seeming affairs as the 'Ship of Women' and the marriage market
at Quebec have their historical sanction.


NANCE OF MANCHESTER

By Orme Agnus, Author of 'Sarah Fuldon's Lovers.' Crown 8vo, 6s.
[August

Dr. Anthony Belton called Nance 'the bravest girl in Manchester,' and he
was a good judge. She assumed maternal cares at an early age, and she
lived for her children. Later she took up her residence in the South of
England with Mrs. Nolliver, and there struck up a friendship with Miss
Denise Martayne, a lady whose gifts had put her in an exalted if not a
happy position. It was a friendship that dispelled gloom and created
happiness. 'Nance of Manchester' is a tribute to the omnipotence of
love.


A KINGDOM DIVIDED

By David Lisle, Author of 'A Painter of Souls.' Crown 8vo, 6s. [August

This new novel by the author of A Painter of Souls may be described as
actively controversial. It deals largely with poignant chapters in the
life of a young clergyman, and in its pages we find an amazing array of
startling facts connected with the march of Ritualism and the future of
England. Side by side with the history of a tragic struggle we find
glowing descriptions of scenery and of brilliant social life. The scene
is laid in Devon, and, later on, at Biarritz.


A WOMAN IN THE LIMELIGHT

By Charles Gleig, Author of 'The Nancy Manœuvres.' Crown 8vo, 6s.
[August

A Woman in the Limelight presents candidly a typical actress of the
Musical Comedy Stage, treating of her career and her love affairs with a
realism that is convincing, but free of offence. The heroine allures and
for a long time retains the devotion and affection of a typical solitary
Londoner, who is not less devoted to the bon motif; but the inevitable
break occurs. There is plenty of humour and of first-hand knowledge in
this study of upper Bohemian life of to-day, and the characters are
vividly drawn.


BURIED ALIVE

By Arnold Bennett, Author of 'Clayhanger.' A New Edition. Crown 8vo, 6s.
[August

This is a reprint of one of Mr. Bennett's most delightful stories. It
has been out of print for some time.


THE STREET CALLED STRAIGHT

By the Author of 'The Wild Olive.' Crown 8vo, 6s. [August

The anonymous author of those very interesting novels The Inner Shrine
and The Wild Olive has in the new book dealt with a financial man's
case of conscience. The story, which is laid for the most part in
Boston, illustrates the New England proverb, 'By the street called
straight'--should it not be strait?--'we come to the house called
beautiful.'


IT HAPPENED IN SMYRNA

By Thomas Edgelow. Crown 8vo, 6s. [August

A vivid record of Eastern travel and adventure by a new author, who is
introduced to the novel-reading public by no less a sponsor than
Baroness von Hutten--the authoress of Pam whose cheery preface in the
form of an open letter will be found in Mr. Edgelow's first book. The
story opens on a German liner off the East African coast, and leads us
via Port Said to Smyrna. There and in the interior of Turkey-in-Asia
are laid the scenes of Tony Paynter's adventures. It is in the Smyrna
bazaars that he and Sylvia Sayers first encounter the Turk who is
destined to play so important a rôle in their two lives, and it is
from Smyrna that, at last, they sail away when all has happily ended.


DEVOTED SPARKES

By W. Pett Ridge, Author of 'Thanks to Sanderson.' Crown 8vo, 6s.
[August

Mr. Pett Ridge's new novel, an animated story of London life, concerns a
girl sent out to service by her stepmother. Taking the management of
her career into her own hands, and holding the reins, goes first to a
house on the north side of Regent's Park, afterwards to the
neighbourhood of Berkeley Square; and her adventures in both situations,
her acquaintances, and the person to whom she is devoted, are described
in Mr. Pett Ridge's brightest manner.


THE ANGLO-INDIANS

By Alice Perrin, Author of 'The Charm.' Crown 8vo, 6s. [August

The background of this novel is the contrast between official life in
India and a pensioned existence in England. The theme of the story is
the affection, almost amounting to a passion, that the heroine feels
towards India, where she has spent part of her childhood and her early
girlhood; it leads to a love adventure involving the chief problem
between the East and West.


THE HEATHER MOON

By C. N. and A. M. Williamson, Authors of 'The Lightning Conductor.'
Crown 8vo, 6s. [August

The story of a motor tour in Scotland and many quests. The drama shows
us a girl in search of her mother, who has her own reasons for not
wishing to be found by a pretty grown-up daughter. A man in search of
some lost illusions is also here, and the girl helps him to discover
that they are not illusions but splendid truths. Other seekers are a
woman in search of love, and her brother in search of materials for a
novel. In finding or failing to find these things a romance of a very
original kind with many conflicting interests has been evolved.


THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN ROSE

By John Oxenham, Author of 'The Long Road.' Crown 8vo, 6s. [August

By 'The Golden Rose' the author means the Spirit of Romance--Love--and
all that pertains thereto. The story tells how three very typical
Englishmen--surgeon--artist--barrister--encounter it in odd fashion
while tramping the High Alps, and follow it up each in his own peculiar
way to his destined end. Their various testings, mental, moral, and
physical, make the story, which is replete with the joy, the sorrow, and
the tragedy of life.


OLIVIA MARY

By E. Maria Albanesi, Author of 'The Glad Heart.' Crown 8vo, 6s.
[August

In this, her first new novel to be published since The Glad Heart,
Madame Albanesi strikes new ground. Although full of able and
sympathetic characterization and that elusive charm which belongs to all
her books, this story is unlike any that she has yet written. The author
deals with a problem which is the outcome of emotions at once simple,
even ordinary, and yet at the same time profound and most touching.


SALLY

By Dorothea Conyers, Author of 'Two Impostors and Tinker.' Crown 8vo,
6s. [August

A hunting novel of Irish life. The scene is laid in the wilds of
Connemara, where a man suffering from melancholia starts hunting over
the mountains and the bogs. A seaside lodge close to him is taken by
some strangers, and the plot of the book then turns on the lonely man,
who has not spoken for years save when obliged to, being charmed from
his loneliness by Sally Stannard, and the subsequent complications which
ensue betwixt her and her various lovers.


LAMORNA

By Mrs. A. Sidgwick, Author of 'The Severins.' Crown 8vo, 6s. [August

The story of two girls united by kinship and affection, but divided by
character and temperament. Lamorna, the elder one, has to look on while
her cousin makes a tragedy of her life and successively becomes the
victim of a roué and a mischief-monger. Lamorna's own fate is at one
time so enmeshed with her cousin's that she requires all her sense and
strength to escape from the toils set by a man who would override all
scruple and all honour to win her.


THE HAPPY FAMILY

By Frank Swinnerton, Author of 'The Young Idea.' Crown 8vo, 6s.
[August

The Happy Family is a realistic comedy of life in London suburbs. The
scenes are laid principally in Kentish Town, with excursions to
Hampstead, Highgate, and Gospel Oak; while unusual pictures of the
publishing trade form a setting to the highly-important office-life of
the chief male characters. The interplay of diverse temperaments, the
conflict between the ideal and the actual, are the basis of the story,
which, however, is concerned with people rather than problems.


DARNELEY PLACE

By Richard Bagot, Author of 'Donna Diana.' Crown 8vo, 6s. [September

The scene of Mr. Richard Bagot's new novel is laid partly in England and
partly in Italy. The story turns upon the double life led by a wealthy
English landowner in consequence of the abduction in his more youthful
days of the daughter of an old Italian house at a period when he had no
prospect of succeeding to the position he subsequently attained.
Incidentally, the novel deals with certain phases of Italian
Spiritualism, and Mr. Bagot's readers will again resume their
acquaintance with some of the most sympathetic characters described in
his previous work The Passport.


A KNIGHT OF SPAIN

By Marjorie Bowen, Author of 'I Will Maintain.' Crown 8vo, 6s.
[September

This story is laid in the stormy and sombre last half of the sixteenth
century, and deals with the fortunes of the Royal House of Spain, the
most powerful, cruel, and tragic dynasty of modern Europe. The hero is
Charles V's son, the gay, beautiful, and heroic Don Juan of Austria, who
rose to an unparalleled renown in Christendom as the victor of Lepanto,
intoxicated himself with visions of a crown and the rank of 'Infant' of
Spain, and from the moment of his apogee was swiftly cast down by his
brother, Philip II, sent to undertake the impossible task of ruling the
Low Countries, and left to die, forsaken, of a mysterious illness, at
the age of twenty-eight, in a camp outside Namur. The story embraces the
greater part of this Prince's short life, which was one glowing romance
of love and war, played in the various splendours of Spain, Genoa,
Venice, Naples, Sicily, Africa, Paris, and Brussels.


REMITTANCE BILLY

By Ashton Hilliers, Author of 'Memoirs of a Person of Quality.' Crown
8vo, 6s. [September

In this book Mr. Ashton Hilliers, again finding his material in the
world we live in, tells of the quite excusable muddling of a straight,
but rather stupid young gentleman, whose ignorance of 'business' is too
severely punished by 'business-like relations,' who regard him as
hopeless, until he, saved by his love of nature, and befriended by
outsiders who see stuff in the fellow, muddles through, to the surprise
of his family and himself. There is a nice girl in it, and a militant
suffragette, but only two unfortunate marriages, and one of these comes
right at last.


HONOURS EASY

By Mrs. J. O. Arnold, Author of 'The Fiddler.' Crown 8vo, 6s.
[September

The interest of this story centres in the will of a Professor Clifford,
in which a large sum of money is left to the scientist who shall within
a specified time finish the testator's life research. Failing its
completion the money is to revert to his stepdaughter. Humphrey Wyatt
undertakes the task, incidentally falling in love with the stepdaughter,
of whose relationship to the Professor he is unaware. What happens
before and after he discovers her identity makes a charming romantic
ending to the book.


LONDON LAVENDER: An Entertainment

By E. V. Lucas, Author of 'Mr. Ingleside.' Crown 8vo, 6s. [September

This will make Mr. Lucas's fourth novel, or 'Entertainment' as he
prefers to call his stories; and readers of the preceding three may find
some old acquaintances. The scene is again laid principally in London,
and again an odd company of types converse and have urbane adventures.


THE HOLIDAY ROUND

By A. A. Milne, Author of 'The Day's Play.' Crown 8vo, 6s. [September

Among our younger humorists none has so quickly found his way to the
hearts of readers as 'A. A. M.' of Punch, whose special gift and
privilege it is to touch Wednesdays with irresponsibility and fun. He
has now brought together a further collection of his contributions to
Punch, similar in character to The Day's Play published two years
ago. The history of the Rabbits is continued, and is supplemented by
'Little Plays for Amateurs,' 'Stories of Successful Lives,' and many
other of his recent dialogues and sketches.


THE ROYAL ROAD: Being the Story of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of
Edward Hankey of London

By Alfred Ollivant, Author of 'Owd Bob.' Crown 8vo, 6s. [September

In the pages of this book the reader follows the courageous spirit of a
working man down the alley of life. We hear his laughter; share his
joys; and watch the heroic struggle of his soul against the circumstance
that is oppressing him. The book, remorseless in its representation of
things as they are, is strong in hope: for it finds its inspiration in
the Love that shall some day conquer the world. It is a story for all
who seek to succour our England in her distress. To read it is to
understand something of her troubles of this present time, and to have a
glimpse of the glory that shall be revealed in her. A stern book, it is
to those who read aright a joyful one. For it is a prophecy of dawn.


MARY PECHELL

By Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, Author of 'The Uttermost Farthing,' etc. Crown
8vo, 6s. [September

In her new novel Mrs. Belloc Lowndes returns to the manner of Barbara
Rebell. It is an ample, spacious tale of English country-house life,
laid in a quiet Sussex village, dominated by the ruins of an ancient
castle, the scene of the last Lord Wolferstan's lawless but not ignoble
passion. The writer shows all her old power of presenting the passion of
love in each of its Protean phases. Mary Pechell herself is a lovely,
gracious figure, whose compelling charm the reader feels from the first.
In half-humorous, half-pathetic contrast is the middle-aged romance of
Miss Rose Charnwood, touched with the tenderest sentiment, and not
belied by the happiness in store both for her and for Mary Pechell
herself.


THE SILVER DRESS

By Mrs. George Norman, Author of 'Lady Fanny.' Crown 8vo, 6s.
[September

A novel describing the life of an attractive and still young woman whose
circumstances are those of so many others of her type in England, for
she has no acquaintances but women, is approaching 'the youth of middle
age' without yet knowing love or any vital interest. Then, quite
unexpectedly, adventure, and, subsequently, love coming to her, she
lives for the first time.


THE SUBURBAN

By H. C. Bailey, Author of 'Storm and Treasure.' Crown 8vo, 6s.
[September

In this novel Mr. H. C. Bailey, who is best known by his spirited
historical romances, has deserted the past for the present. He tells a
story of modern London. The scenes are laid in poor middle-class life,
in the worlds of journalism and theoretical revolutionaries and
business. His hero is one of the most ordinary of men, fighting his way
up from the borders of poverty to respectable suburban comfort. With him
is contrasted a much more brilliant creature, an apostle of the newest
creeds of revolt. Both have to do with the master of one of the great
modern organizations of finance and industry. In the heroine Mr. Bailey
has given us a study of one of the newest types of young women of the
middle class.


BETTY HARRIS

By Jennette Lee, Author of 'Uncle William' and 'Happy Island.' Crown
8vo, 3s. 6d. [September

Betty Harris, the only child of an American millionaire, strays one day
into the shop of a Greek fruit-dealer, Achilles Alexandrakis, and
watches the flight of a butterfly that the Greek liberates from its grey
cocoon. The story is of the friendship that grew out of this meeting,
and a rescue that grew out of the friendship. This blend of the spirit
of the old world and the new, meeting in the grimy Chicago shop and
finding out their need of each other, gives the book a piquancy.


THE FOOL IN CHRIST

By Gerhart Hauptmann. Crown 8vo, 6s. [September

A translation of Hauptmann's most wonderful novel--a work that attempts
to place the living human Christ before sophisticated twentieth-century
eyes. Whatever other effect it may have, the book cannot fail to cause
discussion. In Quint, a figure at once pathetic and inspiring, the
author has drawn a character whose divine charm should be felt by every
reader.


CHARLES THE GREAT

By Mrs. H. H. Penrose, Author of 'The Sheltered Woman,' etc. Crown 8vo,
6s. [September

Charles the Great is a very light comedy, and it therefore counts as a
new departure for Mrs. H. H. Penrose. Those who like their fiction to
provide them with 'a good laugh' will doubtless prefer this book, which
is packed from cover to cover with mirth-provoking material, to those
other books by the same author, in which humour acts chiefly as
train-bearer to tragedy. The determination of Charles to invent for
himself a greatness which he is incapable of otherwise achieving, and
its effect on his circle of intimates, are set forth in an exceedingly
lively story, the plot of which it would be unfair to give away.


THE ACE OF HEARTS

By C. Thomas-Stanford. Crown 8vo, 6s. [September

An English Member of Parliament, spending a holiday in the Portuguese
island of Madeira in January 1912, becomes unwittingly privy to a plot
against the Republican Government. The conspirators, fearful that he
will betray their secrets, make him prisoner; but he escapes to
experience a series of adventures on the rugged coast, and amid the wild
mountains of the island. Through the tangled web of plot and
counter-plot runs the thread of a love story.


METHUEN & CO. LTD., 36 ESSEX STREET, LONDON, W.C.



A SELECTION OF BOOKS
PUBLISHED BY METHUEN
AND CO. LTD., LONDON
36 ESSEX STREET
W.C.


CONTENTS

                                                             PAGE

General Literature                                              2
  Ancient Cities                                               12
  Antiquary's Books                                            12
  Arden Shakespeare                                            13
  Classics of Art                                              13
  "Complete" Series                                            13
  Connoisseur's Library                                        14
  Handbooks of English Church History                          14
  Handbooks of Theology                                        14
  "Home Life" Series                                           14
  Illustrated Pocket Library of Plain and Coloured Books       15
  Leaders of Religion                                          15
  Library of Devotion                                          16
  Little Books on Art                                          16
  Little Galleries                                             17
  Little Guides                                                17
  Little Library                                               18
  Little Quarto Shakespeare                                    19
  Miniature Library                                            19
  New Library of Medicine                                      19
  New Library of Music                                         19
  Oxford Biographies                                           19
  Three Plays                                                  20
  States of Italy                                              20
  Westminster Commentaries                                     20
  "Young" Series                                               20
  Shilling Library                                             21
Books for Travellers                                           21
Some Books on Art                                              21
Some Books on Italy                                            22
Fiction                                                        23
  Two-Shilling Novels                                          27
  Books for Boys and Girls                                     27
  Shilling Novels                                              28
  Novels of Alexandre Dumas                                    28
  Sixpenny Books                                               29


JULY 1912



A SELECTION OF
Messrs. Methuen's
PUBLICATIONS


In this Catalogue the order is according to authors. An asterisk denotes
that the book is in the press.

Colonial Editions are published of all Messrs. Methuen's Novels issued
at a price above 2s. 6d., and similar editions are published of some
works of General Literature. Colonial editions are only for circulation
in the British Colonies and India.

All books marked net are not subject to discount, and cannot be bought
at less than the published price. Books not marked net are subject to
the discount which the bookseller allows.

Messrs. Methuen's books are kept in stock by all good booksellers. If
there is any difficulty in seeing copies, Messrs. Methuen will be very
glad to have early information, and specimen copies of any books will be
sent on receipt of the published price plus postage for net books, and
of the published price for ordinary books.

This Catalogue contains only a selection of the more important books
published by Messrs. Methuen. A complete and illustrated catalogue of
their publications may be obtained on application.


Andrewes (Lancelot). PRECES PRIVATAE. Translated and edited, with Notes,
by F. E. Brightman. Cr. 8vo. 6s.


Aristotle. THE ETHICS. Edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by John
Burnet. Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d. net.


Atkinson (C. T.). A HISTORY OF GERMANY, 1715-1815. Demy 8vo. 12s. 6d.
net.


Atkinson (T. D.). ENGLISH ARCHITECTURE. Illustrated. Fcap. 8vo. 3s.
6d. net.

A GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED IN ENGLISH ARCHITECTURE. Illustrated. Second
Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.

ENGLISH AND WELSH CATHEDRALS. Illustrated. Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d. net.


Bain (F. W.). A DIGIT OF THE MOON: A Hindoo Love Story. Ninth Edition.
Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.

THE DESCENT OF THE SUN: A Cycle of Birth. Fifth Edition. Fcap. 8vo.
3s. 6d. net.

A HEIFER OF THE DAWN. Seventh Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 2s. 6d. net.

IN THE GREAT GOD'S HAIR. Fifth Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 2s. 6d. net.

A DRAUGHT OF THE BLUE. Fourth Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 2s. 6d. net.

AN ESSENCE OF THE DUSK. Third Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 2s. 6d. net.

AN INCARNATION OF THE SNOW. Second Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d.
net.

A MINE OF FAULTS. Second Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.

THE ASHES OF A GOD. Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.

*BUBBLES OF THE FOAM. Fcap 4to. 5s. net. Also Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d.
net.


Balfour (Graham). THE LIFE OF ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON. Illustrated.
Fifth Edition in one Volume. Cr. 8vo. Buckram, 6s. Also Fcap.
8vo. 1s. net.


Baring (Hon. Maurice). A YEAR IN RUSSIA. Second Edition. Demy 8vo.
10s. 6d. net.

LANDMARKS IN RUSSIAN LITERATURE. Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s.
net.

RUSSIAN ESSAYS AND STORIES. Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 5s. net.

THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE. Demy 8vo. 15s. net.


Baring-Gould (S.). THE LIFE OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. Illustrated. Second
Edition. Royal 8vo. 10s. 6d. net.

THE TRAGEDY OF THE CÆSARS: A Study of the Characters of the Cæsars of
the Julian and Claudian Houses. Illustrated. Seventh Edition. Royal
8vo. 10s. 6d. net.

THE VICAR OF MORWENSTOW. With a Portrait. Third Edition. Cr. 8vo.
3s. 6d. *Also Fcap. 8vo. 1s. net.

OLD COUNTRY LIFE. Illustrated. Fifth Edition. Large Cr. 8vo. 6s.

A BOOK OF CORNWALL. Illustrated. Third Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s.

A BOOK OF DARTMOOR. Illustrated. Second Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s.

A BOOK OF DEVON. Illustrated. Third Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s.


Baring-Gould (S.) and Sheppard (H. Fleetwood). A GARLAND OF COUNTRY
SONG. English Folk Songs with their Traditional Melodies. Demy 4to.
6s.

SONGS OF THE WEST: Folk Songs of Devon and Cornwall. Collected from the
Mouths of the People. New and Revised Edition, under the musical
editorship of Cecil J. Sharp. Large Imperial 8vo. 5s. net.


Barker (E.). THE POLITICAL THOUGHT OF PLATO AND ARISTOTLE. Demy 8vo.
10s. 6d. net.


Bastable (C. F.). THE COMMERCE OF NATIONS. Fifth Edition. Cr. 8vo.
2s. 6d.


Beckford (Peter). THOUGHTS ON HUNTING. Edited by J. Otho Paget.
Illustrated. Third Edition. Demy 8vo. 6s.


Belloc (H.). PARIS. Illustrated. Second Edition, Revised. Cr. 8vo.
6s.

HILLS AND THE SEA. Fourth Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5s.

ON NOTHING AND KINDRED SUBJECTS. Third Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5s.

ON EVERYTHING. Third Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5s.

ON SOMETHING. Second Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5s.

FIRST AND LAST. Second Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5s.

MARIE ANTOINETTE. Illustrated. Third Edition. Demy 8vo. 15s. net.

THE PYRENEES. Illustrated. Second Edition. Demy 8vo. 7s. 6d. net.


Bennett (W. H.). A PRIMER OF THE BIBLE. Fifth Edition. Cr. 8vo. 2s.
6d.


Bennett (W. H.) and Adeney (W. F.). A BIBLICAL INTRODUCTION. With a
concise Bibliography. Sixth Edition. Cr. 8vo. 7s. 6d. Also in Two
Volumes. Cr. 8vo. Each 3s. 6d. net.


Benson (Archbishop). GOD'S BOARD. Communion Addresses. Second Edition.
Fcap. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.


Bicknell (Ethel E.). PARIS AND HER TREASURES. Illustrated. Fcap. 8vo.
Round corners. 5s. net.


Blake (William). ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE BOOK OF JOB. With a General
Introduction by Laurence Binyon. Illustrated. Quarto. 21s. net.


Bloemfontein (Bishop of). ARA CŒLI: An Essay in Mystical Theology.
Fifth Edition. Cr. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.

FAITH AND EXPERIENCE. Second Edition. Cr. 8vo. 3s. 6d. net.


Bowden (E. M.). THE IMITATION OF BUDDHA: Quotations from Buddhist
Literature for each Day in the Year. Sixth Edition. Cr. 16mo. 2s.
6d.


Brabant (F. G.). RAMBLES IN SUSSEX. Illustrated. Cr. 8vo. 6s.


Bradley (A. G.). ROUND ABOUT WILTSHIRE. Illustrated. Second Edition.
Cr. 8vo. 6s.

THE ROMANCE OF NORTHUMBERLAND. Illustrated. Second Edition. Demy
8vo. 7s. 6d. net.


Braid (James). ADVANCED GOLF. Illustrated. Seventh Edition. Demy
8vo. 10s. 6d. net.


Brodrick (Mary) and Morton (A. Anderson). A CONCISE DICTIONARY OF
EGYPTIAN ARCHÆOLOGY. A Handbook for Students and Travellers.
Illustrated. Cr. 8vo. 3s. 6d.


Browning. (Robert). PARACELSUS. Edited with an Introduction, Notes, and
Bibliography by Margaret L. Lee and Katharine B. Locock. Fcap. 8vo.
3s. 6d. net.


Buckton (A. M.). EAGER HEART: A Christmas Mystery-Play. Tenth Edition.
Cr. 8vo. 1s. net.


Bull (Paul). GOD AND OUR SOLDIERS. Second Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s.


Burns (Robert). THE POEMS AND SONGS. Edited by Andrew Lang and W. A.
Craigie. With Portrait. Third Edition. Wide Demy 8vo. 6s.


Calman (W. T.). THE LIFE OF CRUSTACEA. Illustrated. Cr. 8vo. 6s.


Carlyle (Thomas). THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. Edited by C. R. L. Fletcher.
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THE LETTERS AND SPEECHES OF OLIVER CROMWELL. With an Introduction by C.
H. Firth, and Notes and Appendices by S. C. Lomas. Three Volumes.
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Celano (Brother Thomas of). THE LIVES OF S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI.
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Chambers (Mrs. Lambert). LAWN TENNIS FOR LADIES. Illustrated. Cr. 8vo.
2s. 6d. net.


*Chesser, (Elizabeth Sloan). PERFECT HEALTH FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN. Cr.
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Chesterfield (Lord). THE LETTERS OF THE EARL OF CHESTERFIELD TO HIS SON.
Edited, with an Introduction by C. Strachey, and Notes by A. Calthrop.
Two Volumes. Cr. 8vo. 12s.


Chesterton (G. K.). CHARLES DICKENS. With two Portraits in Photogravure.
Seventh Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s.

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Sixth Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5s.

TREMENDOUS TRIFLES. Fourth Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5s.

ALARMS AND DISCURSIONS. Second Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5s.

THE BALLAD OF THE WHITE HORSE. Third Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5s.

*TYPES OF MEN. Fcap. 8vo. 5s.


Clausen (George). SIX LECTURES ON PAINTING. Illustrated. Third
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AIMS AND IDEALS IN ART. Eight Lectures delivered to the Students of the
Royal Academy of Arts. Illustrated. Second Edition. Large Post 8vo.
5s. net.


Clutton-Brock (A.). SHELLEY: THE MAN AND THE POET. Illustrated. Demy
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Cobb (W. F.). THE BOOK OF PSALMS. With an Introduction and Notes. Demy
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Conrad (Joseph). THE MIRROR OF THE SEA: Memories and Impressions. Third
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Coolidge (W. A. B.). THE ALPS: IN NATURE AND HISTORY. Illustrated. Demy
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*Correvon (H.). ALPINE FLORA. Translated and enlarged by E. W.
Clayforth. Illustrated. Square Demy 8vo. 16s. net.


Coulton (G. G.). CHAUCER AND HIS ENGLAND. Illustrated. Second Edition.
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Cowper (William). THE POEMS. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by J.
C. Bailey. Illustrated. Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d. net.


Cox (J. C.). RAMBLES IN SURREY. Second Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s.


Crowley (Ralph H.). THE HYGIENE OF SCHOOL LIFE. Illustrated. Cr. 8vo.
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Davis (H. W. C.). ENGLAND UNDER THE NORMANS AND ANGEVINS: 1066-1272.
Third Edition. Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d. net.


Dawbarn (Charles). FRANCE AND THE FRENCH. Illustrated. Demy 8vo. 10s.
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Dearmer (Mabel). A CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST. Illustrated. Large Cr. 8vo.
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Deffand (Madame du). LETTRES DE MADAME DU DEFFAND À HORACE WALPOLE.
Edited, with Introduction, Notes, and Index, by Mrs. Paget Toynbee. In
Three Volumes. Demy 8vo. £3 3s. net.


Dickinson (G. L.). THE GREEK VIEW OF LIFE. Seventh Edition. Crown
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Ditchfield (P. H.). THE PARISH CLERK. Illustrated. Third Edition.
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THE OLD-TIME PARSON. Illustrated. Second Edition. Demy 8vo. 7s. 6d.
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*THE OLD ENGLISH COUNTRY SQUIRE. Illustrated. Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d.
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Ditchfield (P. H.) and Roe (Fred). VANISHING ENGLAND. The Book by P. H.
Ditchfield. Illustrated by Fred Roe. Second Edition. Wide Demy 8vo.
15s. net.


Douglas (Hugh A.). VENICE ON FOOT. With the Itinerary of the Grand
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VENICE AND HER TREASURES. Illustrated. Round corners. Fcap. 8vo.
5s. net.


Dowden (J.). FURTHER STUDIES IN THE PRAYER BOOK. Cr. 8vo. 6s.


Driver (S. R.). SERMONS ON SUBJECTS CONNECTED WITH THE OLD TESTAMENT.
Cr. 8vo. 6s.


Dumas (Alexandre). THE CRIMES OF THE BORGIAS AND OTHERS. With an
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THE CRIMES OF URBAIN GRANDIER AND OTHERS. Illustrated. Cr. 8vo. 6s.

THE CRIMES OF THE MARQUISE DE BRINVILLIERS AND OTHERS. Illustrated. Cr.
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THE CRIMES OF ALI PACHA AND OTHERS. Illustrated. Cr. 8vo. 6s.

MY MEMOIRS. Translated by E. M. Waller. With an Introduction by Andrew
Lang. With Frontispieces in Photogravure. In six Volumes. Cr. 8vo.
6s. each volume.

       Vol. I. 1802-1821.
      Vol. II. 1822-1825.
     Vol. III. 1826-1830.
      Vol. IV. 1830-1831.
       Vol. V. 1831-1832.
      Vol. VI. 1832-1833.

MY PETS. Newly translated by A. R. Allinson. Illustrated. Cr. 8vo.
6s.


Duncan (F. M.). OUR INSECT FRIENDS AND FOES. Illustrated. Cr. 8vo.
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Dunn-Pattison (R. P.). NAPOLEON'S MARSHALS. Illustrated. Demy 8vo.
Second Edition. 12s. 6d. net.

THE BLACK PRINCE. Illustrated. Second Edition. Demy 8vo. 7s. 6d.
net.


Durham (The Earl of). THE REPORT ON CANADA. With an Introductory Note.
Demy 8vo. 4s. 6d. net.


Dutt (W. A.). THE NORFOLK BROADS. Illustrated. Second Edition. Cr.
8vo. 6s.


Egerton (H. E). A SHORT HISTORY OF BRITISH COLONIAL POLICY. Third
Edition. Demy 8vo. 7s. 6d. net.


Evans (Herbert A.). CASTLES OF ENGLAND AND WALES. Illustrated. Demy
8vo. 12s. 6d. net.


Exeter (Bishop of). REGNUM DEI. (The Bampton Lectures of 1901.) A
Cheaper Edition. Demy 8vo. 7s. 6d. net.


Ewald (Carl). MY LITTLE BOY. Translated by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos.
Illustrated. Fcap. 8vo. 5s.


Fairbrother (W. H.). THE PHILOSOPHY OF T. H. GREEN. Second Edition.
Cr. 8vo. 3s. 6d.


*ffoulkes (Charles). THE ARMOURER AND HIS CRAFT. Illustrated. Royal
4to. £2 2s. net.


Firth (C. H.). CROMWELL'S ARMY: A History of the English Soldier during
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Part III.--A Selection of Works of Fiction


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*MARY PECHELL. Cr. 8vo. 6s.


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Oppenheim (E. Phillips). MASTER OF MEN. Fifth Edition. Cr. 8vo.
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Oxenham (John). A WEAVER OF WEBS. Illustrated. Fifth Ed. Cr. 8vo.
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PRINTED BY
UNWIN BROTHERS, LIMITED,
LONDON AND WOKING.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES:


The word "earth-bound" appears with and without an hyphen. The word has
been spelled as in the original.

Variations in spelling appear as in the original. Examples include the
following:

     lechugilla/lechuguillas
     RUBA'IYAT/Rubáiyát
     werewolfes/werwolfs/werwolves/WEREWOLVES

Ellipses appear as in the original.





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