Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"The Mezzotint." Montague Rhodes James

Review. Buys a mezzotint, an engraving. It doesn’t seem very well done. But a strange thing happens to it—it changes. The moon appears and declines. A man appears on the lawn. Then the man disappears into a window on the ground floor.

What does it all mean? The owner of the house in the mezzotint was known to get rid of poachers on his property. He got rid of all of them but one. He could never catch him. That one finally made a mistake, killed a keeper and was strung up forthwith. Was it that poacher, whose family had once owned the manor, who got in the house and killed the son of the owner to end his line? And then the owner of the manor himself?

At any rate, the picture was hung in a museum and it never changed again.

Famous Ghost Stories. Ed. Bennett Cerf. New York: The Modern Library. Random House, inc. 1944.

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