The Watcher by the Threshold

Author: John Buchan
Published: 1918
Language: English
Wordcount: 66,988 / 177 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 84.8
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 3,625
Added to site: 2009.01.07 23063

No-Man's Land
The Far Islands
The Watcher by the Threshold
The Outgoing of the Tide
The Rime of True Thomas
Divus Johnston
The King of Ypres

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down as a fine type of his class, sober, serious, keenly critical, free from the bondage of superstition. But I rarely saw him, and our talk was chiefly in monosyllables--short interjected accounts of the number of lambs dead or alive on the hill. Then he would produce a pencil and note-book, and be immersed in some calculation; and finally he would be revealed sleeping heavily in his chair, till his sister wakened him, and he stumbled off to bed.

So much for the ordinary course of life; but one day--the second I think of the bad weather--the extraordinary happened: The storm had passed in the afternoon into a resolute and blinding snow, and the shepherd, finding it hopeless on the hill, came home about three o'clock. I could make out from his way of entering that he was in a great temper. He kicked his feet savagely against the door-post. Then he swore at his dogs, a thing I had never heard him do before. "Hell!" he cried, "can ye no keep out o' my road, ye britts?" Then he came sullenly into the kitc


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Average Rating of 4.5 from 2 reviews: *****
Sardo Weems

There is some very good writing in these stories, quite descriptive, though the Scottish words may baffle a few people. The stories No-Man's Land, The Watcher by the Threshold, The Outgoing of the Tide, The Far Islands, and Basilissa are horror or ghost stories. The others are simply adventure stories, with The King of Ypres the best of those.

Buchan is best known for the thriller The 39 Steps, which Hitchcock made into a movie. These are worth reading.


There are some nice, atmospheric tales in this collections, reflecting Buchan's interest in the supernatural. The title story is particularly good.

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