d to heat water in a kettle. When the water was heated he made a careful mixture of it and the golden-brown liquid in the glass; and after that he curled himself up in an easy-chair facing the ivory god, with the glass and the decanter at his side.
Thurston had become a slave to the opium habit. Beginning the use of that attractive and insidious drug as a cure for some slight complaint, he had increased his doses, until at twenty-seven he made no excuses to himself for consuming it in large quantities.
During the day he took it in the form of pills, each containing a few grains; at night, following the example of De Quincey, he indulged in laudanum negus, sometimes sitting up until the grey of the morning broke in upon his dreams and fantasies.
He had long since relinquished all thought of giving up the habit. It had destroyed his moral courage once and for all, and had taken complete possession of him, mentally and physically. Under the influence of opium he was indifferent to everything
An opium-addicted recluse in 19th century London acquires a carved ivory god from India. Is it the opium, or is the god telling him stories?
A pretty good bogeyman story. Some of the description is Lovecraftian in its vagueness: "a series of gestures indicative of mental and physical fatigue," "he frowned, as if in anger or distaste." What did he do and feel? pick something!
Anyway, the story is plotted well, ends up predictably, and, save for the bedmaker, spares us female frivolity.