There is an intermediate ground between our knowledge of life and the unknown which is readily conceived as covered by the term mysticism. Mystery stories of high rank often fall under this general classification. They are neither of earth, heaven nor Hades, but may partake of either. In the hands of a master they present at times a rare, if even upon occasion, unduly thrilling—aesthetic charm. The examples which it has been possible to gather within the space of this volume are offered as the best of their type.
up speed; yet in the gloom I frequently tripped and plunged into prickly gorse near the ground, so that from shin to knee was soon a-tingle with sharp pain. Odd puffs and spits of rain stung my face, and the periods of utter stillness were always followed by little shouting gusts of wind, each time from a new direction. Troubled is perhaps too strong a word, but flustered I certainly was; and though I recognised that it was due to my being in an environment so remote from the town life I was accustomed to, I found it impossible to stifle altogether the feeling of malaise that had crept into my heart, and I looked about with increasing eagerness for the lighted windows of Bassett's cottage.
More and more, little pin-pricks of distress and confusion accumulated, adding to my realisation of being away from streets and shop-windows, and things I could classify and deal with. The mist, too, distorted as well as concealed, played tricks with sounds as well as with sights. And, once or twice, when I stumbled
"May-Day Eve" by Algernon Blackwood
"The Diamond Lens" by Fitz-James O'Brien
"The Mummy's Foot" by Theopile Gautier
"Mr. Bloke's Item" by Mark Twain
"A Ghost" by Lafcadio Hearn
"The Man Who Went Too Far" by E. F. Benson
"Chan Tow the Highrob" by Chester Bailey Fernando
"The Inmost Light" by Arthur Machen
"The Secret of Goresthorpe Grange" by A. Conan Doyle
"The Man with the Pale Eyes" by Guy de Maupassant
"The Rival Ghosts" by Brander Matthews