|No excuse needed ...|
First published in Illustrated London News, 13th January 1906
Collected in The Room in the Tower (1912)
(First read 06/01/2012)
One of EFB's curiously 'back-to-front' supernatural stories: he tells you what to expect later in the yarn ~ then tells you it. This one takes place in a part of Scotland I've actually been to very recently ~ in fact, purely by coincidence, I've been to the exact area of the setting, near the village of Helmsdale in Sutherland. Anyway, it deals with a witch, a 'strapping Viking adonis' of a gillie, a mysterious death, Satanic ritual, and the ever-trusty presence of Hugh Grainger (here transmogrified for no good reason into Hugh Graham). All in all, not bad, as long as you don't mind hoary old twaddle. It's available online here.