As we played on the swing set, a group of young boys, about our age, came to play in the park.
The artist said nothing.
That afternoon Van Cheele went for one of his frequent rambles through his woodland property. He had a stuffed bittern in his study, and knew the names of quite a number of wild flowers, so his aunt had possibly some justification in describing him as a great naturalist.
At any rate, he was a great walker. It was his custom to take mental notes of everything he saw during his walks, not so much for the purpose of assisting contemporary science as to provide topics for conversation afterwards. When the bluebells began to show themselves in flower he made a point of informing every one of the fact; the season of the year might have warned his hearers of the likelihood of such an occurrence, but at least they felt that he was being absolutely frank with them.
What Van Cheele saw on this particular afternoon was, however, something far removed from his ordinary range of experience. On a shelf of smooth stone overhanging a deep pool in the hollow of an oak coppice a boy of about sixteen lay asprawl, drying his wet brown limbs luxuriously in the sun.
His wet hair, parted by a recent dive, lay close to his head, and his light-brown eyes, so light that there was an almost tigerish gleam in them, were turned towards Van Cheele with a certain lazy watchfulness.
It was an unexpected apparition, and Van Cheele found himself engaged in the novel process of thinking before he spoke. Where on earth could this wild-looking boy hail from? The boy rolled slowly over on to his back, and laughed a weird low laugh, that was pleasantly like a chuckle and disagreeably like a snarl.
The boy turned like a flash, plunged into the pool, and in a moment had flung his wet and glistening body half-way up the bank where Van Cheele was standing. In an otter the movement would not have been remarkable; in a boy Van Cheele found it sufficiently startling.
His foot slipped as he made an involuntarily backward movement, and he found himself almost prostrate on the slippery weed-grown bank, with those tigerish yellow eyes not very far from his own. Almost instinctively he half raised his hand to his throat.
They boy laughed again, a laugh in which the snarl had nearly driven out the chuckle, and then, with another of his astonishing lightning movements, plunged out of view into a yielding tangle of weed and fern.
Something had been thinning the game in the woods lately, poultry had been missing from the farms, hares were growing unaccountably scarcer, and complaints had reached him of lambs being carried off bodily from the hills.
Was it possible that this wild boy was really hunting the countryside in company with some clever poacher dogs?
And then, as Van Cheele ran his mind over the various depredations that had been committed during the last month or two, he came suddenly to a dead stop, alike in his walk and his speculations.
The child missing from the mill two months ago—the accepted theory was that it had tumbled into the mill-race and been swept away; but the mother had always declared she had heard a shriek on the hill side of the house, in the opposite direction from the water.
It was unthinkable, of course, but he wished that the boy had not made that uncanny remark about child-flesh eaten two months ago. Such dreadful things should not be said even in fun. Van Cheele, contrary to his usual wont, did not feel disposed to be communicative about his discovery in the wood.
His position as a parish councillor and justice of the peace seemed somehow compromised by the fact that he was harbouring a personality of such doubtful repute on his property; there was even a possibility that a heavy bill of damages for raided lambs and poultry might be laid at his door.
At dinner that night he was quite unusually silent. With this resolution taken, his usual cheerfulness partially returned, and he hummed a bright little melody as he sauntered to the morning-room for his customary cigarette.
As he entered the room the melody made way abruptly for a pious invocation. Gracefully asprawl on the ottoman, in an attitude of almost exaggerated repose, was the boy of the woods.
He was drier than when Van Cheele had last seen him, but no other alteration was noticeable in his toilet. Supposing my aunt should see you! At that moment his aunt entered the room. Miss Van Cheele was enormously interested.
A naked homeless child appealed to Miss Van Cheele as warmly as a stray kitten or derelict puppy would have done. His misgivings were not diminished by the fact that his staid and elderly spaniel had bolted out of the house at the first incoming of the boy, and now obstinately remained shivering and yapping at the farther end of the orchard, while the canary, usually as vocally industrious as Van Cheele himself, had put itself on an allowance of frightened cheeps.
More than ever he was resolved to consult Cunningham without loss of time.‘Gabriel-Ernest’, Werewolves and Cannibalism ‘Gabriel-Ernest’ (), a short story by Saki, features an adolescent werewolf who preys on local children.
The tale opens with the eerie line: “There is . “Gabriel-Ernest is a werewolf” was a hopelessly inadequate effort at conveying the situation, and his aunt would think it was a code message to which he had omitted to give her the key.
His one hope was that he might reach home before sundown. Nov 19, · Saki's classic story, read by Mike Bennett. Also available as a podcast: pfmlures.com For more readings from this reader on You. "Gabriel-Ernest" is a short story by British writer H.
H. Munro, better known as Saki. The story was included in The Westminster Gazette and appears in the collection Reginald in Russia published by Methuen & Co. in SummaryAuthor: H. H. Munro. Hybrid Form - From the s to the s etchings and published drawings of werewolves included a hybrid form werewolf standing on two legs.
But in stories and folktales, at least the nineteenth century, werewolves possessed two . The Werewolf by Montague Summers, which is more of a pseudo-academic, faux-religious exercise in live-action role playing from the swinging 30s (Summers, unlike Baring-Gould, professed to believe in the existence of werewolves, witches, etc).
As for good werewolf novels, beats me.