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Cover – Beyond the Veil of Time by B.H. Barney

Beyond the Veil of Time by B.H. Barney

This story is famous for being a plagiarization of A. Merritt’s “The Face in the Abyss.” The author, B.H. Barney, is not known to have written anything else.

Book Details

Book Details

Beyond the Veil of Time is famous for being a plagiarization of A. Merritt’s “The Face in the Abyss.” The author, B.H. Barney, is not known to have written anything else.

Beyond the Veil of Time (1932)
Chapter I
Chapter II – The Whispering Gorge
Chapter III – “The Gypsy Trail”
Chapter IV – The Face in the Flame
Chapter V – The Girl of the Luminous Curtain
Chapter VI – Across the Ages
Chapter VII – A Visitor
Chapter VIII – The Man-ape
Chapter IX – Amnestar
Chapter X – The Lords of Life and Death
Chapter XI – The Flower Maiden
Chapter XII – The Altar of the Flame
Chapter XIII – Losaya
Chapter XIV – A Blow in the Dark
Chapter XV – The Justice of Amnestar
Chapter XVI – War
Chapter XVII – The Attack
Chapter XVIII – The Lord of Life
Chapter XIX – The Endless Quest

A. Merritt‘s novelette The Face In The Abyss and its sequel The Snake Mother were combined in a hardback edition, and published in 1931  as The Face In The Abyss. While reading the Fall/Winter 1932 issue of Amazing Stories Quarterly, Merritt came across Beyond the Veil of Time  and was outraged by the blatant plagiarism of his work. He immediately filed suit against Amazing Stories.

In discovery it was found that B.H. Barney was a farmhand working for about $15 a month. Barney had already spent the $175 that he had been paid for the story and so there was no real monetary remedy that Merritt could pursue. Merritt dropped the suit after Amazing Stories published a Notice in its June, 1933 issue acknowledging the plagiarism. B.H. Barney never published another story.

Beyond the Veil of Time contains 2 illustrations.


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Excerpt: Beyond the Veil of Time

Chapter I

IN the lonely fastnesses of the Peruvian Andes came to me the first half-thought that grew into the idea which, in its own frightful fashion, threw wide the gates to the strange road that led to the mighty walls of Amnester, the Sacred City, and on to the unthinkable caverns of the Golden Mountain, within whose depths reared the terrible Altar of that dread mystery, “The Flame”; where sat the Lord of Life and the Lord of Death, enthroned among the Dreammakers, gazing ever into the fathomless pit where writhed the Serpent, guardian of the Altar.

First and foremost I am a mathematician, and I have always considered mathematics my serious life-work. However, like most of my ilk, I have a penchant for meddling in other branches of science. I take an active interest in botany and zoology, but my pet hobby is archaeology. I have always been greatly interested in the storied Inca races of South America, and I have spent many enjoyable vacations exploring the ruins which stand eternal monument to the industry and engineering skill of this once great people, whose tragic decline forms a sad but attractive chapter in history.

While conducting some research work along the shores of Lake Titicaca, I had acquired information which set me out on a wild journey to discover a fabled ruined city in the Andean fastness to the north-east; ruins which, it was said, no white man had ever visited.

However, I had about reached the conclusion that I was the victim of a yarn intended to entertain credulous strangers, for with my Indian guides I had been prowling gloomy canyons and cloud-high passes for weeks with no other results than frostbite and incipient snow blindness. My decision had been to give orders to backtrack for Cuzco the following day, when in a mountain-walled valley, little more than a fertile gorge, we discovered a tribe of mountain Trigullos.

The Trigullos are the direct descendants of the old Incas, and this tribe is, I believe, of the purest blood, untainted by inter-racial breeding.

I had arrived at an opportune time, for the natives were suffering from a malignant form of influenza that was killing them like flies. In my medical kit was a goodly supply of nitroglycerin, strychnine and morphine tablets, also a small quantity of camphorated oil in hermetically sealed tubes — preparations for just such an emergency, pneumonia and kindred diseases being a scourge in these regions. By hard work and judicious use of the drugs, I was able to check the epidemic and save a number of sufferers who had been given up for dying. By so doing, I earned the eternal gratitude of the tribe.

I soon found that in these Trigullos I had discovered a mine of interesting information in the form of curious legends and beliefs which, I felt, completely justified my arduous trip. I explained to my new friends the object of my journey into their country, but my mention of a ruined city was met by a singular silence. I had about given up hope of learning anything that might prove or disprove the legend and had decided to set out on the return journey. Seated in my shelter tent I was tabulating and checking notes when the flap was raised and, out of the silvered velvet of the night, strode Huayan, Chief of the tribe.

He was one of the finest appearing natives I have ever seen, more than six feet tall, straight as an arrow and graceful as a willow wand. He was fair for an Indian, being little darker than myself, bronzed as I am by years of outdoor life. Taking him all in all, I could easily believe his claim to direct descent from Manco Capac, first king of the Incas and founder of Cuzco. At my gesture of invitation, he seated himself and spoke.

“Oh, Father of Wisdom” — the title which the Trigullos had bestowed upon me — he began in Aimara, the sacred language of the priests. “Who, unlike the other men of your race, seeks not the Tears of the Sun (gold) but only knowledge, to you I will disclose that which has not been revealed since time upon time before Manco Capac tore from the granite breast of Father Andes the first stone of the Holy City. Tomorrow I will lead the way to the ruins of a city which was old when Manco Capac and Mamao Ollo came down from the heavens to found the Inca race, which saw the Army of the Heavens (the stars) take their places one by one, and whose people have vanished long ages ago.

“Question me not, Father of Wisdom, rest and make ready: tomorrow I point the way.”

Excerpt From: B. H. Barney. “Beyond the Veil of Time”

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