Flames of Vengeance and Other Stories by Seabury Quinn
Flames of Vengeance – Jules de Grandin, Occult Detective, is back in three more tales of horror and the supernatural, Devil-worship and ancient curses.
Three tales of the supernatural by Seabury Quinn, including Pledged to the Dead, Flames of Vengeance and Incense of Abomination, all originally published in Weird Tales. Jules de Grandin, Occult Detective, is back in three more tales of horror and the supernatural, Devil-worship and ancient curses.
Pledged to the Dead (1937) – A tale of a lover who was pledged to a sweetheart who had been in her grave for more than a century, and of the striking death that menaced him—a story of Jules de Grandin
Flames of Vengeance (1937) – A strange doom hung over young Pemberton and his wife, a brooding horror spawned in India and transplanted to America in all its murderous potency—a brilliant exploit of Jules de Grandin
Incense of Abomination (1938) – A daring story of Devil-worship, the Black Mass, strange suicides, and the salvation of one who had sinned greatly, yet was truly repentant—a tale of Jules de Grandin.
Incense of Abomination was the cover story of the March, 1938 issue of Weird Tales.
Seabury Grandin Quinn (1889 – 1969) was a lawyer specializing in mortuary jurisprudence. However he was much more famous for his stories of the occult detective Jules de Grandin. He wrote over 90 de Grandin stories from 1925 to 1951, most of which were published in Weird Tales.
Flames of Vengeance and Other Stories has 7 illustrations.
Flames of Vengeance is also available on Barnes & Noble
Excerpt: Incense of Abomination
“. . . incense is an abomination unto me.”
DETECTIVE SERGEANT COSTELLO looked fixedly at the quarter-inch of ash on his cigar, as though he sought solution of his problem in its fire-cored grayness. “Tis th’ damndest mixed-up mess I’ve iver happened up against,” he told us solemnly. “Here’s this Eldridge felly, young an’ rich an’ idle, wid niver a care ter ‘is name, savin’ maybe, how he’d spend th’ next month’s income, then zowie! he ups an’ hangs hisself. We finds him swingin’ from th’ doorpost of his bedroom wid his bathrobe girdle knotted around ‘is neck an’ about a mile o’ tongue sthickin’ out. ”
“Suicide? Sure, an’ what else could it be wid a felly found sthrung up in a tight-locked flat like that?”
“Then, widin a week there comes a call fer us to take it on th’ lam up to th’ house where Stanley Trivers lived. ‘There he is, a-layin’ on his bathroom floor wid a cut across ‘is throat that ye could put yer foot into, a’most. In his pajammies he is, an’ th’ blood’s run down an’ spoilt ’em good an’ proper. Suicide again? Well, maybe so an’ maybe no, fer in all me time I’ve niver seen a suicidal cut across a felly’s throat that was as deep where it wound up as where it stharted. ‘They mostly gits remorse afore th’ cut is ended, as ye know, an’ th’ pressure on th’ knife gits less an’ less; so th’ cut’s a whole lot shallower at th’ end than ’twas at th’ beginnin’. However, th’ coroner says it’s suicide, so suicide it is, as far as we’re concerned. Anyhow, gintlemen, in both these cases th’ dead men wuz locked in their houses, from th’ inside, as wus plain by th’ keys still bein’ in th’ locks.
“Now comes th’ third one. ‘Tis this Donald Atkins felly, over to th’ Kensington Apartments. Sthretched on th’ floor he is, wid a hole bored in ‘is forehead an’ tha’ blood a-runnin’ over everything. He’s on ‘is back wid a pearl-stocked pistol in ‘is hand. Suicide again, says Schultz, me partner, an’ I’m not th’ one ter say as how it ain’t, all signs pointin’ as they do, still——” He paused and puffed at his cigar till its gray tip glowed with sullen rose.”
Jules de Grandin tweaked a needle-sharp mustache tip. “Tell me, my sergeant,” he commanded, “what is it you have withheld? Somewhere in the history of these cases is a factor you have not revealed, some denominator common to them all which makes your police instinct doubt your senses’ evidence—— “
“How’d ye guess it, sor?” the big Irishman looked at him admiringly. “Ye’ve put yer finger right upon it, but——”
“He stifled an embarrassed cough, then, turning slightly red; ” ‘Tis th’ perfume, sor, as makes me wonder.”
“Perfume?” the little Frenchman echoed. “What in Satan’s foul name——”
“Well, sor, I ain’t one o’ them as sees a woman’s skirts a-hidin’ back of ivery crime, though you an’ I both knows there’s mighty few crimes committed that ain’t concerned wid cash or women, savin’ when they’re done fer both. But these here cases have me worried. None o’ these men wuz married, an’, so far as I’ve found out, none o’ them wuz kapin’ steady company, yet—git this, sor; ’tis small, but maybe it’s important—there wuz a smell o’ perfume hangin’ round each one of ’em, an’ ’twas th’ same in ivery case. No sooner had I got a look at this pore Eldridge felly bangin’ like a joint o’ beef from his own doorpost than me nose begins a-twitchin’. ‘Wuz he a pansy, maybe?’ I wonders when I smelt it first, for ’twas no shavin’ lotion or toilet water, but a woman’s heavy scent, strong an’ swate an’—what’s it that th’ ads all say? — distinctive. Yis, sor, that’s th’ word fer it, distinctive. Not like anything I’ve smelt before, but kind o’ like a mixin’ up o’ this here ether that they use ter put a man ter slape before they takes ‘is leg off, an’ kind o’ like th’ incense they use in church, an’ maybe there wuz sumpin mixed wid it that wasn’t perfume afther all, sumpin that smelt rank an’ sickly-like, th’ kind o’ smell ye smell when they takes a floater from th’ bay, sor.”
“Well, I looks around ter see where it’s a-comin’ from, an’ it’s strongest in th’ bedroom; but divil a sign o’ any woman bein’ there I find, ‘ceptin’ fer th’ smell o’ perfume.”
Excerpt From: Seabury Quinn. “Flames of Vengeance and Other Stories.”
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