Printer’s Devil Court—A Ghost Story by Susan Hill, 2014 (Cover + Excerpt + Link)


Tonight’s Read: A ghost story/novella by the author of The Woman in Black: Susan Hill. It’s only $2.56 right now on Amazon for Kindle. (Link below).

Hill is a writer with some serious chops.

Here’s Part One (Note: the first panel is a letter that ends with the title of a book. The second panel is missing the header The Book—as what follows on the remaining panels is excerpted from Dr Hugh Meredith’s book.):

About the Author

Susan Hill, CBE (1942- ) is the winner of numerous literary prizes including the Somerset Maugham award for her novel I’m the King of the Castle (1971). She is the author of the Simon Serrailler crime/mystery series and numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction. Hill has written two literary/reading memoirs: Howards End is on the Landing, and Jacob’s Room Is Full of Books; and she is well known for her ghost-story novellas and novels: Dolly, The Man In The Picture, The Small Hand, The Man in the Mist, Printer’s Devil Court, Ms DeWinter (a sequel to Dumaurier’s Rebecca), and her most famous book, The Woman in Black—which was made into a 2012 feature film starring Daniel Radcliffe. (A play based on The Woman in Black has been running continuously in London’s West End for more than 20 years.) In 2012, Hill was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her service to literature.

Other Books by Susan Hill

Buy the Book…

Tales by Moonlight II, a Follow-up Anthology of Horror Stories, ed. by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, TOC


Cover art by Jill Bauman.

Table of Contents

1 • A Glimpse of Supernatural Literature and the Small Presses • (1989) • essay by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
11 • Proem: The Haunted Street • (1950) • poem by Marion Zimmer Bradley
12 • Dream of a Mannikin, or the Third Person • (1983) • short story by Thomas Ligotti (variant of Dream of a Mannikin 1982)
28 • Marilyn and the King • (1983) • short story by Ruth Berman
33 • The Area • (1986) • short story by Stefan Grabiński? (trans. of Dziedzina 1918) [as by Stefan Grabinski]
45 • The Return of Noire • (1987) • short story by Michael Bullock
55 • A Light from Out of Our Heart • (1987) • short story by Jules Remedios Faye [as by Jules Faye]
61 • Mr. Templeton’s Toyshop • (1986) • short story by Thomas Wiloch (variant of Selections from “Mr. Templeton’s Toyshop”)
69 • The Devil Frolics with a Butler • (1726) • short story by Daniel Defoe (variant of The Friendly Demon)
73 • The Cats of Ulthar • [Dream Cycle] • (1920) • short story by H. P. Lovecraft
77 • Dead Dogs • (1985) • short fiction by Denis Tiani
80 • “W.D.” • (1986) • short story by David Starkey
85 • The Drabbletails • (1980) • short story by Stephen Gresham
95 • The Gravedigger and Death • (1983) • short story by Rosemary Pardoe [as by Mary Ann Allen]
103 • Taking Care of Bertie • (1985) • short story by Janet Fox
110 • Cardinal Napellus • (1986) • short story by Gustav Meyrink (trans. of Der Kardinal Napellus 1915)
122 • The Coffeepot • (1985) • short story by Théophile Gautier (trans. of La cafetière 1831)
130 • Seven • (1987) • short fiction by Stephen-Paul Martin
134 • Chocolate • (1984) • short fiction by Wendy Wees
136 • Mousewoman • (1987) • short fiction by Wendy Wees
138 • Mother Hag • (1987) • short story by Steve Rasnic Tem
148 • Good Thoughts • (1973) • short story by W. Paul Ganley
152 • Shirley Is No Longer with Us • (1978) • short story by Jody Scott
158 • The Ghost of Don Carlos • (1977) • short story by Michel Tremblay (trans. of Le Fantôme de Don Carlos unknown)
167 • Live on Tape • (1977) • short story by Spider Robinson
175 • The Head of the Hydra Flower • (1989) • short story by Carol Reid
183 • The Manhattan Phone Book (Abridged) • (1984) • short story by John Varley
189 • An Image in Twisted Silver • (1986) • short story by Charles L. Grant
195 • What Used to Be Audrey • (1984) • short story by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
200 • The Day • (1969) • short story by David Madison
206 • A Thief in the Night • (1981) • short story by Jayge Carr
211 • Silhouette • (1985) • short story by Don Beckett [as by D. Beckett]
222 • Laugh Kookaberry, Laugh Kookaberry, Gay Your Life Must Be • (1981) • short story by John Domini
242 • Azrael’s Atonement • (1987) • short story by Archie N. Roy
250 • The Eldritch Horror of Oz • (1981) • short story by L. Frank Craftlove
264 • O, Christmas Tree • (1979) • short story by W. H. Pugmire and Jessica Amanda Salmonson [as by Jessica Amanda Salmonson and W. H. Pugmire, Jr.]
279 • The Pacific High • (1988) • short story by Grant Fjermedal
293 • Jack in the Box • (1983) • short story by Ramsey Campbell
299 • Envoy: The Scythe of Dreams • (1985) • poem by Joseph Payne Brennan
300 • Appendix I: How to Publish Your Own Shoestring Horror Magazine (Tales by Moonlight II) • (1989) • essay by Peggy Nadramia
303 • Appendix II: Current Small Press Horror Magazines (Tales by Moonlight II) • (1989) • essay by uncredited

Tales by Moonlight I, an Anthology of Horror Stories, ed. by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, TOC


Table of Contents

v • Foreword (Tales By Moonlight) • essay by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
vii • Introduction (Tales By Moonlight) • essay by Stephen King
1 •  The Nocturnal Visitor • interior artwork by Allen B. Cox
2 • The Nocturnal Visitor • novelette by Dale C. Donaldson
19 •  Flames • interior artwork by Jeffrey Potter
20 • Flames • short story by Jeffrey Lant
31 •  An Egg for Ava • interior artwork by Wendy Adrian Shultz
32 • An Egg for Ava • short story by Richard Lee Fulgham [as by Richard Lee-Fulgham]
40 • See the Station Master • short story by George Guthridge [as by George Florance-Guthridge]
55 •  A Tulip for Eulie • interior artwork by Stephen Fabian
56 • A Tulip for Eulie • novelette by Austelle Pool
70 • Cobwebs • short story by Jody Scott
79 •  The Toymaker and the Musicrafter • interior artwork by Paul Sonju
80 • The Toymaker and the Musicrafter • short story by Phyllis Ann Karr
85 •  Witches • interior artwork by Stephen Jones
86 • Witches • short story by Janet Fox
96 • A Night Out • short story by Nina Kiriki Hoffman [as by N. K. Hoffman]
100 •  A Night Out • interior artwork by Earl Geier
103 •  Jaborondi Jazz • interior artwork by Randy Broecker
104 • Jaborondi Jazz • short story by Gordon Linzner
112 • A Wine of Heart’s Desire • novelette by Ron Nance
132 •  A Wine of Heart’s Desire • interior artwork by Thomas Clark
139 •  Spring Conditions • interior artwork by Randy Broecker
140 • Spring Conditions • short story by Eileen Gunn
146 • The Sky Came Down to Earth • short story by Steve Rasnic Tem
153 •  Joan • interior artwork by Paul Sonju
154 • Joan • short story by Rosemary Pardoe [as by Mary Ann Allen]
160 • The Night of the Red, Red Moon • short story by Elinor Busby
165 •  Toyman’s Name • interior artwork by Paul Sonju
166 • Toyman’s Name • short story by Phyllis Ann Karr
175 •  Dog Killer • interior artwork by Brad W. Foster [as by Brad Foster]
176 • Dog Killer • short story by William H. Green
185 •  The Mourning After • interior artwork by Wendy Adrian Shultz
186 • The Mourning After • short story by Bruce McDonald
193 •  The Hill is No Longer There • interior artwork by Randy Broecker
194 • The Hill is No Longer There • short story by John D. Berry
199 •  The Hill is No Longer There [2] • interior artwork by Randy Broecker
201 •  The Inhabitant of the Pond • interior artwork by Wendy Adrian Shultz
202 • The Inhabitant of the Pond • novelette by Linda Thornton

“The Lady’s Maid’s Bell”, a Chilling Vintage Ghost Story by Edith Wharton (Restless Spirits: Ghost Stories by Women 1872 – 1926)


Antique Austrian “Tereszczuk” Lady’s bell crafted of ivory and bronze. (Pinterest)

The Lady’s Maid’s Bell

Edith Wharton, 1905
(1862 – 1936)


“The Lady’s Maid’s Bell” originally appeared in a 1902 issue of Scribner’s Magazine.

0CC7EADF-B75C-4738-A503-D37EBCC19C47The author of novels, novellas, short stories, poetry, and travel books, Edith Wharton achieved both popular and critical acclaim during her lifetime. Born Edith Newbold Jones into the most exclusive New York society, she was educated at home by governesses. At age twenty-three she made a proper society marriage to Edward Wharton, scion of a prominent Boston family. Although she had early displayed writing talent, it had been discouraged, and her career did not get fully underway until she was thirty. Wharton’s marriage was never happy, and after her divorce in 1913 she took up permanent residence in France. A devotee of the ghost story, she claimed that “till I was twenty-seven or eight, I could not sleep in the room with a book containing a ghost-story,” and that “I have frequently had to burn books of this kind, because it frightened me to know that they were downstairs in the library!” Wharton’s ghost stories, among the finest of her time, provide chilling investigations of gender roles and relations. “The Lady’s Maid’s Bell” made its debut in Scribner’s Magazine in 1902. It most recently appeared in The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1985).



It was the autumn after I had the typhoid. I’d been three months in hospital, and when I came out I looked so weak and tottery that the two or three ladies I applied to were afraid to engage me. Most of my money was gone, and after I’d boarded for two months, hanging about the employment agencies, and answering any advertisement that looked any way respectable, I pretty nearly lost heart, for fretting hadn’t made me fatter, and I didn’t see why my luck should ever turn. It did thoughor I thought so at the time. A Mrs. Railton, a friend of the lady that first brought me out to the States, met me one day and stopped to speak to me: she was one that had always a friendly way with her. She asked me what ailed me to look so white, and when I told her, “Why, Hartley,” says she, “I believe I’ve got the very place for you. Come in tomorrow and we’ll talk about it.”

The next day, when I called, she told me the lady she’d in mind was a niece of hers, a Mrs. Brympton, a youngish lady, but something of an invalid, who lived all the year round at her country-place on the Hudson, owing to not being able to stand the fatigue of town life.

“Now, Hartley,” Mrs. Railton said, in that cheery way that always made me feel things must be going to take a turn for the better; “now understand me, it’s not a cheerful place I’m sending you to. The house is big and gloomy; my niece is nervous, vapourish; her husbandwell, he’s generally away; and the two children are dead. A year ago I would as soon have thought of shutting a rosy active girl like you into a vault, but you’re not particularly brisk yourself just now, are you? and a quiet place, with country air and wholesome food and early hours, ought to be the very thing for you. Don’t mistake me,” she added, for I suppose I looked a trifle downcast; “you may find it dull but you won’t be unhappy. My niece is an angel. Her former maid, who died last spring, had been with her twenty years and worshipped the ground she walked on. She’s a kind mistress to all, and where the mistress is kind, as you know, the servants are generally good-humoured, so you’ll probably get on well enough with the rest of the household. And you’re the very woman I want for my niece: quiet, well-mannered, and educated above your station. You read aloud well, I think? That’s a good thing; my niece likes to be read to. She wants a maid that can be something of a companion: her last was, and I can’t say how she misses her. It’s a lonely life . . . Well, have you decided?”

“Why, ma’am,” I said, “I’m not afraid of solitude.”

“Well, then, go; my niece will take you on my recommendation. I’ll telegraph her at once and you can take the afternoon train. She has no one to wait on her at present, and I don’t want you to lose any time.”

I was ready enough to start, yet something in me hung back; and to gain time I asked, “And the gentleman, ma’am?”

“The gentleman’s almost always away, I tell you,” said Mrs. Railton, quick-like”and when he’s there,” says she suddenly, “you’ve only to keep out of his way.”

I took the afternoon train and got out at D station at about four o’clock. A groom in a dog-cart was waiting, and we drove off at a smart pace.”

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