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John Bovey



Up to the north there, monsieur, you can see the woods where the General used to take his longest walks. When he left Madame at home, he could cover a lot of ground in an afternoon. The Sûreté assigned two inspectors to him, although he didn't li [...]

The Battalions of Winter

Dozing by the fire over her seed catalogues, Sarah Kimball was startled by rumbling far away in the covered bridge. A minute later she heard the whine of a motor, mounting the zigzags that led up Barker's Hill. Dreams of summer squash and beefsteak [...]

The Hand of Fat’ma

Homage to M. R. James Neither the Adult Education Center of New Salem nor the Colonial Museum, where it occupies a modest corner, has ever produced a ghost or even the footprint of a ghost. The old Greek-Revival mansion, with its sagging blind [...]


At half past one Dr. Charles Bolton flipped off his electronic typewriter and tamped together the pages of manuscript that lay on his desk. His arthritic left knee cracked as he got up to turn off the air conditioner. When he opened the door of the [...]

In Another Country

Thou hast committed—  Fornication: but that was in another country  And besides, the wench is dead —Marlowe, The Jew of Malta On a burning afternoon in April, Inspector Thomas Calhern of the Department of State arrived by train in Marrake [...]


Pomfret Stone bore no nickname in the Foreign Service until, in the blazing rocketry of his downfall, he became known as the Madman of the Mamounia. Christened James Pomfret, he pared down his identity when he entered the Service and signed his dis [...]

The Golden Sunshine

In explaining to British readers why the author of "The Scarlet Letter" suddenly found himself posted to Liverpool as American Consul, Henry James described in simplest terms the alchemy by which Washington converts domestic debts into foreign cred [...]

Charles XI

Of the Nine Muses the greatest bore is Clio, although Calliope runs a close second. Fortunately, however, the stately progress of History, if not that of Epic Poetry, has always been accompanied by indiscreet memorialists—the imps of letters and [...]

The Tigers of Wrath

None of Isaiah Ross's students went unmotivated for more than 30 seconds. "He scared us pissless," was the way one young alumnus of Barton Country Day put it to me."He even frightened me into learning the subjunctive of indirect discourse." His ton [...]