Ash-Tree Press
P.O. Box 1360, Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada V0K 1A0
Tel: (250) 453-2045; Fax: (250) 453-2075


by Steve Duffy

ISBN: 1-899562-44-3; xv + 279pp
Published 30 March 1998 in an edition of 500 copies

'Standing between the niches, like sentinels over the treasure-trove of Death, were thirteen fully articulated skeletons, clothed in monks’ habits and armed with long scythes.'

Mr Metfield is astounded to discover this tableau in the crypt of the church of St Joseph, in the small French town of Vazart-les-Bains. His arrival in the town coincides with the annual enactment of the Danse Macabre, or Dance of Death, wherein thirteen monks from the abbey don skeleton costumes and proceed through the streets. When Mr Metfield returns to the crypt, however, he is horrified to find that only twelve skeletons remain. Where is the thirteenth? And how many figures are taking part in the Dance of Death in the streets outside?

In ‘The Ossuary’ and fifteen other stories in this new collection, Steve Duffy evokes the Golden Age of the ghost story with practised ease. Set mainly in the period between the Wars, the stories in The Night Comes On are consciously ‘Jamesian’ in style and setting. They feature libraries and academics and great old country houses, colleges and branch railway-stations and cathedrals; and, of course, any number of things less easily defined, which lie in wait for the foolish, the unwary, or the unlucky. The protagonists come through their adventures alive—though not always. And while they may be more or less intact in physical terms, they usually have a new insight into things for which they once had little time and less respect.

Ash-Tree Press is proud to be publishing the work of startling new talent Steve Duffy. His stories will thrill lovers of the classic ghost story and will, undoubtedly, become classics in their own right.

Jacket art by Douglas Walters.

Contents: Introduction by Steve Duffy; ‘The Night Comes On’; ‘Out of the Water, Out of the Earth’; ‘The Close at Chadminster’; ‘The Last of the Scarisfields’; ‘The Hunter and His Quarry’; ‘The Ossuary’; ‘Running Dogs’; ‘One Over’; ‘Figures on a Hillside’; ‘Ex Libris’; ‘The Story of a Malediction’; ‘The Vicar of Wryde St Luke’; ‘The Marsh Warden’; ‘The Return Journey’; ‘Nigrendo’; ‘Tidesend’; Notes on the Stories.

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