A spellbinding dark fantasy classic from Weird Tales!
Here are the final two adventures of multi-award-winning author of dark fantasy Manly Wade Wellman's Judge Keith Hilary Pursuivant in his battles against occult forces of darkness. The penultimate story describes the terrifying consequences when someone violates the terms of a treaty his township signed with the local Native people, a clause that was intended to protect the settlers from their own heedlessness. In the second eldritch tale, Judge Pursuivant comes to the aid of a man who asks him, “How would you feel if something followed you all around your new home—something cold and sneaky, that wasn't even there when you turned your head?”
These are followed by a pair of very important Wellman stories. “Sin’s Doorway,” according to the fantasy historian G. W. Thomas whose work has appeared in The Armchair Detective, Mystery Review, and Dark Worlds Quarterly, was said by Wellman to feature “a younger, guitarless Silver John, although he is not named.” Its nameless protagonist moves into a remote cabin he has inherited, only to discover to his horror it is not truly a house, but something far different. The second of these reader-treats is, in a way, a sequel to the first Judge Pursuivant adventure The Hairy Ones Shall Dance, where he fought a desperate battle against darkest evil in a pine forest called “The Devil's Croft” by locals. In the “Pineys,” The Devil's Croft is revealed as the legendary land of the Shonokins. Among Wellman's most popular creations, the Shonokins appear frequently in his John Thunstone stories and the Silver John tales. The Shonokins (or pine-people) are a race of humanoid-like creatures who inhabited the U.S. before the first homo sapiens crossed the land bridge into the Americas—and they are still enraged by the intrusion. In this story a group of people find themselves at the end of a road deep in the Devil's Croft and have a deadly confrontation with the Shonokins and the King of the Pine People—in a denouement clearly inspired by a world-famous story fantasy story of the era.
We are sure fans of dark fantasy, or of Wellman's work, will find these four eerie stories display this winner of the World Fantasy Convention's Award for Lifetime Achievement at the height of his creative and literary powers.