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The Mystery of the Sea

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The Mystery of the Sea

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Author: Bram Stoker
Publisher: Valancourt Books, 2007
Doubleday, Page & Company, 1902
William Heinemann, 1902

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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Fantasy
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When Archibald Hunter comes to Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire, for his annual holiday, he looks forward to a tranquil few days by the sea. But as he sits by the bridge he is disturbed by a strange vision of a couple he had seen earlier, the man now carrying a small black coffin. Shortly afterwards he discovers their child has drowned. The following day, speaking to a fisherman, he is again confronted by a portent of doom. As he sets out to sea, the other men speak his name - Lauchlane Macleod: the very same whose death Gormala had foretold. But how can this gaunt old woman know such things? Where are these terrible visions, whose force he seems unable to counter, taking him? What is the significance of the pages of cipher which once belonged to Don de Escoban? Can he solve the Mystery of the Sea?


I had just arrived at Cruden Bay on my annual visit, and after a late breakfast was sitting on the low wall which was a continuation of the escarpment of the bridge over the Water of Cruden. Opposite to me, across the road and standing under the only little clump of trees in the place was a tall, gaunt old woman, who kept looking at me intently. As I sat, a little group, consisting of a man and two women, went by. I found my eyes follow them, for it seemed to me after they had passed me that the two women walked together and the man alone in front carrying on his shoulder a little black box--a coffin. I shuddered as I thought, but a moment later I saw all three abreast just as they had been. The old woman was now looking at me with eyes that blazed. She came across the road and said to me without preface:

"What saw ye then, that yer e'en looked so awed?" I did not like to tell her so I did not answer. Her great eyes were fixed keenly upon me, seeming to look me through and through. I felt that I grew quite red, whereupon she said, apparently to herself: "I thocht so! Even I did not see that which he saw."

Copyright © 1902 by Bram Stoker


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