RARA-AVIS: Lafcadio Hearn redux (was Re: hey, Duane)

From: Duane Spurlock (duane1spur@yahoo.com)
Date: 09 Sep 2009

  • Next message: Duane Spurlock: "RARA-AVIS: Lafcadio Hearn threedux (was Re: hey, Duane)"

     "Frederick Zackel" fzackel@wcnet.org  wrote:

    << Hi Duane,

    Among those Cincy pieces from Lafcadio Hearn's journalism is one about a gruesome murder.  It is an absolute classic. Could I prevail upon you -- if you have the time -- to share with us rara-avians the passage about the corpse in the furnace? Just a paragraph or two? Hearn wrote it a century and a quarter ago, but his style & his powers of observation were so far ahead of the rest! I have the book somewhere, but it's inundated under years & years of other books, papers, files, and other stuff.
      I saw this post from Fred the day after I finished CHILDREN OF THE LEVEE. I couldn't remember reading such a passage, so I looked through the book again for it. Still didn't find it.
      However, I thought I'd share the following. Hearn accompanies two cops through Bucktown looking for a fugitive. This little anecdote reminds me of something Hammett might have written for RED HARVEST:
    << Above is the equally notorious establishment of Jennett Stewart, now, indeed, partially robbed of its old terrors by the committal of some half a dozen of its old denizens to the Work-house.  Here Officer Sissmann once narrowly escaped being murdered.  There was a tremendous fight going on in the third story, and the patrolman had mounted the creaky staircase to the scene of action, when he was sud­denly pounced upon by the belligerent crowd of harlots and ruffians.  Out went the candles; the treacherous club split in twain at the first blow; and before he could draw his revolver Sissmann was thrown over the balusters of the top floor, to which he still managed to cling for life.  While hanging there the women slashed at him in the dark with razors, and the men kicked at his clinging hands in the endeavor to force him to let go.  But the officer's muscles were iron, and he held on bravely, though covered with blood from random razor-slashes, until
     his partner rushed up in time to turn the tide of warfare.  The recol­lection of this incident conjured up some decidedly un­pleasant sensations on the occasion of our visit, while wending our way up the steep ascent of black and rotting stairs, fitfully illumed by gleams from Patrolman Tighe's candle.
    - Duane www.pulprack.com


    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 09 Sep 2009 EDT