The House on the Borderland
Author's Introduction To The Manuscript
MANY are the hours in which I have pondered upon the story that is set forth in the
following pages. I trust that my instincts are not awry when they prompt me to leave the
account, in simplicity, as it was handed to me. And the MS. itself--You must picture me,
when first it was given into my care, turning it over, curiously, and making a swift, jerky
examination. A small book it is; but thick, and all, save the last few pages, filled with a
quaint but legible hand-writing, and writ very close. I have the queer, faint, pit-water
smell of it in my nostrils now as I write, and my fingers have subconscious memories of
the soft, "cloggy" feel of the long-damp pages.
I read, and, in reading, lifted the Curtains of the Impossible, that blind the mind, and
looked out into the unknown. Amid stiff, abrupt sentences I wandered; and, presently, I
had no fault to charge against their abrupt tellings; for, better far than my own ambitious
phrasing, is this mutilated story capable of bringing home all that the old Recluse, of the
vanished house, had striven to tell.
Of the simple, stiffly given account of weird and extraordinary matters, I will say little. It
lies before you. The inner story must be uncovered, personally, by each reader, according
to ability and desire. And even should any fail to see, as now I see, the shadowed picture
and conception of that, to which one may well give the accepted titles of Heaven and
Hell; yet can I promise certain thrills, merely taking the story as a story.
WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON.
December 17, 1907
TO MY FATHER
(Whose feet tread the lost aeons)
"Open the door,
Only the wind's muffled roar,
And the glisten
Of tears round the moon.
And, in fancy, the tread
Of vanishing shoon--
Out in the night with the Dead.
"Hush! and hark
To the sorrowful cry
Of the wind in the dark.