Low Res Scan: The Watcher by the Threshold, ed. Christopher Roden and Barbara Roden, 2005, 2012.
My multi-part look at this collection of John Buchan’s fantastic fiction continues with his stories set in England.
Off all the stories in the collection the most memorable and, I think, most original – even though Buchan gave it a Latin title – is ”Tendebant Manus” (1927). This is a story with a tinge of predestination at its end and centers around World War One. The story is the reminisces at the funeral of one George Souldern recently killed in a motorcycle accident. For most of his life, George was considered to have a first-class brain, to be industrious and clever but not the sort of man who could lead others, a man of no enthusiasm, a man lacking in personality.
But George, in his later years, starkly transformed. The catalyst seems to have been the death of his brother Reggie on the Western Front. Reggie was everything George wasn’t: a natural leader (he served on staff at General HQ), a man of ordinary intellect who used it all.Continue reading “The Watcher by the Threshold, Part 4: England”