Room in the Dragon Volant

J. Sheridan LeFanu
ﴺRoom in the Dragon Volant

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Title: The Room in the Dragon Volant
Author: J. Sheridan LeFanu
Release Date: December, 2005 [EBook #9502] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on October 6, 2003]
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Produced by Suzanne Shell, David Garcia and PG Distributed Proofreaders

By J. Sheridan LeFanu

_Other books by J. Sheridan LeFanu_
The Cock and Anchor Torlogh O'Brien The Home by the Churchyard Uncle Silas Checkmate Carmilla The Wyvern Mystery Guy Deverell Ghost Stories and Tales of Mystery The Chronicles of Golden Friars In a Glass Darkly The Purcell Papers The Watcher and Other Weird Stories A Chronicle of Golden Friars and Other Stories Madam Crowl's Ghost and Other Tales of Mystery Green Tea and Other Stones Sheridan LeFanu: The Diabolic Genius Best Ghost Stories of J.S. LeFanu The Best Horror Stories The Vampire Lovers and Other Stories Ghost Stories and Mysteries The Hours After Midnight J.S. LeFanu: Ghost Stories and Mysteries Ghost and Horror Stones Green Tea and Other Ghost Stories Carmilla and Other Classic Tales of Mystery

The Room in the Dragon Volant

Prologue _The curious case which I am about to place before you, is referred to, very pointedly, and more than once, in the extraordinary Essay upon the Drug of the Dark and the Middle Ages, from the pen of Doctor Hesselius_.
This Essay he entitles Mortis Imago, _and he, therein, discusses the_ Vinum letiferum, the Beatifica, the Somnus Angelorum, the Hypnus Sagarum, the Aqua Thessalliae, _and about twenty other infusions and distillations, well known to the sages of eight hundred years ago, and two of which are still, he alleges, known to the fraternity of thieves, and, among them, as police-office inquiries sometimes disclose to this day, in practical use_.
_The Essay,_ Mortis Imago, _will occupy, as nearly as I can at present calculate, two volumes, the ninth and tenth, of the collected papers of Dr. Martin Hesselius_.
_This Essay, I may remark in conclusion, is very curiously enriched by citations, in great abundance, from medieval verse and prose romance, some of the most valuable of which, strange to say, are Egyptian_.
_I have selected this particular statement from among many cases equally striking, but hardly, I think, so effective as mere narratives; in this irregular form of publication, it is simply as a story that I present it_.

Chapter I
In the eventful year, 1815, I was exactly three-and-twenty, and had just succeeded to a very large sum in consols and other securities. The first fall of Napoleon had thrown the continent open to English excursionists, anxious, let us suppose, to improve their minds by foreign travel; and I--the slight cheek of the "hundred days" removed, by the genius of Wellington, on the field of Waterloo--was now added to the philosophic throng.
I was posting up to Paris from Brussels, following, I presume, the route that the allied army had pursued but a few weeks before--more carriages than you could believe were pursuing the same line. You could not look back or forward, without seeing into far perspective the clouds of dust which marked the line of the long series of vehicles. We were perpetually passing relays of return-horses, on their way, jaded and dusty, to the inns from which they had been taken. They were arduous times for those patient public servants. The whole world seemed posting up to Paris.
I ought to have noted it more particularly, but my head was so full of Paris and the future that I passed the intervening scenery with little patience and less attention; I think, however, that it was about four miles to the frontier side of a rather picturesque little town, the name of which, as of many more important places through which I posted in my hurried journey, I forget, and about two hours before sunset, that
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