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Authors: Dennis Wheatley

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Simon nodded. ‘Then we're really free of this nightmare at last?'

‘Yes. Dream or no dream, the Lord of Light who appeared to us drove back the Power of Darkness, and promised that we should all live unmolested by it to the end of our allotted span. Come, Richard,' the Duke took his host's arm, ‘let us find our coats and take a look round the garden, then we shall have done with this horrible business.'

As they moved away Tanith smiled up at Rex. ‘Did you really mean what you said last night?'

‘Did I mean it!' he cried, seizing both her hands. ‘Just you let me show you how!'

‘Simon,' said Marie Lou pointedly, ‘that child will catch her death of cold in nothing but her nightie, do take her back to the nursery while I get the servants to hurry forward breakfast.' And the old familiar happy smile parted his wide mouth as Fleur took a flying leap into his arms.

Tanith's face grew a little wistful as Rex drew her to him. ‘My darling,' she hesitated, ‘you know that it will be only for a little time, about eight months–no more.'

‘Nonsense!' he laughed. ‘You were certainly dead to all of us last night, so your prophecy's been fulfilled and the evil lifted–we're both going to live together for a hundred years.'

She hid her face against his shoulder, not quite believing yet, but a new hope dawning in her heart, from his certainty that she had passed through the Valley of the Shadow and come out again upon the other side. Her happiness, and his, demanded that she accept his view and act henceforth as though the danger to her life was past.

‘Then if you want them, my days are yours,' she murmured, ‘whatever their number may be.'

There was no trace of fog and a fair, true dawn was breaking when, outside the library windows, De Richleau and Richard found Mocata's body. It lay on the stone steps which led up to the terrace, sprawling head downwards, in the early light of the May morning.

‘The coroner will find no difficulty in bringing in a verdict,' the Duke observed after one glance at the face. ‘They'll say it is heart, of course. It is best not to touch the body, presently we will telephone the police. None of us need say we have ever seen him before if you tell Malin to keep quiet about his visit yesterday afternoon. You may be certain that his friends will not come forward to mention his acquaintance with Simon or the girl.'

Richard nodded. ‘Yes. “Death of a Man Unknown, from Natural Causes,” will be the only epilogue to this strange story.'

‘Not quite, but this must be between us, Richard. I prefer that the others should not know. Take me to you boiler-house.'

‘The boiler-house–whatever for?'

‘I'll tell you in a minute.'

‘All right!' With a puzzled look Richard led the Duke along the terrace, round by the kitchen quarters and into a small building where a furnace gave a subdued roar.

De Richleau lifted the latch and the door swung back, disclosing the glowing coke within. Then he extended his right fist and slowly opened it.

‘Good God!' exclaimed Richard. ‘However did you come by that?'

In De Richleau's palm lay a shrunken, mummified phallus, measuring no more than the length of a little finger, hard, dry, and almost black with age. It was the Talisman of Set, just as they had seen it in their recent dream adorning the brow of the monstrous Goat.

‘I found myself clutching it when I awoke,' he answered softly.

‘But–but that thing must have come from somewhere!'

‘Perhaps it is a concrete symbol of the evil that we have fought, which has been given over into our hands for destruction.'

As the Duke finished speaking he cast the Talisman into the glowing furnace where they watched it until it was utterly consumed.

‘If we were only dreaming how can you possibly explain it?' Richard insisted.

‘I cannot.' De Richleau shrugged a little wearily. ‘Even the greatest seekers after Truth have done little more than lift the corner of the veil which hides the vast Unknown, but it is my belief that during the period of our dream journey we have been living in what the moderns call the fourth dimension–divorced from time.'

A Note on the Author

DENNIS WHEATLEY

Dennis Wheatley (1897 – 1977) was an English author whose prolific output of stylish thrillers and occult novels made him one of the world's best-selling writers from the 1930s through the 1960s.

Wheatley was the eldest of three children, and his parents were the owners of Wheatley & Son of Mayfair, a wine business. He admitted to little aptitude for schooling, and was expelled from Dulwich College, London. In 1919 he assumed management of the family wine business but in 1931, after a decline in business due to the depression, he began writing.

His first book,
The Forbidden Territory
, became a bestseller overnight, and since then his books have sold over 50 million copies worldwide. During the 1960s, his publishers sold one million copies of Wheatley titles per year, and his Gregory Sallust series was one of the main inspirations for Ian Fleming's James Bond stories.

During the Second World War, Wheatley was a member of the London Controlling Section, which secretly coordinated strategic military deception and cover plans. His literary talents gained him employment with planning staffs for the War Office. He wrote numerous papers for the War Office, including suggestions for dealing with a German invasion of Britain.

Dennis Wheatley died on 11th November 1977. During his life he wrote over 70 books and sold over 50 million copies.

Discover books by Dennis Wheatley published by Bloomsbury Reader at
www.bloomsbury.com/DennisWheatley

Duke de Richleau
The Forbidden Territory
The Devil Rides Out
The Golden Spaniard
Three Inquisitive People
Strange Conflict
Codeword Golden Fleece
The Second Seal
The Prisoner in the Mask
Vendetta in Spain
Dangerous Inheritance
Gateway to Hell

Gregory Sallust
Black August
Contraband
The Scarlet Impostor
Faked Passports
The Black Baroness
V for Vengeance
Come into My Parlour
The Island Where Time Stands Still
Traitors' Gate
They Used Dark Forces
The White Witch of the South Seas

Julian Day
The Quest of Julian Day
The Sword of Fate
Bill for the Use of a Body

Roger Brook
The Launching of Roger Brook
The Shadow of Tyburn Tree
The Rising Storm
The Man Who Killed the King
The Dark Secret of Josephine
The Rape of Venice
The Sultan's Daughter
The Wanton Princess
Evil in a Mask
The Ravishing of Lady Mary Ware
The Irish Witch
Desperate Measures

Molly Fountain
To the Devil a Daughter
The Satanist

Lost World
They Found Atlantis
Uncharted Seas
The Man Who Missed the War

Espionage
Mayhem in Greece
The Eunuch of Stamboul
The Fabulous Valley
The Strange Story of Linda Lee
Such Power is Dangerous
The Secret War

Science Fiction
Sixty Days to Live
Star of Ill-Omen

Black Magic
The Haunting of Toby Jugg
The KA of Gifford Hillary
Unholy Crusade

Short Stories
Mediterranean Nights
Gunmen, Gallants and Ghosts

This electronic edition published in 2013 by Bloomsbury Reader

Bloomsbury Reader is a division of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 50 Bedford Square,
London WC1B 3DP

First published in 1934 by Hutchinson & Co. Ltd.

Copyright © 1934 Dennis Wheatley

All rights reserved
You may not copy, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise
make available this publication (or any part of it) in any form, or by any means
(including without limitation electronic, digital, optical, mechanical, photocopying,
printing, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the
publisher. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication
may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

The moral right of the author is asserted.

eISBN: 9781448212569

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BOOK: The Devil Rides Out
11.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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