Pseudopod 131: Tales of the White Street Society – The Corpse Army of Khartoum

By Grady Hendrix

Read by Alasdair Stuart

It had been some time since we had last been called to a meeting of the White Street Society and all of us yearned to quench the thirst for the strange that these meetings had fostered in our souls, which is why the three of us – Drake, Lewis and myself – finally abandoned formality and stopped by the clubhouse uninvited, fully expecting Augustus to be absent, overseas perhaps, investigating some mysterious mystery. Instead, we stood frozen in surprise and dripping with February rain in the doorway of the clubroom, watching our old friend sitting by the fire and reading the papers, as cool as an oyster.

“Augustus,” cried Drake. “What are you doing here?”

“And where’s Charles?,” said Lewis, as an unfamiliar manservant helped him off with his overcoat.

For further adventures of THE WHITE STREET SOCIETY, please check out:

“Tales Of The White Street Society”.

and “The Yellow Curse” in THE TRIO OF TERROR.

This week’s episode sponsored by Audible.com, who offers you a free audiobook download of your choice from their selection of over 40,000 titles.








01
DKT
February 27th, 2009 9:15 pm

Is it just me or is this one not downloading? Grrrr. I want my Tales from the White Street Society!!! :)

02
ryan
February 27th, 2009 10:47 pm

it wont download with vista but it will with the mac. oh well thats the advantage of not being a fanboy and owning both computers.

03
TritonBlue
February 28th, 2009 5:16 pm

Cannot wait to hear future Tales of the White Street Society. Perhaps this could be Pseudopod’s version of Union Dues. Outstanding stuff!!

04
devora
March 1st, 2009 6:21 pm

Well, I’m gonna have to figure it’s just me b/c it just does not get mentioned: does no one get annoyed by that tapping? (OMG, maybe it IS just me hearing it! Aliens are eating my brain!) Alisdair is a good reader, yet no other podcast I listen to has that ‘tapping against the mike’ sound. It takes me out of the story every time.

05
March 1st, 2009 7:00 pm

A good story, with much of the “enlightened boorishness” that made the first installment such a treat. The collapse into social conscience at the end, nearly blew it for me, however.

:Eric

06
Nyx
March 2nd, 2009 2:06 am

A fantastic story (made even better by having it read by Alasdair, of course). Nevertheless the “moral of the story” ending almost seemed to insult the listener’s intelligence. The explicit sentiment at the end was pretty clearly illustrated throughout both Tales of the White Street Society. The character’s lack of self-awareness was a perfect source of dark comedy while keeping the story from being too heavy handed.
That being said, I’m still very much excited for the next Tale of the White Street Society. A great episode overall!

07
March 2nd, 2009 4:36 am

Very good story. The author really knows how to descript places without boring people. I very much liked the end too.
Just quick question : I would very much like a wallpaper for pseudopod. Is there one?

08
March 2nd, 2009 5:18 am

We haven’t really made a wallpaper, no. Well, unless you want to just right-click the background we use here, choosing “view background image” and then save as…

Anyone still having trouble downloading? Please let me know at editor (at) pseudopod.org whenever you have that kind of trouble, just to help me keep track if nothing else. (We have just hired a sys admin, so it’s no skin off my nose!)

09
March 2nd, 2009 5:21 am

BTW, the above instructions assume you’re using Firefox. The file is at: http://pseudopod.org/images/tileweb3.gif

10
scatterbrain
March 2nd, 2009 6:33 pm

I coun’t help but think of Blackadder myself during the story, which reminds me I must send off that story to WotF about a rather Blackadder-ish figure stuck on a doomed mission himself.

11
Del
March 3rd, 2009 12:13 pm

Fantastic story. Made me go out and find the first episode, which I did. Great balance of tongue in cheek and fantastic to keep interest even in this well worn genre.

12
SecuritySlanket
March 3rd, 2009 1:24 pm

Awesome, I loved the first White Street tale and this one also rocked balls. The narration was mostly great but DUDE! Scotland is connected to the country you live in so why did you sound like an Irishman who’d just been roundhouse kicked in the mouth by a ninja?

13
OduunKwisin
March 6th, 2009 4:21 am

Mr. Stuart… your epilogue to the “Corpse Army” was spot on with your reference to the Blackadder… I blew milk outta both nostrils when Drake asked… “did they kill you…” and I was not drinking milk!!! That was a moment right outta BA the 2nd… Lord Percy Percy often spewed forth the same. Auggie’s supreme indifference to the missionary’s fate, that was pure Edmund BlackAdder.
And yes, I remember the awe and stunned silince when the whistles blew… the flares glared and crew went forth from the trench… yeah they took a left turn and I slid off the road and into the ditch…
and mind the plum duff… the raisins are a bit gamey… thanx

14
OduunKwisin
March 6th, 2009 4:22 am

oh yeah… the “Corpse Army” was most excellent as well!!!

15
March 9th, 2009 7:33 pm

Moar WSS pleas! And Alasdair- way to rock the reading! One of the best so far.

16
March 9th, 2009 10:15 pm

When is “Alasdair Stuart sings your Holiday Favorites” coming out on 6-CD set and Vinyl EP?
I would like to pre-order.

17
no name
March 10th, 2009 2:33 am

hi, thanks for the story and continuing this free service,

I did however not enjoy this outing of the white street scoiety manily because I think the writer moved away from the black comady aspect of it to that rant at the end just seemed like a huge mistake on the writers part .. I mean we all know the character is a horrid person but thats what gives the story its character, to have the narrator try to bash into our heads why the main character was a bad person seemed to me as another suggested insult our intelligences (sic) ..

18
Grady Hendrix
March 12th, 2009 8:43 pm

Thanks for the comments, everyone. It’s been a real kick to be writing these stories and then hearing the folks at Pseudopod knock them out of the park with the podcasts and I’m really glad people are enjoying these. I now hear Alasdair’s voice in my head when I’m writing White Street stories and it’s a voice that tells me to kill, and kill, and kill and kill and kill….

The Scottish accent is my fault – Alasdair reproduced my poor attempt at an incomprehensible brogue exactly as it was written and I can only apologize to him for forcing these unclean sounds into his mouth. He must feel dirty, as if now he can never find a proper mate after being so degraded.

I’ve been really interested to see people’s reactions to the ending. This is where the story took me and I kind of think that you can’t deal with mass murder on this scale without getting a little heavy. However, in my mind, the narrator’s discomfort with Augustus’ actions are not that he bemoans the loss of human life, but that he feels uncomfortable with Augustus’ tacky pursuit of money at all costs. It’s the difference between those born with money and those who must earn it, and to his eyes Augustus has committed the unpardonable offense of being gauche and committing murder, etc. simply to earn some cash. Money was often the great unmentionable between gentlemen and the latter half of the 19th Century in America was remarkable because it was when the titans of industry became heroes, when Horatio Alger’s stories suddenly became the bible for children and when money went from being That Which We Shall Not Talk About to a major status symbol.

However, it’s all in the execution and obviously this came across as heavy handed to some and that’s fair enough. However, don’t despair. Our intrepid investigators are going to stay in New York City next time out and any moral value has been completely purged from their adventures as they descend into the sinister depths of Chinatown to solve the mystery of “The Yellow Curse!”

Thanks for listening!

Grady