Pseudopod 143: The Looking Men

By James R. Kristofic

Read by BJ Harrison of The Classic Tales podcast

Hiram knew his father, Jonah, could not refuse the Looking Men on the
night they asked him to help kill William the Reeve.

Jonah had been the first villager of Corfe to speak to the captain of
the Looking Men, the one called Sir Ethan the Red Greaves, after the
Looking Men and their tall war-horses arrived by the main road to
examine the first deaths from the Black Hand. The wandering friar of
Corfe, a red-faced, balding man who had summoned the Looking Men, rode
behind them on a bony mare. The friar had briefly addressed the free
peasants who’d gathered at the mill and promised he would explain all
in the morning after the Looking Men had rested. Hiram knew what
everyone else knew about The Looking Men: they served the Church and
bore scars from the Crusades to the Holy Land. But they were also
knights loyal to their King Henry of England, so they could be
trusted. And the friar promised they had come for the good of Corfe.

But the friar had died that night when the Black Hand had laid itself upon him.

Bruce P.
May 22nd, 2009 12:52 pm

Very reminiscent of Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Beast of Averoigne”.

mark henderson
May 23rd, 2009 10:26 pm

I love the show but Alasdair – you really need a better audio setup. Seems like every week the audio quality suffers more and more to the point that I skip shows because of the intros – not the content mind you, but the tinny, hissy, recorded in the bathroom on the built in mic sound. Its more than I can bear.

If anyone can give the man home recording advice, send it on.

May 24th, 2009 11:05 pm

The sound quality’s not that bad, certainly not bad enough to skip the show.

Thanks for the effort! It’s a terrific show!

May 26th, 2009 10:17 pm

I really enjoyed this story. The author did an amazing job creating the atmosphere, and the excellent performance enhanced this. I hope you’ll have BJ Harrison back again soon. His talent for voices particularly impressed me.

May 30th, 2009 3:25 pm

Mike – seconded! But I mentioned the audio quality of the intros before in the comments, about a year ago, and unfortunately it actually seems to have got WORSE since then…

June 26th, 2009 11:27 pm

One of my favorites in a while. I wouldn’t mind hearing more from Mr. Kristofic.