PseduoPod 315: Bad Company


Bad Company

by Walter De La Mare


It is very seldom that one encounters what would appear to be sheer unadulterated evil in a human face; an evil, I mean, active, deliberate, deadly, dangerous. Folly, heedlessness, vanity, pride, craft, meanness, stupidity – yes. But even Iagos in this world are few, and devilry is as rare as witchcraft.

One winter’s evening some little time ago, bound on a visit to a friend in London, I found myself on the platform of one of its many subterranean railway stations. It is an ordeal that one may undergo as seldom as one can. The glare and glitter, the noise, the very air one breathes affect nerves and spirits. One expects vaguely strange meetings in such surroundings. On this occasion, the expectation was justified. The mind is at times more attentive than the eye. Already tired, and troubled with personal cares and problems, which a little wisdom and enterprise should have refused to entertain, I had seated myself on one of the low, wooden benches to the left of the entrance to the platform, when, for no conscious reason, I was prompted to turn my head in the direction of a fellow traveler, seated across the gangway on the fellow to my bench some few yards away.

What was wrong with him?

About the Author

Walter de la Mare

Walter John de la Mare OM CH (/?d?l??m??r/; 25 April 1873 – 22 June 1956) was a British poet, short story writer and novelist. He is probably best remembered for his works for children, for his poem “The Listeners”, and for a highly acclaimed selection of subtle psychological horror stories, amongst them “Seaton’s Aunt” and “All Hallows”.

His 1921 novel Memoirs of a Midget won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction, and his post-war Collected Stories for Children won the 1947 Carnegie Medal for British children’s books.

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About the Narrator

Paul S. Jenkins

Paul S. Jenkins recently retired from architectural practice, and in theory should now have plenty of time to write the sequel to The Plitone Revisionist (audio available for free at Scribl). Currently, however, he’s concentrating on photography with his new YouTube channel Coarse Camerawork.

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