The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains by Frederick Marryat Pt. 3

The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains: Part 3

by Frederick Marryat


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“One evening my father returned home rather later than usual; he had been unsuccessful, and, as the weather was very severe, and many feet of snow were upon the ground, he was not only very cold, but in a very bad humour. He had brought in wood, and we were all three gladly assisting each other in blowing on the embers to create the blaze, when he caught poor little Marcella by the arm and threw her aside; the child fell, struck her mouth, and bled very much. My brother ran to raise her up. Accustomed to ill-usage and afraid of my father, she did not dare to cry, but looked up in his face very piteously. My father drew his stool nearer to the hearth, muttered something in abuse of women, and busied himself with the fire, which both my brother and I had deserted when our sister was so unkindly treated. A cheerful blaze was soon the result of his exertions; but we did not, as usual, crowd round it. Marcella, still bleeding, retired to a corner, and my brother and I took our seats beside her, while my father hung over the fire gloomily and alone.

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Such had been our position for about half an hour, when the howl of a wolf, close under the window of the cottage, fell on our ears. My father started up, and seized his gun: the howl was repeated, he examined the priming, and then hastily left the cottage, shutting the door after him. We all waited (anxiously listening), for we thought that if he succeeded in shooting the wolf, he would return in a better humour; and, although he was harsh to all of us, and particularly so to our little sister, still we loved our father, and loved to see him cheerful and happy, for what else had we to look up to? And I may here observe, that perhaps there never were three children who were fonder of each other; we did not, like other children, fight and dispute together; and if, by chance, any disagreement did arise between my elder brother and me, little Marcella would run to us, and kissing us both, seal, through her entreaties, the peace between us. Marcella was a lovely, amiable child; I can recall her beautiful features even now —Alas! poor little Marcella.”


“She is dead, then?” observed Philip.


“Dead! yes, dead! —but how did she die? —But I must not anticipate, Philip; let me tell my story.


“We waited for some time, but the report of the gun did not reach us, and my elder brother then said, ‘Our father has followed the wolf, and will not be back for some time. Marcella, let us wash the blood from your mouth, and then we will leave this corner, and go to the fire and warm ourselves.’


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“We did so, and remained there until near midnight, every minute wondering, as it grew later, why our father did not return. We had no idea that he was in any danger, but we thought that he must have chased the wolf for a very long time. ‘I will look out and see if father is coming,’ said my brother Caesar, going to the door. ‘Take care,’ said Marcella, ‘the wolves must be about now, and we cannot kill them, brother.’ My brother opened the door very cautiously, and but a few inches: he peeped out. —’I see nothing,’ said he, after a time, and once more he joined us at the fire. ‘We have had no supper,’ said I, for my father usually cooked the meat as soon as he came home; and during his absence we had nothing but the fragments of the preceding day.

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“‘And if our father comes home after his hunt, Caesar,’ said Marcella, ‘he will be pleased to have some supper; let us cook it for him and for ourselves.’ Caesar climbed upon the stool, and reached down some meat —I forget now whether it was venison or bear’s meat; but we cut off the usual quantity, and proceeded to dress it, as we used to do under our father’s superintendence. We were all busy putting it into the platters before the fire, to await his coming, when we heard the sound of a horn. We listened —there was a noise outside, and a minute afterwards my father entered, ushering in a young female, and a large dark man in a hunter’s dress.

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The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains by Frederick Marryat Pt. 2

The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains, Part 2

by Frederick Marrayt

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“I have never heard people speak of them, that I can recollect,” replied Philip; “but I have read of them in some book, and of the strange things which have occurred there.”

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“It is indeed a wild region,” rejoined Krantz, “and many strange tales are told of it; but strange as they are, I have good reason for believing them to be true. I have told you, Philip, that I fully believe in your communion with the other world —that I credit the history of your father, and the lawfulness of your mission; for that we are surrounded, impelled, and worked upon by beings different in their nature from ourselves, I have had full evidence, as you will acknowledge, when I state what has occurred in my own family. Why such malevolent beings as I am about to speak of, should be permitted to interfere with us, and punish, I may say, comparatively unoffending mortals, is beyond my comprehension; but that they are so permitted is most certain.”

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“The great principle of all evil fulfills his work of evil; why, then, not the other minor spirits of the same class?” inquired Philip. “What matters it to us, whether we are tried by, and have to suffer from, the enmity of our fellow-mortals, or whether we are persecuted by beings more powerful and more malevolent than ourselves? We know that we have to work out our salvation, and that we shall be judged according to our strength; if then there be evil spirits who delight to oppress man, there surely must be good spirits, whose delight is to do him service. Whether, then, we have to struggle against our passions only, or whether we have to struggle not only against our passions, but also the dire influence of unseen enemies, we ever struggle with the same odds in our favour, as the good are stronger than the evil which we combat. In either case we are on the ‘vantage ground, whether, as in the first, we fight the good cause single-handed, or as in the second, although opposed, we have the host of Heaven ranged on our side. Thus are the scales of Divine justice evenly balanced, and man is still a free agent, as his own virtuous or vicious propensities must ever decide whether he shall gain or lose the victory.”

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“Most true,” replied Krantz, “and now to my history:—

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“My father was not born, or originally a resident, in the Hartz Mountains; he was the serf of an Hungarian nobleman, of great possessions, in Transylvania; but, although a serf, he was not by any means a poor or illiterate man. In fact, he was rich and his intelligence and respectability were such, that he had been raised by his lord to the stewardship; but, whoever may happen to be born a serf, a serf must he remain, even though he become a wealthy man: and such was the condition of my father. My father had been married for about five years; and by his marriage had three children —my eldest brother Caesar, myself (Hermann), and a sister named Marcella. You know, Philip, that Latin is still the language spoken in that country; and that will account for our high-sounding names.

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My mother was a very beautiful woman, unfortunately more beautiful than virtuous: she was seen and admired by the lord of the soil; my father was sent away upon some mission; and, during his absence, my mother, flattered by the attentions, and won by the assiduities, of this nobleman, yielded to his wishes. It so happened that my father returned very unexpectedly, and discovered the intrigue. The evidence of my mother’s shame was positive; he surprised her in the company of her seducer! Carried away by the impetuosity of his feelings, he watched the opportunity of a meeting taking place between them, and murdered both his wife and her seducer.

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Conscious that, as a serf, not even the provocation which he had received would be allowed as a justification of his conduct, he hastily collected together what money he could lay his hands upon, and, as we were then in the depth of winter, he put his horses to the sleigh, and taking his children with him, he set off in the middle of the night, and was far away before the tragical circumstance had transpired. Aware that he would be pursued, and that he had no chance of escape if he remained in any portion of his native country (in which the authorities could lay hold of him), he continued his flight without intermission until he had buried himself in the intricacies and seclusion of the Hartz Mountains. Of course, all that I have now told you I learned afterwards.

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My oldest recollections are knit to a rude, yet comfortable cottage, in which I lived with my father, brother, and sister. It was on the confines of one of those vast forests which cover the northern part of Germany; around it were a few acres of ground, which, during the summer months, my father cultivated, and which, though they yielded a doubtful harvest, were sufficient for our support. In the winter we remained much indoors, for, as my father followed the chase, we were left alone, and the wolves, during that season, incessantly prowled about. My father had purchased the cottage, and land about it, of one of the rude foresters, who gain their livelihood partly by hunting, and partly by burning charcoal, for the purpose of smelting the ore from the neighbouring mines; it was distant about two miles from any other habitation. I can call to mind the whole landscape now: the tall pines which rose up on the mountain above us, and the wide expanse of forest beneath, on the topmost boughs and heads of whose trees we looked down from our cottage, as the mountain below us rapidly descended into the distant valley. In summer-time the prospect was beautiful: but during the severe winter, a more desolate scene could not well be imagined.

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“I said that, in the winter, my father occupied himself with the chase; every day he left us, and often would he lock the door, that we might not leave the cottage. He had no one to assist him, or to take care of us —indeed, it was not easy to find a female servant who would live in such a solitude; but could he have found one, my father would nut have received her, for he had imbibed a horror of the sex, as the difference of his conduct towards us, his two boys, and my poor little sister, Marcella evidently proved. You may suppose we were sadly neglected; indeed, we suffered much, for my father, fearful that we might come to some harm, would not allow us fuel, when he left the cottage; and we were obliged, therefore, to creep under the heaps of bears’ skins, and there to keep ourselves as warm as we could until he returned in the evening, when a blazing fire was our delight. That my father chose this restless sort of life may appear strange, but the fact was, that he could not remain quiet; whether from the remorse for having committed murder, or from the misery consequent on his change of situation, or from both combined, he was never happy unless he was in a state of activity. Children, however, when left much to themselves, acquire a thoughtfulness not common to their age. So it was with us; and during the short cold days of winter, we would sit silent, longing for the happy hours when the snow would melt and the leaves would burst out, and the birds begin their songs, and when we should again be set at liberty.

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“Such was our peculiar and savage sort of life until my brother Caesar was nine, myself seven, and my sister five years old, when the circumstances occurred on which is based the extraordinary narrative which I am about to relate.

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To be continued…

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The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains by Frederick Marryat

I read this story in a horror anthology I bought in the neighborhood drugstore when I was about twelve years old. I never forgot it. Over the years I tried to find copies of the story to no avail. I had heard it was excerpted form a novel called The Phantom Ship, but I never found that either. There was an image that remembered from this story that had gotten into my YA werewolf novel, Rosewolf.  I thought I might find this story online and I did.  At Project Gutenberg, of course.  The story is not quite as I remembered it, the image that haunted me most is not in this story after all. Funny thing , that. But it is a fine werewolf story, so i thought I would serialize it on the blog —with pictures. It is a bit obscure, but maybe not as hard to find as it used to be. I hope you enjoy it.

The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains

FREDERICK MARRYAT — 1792-1848


Scarcely had the soldiers performed their task, and thrown down their shovels, when they commenced an altercation. It appeared that this money was to be again the cause of slaughter and bloodshed. Philip and Krantz determined to sail immediately in one of the peroquas, and leave them to settle their disputes as they pleased. He asked permission of the soldiers to take from the provisions and water, of which there was ample supply, a larger proportion than was their share; stating, that he and Krantz had a long voyage and would require it, and pointing out to them that there were plenty of cocoa-nuts for their support. The soldiers, who thought of nothing but their newly-acquired wealth, allowed him to do as he pleased; and, having hastily collected as many cocoa-nuts as they could, to add to their stock of provisions, before noon, Philip and Krantz had embarked and made sail in the peroqua, leaving the soldiers with their knives again drawn, and so busy in their angry altercation as to be heedless of their departure.

“There will be the same scene over again, I expect,” observed Krantz, as the vessel parted swiftly from the shore.

“I have little doubt of it; observe, even now they are at blows and stabs.”

“If I were to name that spot, it should be the ‘Accursed Isle .'”

“Would not any other be the same, with so much to inflame the passions of men?”

“Assuredly: what a curse is gold!”

“And what a blessing!” replied Krantz. “I am sorry Pedro is left with them.”

“It is their destiny,” replied Philip; “so let’s think no more of them. Now what do you propose? With this vessel, small as she is, we may sail over these seas in safety, and we have, I imagine, provisions sufficient for more than a month.”

“My idea is, to run into the track of the vessels going to the westward, and obtain a passage to Goa.”

“And if we do not meet with any, we can, at all events, proceed up the Straits, as far as Pulo Penang without risk. There we may safely remain until a vessel passes.”

“I agree with you; it is our best, nay our only, place; unless, indeed, we were to proceed to Cochin, where junks are always leaving for Goa.”

“But that would be out of our way, and the junks cannot well pass us in the Straits, without their being seen by us.”

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They had no difficulty in steering their course; the islands by day, and the clear stars by night, were their compass. It is true that they did not follow the more direct track, but they followed the more secure, working up the smooth waters, and gaining to the northward more than to the west. Many times they were chased by the Malay proas which infested the islands, but the swiftness of their little peroqua was their security; indeed, the chase was, generally speaking, abandoned as soon as the smallness of the vessel was made out by the pirates, who expected that little or no booty was to be gained.

That Amine and Philip’s mission was the constant theme of their discourse, may easily be imagined. One morning, as they were sailing between the isles, with less wind than usual, Philip observed:

“Krantz, you said that there were events in your own life, or connected with it, which would corroborate the mysterious tale I confided to you. Will you now tell me to what you referred?”

“Certainly,” replied Krantz; “I’ve often thought of doing so, but one circumstance or another has hitherto prevented me; this is, however, a fitting opportunity. Prepare, therefore, to listen to a strange story, quite as strange, perhaps, as your own:—

“I take it for granted, that you have heard people speak of the Hartz Mountains,” observed Krantz.

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To be continued….

Painting of Chinese Junks by Tony Wong

Red Riding Hood Film

Red Riding Hood Comes of Age

I found this via http://sommerleigh.com
The images are so much like my Rosewolf, which was also  inspired by Angela Carter’s descriptive werewolfian passages.  But the story is completely different. I really do hope people like this, she snarls….

I borrowed the blurb from Ms. Somerleigh as well,  hoping she doesn’t mind of course. We seem to play in the same dark forest.

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Valerie is a beautiful young woman torn between two men. She is in love with a brooding outsider, Peter, but her parents have arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry. Unwilling to lose each other, Valerie and Peter are planning to run away together when they learn that Valerie’s older sister has been killed by the werewolf that prowls the dark forest surrounding their village. For years, the people have maintained an uneasy truce with the beast, offering the creature a monthly animal sacrifice. But under a blood red moon, the wolf has upped the stakes by taking a human life. Hungry for revenge, the people call on famed werewolf hunter, Father Solomon, to help them kill the wolf. But Solomon’s arrival brings unintended consequences as he warns that the wolf, who takes human form by day, could be any one of them. As the death toll rises with each moon, Valerie begins to suspect that the werewolf could be someone she loves. As panic grips the town, Valerie discovers that she has a unique connection to the beast–one that inexorably draws them together, making her both suspect…and bait. Written by Warner Bros. Pictures

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