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De Marigny's Clock
by R S Cartwright

NOTE: Not to be confused with Brian Lumley's excellent story of the same title...which I didn't know about until after the fact!

......In late 1932/early 1933 H P Lovecraft & E Hoffman Price co-wrote a story called Through the Gates of the Silver Key. It was based (a sequel) on Lovecraft’s original story The Silver Key (1926). Of course, the original idea of the story came from Price, but was virtually rewritten by Lovecraft.

......As will be noted on the entrance page to my HPL site, I have a quote from this story about the "coffin shaped clock". I have always been intrigued by the quote, as well as by the name "Etienne-Laurent de Marigny" (as can probably be ascertained by my use of the name as part of my email address!). I have also used that name (in slightly altered form) for a short series of fantasy stories I wrote a few years back.

......Which now brings me to the genesis of this story, De Marigny’s Clock. I had at one time written a series of diary entries as a fantasy about this individual who spends some time in an old abandoned & haunted chateau. The diary format was written specifically as THEE diary kept by this individual. So, I wrote the diary, & left it sit.

......In the meantime, amidst story notes & ideas I was developing for Mythos material, I kept reflecting back to the quote about the "coffin shaped clock". I toyed with the idea of writing a story involving the clock, noted some ideas, but never gave it any serious consideration. Then searching through my files one day, I stumbled upon this fantasy diary I had written, & it appeared (at least to me!) to be the perfect (as perfect can be) vehicle for my clock story.

......I printed the fantasy diary, went through it making notations throughout, then virtually rewrote the story by hand (first rough draft), converting it to a Mythos story involving the clock. Very little of the original fantasy elements remain. Only the reference to Poe (which I elected to keep) & the thunderstorm. Always have to have a thunderstorm when a haunted chateau is involved!

......Many thanks goes to Ron Shiflet for printing De Marigny’s Clock in issue Number 4 of DARK LEGACY. It is also to appear in my upcoming collection tentatively entitled De Marigny’s Clock & Other Stories to be published by Ron Shiflet’s Tenoka Press.


De Marigny's Clock


My Mythos writings