Memoirs of an Adopted Son by Wilkie Collins

Memoirs of an Adopted Son

byWilkie Collins

Kobo ebook | February 10, 2015

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he curious legend connected with the birth of this “Adopted Son,” and the facts relating to his extraordinary career in after-life, are derived from the “Records” of the French Police of the period. In this instance, and in the instances of those other papers in the present collection which deal with foreign incidents and characters, while the facts of each narrative exist in print, the form in which the narrative is cast is of my own devising. If these facts had been readily accessible to readers in general, the papers in question would not have been reprinted. But the scarce and curious books from which my materials are derived have been long since out of print, and are, in all human probability, never likely to be published again.

TOWARD the beginning of the eighteenth century there stood on a rock in the sea, near a fishing village on the coast of Brittany, a ruined tower with a very bad reputation. No mortal was known to have inhabited it within the memory of living man. The one tenant whom Tradition associated with the occupation of the place at a remote period had moved into it from the infernal regions nobody knew why — had lived in it nobody knew how long — and had quitted possession nobody knew when. Under such circumstances, nothing was more natural than that his unearthly Individual should give a name to this residence; for which reason, the building was thereafter known to all the neighborhood round as Satanstower.

Early in the year seventeen hundred, the inhabitants of the village were startled one night by seeing the red gleam of a fire in the tower, and by smelling, in the same direction, a preternaturally strong odor of fried fish. The next morning the fishermen who passed by the building in their boats were amazed to find that a stranger had taken up his abode in it. Judging of him at a distance, he seemed to be a fine tall, stout fellow; he was dressed in fisherman’s costume, and he had a new boat of his own, moored comfortably in a cleft of the rock. If he had inhabited a place of decent reputation, his neighbors would have immediately made his acquaintance; but, as things were, all they could venture to do was to watch him in silence.

The first day passed, and, though it was fine weather, he made no use of his boat. The second day followed, with a continuance of the fine weather, and still he was as idle as before. On the third day, when a violent storm kept all the boats of the village on the beach — on the third day, in the midst of the tempest, away went the man of the tower to make his first fishing experiment in strange waters! He and his boat came back safe and sound, in a lull of the storm; and the villagers watching on the cliff above saw him carrying the fish up, by great basketfuls, to his tower. No such haul had ever fallen to the lot of any one of them, and the stranger had taken it in a whole gale of wind.


Title:Memoirs of an Adopted SonFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:February 10, 2015Publisher:Consumer Oriented Ebooks PublisherLanguage:English

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