Night of Shadows


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Return to Book Page. Preview — Night of Shadows by Frances Lockridge.

"A Knight of Shadows"

Richard Lockridge. It starts quite innocently on Fifth Avenue on a cheerful autumn day He rings her doorbell on schedule, but the redhead who answers denies ever having seen or heard of Alison Kent. Evans concludes that he has been stood It starts quite innocently on Fifth Avenue on a cheerful autumn day Evans concludes that he has been stood up. But while brooding in his car opposite the apartment house, who should come out but Alison, walking close to a dark-haired man who looks as if he may be holding a gun in his coat pocket.

Losing their trail Evans reports the matter to the police and, indeed, it develops that something is up and some very tough eggs are involved in it.


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The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang

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Sort order. Oct 04, Liz rated it liked it. North series. Police procedural, dark story.

Käerjeng on the Rocks | Shadows' Night asbl | Käerjenger Musekschoul

Evans Parten is in the city briefly before reporting to a new job when he bumps into a girl he had dated some years prior. They set up a date for lunch later in the week but is stood up. Or is he? If you only knew how strange it is to be there. It is a world without sound, without colour. Every thing there — the earth, the trees, the people, the water and the air — is dipped in monotonous grey. Grey rays of the sun across the grey sky, grey eyes in grey faces, and the leaves of the trees are ashen grey.

It is not life but its shadow.


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It is not motion but its soundless spectre. Here I shall try to explain myself, lest I be suspected of madness or indulgence in symbolism.

The extraordinary impression it creates is so unique and complex that I doubt my ability to describe it with all its nuances. However, I shall try to convey its fundamentals. As you gaze at it, you see carriages, buildings and people in various poses, all frozen into immobility. All this is in grey, and the sky above is also grey — you anticipate nothing new in this all too familiar scene, for you have seen pictures of Paris streets more than once.

Eyewitness accounts of viewing pictures

But suddenly a strange flicker passes through the screen and the picture stirs to life. Carriages coming from somewhere in the perspective of the picture are moving straight at you, into the darkness in which you sit; somewhere from afar people appear and loom larger as they come closer to you; in the foreground children are playing with a dog, bicyclists tear along, and pedestrians cross the street picking their way among the carriages.

All this moves, teems with life and, upon approaching the edge of the screen, vanishes somewhere beyond it. And all this in strange silence where no rumble of the wheels is heard, no sound of footsteps or of speech. Not a single note of the intricate symphony that always accompanies the movements of people. Noiselessly, the ashen-grey foliage of the trees sways in the wind, and the grey silhouettes of the people, as though condemned to eternal silence and cruelly punished by being deprived of all the colours of life, glide noiselessly along the grey ground.

Their smiles are lifeless, even though their movements are full of living energy and are so swift as to be almost imperceptible. Their laughter is soundless although you see the muscles contracting in their grey faces. Before you a life is surging, a life deprived of words and shorn of the living spectrum of colours — the grey, the soundless, the bleak and dismal life.

It is terrifying to see, but it is the movement of shadows, only of shadows … Suddenly something clicks, everything vanishes and a train appears on the screen. It speeds straight at you — watch out! It seems as though it will plunge into the darkness in which you sit, turning you into a ripped sack full of lacerated flesh and splintered bones, and crushing into dust and into broken fragments this hall and this building, so full of women, wine, music and vice.

Noiselessly, the locomotive disappears beyond the edge of the screen. The train comes to a stop, and grey figures silently emerge from the cars, soundlessly greet their friends, laugh, walk, run, bustle, and … are gone. And here is another picture.

Three men seated at the table, playing cards. Their faces are tense, their hands move swiftly, The cupidity of the players is betrayed by the trembling fingers and by the twitching of their facial muscles, They play … Suddenly, they break into laughter, and the waiter who has stopped at their table with beer, laughs too. They laugh until their sides split but not a sound is heard.

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