This version, in line with various criticisms from readers and fellow writers, introduces the occult elements of the story more quickly. That, and a few clarifications here and there, are the main differences from the first version, while the story remains essentially the same. I have also allowed Sophie to express some more annoyance with Emile’s impossible ways as he turns into a predatory, vulpine man vampire.
It’s available from amazon on: –
There is debate amongst authors about whether or not one ought to release amended versions of published works. There are those whose integrity I admire, who suggest it should be avoided. I personally take the line that it is best avoided, but sometimes is a good idea.
My approach is somewhat pragmatic; I want people to enjoy my stories; if a leisurely beginning detracts from that for a sizable number, and the quality of the piece won’t be
reduced by a faster start, then it seemed a good idea for me to re-write it in line with various criticisms regarding the first three chapters.
For previous purchasers who miss this promotion and would like a free copy of the updated version, please apply to me on this website, and I will be happy to send one.
Now, last week –
I have just been rudely interrupted by a glassy eyed, long toothed man who has appeared in m y mirror.
Kenrick: I can’t have heard that description correctly.
I want to say here, that I hope that nobody takes such a biased account about my adventures as you will find in ‘That Scoundrel Émile Dubois’ to be in any way fair or objective.
The handsome, charming Goronwy Kenrick – ‘florid’ ‘glassy eyed’ and ‘giggling’?
My risqué humour is depicted as purile; my overwhelming passion as a mania.
I should like to know why I, who am motivated by one desire, and that purely romantic – reunion with my lost and beloved first wife- have such pejorative descriptions applied to me?
At least I was never a cut throat in the gutters of Paris.
Fortunately, I have some well wishers. To those, I wish to do what I almost never do, and make an apology.
I must express my regret at the delay in my return.
Last year, I reassured my anxious well wishers that I intended to return betimes. So I do, and so I will, but firstly, I must overcome the various factors that have brought about my delay, including my need to invent a reliable number of – shall we say, ‘artificial men’ as a group of devoted retainers.
I did not expect these to melt away into puddles of tepid rubber, as happened with my first attempts. It was discouraging. But now I have a team of knights, whom I name after those the round table of old. Sir Kay, and Galahad, no less, and others to come. At present I labour upon Lancelot, and have based his appearance on that comely rogue Arthur Williams.
You may recall that we ‘disappeared’ together. Yes, he is my companion here, and an increasingly grudging one, unfortunately. It’s dull for him, poor fellow. But he remains loyal to me.
For some reason, while back on the earthly plane, I always had problems with recruiting and retaining any sort of a household of servants, let alone a loyal one. I never understood it; I can only ascribe it to the spread of nonsensical ideas about equality, liberty and fraternity since the disgraceful uprising in France.
But I digress, and anyhow, I avoid thinking of anything French because it reminds me of that disgusting couple of French assassins, Dubois and that brutal fellow ruffian of his, who attacked poor Arthur even as the bandit chief made his murderous assault on me.
Thus, I must return; and again, I will need Dubois, I fear.
I have been able to overlook him several times in his country seat to the north of the country of Buckinghamshire in England. I even penetrated to Madame Dubois’ bedroom.
There I heard through the insipid little thing’s prayers, for me amongst others. Meanwhile, I tried to draw her into this time warp; just a trial run, you understand… I lost contact as Monsieur entered.
If looks could kill, I thought as I saw him. But then I realised how lucky it is that mine could not, as I will have need of him – again. How unpleasant working with him shall be.
I wlll be re-united with my wife. Not in the next world, mind you, no. She spoke – well, no more of that. I will not hazard my fate on faith of that sort, and I refuse to swerve from my course, though those who go in dread of some sort of judgement after the death of the body would insist that I continuing on my course, I ensure that our parting will be permanent, or at least very long.
I have no such superstitious fears; it must be very unpleasant to have them, like that fine fellow Arthur. He still fears that we must be in a form of purgatory.
‘No, my fine fellow,’ I reassure him, ‘We are in a section of the time displacement; view it if you like, as a sort of mirror image of the material plane.’
He marched about, kicking out at things, which only dissolved as his foot met them. ‘But there’s only a few rooms here, and that bloody mist outside. There’s nothing to do, nobody to talk to…’
Actually, between you and I, there is much more; but I have my reasons for concealing it from him. One reason, is that I know that tiresome Captain Mackznie is out there somewhere, and I think, very possibly – but this is just between you and I — that late husband of my naughty little second wife Ceridwen.
Yes, nobody knows the story of that disgusting libertine’s disappearance but the two of us…
I am called away, the material for the second stage of my work upon Sir Lancelot is ready. Ha,Ha. It is so funny, how like to Arthur I have made him.
Wish me luck on my return journey. It will be painful, as we will return to the injuries which those ruffians inflicted on us. But with a nice nourishing source of blood drawn in nearby, recovery will be speedy enough.
I will send Arthur first.