Friends, while I generally prefer to have something spooky to share with you on Saturday nights, the articles concerning Ideal Toys’ Mighty Zeroids and the 40th anniversary of Xanadu kept me from delivering something last night. So while on a Sunday evening most of our thoughts concern resting up for the beginning of the work week tomorrow… why not take a few minutes and focus on something wicked? Such is the case with this offering from HorrorBabble – a 1932 tale of revenge narrated by Ian Gordon. The story for this evening is entitled The Ordeal of Wooden-Face and was first published in the pages of Weird Tales magazine, back on January of 1932. While the likes of H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Seabury Quinn, Ray Bradbury, and Clark Ashton Smith are commonly celebrated authors whose work was published by the magazine – this tale is from Hal K. Wells. Apparently Wells had two other stories published in the magazine beginning in 1929 with The Brass Key and then the following year with The Daughter of Isis. As I’ve read online, Hal K. Wells became an author after returning home from World War I on a medical discharge – putting down roots in Los Angeles in the ’30s – the interesting thing is his Father was said to have worked at an Ohio state hospital that is supposedly a haunted facility.
The Ordeal of Wooden-Face is a very short story – clocking in at a little under seven minutes long. However it certainly grabs your attention in that short time span. The story takes place in a jungle and involves a man by the name of MacDonald, a Naturalist who originally hails from Scotland, and his two guests for the evening. A young American who appeared out of the jungle nine months previously, emotionless with eyes lacking any life – this stranger stayed on and began to help MacDonald but never offered a name. Which is how he was given one by the Scotsman, that of Jones… but the locals noticing his lack of expression provided another one, Wooden-Face. The other man spending the evening with MacDonald and Jones is a guest who just arrived from New York that morning, a representative from an Ivory firm named Borga. It is while Borga is sharing his recollections of how he has succeeded in business – by doing another person quite wrong – that the Scotsman notices that Jones is beginning to react passionately.
So turn down the lights if you are able and enjoy The Ordeal of Wooden-Face courtesy of Ian Gordon and HorrorBabble!