Everyone loves Barsetshire, it seems. I wonder if more writers have used Trollope's fictional county for short stories like this? Angela Thirkell, of course, wrote a whole string of novels set in Barsetshire, but I didn't realize that anyone else had used it. I think I need a list!
I thought it was interesting that this story begins with a hook I haven't seen MRJ use yet. Here's a nice old man, but he died in a horrible way, and let's talk about it...wait, first I have to tell you how I got there. It's badly overused now in television, where it seems like you see it done every week--the episode starts in the middle of some incredibly dangerous and highly improbable situation, stops right before everyone dies, and then says "Three days earlier..." and starts the story. I wonder how common it was a hundred years ago? Was MRJ using a well-worn trope, or one that hadn't yet been overdone?
like so. I don't think I've ever seen one in real life, but maybe you have.) You have to wonder, though, why anyone would bother to try to kill a 92-year-old man.
Dr. Haynes becomes the new archdeacon and settles in nicely for a while, but he starts having trouble with hearing things. A couple of times he touches the carvings on his cathedral chair and seems to feel them move. The position of archdeacon comes with a condition, it seems: those carvings know if someone has "a Bloody hand" and will take revenge. Dr. Haynes is not only haunted, he is fetched to his death in a manner suitable to the crime he committed.
What did you think of this one?