Friday, 26 June 2009

The scrimshaw imp

I had collected scrimshaw work for many years before I ever came across poor Edward Salter's tale. Here are a few examples. These evocative engravings, carved into whale's teeth, once gave me an inordinate amount of pleasure. But I cannot now catch sight of one without immediately bringing to mind that grim story: a story Mr Priestley recounts in Tales of Terror from the Black Ship in a tale entitled The Scrimshaw Imp.

I do not count that sailor's scrimshaw tooth among my cursed possessions. There are some things too deep, even for a collection such as mine. No, that tooth is somewhere in the world. Like the Demon Bench End, it simply moves from host to host. At least you who have read the tales have been forewarned. Avoid these objects at all cost.

Franz says that they often turn up on eBay.

Whatever that is.

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