1920 Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family

Weird Tales 1924.04
Written in the Fall of 1920, published in The Wolverine 1921.03/06, Weird Tales 1924.04 (as "The White Ape"), 1935.05.

Opening Statement:
     Life is a hideous thing, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous. Science, already oppressive with its shocking revelations, will perhaps be the ultimate exterminator of our human species—if separate species we be—for its reserve of unguessed horrors could never be borne by mortal brains if loosed upon the world.
What in Brown Jenkin's Name..?
     After Arthur Jermyn recieves and opens a large crate, he becomes upset and sets himself on fire. The story traces Jermyn's ancestral line up to the present, eventually revealing the true nature of the crate's contents.
     Long ago, Sir Wade Jermyn was a British explorer of the Congo. He was ridiculed and eventually institutionalized, but not before having odd-looking children with a strangely reclusive “Portuguese” wife. Wade’s son Philip mysteriously disappears off the coast of the Congo one night. Philip’s son Robert meet Samuel Seaton, an explorer, who describes a city of white apes ruled by a white god. After the meeting, Robert kills himself and his sons. However, Alfred, one of Robert’s grandsons survives. Alfred joins a gorilla circus trainer and is eventually killed by his charge. Alfred’s son Arthur later visits the Congo and hears stories about a stone city of white apes and the stuffed body of a white ape goddess (now missing). The stuffed ape goddess is later found and shipped to Arthur’s home. Arthur finds that the ape goddess wears a golden locket with the Jermyn arms on it, and that the ape’s face resembles Arthur’s own. Arthur lights himself on fire in horror, realizing that he is part ape.
From Dr. Armitage's Notes:
  • Genealogy horror is a recurring theme in HPL's works and would reach it's greatest form in "The Shadow Over Innsmouth"
  • It's not exactly clear whether white apes are in the ancestral bloodline of only the Jermyn line, or of all humanity.

The Horrible Conclusion:
     The two particulars in question are these: the arms on the golden locket about the creature’s neck were the Jermyn arms, and the jocose suggestion of M. Verhaeren about a certain resemblance as connected with the shrivelled face applied with vivid, ghastly, and unnatural horror to none other than the sensitive Arthur Jermyn, great-great-great-grandson of Sir Wade Jermyn and an unknown wife. Members of the Royal Anthropological Institute burned the thing and threw the locket into a well, and some of them do not admit that Arthur Jermyn ever existed.
Read it here.

Follow'd by "The Street"