1921 The Hound

(Weird Tales 1924.02)
Written 1922.10, published in Weird Tales 1924.02 (reprinted WT 1929.09).

Opening Statement:
     In my tortured ears there sounds unceasingly a nightmare whirring and flapping, and a faint, distant baying as of some gigantic hound... St. John is a mangled corpse; I alone know why, and such is my knowledge that I am about to blow out my brains for fear I shall be mangled in the same way. Down unlit and illimitable corridors of eldritch phantasy sweeps the black, shapeless Nemesis that drives me to self-annihilation.
What in Brown Jenkin's Name..?
     While in Holland, two men steal an amulet from a corpse. Back in England, they are hounded by strange forces, as if someone wanted their amulet back.
     The narrator describes a secret chamber where he and his friend St. John have been accumulating a collection of mummies, stuffed animal corpses, grave booty and other macabre pieces of "artwork". One night in Holland, they begin digging up the body of a centuries-old grave-robber who had been mauled to death by dogs. The skeleton wears a jade amulet with a sphinx-like image on it. They realize it is an amulet from Leng, one which Abdul Alhazred had mentioned in the Necronomicon. Bats mysteriously descend as they depart with the amulet. Back in England, they experience mysterious knocks at their door, the sounds of "baying", and disembodied Dutch chatter. Eventually, a winged horror tears St. John to pieces. 
     When the narrator goes back to Holland in order to put back the amulet (hoping to lift the "curse"), the amulet is stolen by thieves. The thieves are later found dead. The narrator eventually re-exhumes the original grave site and discovers that the skeleton of the ancient grave-robber has started to vampirically “grow back” to the land of the living, and that it had, in fact, already retrieved the amulet from the thieves. The narrator flees, and decides to take his own life before being hunted down by the baying zombie/vampire.
Essential Saltes:
     For crouched within that centuried coffin, embraced by a close-packed nightmare retinue of huge, sinewy, sleeping bats, was the bony thing my friend and I had robbed; not clean and placid as we had seen it then, but covered with caked blood and shreds of alien flesh and hair, and leering sentiently at me with phosphorescent sockets and sharp ensanguined fangs yawning twistedly in mockery of my inevitable doom. And when it gave from those grinning jaws a deep, sardonic bay as of some gigantic hound, and I saw that it held in its gory, filthy claw the lost and fateful amulet of green jade, I merely screamed and ran away idiotically, my screams soon dissolving into peals of hysterical laughter.
From Dr. Armitage's Notes:
  • 1st appearance of the Necronomicon, ghouls.
  • The Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred (first mentioned in "The Nameless City"), is identified as the author of the Necronomicon.
  • Leng is here cited as being in Central Asia.
  • Another rare European story, this one takes place in Holland and England.

The Horrible Conclusion:
     Madness rides the star-wind… claws and teeth sharpened on centuries of corpses… dripping death astride a Bacchanale of bats from night-black ruins of buried temples of Belial… Now, as the baying of that dead, fleshless monstrosity grows louder and louder, and the stealthy whirring and flapping of those accursed web-wings circles closer and closer, I shall seek with my revolver the oblivion which is my only refuge from the unnamed and unnamable.
Read it here.

Follow'd by "The Lurking Fear"