1926 Cool Air

Weird Tales 1939.09
Written 1926.02, published in Tales of Magic and Mystery 1928.03, Weird Tales 1939.09 (posthumously, after being rejected in 1928).

Opening Statement:
     You ask me to explain why I am afraid of a draught of cool air; why I shiver more than others upon entering a cold room, and seem nauseated and repelled when the chill of evening creeps through the heat of a mild autumn day. There are those who say I respond to cold as others do to a bad odour, and I am the last to deny the impression. What I will do is to relate the most horrible circumstance I ever encountered, and leave it to you to judge whether or not this forms a suitable explanation of my peculiarity.
What in Brown Jenkin's Name..?
     Doctor Muñoz claims that a cool climate can be very healthy for the body. When his air conditioner breaks down, he becomes painfully concerned. 
     When the narrator suspects that he's having a heart attack, he consults the strange
Doctor Muñoz, who resides upstairs in the same building. Muñoz’ room is very cold, and the doctor claims that the cold air prolongs life. The doctor’s health begins failing and he further lowers the room temperature, although his appearance and habits degenerate ghoulishly. When the air conditioner breaks down, Muñoz flies into a rage and has to have his eyes mysteriously bandaged. Muñoz hides in the bathroom as the narrator supplies ice to cool the room. When he returns in the afternoon with the needed replacement part for the air conditioner, the room smells horrible, and Muñoz’s disintegrated remains stain the couch. A letter relates that Muñoz had actually "died" 18 years prior.
Essential Saltes:
     The frigidity of the apartment was now sensibly diminishing, and at about 5 a.m. the doctor retired to the bathroom, commanding me to keep him supplied with all the ice I could obtain at all-night drug stores and cafeterias. As I would return from my sometimes discouraging trips and lay my spoils before the closed bathroom door, I could hear a restless splashing within, and a thick voice croaking out the order for “More—more..!”
 * * * * *
     ...A kind of dark, slimy trail led from the open bathroom door to the hall door, and thence to the desk, where a terrible little pool had accumulated. Something was scrawled there in pencil in an awful, blind hand on a piece of paper hideously smeared as though by the very claws that traced the hurried last words. Then the trail led to the couch and ended unutterably.
From Dr. Armitage's Notes:
  • Herbert West relied on chemicals to spark life, whereas Robert Suydam used blood. Here, Doctor Muñoz finds a third technique using cool air.
  • The actual site of Muñoz's building is reportedly 317 West 14th street in Manhattan.
The Horrible Conclusion:
     “The end,” ran that noisome scrawl, “is here. No more ice—the man looked and ran away. Warmer every minute, and the tissues can’t last. I fancy you know—what I said about the will and the nerves and the preserved body after the organs ceased to work. It was good theory, but couldn’t keep up indefinitely. There was a gradual deterioration I had not foreseen. Dr. Torres knew, but the shock killed him. He couldn’t stand what he had to do—he had to get me in a strange, dark place when he minded my letter and nursed me back. And the organs never would work again. It had to be done my way—artificial preservation—for you see I died that time eighteen years ago.”
Read it here.

Follow'd by "The Call of Cthulhu"