As we mentioned over the weekend, Mark is a little poorly at the moment. So in his absence we are revisiting a few seasonal highlights, including this classic from The Mark Steyn Club's Tales for Our Time: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. On its first airing five Christmases ago, Founding Member Jamie Marsh was minded to dip his toe in the water:
This is the first Tales for Our Time I've listened to. If they're all this good, then I've been missing out. Perfect for Christmas time!
Actually Jamie, the others are all way better, and this is by far the lamest reading Mark's ever done. You can check them out here.
On to tonight's episode. In Part Two Ebenezer Scrooge comes face to face with the ghost of his long dead business partner:
The bells ceased as they had begun, together. They were succeeded by a clanking noise, deep down below; as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the casks in the wine-merchant's cellar. Scrooge then remembered to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains.
The cellar-door flew open with a booming sound, and then he heard the noise much louder, on the floors below; then coming up the stairs; then coming straight towards his door.
"It's humbug still!" said Scrooge. "I won't believe it."
His colour changed though, when, without a pause, it came on through the heavy door, and passed into the room before his eyes. Upon its coming in, the dying flame leaped up, as though it cried, "I know him; Marley's Ghost!" and fell again.
We launched The Mark Steyn Club over five years ago, and we're immensely heartened by all those SteynOnline supporters across the globe - from Fargo to Fiji, Vancouver to Vanuatu, Surrey to the Solomon Islands - who've signed up to be a part of it. As Mark always says, membership isn't for everyone, but we thank those longtime readers, listeners and viewers who've volunteered to be part of that.
If you've enjoyed our monthly Steyn Club audio serials and you're looking for a Yuletide present for someone special, we hope you'll consider our special Gift Membership. Aside from Tales for Our Time, The Mark Steyn Club does come with other benefits:
~Exclusive Steyn Store member pricing on over 40 books, mugs, T-shirts, and other products - in addition to this Yuletide's SteynOnline twentieth-anniversary twenty per cent off everything at the Steyn Store;
~The opportunity to engage in live Clubland Q&A sessions Mark;
~Transcript and audio versions of The Mark Steyn Show, and our other video content;
~Our video series of classic poetry;
~Advance booking for Mark's live appearances around the world, including the annual Mark Steyn Cruise;
~Customized email alerts for new content in your areas of interest;
~and the chance to support our print, audio and video ventures as they wing their way around the planet.