Programming note: In an hour or so I'll be looking in on "Tucker Carlson Tonight", live across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. Hope you'll tune in if you're in the presence of the receiving apparatus.
Meanwhile, for those who prefer me in non-visual form, here we go with Part Four of our brand new Tale for Our Time - my serialization of H G Wells' terrifying adventure The Island of Dr Moreau, which is certainly relevant at a time when Vladimir Putin is weaponizing whales:
Whale with harness could be Russian weapon, say Norwegian experts
Hmm. In tonight's episode, Prendick has arrived at Dr Moreau's eponymous island and cannot quite apprehend what is going on there - except that the staff are remarkably unsightly:
Then I recalled the eyes of Montgomery's ungainly attendant.
Just as I was thinking of him he came in. He was now dressed in white, and carried a little tray with some coffee and boiled vegetables thereon. I could hardly repress a shuddering recoil as he came, bending amiably, and placed the tray before me on the table. Then astonishment paralysed me. Under his stringy black locks I saw his ear; it jumped upon me suddenly close to my face. The man had pointed ears, covered with a fine brown fur!
"Your breakfast, sair," he said.
I stared at his face without attempting to answer him. He turned and went towards the door, regarding me oddly over his shoulder. I followed him out with my eyes; and as I did so, by some odd trick of unconscious cerebration, there came surging into my head the phrase, "The Moreau Hollows"â€”was it? "The Moreauâ€”" Ah! It sent my memory back ten years. "The Moreau Horrors!" The phrase drifted loose in my mind for a moment, and then I saw it in red lettering on a little buff-coloured pamphlet, to read which made one shiver and creep...
Was this the same Moreau? He had published some very astonishing facts in connection with the transfusion of blood, and in addition was known to be doing valuable work on morbid growths. Then suddenly his career was closed. He had to leave England.
H G Wells himself would not have been so befuddled. He had been a biology student at what's now the Royal College of Science at Imperial College, London, and explored at least the fringes of Dr Moreau's areas of interest (see photo at top right).
Thank you for your many kind comments on this latest radio serial. Larry Gavin, a UK member of The Mark Steyn Club, appreciates the selection:
Great stuff. War of the Worlds was the first book I read all the way through as a lad. It was quickly followed by the above. Fascinating hypotheses for a lad growing up in the new technological age (and a time when religion was poo-pooed as being counter to all that. I wonder that managed to get reversed?).
Indeed, Larry - and, in fact, one of the themes of this story is what happens when radical science assumes the garb of faith.
We're a week away from the Steyn Club's second birthday. So, if you've a friend who might be partial to our classic fiction outings, we have a special Gift Membership that, aside from audio yarns, also includes video poetry, live music and more. And we'll be doing a live-performance Tale for Our Time at sea on this year's Mark Steyn Club Cruise.
See you on the telly with Tucker in an hour, and back here tomorrow evening for Part Five of The Island of Dr Moreau.