Wel­come back to the Love­craft reread, in which two mod­ern Mythos writ­ers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sand­box, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn. Today we’re look­ing at M. R. James’s “ Cast­ing the Runes ‚” first pub­lished in 1911 in his More Ghost Sto­ries col­lec­tion . Spoil­ers ahead. “Dear Sir, — I am request­ed by the Coun­cil of the ___ Asso­ci­a­tion to return to you the draft of a paper on The Truth of Alche­my, which you have been good enough to offer to read at our forth­com­ing meet­ing, and to inform you that the Coun­cil do not see their way to includ­ing it in the pro­gramme.” Sum­ma­ry Mr. Kar­swell of Lufford Abbey, self-styled wiz­ard, isn’t hap­py about the rejec­tion of his paper on alche­my. Not hap­py at all, as the sec­re­tary of the reject­ing Asso­ci­a­tion tells his wife. At lunch with friends who live near the Abbey, the pair learn how vin­dic­tive Kar­swell can be. Accord­ing to the friends, he nev­er for­gives an offense. To keep chil­dren off his estate, he treat­ed them to a mag­ic-lantern show of hor­rors, includ­ing a piece about a flop­ping white thing that does […]