It is known to most of us that a cat can cry; but few of us have heard, I hope, such a yell as came out of the trunk of the great ash.
I’ve established numerous times on this blog that I think a reader can see something coming a mile away and a great writer will make the reader still want to go there. In the course of all these M. R. James stories, I’ve also established that I think he is a great writer. In his story “The Ash-Tree”, we get a terrifying tale of witch trials and revenge from the grave. Then, two generations later, we see what’s going to happen (again). But it’s just as terrifying -and satisfying- as previously.
Perhaps it’s beneficial that after the repeated events, we get a fiery ending that is even more terrifying – and helpfully ties together the separate generations.