Posted in Short Stories

M. R. James: The Treasure of Abbott Thomas

They parted upon this, and if Mr. Gregory woke once or twice in the small hours and fancied he heard a fumbling about the lower part of his locked door, it was perhaps, no more than what a quiet man, suddenly plunged into a strange bed and the heart of a mystery, might reasonably expect. Certainly he thought, to the end of his days, that he had heard such a sound twice or three times between midnight and dawn.

M. R. James’ “The Treasure of Abbott Thomas” contains all of the fun elements of a story that reminds me of Dan Brown’s novel The DaVinci Code or Walt Disney’s film National Treasure. I can’t go into all of the detailed clues our hero finds because it would ruin the story for those who haven’t read it before. I will say that it involves a stained glass window which James vividly describes and uses to great effect.

A difference might be that a supernatural guardian exists to ward off our heroes. In this case maybe the the story is more like Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Telling the story out of chronological order isn’t a surprise here but it also adds to the suspense – keeping the reader asking where the clues might lead.

It’s difficult to say that any M. R. James story isn’t entertaining but I found this one even more so. Go read it! It’ll be fun!

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