Two bickering friends go on an ill prepared canal boat trip, and come across a mysterious woman sleeping on the canal bank. They agree to let her come along for the ride in return for galley duties. From there on in everything begins to get weird, especially once they decide to explore an unmapped channel. Howard’s story is an absolute gem, a masterclass in understated dread and the ending is extraordinary. Better known for her upper middle class family saga the Cazalet Chronicles, somewhat tragically going by this Howard only wrote three ghost stories (if that’s what this is - it’s certainly very odd and horrific) which were published in a collaborative anthology with Robert Aickman in the early 1960s, while they were in a relationship. I bet dinner round their gaff was an absolute scream. Another illustration I could have twiddled around with for days and I’m not massively happy with it, but I’ve really got to call time on it. It’s turned out a bit weird which I'm blaming on having a cold but that’s only fitting I suppose.
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