Napier’s Court

As the oldest thing in Dark Companions (it’s from 1967), ‘Napier’s Court’ isn’t quite as polished as the tales either side of it. A fragile young woman flits about her empty house, blighted by a cold, and left on her own by holidaying parents. She reflects on her sheltered, sanitised existence and this naturally leaves her vulnerable to a supernatural presence that infests the house. It’s set in Brichester – Campbell Country – like many of his Cthulhu Mythos tales, but otherwise doesn’t have much in common with them, and its easy to see why this got printed here, instead of, say Cold Print, dealing as it does with irrationality, fear and insecurity, with the supernatural manifestations largely incidental. Also, if any of these characters come from experience, its abundantly clear that Campbell met a large number of pretentious dicks in the 1960s.

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