Crooken Sands by Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker is best known as the author of Dracula. This is one of his short stories.

An English merchant goes on holiday to Scotland with his family. He admires the traditional dress of the Highland chiefs and commissions such an outfit for himself before leaving London. Upon debarking in Scotland he insists on wearing the costume, much to the embarrassment of his family and the amusement of the locals. Saft Tammie, a man considered a bit daft but respected for his warnings of doom, tells the merchant that, for his vanity, he will see himself face to face and then meet his fate in the coastal quicksands. Sure enough, one evening he meets his doppelganger and strays into the quicksand before being rescued. He is haunted by the experience but keeps it to himself.

The author wrote the speeches of the Scots in dialect and I read them that way. The main character is described as Cockney but his speeches weren’t in dialect so I read them plain. There’s nothing quite so tedious as a Cockney accent done badly.

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