A Dip Into Memory’s Bucket Of Whelks

Maynard Sims

So history is all in the past? Traditions are venerable crustaceans sheltering within their shells for fear of modern world scoffing? Nonsense! We live and read history daily, in our books, on the Internet and newspapers and in our ordinary lives. We create traditions each time we find a new writer we like and who becomes elevated to those who are admired by more than a couple of readers.

Any time we read a Wakefield or a Benson we are picking the flesh from the shell of history. Each time an Ash Tree or an independent publishes a “forgotten” writer of the genre they are helping build the traditions that sustain the genre.

People who scorn the past generations of writers and dismiss their work as dated and irrelevant are missing the point completely. There is no finer literary tapestry than that woven by the crafts-people of years gone by. The stories they unfolded give the foundations to the master builders of today who can plunder ever-richer seams of ideas because of the solid footings left for them.

As a youngster growing up in the exciting 60’s and 70’s there was a huge shell of books scuttling crab-like around in the myriad of pools that were the bookshops and markets of the day. The Pan series of horror books were a staple diet for the budding reader. It was the Hitchcock “edited” books that first caught some people’s eye, with their purple and black covers promising thunderstorms of terror. They were of course frowned on by parents brought up with something slightly more genteel – but then parental disapproval only added to the pre-punk attitude of rebellion that was prevalent in those heady days of spin before spin and hype before hype.

The slower paced stories that were represented by the Fontana ghost series and the books by James, and others, that were added to the ever-growing collection on top of the wardrobe were almost reverentially approached as though they were somehow more literary than their more lurid cousins. They seemed part of history whereas the stories of blunt cutting and thrusting and the Birkins were now and happening.

That is until the novels began to appear. The Exorcist, Carrie, Hell House, Burnt Offerings, Mephisto waltz, Rosemary’s Baby – all added to the burgeoning atmosphere of a rich vein of fictional supernatural talent and range of ideas that could not fail to inspire eager young writers. Yes, a woman was physically sick at a screening of The Exorcist we saw in London. We know someone who had four versions of the pirate video, as well as the handsome official issue. We do still have the album, long playing vinyl, of the Mephisto Waltz by Liszt. We can remember the evening, the seats, and the circumstances in which we saw the Hell House film.

So keen were we to add to the size of our collection that we began to blur the edges of what we termed supernatural. We found fantasy creeping in, the odd borderline SF, and some thrillers that had a particularly enticing blurb. Then we purged the books, the magazines – Weird Tales, Famous Monsters, and so many more – and concentrated on the ones we felt added to the type of stories we wanted to write. Then of course, as we had no real appreciation at that time of the history or traditions of the genre we were trying to write in, we found we were blurring the edges of what we were writing. After a while we found we quite liked that, and like many writers today we found we were creating our own very small slice of history and creating our own blend of traditions. We did it by using our appreciation of the classical standards of technical skill with a modern freedom that gives free rein to expression when needed.

And then there were the anthologies that grew like urchins on the bookshelves, swaying and enticing as each new publication filtered through. Haining, Singer, Dalby, Derleth, and of course Hugh Lamb. Mixtures of new writers and reprinted classics, themed and open anthologies; a true melting pot of history and today, of tradition and innovation.

Today the market is as alive and as dead as you want to believe. There isn’t the proliferation of anthologies that there once were from the major publishers, but in their place are the marvellously inventive creations from the independent press; a case of artists making their own market to fill the vacuum. There are novels published with confident regularity from majors and small presses alike, not to mention the self publishing tidal wave. There are the reprinted classics of yesteryear from the marvellous specialist presses that bring unobtainable books to our table like never before. Some professional looking outfits are bringing out even single author collections, those beasts considered untameable by some big publishers.

The outlets have changed though. Now one can be on the mailing lists of one or two excellent specialists; receive the catalogues of four or five first class booksellers; scan the Internet for websites, or Amazon, even order via credit card online – whatever next. There are still a few quality bookshops. There are still the market stalls that occasionally allow a treasure to pop up as sure as if it had been thrown up by a tidal wave from a restless sea.

Then, twenty, thirty years ago it seems, there were a myriad of sources. A day’s trip to London would yield dusty bookshops along Charing Cross Road, Dark They Were, Hatchards, Foyles, all worth a visit. Lunch in the churchyard along Regent Street, then on to the markets at Berwick Street, Leather Lane, before venturing back to the cinema bookshop near Tottenham Court Road. Carrier bags full to the brim with hardbacks, paperbacks and magazines. The Saturday market in Enfield Town Market Square was a shipwrecked oasis in a desert with its damp boxes of books picked over by wide-eyed beachcombers all looking for the next rarity.

Now the bookshelves are an eclectic mix of history and tradition. The old books rub spines with the new, the classical writers with the modern. Uncanny Stories by May Sinclair next to the Terry Lamsley; Arkham House’s Lovecraft books leaning against A Century Of Ghost Stories; R L Stine tangoing with Marjorie Bowen; Ligotti arm in arm with Dracula. Samhain swims with Akham House.

Let history live, and traditions breathe. There is room at the top table for both of them. Room also, if we squeeze our chairs together, for all manner of modern ideals and theories to expound and add, layer upon rich layer, yet more ripples of richness to the supernatural fiction genre.

The Sound Of His Past

Maynard Sims

(In search of the lost anorak)

The young man’s eyes scanned the books laid out on the stalls of the street market. He had already collected a pile of them, now wedged firmly under his arm – some books he had been after for ages, new titles by new authors he thought might be worth a look. When he saw the slim grey cloth-bound volume his heart skipped a beat. The Sound of his Horn, “Sarban”, Peter Davies, the faded lettering on the spine proclaimed. He had read the book as a Sphere paperback with a gaudy, uninviting cover. He never thought he would ever find the hardback version.
He reached out and closed his hand over the spine. He pulled it from the pile and opened it. Inscribed on the endpaper was “To Frank, Regards, JWW”. As he read it a man’s hand reached out and made a grab for the book.
‘Hey,’ the young man said. ‘I saw it first.’
‘I think not,’ the man said.
The young man looked up at the man’s face. As he stared into the man’s eyes he was hit with a jolt of recognition. He felt a tingling in his fingertips and his head started to swim. The man’s face drifted out of focus and the young man felt himself falling, tumbling over and over in space, books spinning about his head, pages flapping, dust-wrappers fluttering, creating a kaleidoscope of swirling colour.
He was brought back to reality as the book was snatched from his grasp. Gradually he re-focussed his eyes and looked about him. The rank of market stalls had gone to be replaced by a few rows of battered books, placed on the pavement in no particular order. The old man who ran the book market had gone. The person who was now overseeing the remnants of what had once been a London institution sat in the open back of a blue Ford Transit, smoking a cigarette. His face was familiar and the young man realised with a shock that it was the stallholder’s son now running the much-diminished show.
‘You look like you’ve seen a ghost,’ said the man who had snatched the “Sarban” book from him.
‘I don’t understand,’ the young man said, then for the first time noticed the cars that were passing by. The unfamiliar makes, the futuristic designs. His jaw dropped open.
‘Welcome to the year 2014,’ the man said with a smile.
‘Rubbish,’ the young man said. ‘It’s 1976. July the first, 1976.’ But then he looked about him again and knew he was wrong.
‘I think you could use a drink.’
The young man looked flustered and confused. ‘I have to pay for these first,’ he said, indicating the books wedged firmly under his arm.
‘You can’t afford them,’ the man said.
‘Rubbish. I’ve got a pound in my pocket,’ the young man said indignantly.
The man smiled indulgently and called to the stallholder. ‘How much for these, George?’
‘How many has he got?’
The man counted the books quickly. ‘Twelve.’
‘Twelve quid then.’
The young man took the crumpled one-pound note from his pocket and stared at it forlornly.
‘It’s okay. Have these on me. Then we’ll go to the pub.’
The young man nodded dumbly.

Almost everything about the pub was alien to the young man. From the huge flat TV screen hanging in the corner to the name of the beers on display.
‘What will you have?’ the man asked him.
‘Pint of Red Barrel,’ the young man said distractedly, gazing at the sights inside the pub with awe-struck eyes. He was watching a girl sitting in the corner. She had a stud in the side of her nose and a tattoo on her shoulder. She noticed his attention and stared back at him incuriously. He averted his eyes, focussing instead on the flashing lights of a strange looking machine in the corner. It was only after he had studied it for a while that he realised it was a type of one-armed bandit. He shook his head in disbelief.
The man was speaking to him. ‘…I said they don’t do Red Barrel anymore. Will any bitter do?’
‘Yeah, fine,’ he said, barely able to comprehend that Watney’s Red Barrel was now a thing of the past.
Once the beers were bought they settled themselves at a table in the corner.
‘Right,’ the older man said. ‘Let’s have a look at your horde,’ and picked up a slim book with dark brown cover. ‘The Rats, James Herbert,’ he said neutrally.
‘Yeah, well, it’s horror isn’t it? I know he’s a new writer and he’s come in for a lot of stick, but I really fancied reading this one. It’s the same with this guy.’ The young man pulled a book from the pile and held it out. ‘A friend of mine said he’s going to be huge one day. Can’t see it myself, but I read one of his called Salem’s Lot and enjoyed it, so I thought I’d give this one a try.’
‘I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, though you may be in some his later books. As for Herbert, he’s now the best selling horror writer in the country… actually one of the best selling writers full stop. The Rats is a modern classic, and people study its sociological subtext for their university courses. And by the way, he’s sadly passed away now, far too young.’
The young man looked stunned.
‘Don’t look so surprised. Stephen King is now incredibly famous. They make films of his work. They started with that one there, Carrie. And you would do well to hang onto those two books. At their peak on the second-hand market you could sell them and buy yourself a week’s holiday in the Bahamas.’ He took a long pull on his beer. ‘Now this one,’ he said, pointing to a book supporting the weight of the others. ‘This one will always be a classic,’ He pulled the book from the bottom of the pile and ran his hands lovingly over the faded red cloth. Have you read William Hope Hodgson before?’
‘I read The House on the Borderland. Those are short stories, aren’t they.’
‘Men of The Deep Waters. Yes, indeed they are. And you must treasure this book. It’s very scarce and the stories in there are wonderful; very much of a time sadly long forgotten. Tell me, do you know what book radar is?’
‘Book radar?’
‘It’s a term used by a book dealer friend of mine. It’s the ability to know when there is a desirable book about. One can sense it. I go to auctions a lot, and I can look at a tea chest of books, and I can tell more often than not when it contains a book I want. It’s not infallible of course, but it works more times than it doesn’t.’
The young man was nodding. ‘I remember last year I was out for the day with my aunt and uncle and we were driving through Norfolk. We were passing through a small village, Yoxford, I think it was, and I noticed a small bookshop. It looked very run down, almost derelict, but I made them stop the car so I could have a look inside. I had a gut feeling that there was something I would want. Charles Birkin’s Devil’s Spawn, what a find! Phillip Allan, 1936, and in such good condition. I only paid ten pence for it.’
‘There you are, you see. Book Radar.’
‘I put it down to luck.’
The older man smiled. ‘Do you buy books through dealers?’
‘Used to, sometimes. Fantasy Centre in London, G. Ken Chapman in Kent.’
‘Vernon Lay in Whetstone?’
‘Yes, the young man said excitedly. I’ve only just discovered him. He’s got some great stuff.’
‘Dead now, of course, as is Ken Chapman, but in their time they were really useful source. The Fantasy Centre is gone. It’s all Internet now. Cold Tonnage – that’s a good one. Abe Books – search it, you’ll love it. What’s this?’ He took another book from the pile. ‘The Doll That Ate Its Mother?’
‘Ramsey Campbell. It’s his first novel. I read Demons By Daylight and loved it. Thought I’d give the novel a try. Bit of a find really. Only came out this year.’
‘Of course he’s now regarded as our finest dark fiction story writer. But then I’m not really surprised; Ramsey has ploughed his own unique furrow. His novels aren’t as popular as some lesser writers, but his short stories always hit the mark.’ The older man drained the last of his beer from the glass. ‘Come on; drink up. We can continue this back at my place. I’ll be interested to see what you make of my library.’
The young man smiled and drained his glass.

‘My God!’ the young man said as he walked into the dimly lit room at the back of a 1930’s semi. ‘I’ve died and gone to heaven.
The room was lined with books, from floor to ceiling. ‘Those EF Benson’s they’re all first editions. And you’ve got The Smoking Leg by John Metcalfe. I’ve been after that myself for the last few years.’ He crouched down to scan the books on the bottom shelf. Now some of these names I recognise. Bradbury, Bloch, Joseph Payne Brennan, Henry S. Whitehead, and of course Derleth and Lovecraft. They’re all the Arkham House originals, aren’t they?’
‘They are indeed.’
‘But what about these?’ The young man was almost beside himself with excitement and looking now at a series of books, decorated with fine dust wrappers and bearing titles that had been on his “wants” list for years. ‘Munby, Burrage, Benson, Wakefield. Who on earth are Ash Tree Press?’
‘Another speciality publisher, like Arkham House in a way. They performed an invaluable service to book collectors and serious students of supernatural literature, by bringing these titles back into print.’
Something else had attracted the young man’s attention. It was something that made his heart race faster in his chest. With shaking hands he took the book from the shelf, turning it over and over in his hands, looking at the dust wrapper; a representation of a water mill drawn by an artist called ionicus. He flipped open the book and looked at the contents. ‘But we’ve only just written…’
The older man took the book from him gently, closed it and set it back on the shelf. ‘You weren’t meant to see that.’
‘What was the title again? Shadows At…’
‘Enough. Look at some of the other books in the collection. There’s Hodgson, James, Vivian Meik… now there’s a name from the past. Jasper John, Amyas Northcote, RH Malden, LTC Rolt.’
‘You haven’t got Carrie… or The Rats,’ the young man said critically.
‘No you’re right, I haven’t. I used to have periodic moments of madness, when I would cull the collection. Carrie ended up at Enfield Town Market. Got fifty pence for it, I seem to recall. The Rats? Well that’s a long story, and involves a girl I used to love and a holiday she desperately wanted to go on. I’ll say no more.’
‘And do you have “Sarban”?’
‘Oh yes, I have “Sarban”. Ringstones, The Doll Maker, and of course The Sound Of His Horn.’
‘I’ve just written to him, actually,’ the young man said. ‘His real name is John W. Wall. I wrote care of his bank to ask him whether he would mind me writing an article about him for the British Fantasy Society.’
‘He was a very private man. He’d give you short shrift I’m afraid. Look, there they are.’
The young man reached up to the top shelf and pulled a slim grey cloth-bound book from the shelf, opened it and read the inscription on the end paper “To Frank…”, ‘But that’s impossible…’ Then his vision clouded and he was falling, back through time, back through a thousand collected books, a thousand dusty memories.

‘Do you want those books, son, only I’m about to close up.’
The young man blinked and looked around at George, the elderly grey haired proprietor of Farringdon Road book market, then he looked down at the book in his hands: the first edition of “Sarban’s” The Sound of His Horn. He flipped it open and on the endpaper was inscribed “To Frank, Regards, JWW.”
‘How many you got? Twelve. That’s sixty pee.”

In another place and another time a portly middle-aged man pulled a book from one of the many shelves in his library. He turned the book over and over in his hands, studying the ionicus illustration of the water mill in the minutest detail. It was a good many years since he had done that. With a rueful smile he slipped it back on the shelf and pondered lost innocence.

Do First lines matter?

Maynard Sims


We all think we know some famous first lines that we wished we had written ourselves. The clock striking thirteen at the opening of 1984, the last night of dreams from Daphne Du Maurier, The Old Man And The Sea. How have opening lines changed over the years? Do they have to grab the attention quite as dramatically as the “how to” books would suggest? Do they have to engage the reader more now than in the past, and if so why?

And what about the closing line of a story? Does it have to wrap it all up neatly, or can it be enigmatic? Can it be happy or sad, relevant to what has gone before, or can it suggest another possibly different avenue?

‘“I suppose you will be getting away pretty soon, now Full Term is over, Professor,” said a person not in the story…’ That ‘ a person not in the story’ is a wonderful way for a traditional ghost story like “Oh, Whistle, And I’ll Come To You, My Lad.” to begin, and the easy, seemingly casual, commencement of a story with dialogue, immediately puts us amongst the characters, thus giving such stories as the M R James classic its bedrock in characterisation, which, if given sufficient room to move and breathe, in other words a decent word length, allows this form of the genre to be so successful. Does it grab the attention, this first line, or was that perhaps not the intention in those days when Dr Johnson’s, “The public are the ultimate judges; if they are pleased, it is well; if not, it is no use to tell them why they ought to be have been pleased.” was, possibly rightly, regarded as the common critic.

‘His nerves, too, have suffered: he cannot even now see a surplice hanging on a door quite unmoved, and the spectacle of a scarecrow in a field late on a winter afternoon has cost him more than one sleepless night.’ The conclusion to Parkins’ tale is a fine summing up, as though we are truly listening to the words spoken whilst seated in a leather chair, in an oak panelled room, and with a fine Macanudo cigar and a vintage Port for company. The line encompasses what had gone before, and should we perversely have glanced at it before beginning the story, as we all do on occasion, we should have been more than tempted to read the story in full.

A fine modern exponent of the ghost story, Terry Lamsley, often favoured more direct openings that tempt the reader into his world by a statement. ‘Nathan was on the lookout for the woman most of the time now.’ This line from the story Back In The Dunes from his third collection Dark Matters from Ash Tree Press is a variant on the Hamlet opening. Without meeting her we want to know who the woman is and why Nathan is keeping watch for her. It draws us in through curiosity, making us want to read on to satisfy what killed the cat, but which itch we can only scratch be learning more about these characters.

Here the ending, ‘They sounded genuinely happy now, and were obviously eager to begin the anniversary celebration.’ will not mean much without the story having been read as a whole. It is an example of the explaining/summing up last line that acts as a full stop without adding further mystery to the piece. It works well because it serves to underline the story and bring down the final curtain neatly and effectively.

Our own ‘The silver helicopter flowed with insistent noise through the lazy tropical air.’ taken from Ashushma, the opening novella from our collection Echoes Of Darkness, Sarob Press May 2000, is an attempt at a descriptive opening that uses the language to paint a picture – here of a tropical island and visitors approaching it – to set up an atmosphere from which the characters and action will develop. It is a long story, 19000 words, and the reader knows that before they start reading. That may make a difference with the opening line, as longer stories sometimes tell their tale at a slower pace, usually in a more complex manner as well. A short, punchy opening line may not always work. Although with novels we are told the opening line, and indeed the first page, must grab the attention.

‘It was difficult to see in the full darkness, with the sea struggling around and over the stones, but it seemed as if the shapes merged into one huge misshapen mass that swallowed Sybella, leaving the storm to rant in futile rage.’ The finale of our story continues the theme of using atmosphere as one of the characters in the story, and concludes the telling of the story by focussing on one of the main characters, Sybella, who has, hopefully, become sympathetic to the reader, so that her fate affects us as we learn of it.

Over the years opening lines have changed from the occasionally slow, deliberate preambles into the body of the story, to almost an art form of their own. The intention now must be to engage the readers (or editors/publishers/agents etc.) quickly so that the story is not cast aside and another selected instead. There is fierce competition for acceptance; there is a plethora of other preoccupations that divert attention away from the telling of a story. There are intense pressures in daily life, as everything gets faster, more instant, and much of our entertainment becomes increasingly visual. The luxury of starting a story in slow time, with the pace of a waltz rather than a frenetic break dance is becoming ever more dangerous.

Yet, ‘“He had heart trouble,” the woman was telling Carella.’ Is how Ed McBain chose to begin The Last Dance, the fiftieth novel in the 87th Precinct series of crime novels that began in 1956. The books have consistently featured several city cops who, if one has read all the books, have grown and developed over the years. Because the books are so well established, and work so well, we know that Carella, the “main” character, and the one closest to the authors voice in the stories, is investigating a death; and because the suggestion is natural causes we know it will turn out to be murder, just as we know that the policemen will go through various stages to establish this, and they will be slightly changed by events as they unfold. Just as with a familiar friend we can relax and forgo certain formalities, so with an author we know and respect we can accept some leniency.

The ending displays this even more than the beginning, with its, ‘At last, Kling said, “Wanna dance?”’ So casual, so informal, we feel privileged to be amongst people so comfortable with themselves. They have just been through so much, in which we have shared, and the last line allows us a small smile with them.

‘During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House Of Usher.’ Who else could it be? Atmosphere, menace, some action, the introduction of the main character (well, two main characters – the man and the house), and an all-pervading sense of dread. Already we don’t want to enter the house, but then again of course we do, but we know we’ll be scared every step of the way. As potent now as when first written, here is respectable pace yet attention grabbing of the highest order.

The ending is equally fierce. ‘While I gazed, this fissure rapidly widened – there came a fierce breath of the whirlwind – the entire orb of the satellite burst at once upon my sight – my brain reeled as I saw the mighty walls rushing asunder – there was a long tumultuous shouting sound like the voice of a thousand waters – and the deep and dank tern at my feet closed sullenly and silently over the fragments of The House Of Usher.’ Fantastic stuff that completes a circle from the opening line, and rounds off the intervening story with an atmospheric and chilling conclusion.

There could be the argument that the opening and ending of any story are the two defining moments that dictate whether it will find favour with the reader or pass into obscurity in their memory. Certainly when writing stories these are often the two lines most thought about; the two lines most revised. We often find, speaking as writers now, we write a story, and upon revision lose the original beginning (sometimes the opening paragraphs), as its purpose has been served; it has got us into the meat of the tale and overcome our initial shyness at meeting the new characters. Occasionally we start a story with only the opening line, a thread of an idea that has insinuated itself in our sub-conscious and from which the rest follows. Rarely do we revise the last line, because by that stage we know our characters, know what they will do – not always, as they can be independent little beggars – and the ending evolves from the plot. Always, though, the ending has to match the beginning, so that there is symmetry to the story telling, a roundness that acts as a final farewell.

‘Outside the walls of the Crimson Cabaret was a world of rain and darkness.’ Instantly we want to be inside those walls, out of the rain and the dark, somewhere that sounds safe. Gas Station Carnivals from The Nightmare Factory by Thomas Ligotti won’t be safe, and somehow we know that even as we enter, but still the words used, and their context, entice us in. By the time the last line, ‘Perhaps then I will discover what it was I did – what any of us did – to deserve this fate.’ we know, like the character Quisser, that safety was the least appealing aspect of that opening, and again the ending brings us neatly and very effectively to that conclusion, although we were well aware of it throughout our journey.

Which is more important – a good opening or a good finale? Starter or dessert? Well, can we have one without the other? Each performs a very different function. An opening can set up mystery, atmosphere, action, characters, mood. It can hook, grab, entice, cajole, bully sometimes – ‘So you think you know pain?’ from Jack Ketchum is fairly provocative – anything it needs to make one read on. What follows then must stand on its own two feet, but the opening line is like a parents guiding hands, showing the way, finally letting go of the bicycle before the child goes wobbling off on its own first solo ride.

Having survived the journey of the whole story, having read on from the first line, and enjoyed, to whatever degree, the intervening story we come to the last line. The final memory we will have of the story. Will it please or disappoint? Satisfy or frustrate? Without a superb last line a story is like sex without an orgasm – pleasing and exciting, but ultimately frustrating. The last line is like a comforting embrace in the dark of night, something we all need on occasion.

Before you go back to the top of this essay and check out our first line again – a quiz. Whose first lines, and a few last lines too, are these? Answers on a postcard () although a clue – we have told you…

Here’s some firsts –

‘When a traveller in north central Massachusetts takes the wrong fork at the junction of the Aylesbury pike just beyond Dean’s Corners he comes upon a lonely and curious country.’ HPL – The Dunwich Horror

‘Just when the idea occurred to her that she was being murdered she could not tell.’
Ray Bradbury – The Small Assassin

‘Mr Baxter sauntered out of his office in the Dormy House at Duncaster Golf Club, just as the sun was setting one perfect evening late in September, 19-, his meagre labours finished for the day.’ HRW – 17th Hole

‘You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.’ Frankenstein

And in conclusion –

‘”Merry Christmas,”’ he repeated softly.’ Hell House

‘In forgetting, they were trying to remember.’ The Exorcist.

‘The hammering and the voices and the barking dog grew fainter, and, “Oh, God,” he thought, “What a bloody silly way to die…”’ Don’t Look Now

‘In those previous seconds Gerald had become aware of something dividing them which neither of them would ever mention or ever forget.’ Ringing The Changes

‘Subsequently the body was again secretly dug up, and the coffin was found to be full of blood.’ The Room In The Tower.