A quartet of short stories by the mastermind of practical jokes, Hector Hugh Munro, better known under his pseudonym “Saki”. This collection brings together four of his most ingenious tales, all of which involve one character playing a prank on the others. The results range from the comic to the macabre… but all are brilliantly narrated with Saki’s superb ironic wit.
The Stampeding of Lady Bastable. Mrs. Sangrail is determined to offload her wayward son Clovis onto Lady Bastable for six days while she takes a trip to Scotland. Is desperation she resorts to cunning bribery, but Clovis has other ideas and devises an ingenious scheme to thwart his mother’s plans.
Adrian. When Mrs. Mebberley decides to take Adrian on a tour of Europe, she little suspects just how much trouble one young practical joker can cause. The party finds itself fleeing from one hotel to the next as Adrian’s pranks leave a trail of mayhem.
The Open Window. Framton Nuttel pays an unannounced call on Mrs. Sappleton and finds himself in the midst of a macabre spectacle which is not as it seems. A strange revelation by Mrs. Sappleton’s niece causes only embarrassment at first… but then a chilling realization dawns.
The Unrest-Cure. When the prematurely middle-aged J.P. Huddle is recommended to take an “unrest-cure” by a friend, he little realizes that the other passenger in the railway compartment, the prank-loving Clovis, will take this as a personal challenge. The havoc which Clovis’s grisly and at times shocking practical joke causes is beyond anything that the sleepy hamlet of Tilfield has seen before.