A quartet of short stories by the British master of the macabre, Hector Hugh Munro, better known under his pseudonym “Saki”. This collection brings together four of his most macabre tales, all of which will surprise the listener with an uncanny twist at the end.
"The Background": When Henri Deplis comes into a small inheritance and celebrates his new found wealth by getting an elaborate tattoo, he little realizes what a series of catastrophic events will ensue. The tattoo is recognized as a masterpiece of modern art and given to the city of Bergamo. This is the start of a series of restrictions on Henri Deplis’ lifestyle that gradually but inevitably lead to his downfall.
"The Chaplet": When master chef Monsieur Aristide Saucourt presents his signature dish to diners at the Grand Sybaris Hotel, he anticipates they will acknowledge this as the pinnacle of his career. But the moment does not go as planned and ends in a fatal tragedy involving hot soup.
"The Jesting of Arlington Stringer": When Arlington Stringer makes a joke in the House of Commons, his wife is most disapproving. As his penchant for jesting continues, the noose of fate quickly and inevitably tightens around her throat.
"Sredni Vashtar": Conradin is a sickly and introverted child who hates his guardian, Mrs. De Ropp. When she takes away his pet hen and threatens to do the same with his pole-cat, whom he worships like a God, Conradin makes a special prayer, and his sinister wish is answered.