Lovecraft, Lovecraft-H.P.

Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family-I

Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His FamilyFacts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family-I

One day Arthur Jermyn went out onto the moor and set himself on fire. The family was known for being a bit crazy, so it wasn’t entirely a surprise, but the strangeness that surrounded Arthur’s death led people not to collect even the small bits that remained of Arthur’s body. Arthur died after looking in a strange box.

Arthur’s family had been strange for several generations. His great-grandfather had been very interested in studying Africa. He actually went there and came back with a wife, which no one saw. His primary interest in Africa were tales of a city full of white apes. Some of the local people worshiped these apes.

Arthur’s great-grandfather had come back with a wife and a son, but then he returned to Africa and came back without the wife. The only person left was the son, because Arthur’s great-grandfather died as well, but only after spending a large amount of time at the pub, drunkenly bragging about what he had found in the jungles of Africa.

Arthur’s grandfather, Phillip, did not seem to inherit the family crazy, at first, but he was quite stupid and no one really liked being around him. One day Phillip just left on a ship for Africa and didn’t come back. He left his wife and child behind.

The child’s name was Robert and he was handsome. He got married and had three children. He also studied about Africa using his grandfather’s notes and artifacts. Nevil, another one of Philip’s sons, ran away with a dancer, but came back with a son, which was named Alfred, who later became Arthur’s father. People said the grief got to Robert, but many think it was the strange stories from Africa.

One day an explorer called on Robert at the house, but he did not leave alive. He had told Robert many details of a city of grey, inhabited by white ape-like creatures. Robert strangled him and then proceeded to kill his three children. Nevil, died trying to defend his small son, who did actually live.

Alfred was still strange, just like the rest of his family, as he grew. He ran away to America and joined a circus. There he developed a fascination with an ape and offered to train it, which he did. It was during a feigned boxing match that the ape punched Alfred a little too hard, which injured Alfred somewhat gravely. The on-lookers were surprised to find that Alfred attacked the ape with a fury that included biting its neck and acting like an animal, but Alfred could not be saved from the ape. Ultimately, it was just Arthur left alive.

Observations

There definitely exists a possibility of there being an albino ape, as such things have been mentioned in this story. Usually though, albino animals do not live long in the wild. So if there did happen to be a real albino ape, chances are it would not live long. Albino animals cannot camouflage themselves as they should and soon get picked out by predators or rivals.

Closer to myself, there are a bunch of white squirrels in the next town over and they seem to get along just fine in the wild, despite not blending in with their surroundings. Squirrels are quite a bit smaller than apes though, but it’s possible that maybe, just maybe, a white ape could have lived. It would have taken a lot of recessive traits coming forward to end up with a collective of white apes though.

Themes

This isn’t the whole story, so I don’t have overall things to speak of, but we can definitely explore the idea of family legacies. This entire family was labeled as strange. This entire family was labeled as crazy. There is no doubt that a family could certainly pass on various mental illnesses down a line, but a family could also develop strange characteristics that may mark them as weird by the rest of local society. If the family had not been prone to strange outbursts of violence, they may have just been your normal weird family. We’ve all known weird families, so it’s not actually that weird for a family to be so odd. It’s just part of our society that there’s that one weird family somewhere that has all the toilet planters out in the yard and that’s just how we think of them.

Overall

Strange people.

Weigh In

Do you think you would claim this family as your family?

What do you think made Arthur kill himself?

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