“Little Glass Bottle, The“


“Little Glass Bottle, The“
   Juvenile story (460 words); written c. 1898–99. First published in SR;corrected text in Juvenilia: 1897–1905(1985) and MW
   A ship commanded by a Captain William Jones comes upon a bottle with a message in it (probably suggested by Poe’s “MS. Found in a Bottle”). This note—written in a very wild and hasty hand on HPL’s autograph manuscript—announces the writer as John Jones (no relation to the captain, one imagines) and says that there is a treasure to be found on the spot marked with an asterisk on the reverse of the note (here we find a crude map of the Indian Ocean, with a nebulous land mass labeled “Austrailia” [sic]at the bottom left). This note is dated January 1, 1864.
   Captain Jones decides that “it would pay to go” to the spot, and the crew do so. There they find another note from John Jones: “Dear Searcher excuse me for the practical joke I have played on you but it serves you right to find nothing for your foolish act…” But John kindly defrays their expenses with an iron box containing “$25.0.00,” whatever that is. After reading this note (inexplicably dated December 3, 1880) Captain Jones delivers the one funny line in the entire story: “I’d like to kick his head off.”
   The story is an early attempt at humor. For later tales of this sort, see “Ibid,” “A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson,” and “Sweet Ermengarde.”

An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. .

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