THE FOOL KILLER by Helen Eustis


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A haunting journey, in the lengthening shadow of fear, has both its heartache and its horror and follows the footsteps of a youngster- George Mellish- who runs away from his foster parents. From Dirty Jim Jelliman, he learns the legend of the giant fool killer and his shopper; but with Milo Bogardus, a shellshock victim, there is the companionship of the road which he hopes will never end. For Milo, although sometimes subject to strange spells in which he is pursued by his ""enemies"", has a practical knowledge and a gentle wisdom which wins the boy's wonder and respect. A night at a revival meeting, during which George is saved, ends in the preacher's murder- chopped with his own and Milo's disappearance. George goes on alone, to the Galts, and there he finds acceptance and forbearance, but there are his disconsolate memories of Milo- and the spectral terrors of the fool killer. Milo comes back, to take George with him; the fool killer is now longer a phantom; and George- as he saves the life of Mrs. Galt- destroys that of his friend....The rough ways and folk idiom of an earlier period (a little after the Civil War), the susceptible illusion and innocence of the young, the reflection of trust as well as terror through a boy's eyes- there's warmth here as well as cold dread. Helen Eustis may he remembered for a highly successful mystery- The Horizontal Man.

Publisher: Doubleday