The Drone Man can be found in




ISFDB.org Magazine Entry



In Quest of the Queen Bee, Ferguson Takes Refuge in the Society of the Hive—and Undergoes a Miraculous Transformation!

The Drone Man

By A. Merritt

Author of "The Moon Pool," "The Ship of Ishtar," etc.

FOUR MEN sat at a table of the Explorers' Club. Hewitt, just in from two years botanical research in Abyssinia; Caranac, the ethnologist; MacLeod, poet first, and second the learned curator of the Asiatic Museum; Winston, the archeologist, who, with Kosloff the Russian, had worked over the ruins of Khara-Kora, the City of the Black Stones in the northern Gobi, once capital of the Empire of Genghis Khan.

The talk had veered to werewolves, vampires, fox-women, and similar superstitions. Caranac, who had brought up the subject originally, said:

"It is a deep-rooted belief, an immeasurably ancient, that a man or woman may assume the shape of an animal, a serpent, a bird, even an insect. It was believed of old everywhere, and everywhere it is still believed by some—fox-men and fox-women of China and Japan, wolf-people, the badger and bird people of our own Indians. Always there has been the idea that there is a borderland between the worlds of consciousness of man and of beast—a borderland where shapes can be changed, and man merge into beast or beast-and-man."

MacLeod said: "The Egyptians had some good reason for equipping their deities with the heads of birds and beasts and insects. Why did they portray Khepher the Oldest God with the head of a beetle? Why give Anubis, the Psychopomp, Guide of the Dead, the head of a jackal? Or Thoth, the God of Wisdom, the head of an ibis; and Horus, the Divine son of Isis and Osiris, the head of a hawk? Set, God of Evil, a crocodile's and the Goddess Bast a cat's? There was a reason for all of that. But about it one can only guess."

"I think there's something in that borderland, or borderline, idea," Caranac agreed. "There's more or less of the beast, the reptile, the bird, the insect in everybody. I've known men who looked like rats and had the souls of rats. I've known women who belonged to the horse family, and showed it in f...

This is only a preview of this story. The site administrator is evaluating methods to bring it to you.