Any short story which begins after this fashion will give that settling in feeling in the hara - this is going to be good. I would say to the prospective student of a master’s degree in writing - please don’t, just read this story once a day for a month, once a month for a year and once a year for the rest of your life just as you would oil a prized piece of furniture.
WHEN WE ARRIVED WITH OUR BAGS AT THE ASYLUM
cricket ground, the chief medical officer, whom I had met at the house where I was staying, came up to shake hands. I told him that I was only scoring for the Lamp-ton team today (I had broken a finger the week before, keeping wicket on a bumpy pitch). He said: "Oh, then you'll have an interesting companion."
"The other scoresman?" I asked.
"Crossley is the most intelligent man in the asylum," answered the doctor, "a wide reader, a first-class chessplayer, and so on. He seems to have travelled all over the world. He's been sent here for delusions. His most serious delusion is that he's a murderer, and his story is that he killed two men and a woman at Sydney, Australia. The other delusion, which is more humorous, is that his soul is split in pieces—whatever that means. He edits our monthly magazine, he stage manages our Christmas theatricals, and he gave a most original conjuring performance the other day. You'll like him."
I found this story in a collection Great English Short Stories put together by Christopher Isherwood (pub. 1957). In a mischievous way this British collection has four outright foreigners. (Conrad, George Moore, K. Mansfield, Ethel Colburn Mayne) A very good selection.
Though I could say many clever things about The Shout I will for once in my life refrain. Scour the internet, find it, read it. I’ve returned it to openlibrary.org so if you want to read it online it’s there.