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This story was first published in The Runagates Club, a 1928 collection of short stories consisting of twelve tales presented as reminiscences of members of a London dining society. Like much of Buchan's writing, the story is characterised by a detailed and tender depiction of the natural world, mixed in with mysticism and superstition.

The action takes place on the remote island of Skule Skerry (aka Sule Skerry) which lies 60Km west of Orkney. Buchan draws on Orkney folk-tales of the "selkies" — mythological creatures that can shapeshift between seal and human forms.

This recording was a precursor to John Buchan's Supernatural Fiction, an online talk by Paul Grant Ph.D. Details here