31. "A Scandal in Bohemia" (1891) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. One of the best Sherlock Holmes stories, this is the famous tale of Irene Adler, the woman who outsmarted Holmes. It's a great story that shows Holmes at his best, even though he meets his match. Much has been made of Moriarty as Holmes' ultimate nemesis, but Adler is the only one of his adversaries who proved a genuine intellectual equal.
32. "Lot No. 249" (1892) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This is a mummy story, although it follows some of the traditional zombie story maneuvers as well. A young man has found a way to command a mummy to do his bidding and he sees it as his opportunity to eliminate all of his rivals.
33. "Lost Hearts" (1893) by M.R. James. This is one of James' earliest tales and it's rather unlike the main body of his work (I'll be listing a lot of them over the next two days). A poor child is taken in by a doctor who provides for his every need. But it seems that children have a way of disappearing around his home...
34. "How the Brigadier Won His Medal" (1894) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Of all the great Brigadier Gerard stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this is certainly one of them. If you know Doyle for Holmes or the Lost World you should try a Brigadier Gerard story, they're quite different and very funny. In this tale, Gerard is sent on what could only be an impossible task - impossible for any man but Gerard! The only problem is his superiors meant for him to be captured. Poor Gerard, ever bringing competance to the job of an incompetant.
35. "Canon Alberic's Scrap Book" (1895) by M.R. James. Now then, this is another M.R. James story, but it follows a formula he used time and again thereon. A researcher visiting an old church befriends the parson, who shows him an incredible text full of rare illustrations from chuch history. He's quite eager to be rid of it...and before the day is over, the researcher learns why...
36. "The Open Boat" (1897) by Stephen Crane. Based on an incident which occurred to Crane, this is the story of four men cast adrift in a lifeboat trying desperately to save themselves as the situation grows increasingly bleak.
37. "The Damned Thing" (1898) by Ambrose Bierce. A fine combination of wit and horror, this quick tale recounts the circumstances surrounding the unusual death of a hunter who believes there are things existing slightly outside man's ken, but not necessarily beyond that of nature.
38. "Drums of the Fore and Aft" (1898) by Rudyard Kipling. An excellent story about two young men who play in a regiment band and find themselves stranded on the battlefield when the rest of their party retreats. The duo see only one course open to them: they march, trying to inspire their forces to come back and continue the fight.
39. "Captain Rogers" (1901) by W.W. Jacobs. A familiar tale with a twist; a good man raising his daughter alone is confronted by a figure from his past who knows him as "Captain Rogers," a wanted man. He uses this information as blackmail to get whatever he wants from the man, gradually forcing him out of his own home and property and threatening to take his daughter as well. It all leads up to a well-earned twist...
40. "An Adulteration Act" (1902) by W.W. Jacobs. A humourous story of a doctor and a lawyer who are shanghaied and forced to serve aboard a ship at sea. The two men are ill-prepared for lives of drudgery and to regain their old lives they use the only strengths they have - those of their normal vocations.