The G’harne Fragments
A slim, unadorned, pasteboard-bound work in medium sixteenmo; 4 ½” wide by 5 ¾” high; 128 pages. The title is printed on both the pasteboard cover (a pale cream, with black ink) and the spine, with the author’s name (Sir Amery Wendy-Smith) printed below the title. No publisher is listed nor is a date of publication given. The production quality and style suggests a small university press or that the author paid for publication himself; the finished product is of inexpensive materials. There are numerous illustrations depicting some sort of cipher or artificial language consisting of haphazardly arranged dots and a scattering of astronomical charts. A handwritten dedication on the title page says “Many thanks for your advice and aid, W-S.” Scattered throughout the text are a few passages underlined in meticulous pencil lines.
This work provides a supposed translation of inscriptions first discovered by British explorer Sir Howard Windrop in a hitherto unknown ruined city in Africa, referred to as “G’harne” by the author. Expanding on Windrop’s earlier translation, Wendy-Smith, claims that the text contains the fragmentary records of a prehistoric, (perhaps even non-human) civilization.
Included in the text is an incomplete catalog of the various cities of this unknown civilization (including G’harne) as well as discussions of the cities of other increasingly fanciful civilizations and races. A lengthy passage discusses the fall of the city after the collapse of G’harne’s builders’ civilization and how the survivors were besieged by a race of subterranean creatures. Eventually the city’s builders were able to trap their attackers via some powerful enchantment. A short chapter presents a labyrinthine catalog of earlier wars between the builders of G’harne and a myriad of implausible races. Another section presents fragmentary star-charts and a catalog of the planets of our own solar system, including a body between Mars and Earth, as well as a host of worlds lying beyond Neptune. A final chapter discusses the city of G’harne itself, as described by Windrop 1 ; a collection of vast, mammoth, eons-old stone blocks worn down by time and forgotten and mostly shunned by the local peoples. Wendy-Smith (like Windrop) never explains by what means he was able to translate the writings of this lost civilization, saving that for a promised future book to be written upon his return from a new expedition to G’harne.