The short story is often viewed as an inferior relation to the Novel. But it is an art in itself. To take a story and distil its essence into fewer pages while keeping character and plot rounded and driven is not an easy task. Many try and many fail. In this series we look at short stories from many of our most accomplished writers. Miniature masterpieces with a lot to say. In this volume we examine some of the short stories of Saki. Hector Hugh Munro was born in Akyab Burma on the 18th December 1870. With the death of his mother, Hector was sent to England to live with his Grandmother and Aunts and endured a strict family upbringing. Educated at Pencarwick School in Exmouth, Devon and at Bedford School it was only on a few occasions that he was able to travel with his father to fashionable European spas and tourist resorts. In 1893, Hector followed his father into the Indian Imperial Police, where he was posted to Burma. Two years later, having contracted malaria, he resigned and returned to England. In England he started his career as a journalist, writing for the newspapers; the Westminster Gazette, Daily Express, Bystander, Morning Post, and Outlook. In 1900, Munro's first book, an historical study, appeared: The Rise of the Russian Empire. From 1902 to 1908, Munro worked as a foreign correspondent for The Morning Post in the Balkans, Warsaw, Russia and Paris; he then gave that up and settled in London. His postings gave him a large amount of inspiration for his ‘Reginald’ stories as well as his perhaps more famous stories of the macabre and unusual. His wit, general mischievousness and delight in turning things on their head brought him great acclaim. In November 1916, when sheltering in a shell crater near Beaumont-Hamel, France, he was killed by a German sniper. His alleged last words "Put that bloody cigarette out!". He was 45.