If you ask “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”
I will answer “The Shadow knows.” But if you go on
And say “And why does he know?” I cannot answer.
Alas, if I had thought to ask my father he’d have said
“They grew up together – a small town in middle Europe –
Friends for many years, they grew apart at last. They were not
What they later became. Neither of them lurked
And the Shadow’s teachers thought him bright and predicted
For him a glowing future. His father was said to be
The famous detective Darkness Visible; he was raised
By his mother, the clairvoyant Madame Nachtvogler.
The Shadow always felt it was some failure of his
Which had allowed his friend to take the path he had.
Occasionally, after some hard-fought battle, they would
Withdraw to a dimly-lit bar and talk of things indifferent –
The junkman’s patient lame horse; the winter so cold
That they went skating on the pond that never froze.
It may be that they are immortal; just in case though
The evil that lurks in the hearts of men had his attorney
Draw up a will for him. He thinks the Shadow does not know
Whom he has named as his executor and residuary legatee.”