Help Me Identify These Two Short Stories

A long time back, about 25 years or so ago, I read a couple of short stories which I have tried to track down to no avail. To make my request more difficult, the two stories were in two different books, each containing a compilation of stories by a number of different authors. I remember that both books were a little weathered at the time of reading and I was told that they may have been purchased in Europe (I live in the US).

Now to the stories. Note that my memory may not be completely accurate.

The first was a story about a person who boarded a bus and began eavesdropping on a conversation being had by two third parties. The conversation made up the bulk of the short story, and before it was finished, either the eavesdropper or the two eavesdroppees got off the bus, leaving the story with an unfinished cliffhanger for both the eavesdropper and the reader. A frustrating story that I have tried many times to google and have not been able to find. I do not remember what the conversation was about and I may be wrong about the bus, but it was some sort of public transportation (trolley, train, bus).

The second was a werewolf story and I have little faith that I can give you enough information to find the correct story. It was in a collection with other short horror stories. All I remember about the story was that the werewolf was a teenager (or pre-teen) and that in an effort to keep from killing people, his family created a type of jail cell to keep him in at night. I believe that they may also have either tied, shackled or handcuffed him. Frankly, this sounds like such a common theme in werewolf stories, that I doubt I’ll be able to find the one I was reading. Someone borrowed the book while I was in mid-story and I never saw it again. I don’t remember it being that great, but the fact that I never finished it has always bugged me.

Any leads?

The first sounds like an anecdote I remember reading about Alfred Hitchcock – he did this once when he got on an elevator with a friend. He began talking to his friend as though they were continuing a conversation they’d had before getting on the elevator (paraphrased):

“So I walked around the bed, and there was her body, laying in a pool of blood. I knew I was in serious trouble. I’d already touched the phone, and I didn’t know what else in the room. I was just about to leave when I realized there was someone else at the door. I searched around for a weapon, and the only thing I could find was …”

At this point the elevator reached his floor, and Hitch and his friend stepped off, leaving the other occupants hanging.

Just a quick reply to thank Sauron for the contribution (and to bump this back to the front page for the weekend).

I tried a little more searching on the possibility that Hitchcock was the author of this particular short story (I would like to think I’d have remembered if that was the case, but I was only about 11 at the time I read it), but it’s not easy to put in good search terms for it.

As I mentioned, I was not expecting to get any response to the werewolf story, but I was really hoping someone would have remembered the eavesdropping story. It bugs me enough that I try about once per year to track it down.

I’ve heard of this story, but never read it myself. At least the plot is similar to what you describe.

“Poor Albert Floated When He Died . . .” by Sheila Burnford

This might be the anthology you read

If it helps, I remember a plot that fits the first-but not the title. I thought it was an O. Henry story but can’t find anything in his bibliography that seems to match.
It was a train ride and the main character was on a trip under doctor’s orders to relax. The story he overheard was a man relating a murder trial. One of a set of twins was charged with murdering their rich uncle. On the first day of the trial the other twin took the stand and announced he was the murderer. The judge threw out the initial case and the second twin was promptly charged.
New trial, the first twin ‘confessed’ under oath. Lather, rinse repeat.
The overheard man notes this could have gone on indefinitely, except a sharp prosecutor (I think) figured out a solution.
The two strangers get off just before he explains what the solution was. The main character is left to spend his ‘relaxing’ holiday stewing over this problem.
Maybe this is enough for someone else’s Google-fu?

I think this is it! Some googling got me slightly different details and another frustrated searcher… Hmm… Tess, Tressa. That you?

The werewolf story reminds me vaguely of Jerome Bixby’s ‘The Young One’. I seem to recall that it features a normal boy who discovers that the new (Eastern European, I seem to recall) family is full of werewolves, though it’s only the young son that doesn’t have it quite under control yet.

Special to thanks to L, not of this board for helping me google this:

Unreasonable Doubt by Stanley Ellin

And now I have to go register on yahoo answers, among other places to fulfill this karmic promise:

L: Yahoo answers doesn’t know:
me: If I found the answer on yahoo answers, I might have to kill myself. Fortunately, they have no clue.
L: I was hoping they had it.
That would have been funny.
L: Is it Throw Momma From the Train?
How about, Midnight Train to Georgia?
me: It’s throw momma from the train, thanks.
L: Mystery solved.
me: I promise when I find the answer, I will answer all of these poor lost souls on the internet.
L: Unreasonable Doubt
me: Holy shit! That, that’s it!

Thanks, MickNickMaggies. I can’t tell if that’s it. None of the compilations that popped up looked familiar, but that’s hardly dispositive. I will try to find the story and read it.

Tess, thanks so much for your good memory. Never could have tracked that story down without the accurate details you remembered.

And Peter Morris, thanks for the contribution. Not the right story, but if it’s on the same track, it sounds like I will probably enjoy it.

Glad to help :).
Tressa’s not me, just a weird little coincidence.

Was there a pocket knife (silver) involved somehow?

Never mind. I’ve found the anthology I was looking for. Now all I need is a cheap copy, because I just can’t justify $70.00.