The narrator of this story has died, and finds himself in the Afterlife - in his case in a world of noisy, cruel people, where torture and other atrocities are practised. People can travel to different cities having different characteristics, all equally unbearable. This Purgatory or Hell is reserved for those who fear or reject the name of God.
This story is the fourth story in the Little Pilgrim series. (See the link below for more information.)
Biographical and other notes
A few words of introduction, as published in Blackwood's Magazine, was omitted from the book version of the story - but somewhat similar wording was placed at the end of the story.
When this story was collected with two others in the book entitled The Land of Darkness, the stories were not presented in their chronological order. See the "Little Pilgrim series" entry below for the correct order of the three stories. This issue also applies to the American collection, entitled The Little Pilgrim: Further Experiences.
British publishing information
Periodical: Blackwood's Magazine Jan 1887
First edition: Macmillan and Co (title story in 3-story collection) 1888