The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

H. P. Lovecraft (1927)

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Table of contents

Chapter I: A Result and a Prologue ___________ 5 Chapter II: An Antecedent and a Horror ______ 18 Chapter III: A Search and an Evocation _______ 58 Chapter IV: A utation and a adness _______ !" Chapter V: A #ight$are and a Catacl%s$ ____ 1&'

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The essential Saltes of Animals may be so prepared and preserved, that an ingenious Man may have the whole Ark of Noah in his own Studie, and raise the fine Shape of an Animal out of its Ashes at his Pleasure; and by the lyke Method from the essential Saltes of humane Dust, a Philosopher may, without any riminal Ne roman y, all up the Shape of any dead An estour from the Dust whereinto his !odie has been in inerated" - Borellus

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Chapter I: A Result and a Prologue

1 rom a private hospital for the insane near Providence, hode !sland, there recentl" disappeared an e#ceedin$l" sin$ular person. He %ore the name of &harles 'e#ter (ard, and )as placed under restraint most reluctantl" %" the $rievin$ father )ho had )atched his a%erration $ro) from a mere eccentricit" to a dar* mania involvin$ %oth a possi%ilit" of murderous tendencies and a profound and peculiar chan$e in the apparent contents of his mind. 'octors confess themselves +uite %affled %" his case, since it presented oddities of a $eneral ph"siolo$ical as )ell as ps"cholo$ical character. !n the first place, the patient seemed oddl" older than his t)ent"-si# "ears )ould )arrant. ,ental distur%ance, it is true, )ill a$e one rapidl"- %ut the face of this "oun$ man had ta*en on a su%tle cast )hich onl" the ver" a$ed normall" ac+uire. !n the second place, his or$anic processes she)ed a certain +ueerness of proportion )hich nothin$ in medical e#perience can parallel. espiration and heart action had a %afflin$ lac* of s"mmetr"- the voice )as lost, so that no sounds a%ove a )hisper )ere possi%le- di$estion )as incredi%l" prolon$ed and minimised, and neural reactions to standard stimuli %ore no relation at all to an"thin$ heretofore recorded, either normal or patholo$ical. .he s*in had a mor%id chill and dr"ness, and the cellular structure of the tissue seemed e#a$$eratedl" coarse and loosel" *nit. /ven a lar$e olive %irthmar* on the ri$ht hip had disappeared, )hilst there had formed on the chest a ver" peculiar mole or %lac*ish spot of 5

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)hich no trace e#isted %efore. !n $eneral, all ph"sicians a$ree that in (ard the processes of meta%olism had %ecome retarded to a de$ree %e"ond precedent. Ps"cholo$icall", too, &harles (ard )as uni+ue. His madness held no affinit" to an" sort recorded in even the latest and most e#haustive of treatises, and )as con1oined to a mental force )hich )ould have made him a $enius or a leader had it not %een t)isted into stran$e and $rotes+ue forms. 'r. (illett, )ho )as (ard2s famil" ph"sician, affirms that the patient2s $ross mental capacit", as $au$ed %" his response to matters outside the sphere of his insanit", had actuall" increased since the sei3ure. (ard, it is true, )as al)a"s a scholar and an anti+uarian- %ut even his most %rilliant earl" )or* did not she) the prodi$ious $rasp and insi$ht displa"ed durin$ his last e#aminations %" the alienists. !t )as, indeed, a difficult matter to o%tain a le$al commitment to the hospital, so po)erful and lucid did the "outh2s mind seem- and onl" on the evidence of others, and on the stren$th of man" a%normal $aps in his stoc* of information as distin$uished from his intelli$ence, )as he finall" placed in confinement. .o the ver" moment of his vanishment he )as an omnivorous reader and as $reat a conversationalist as his poor voice permitted- and shre)d o%servers, failin$ to foresee his escape, freel" predicted that he )ould not %e lon$ in $ainin$ his dischar$e from custod". 4nl" 'r. (illett, )ho %rou$ht &harles (ard into the )orld and had )atched his $ro)th of %od" and mind ever since, seemed fri$htened at the thou$ht of his future freedom. He had had a terri%le e#perience and had made a terri%le discover" )hich he dared not reveal to his sceptical collea$ues. (illett, indeed, presents a minor m"ster" all his o)n in his conne#ion )ith the case. He )as the last to see the patient %efore his fli$ht, and emer$ed from that final 6

conversation in a state of mi#ed horror and relief )hich several recalled )hen (ard2s escape %ecame *no)n three hours later. .hat escape itself is one of the unsolved )onders of 'r. (aite2s hospital. 5 )indo) open a%ove a sheer drop of si#t" feet could hardl" e#plain it, "et after that tal* )ith (illett the "outh )as undenia%l" $one. (illett himself has no pu%lic e#planations to offer, thou$h he seems stran$el" easier in mind than %efore the escape. ,an", indeed, feel that he )ould li*e to sa" more if he thou$ht an" considera%le num%er )ould %elieve him. He had found (ard in his room, %ut shortl" after his departure the attendants *noc*ed in vain. (hen the" opened the door the patient )as not there, and all the" found )as the open )indo) )ith a chill 5pril %ree3e %lo)in$ in a cloud of fine %luish-$re" dust that almost cho*ed them. .rue, the do$s ho)led some time %efore- %ut that )as )hile (illett )as still present, and the" had cau$ht nothin$ and she)n no distur%ance later on. (ard2s father )as told at once over the telephone, %ut he seemed more saddened than surprised. B" the time 'r. (aite called in person, 'r. (illett had %een tal*in$ )ith him, and %oth disavo)ed an" *no)led$e or complicit" in the escape. 4nl" from certain closel" confidential friends of (illett and the senior (ard have an" clues %een $ained, and even these are too )ildl" fantastic for $eneral credence. .he one fact )hich remains is that up to the present time no trace of the missin$ madman has %een unearthed. &harles (ard )as an anti+uarian from infanc", no dou%t $ainin$ his taste from the venera%le to)n around him, and from the relics of the past )hich filled ever" corner of his parents2 old mansion in Prospect 6treet on the crest of the hill. (ith the "ears his devotion to ancient thin$s increasedso that histor", $enealo$", and the stud" of colonial architecture, furniture, and craftsmanship at len$th cro)ded 7

ever"thin$ else from his sphere of interests. .hese tastes are important to remem%er in considerin$ his madness- for althou$h the" do not form its a%solute nucleus, the" pla" a prominent part in its superficial form. .he $aps of information )hich the alienists noticed )ere all related to modern matters, and )ere invaria%l" offset %" a correspondin$l" e#cessive thou$h out)ardl" concealed *no)led$e of %"$one matters as %rou$ht out %" adroit +uestionin$- so that one )ould have fancied the patient literall" transferred to a former a$e throu$h some o%scure sort of auto-h"pnosis. .he odd thin$ )as that (ard seemed no lon$er interested in the anti+uities he *ne) so )ell. He had, it appears, lost his re$ard for them throu$h sheer familiarit"- and all his final efforts )ere o%viousl" %ent to)ard masterin$ those common facts of the modern )orld )hich had %een so totall" and unmista*a%l" e#pun$ed from his %rain. .hat this )holesale deletion had occurred, he did his %est to hide- %ut it )as clear to all )ho )atched him that his )hole pro$ramme of readin$ and conversation )as determined %" a frantic )ish to im%i%e such *no)led$e of his o)n life and of the ordinar" practical and cultural %ac*$round of the t)entieth centur" as ou$ht to have %een his %" virtue of his %irth in 1972 and his education in the schools of our o)n time. 5lienists are no) )onderin$ ho), in vie) of his vitall" impaired ran$e of data, the escaped patient mana$es to cope )ith the complicated )orld of toda"- the dominant opinion %ein$ that he is 8l"in$ lo)8 in some hum%le and une#actin$ position till his stoc* of modern information can %e %rou$ht up to the normal. .he %e$innin$ of (ard2s madness is a matter of dispute amon$ alienists. 'r. L"man, the eminent Boston authorit", places it in 1919 or 1927, durin$ the %o"2s last "ear at the ,oses Bro)n 6chool, )hen he suddenl" turned from the 8

stud" of the past to the stud" of the occult, and refused to +ualif" for colle$e on the $round that he had individual researches of much $reater importance to ma*e. .his is certainl" %orne out %" (ard2s altered ha%its at the time, especiall" %" his continual search throu$h to)n records and amon$ old %ur"in$-$rounds for a certain $rave du$ in 1771the $rave of an ancestor named 9oseph &ur)en, some of )hose papers he professed to have found %ehind the panellin$ of a ver" old house in 4lne" &ourt, on 6tampers2 Hill, )hich &ur)en )as *no)n to have %uilt and occupied. !t is, %roadl" spea*in$, undenia%le that the )inter of 1919-27 sa) a $reat chan$e in (ard- )here%" he a%ruptl" stopped his $eneral anti+uarian pursuits and em%ar*ed on a desperate delvin$ into occult su%1ects %oth at home and a%road, varied onl" %" this stran$el" persistent search for his forefather2s $rave. 0rom this opinion, ho)ever, 'r. (illett su%stantiall" dissents- %asin$ his verdict on his close and continuous *no)led$e of the patient, and on certain fri$htful investi$ations and discoveries )hich he made to)ard the last. .hose investi$ations and discoveries have left their mar* upon him- so that his voice trem%les )hen he tells them, and his hand trem%les )hen he tries to )rite of them. (illett admits that the chan$e of 1919-27 )ould ordinaril" appear to mar* the %e$innin$ of a pro$ressive decadence )hich culminated in the horri%le and uncann" alienation of 192:%ut %elieves from personal o%servation that a finer distinction must %e made. ;rantin$ freel" that the %o" )as al)a"s ill%alanced temperamentall", and prone to %e undul" suscepti%le and enthusiastic in his responses to phenomena around him, he refuses to concede that the earl" alteration mar*ed the actual passa$e from sanit" to madness- creditin$ instead (ard2s o)n statement that he had discovered or rediscovered somethin$ )hose effect on human thou$ht )as 9

li*el" to %e marvellous and profound. .he true madness, he is certain, came )ith a later chan$e- after the &ur)en portrait and the ancient papers had %een unearthed- after a trip to stran$e forei$n places had %een made, and some terri%le invocations chanted under stran$e and secret circumstancesafter certain ans)ers to these invocations had %een plainl" indicated, and a frantic letter penned under a$onisin$ and ine#plica%le conditions- after the )ave of vampirism and the ominous Pa)tu#et $ossip- and after the patient2s memor" commenced to e#clude contemporar" ima$es )hilst his ph"sical aspect under)ent the su%tle modification so man" su%se+uentl" noticed. !t )as onl" a%out this time, (illett points out )ith much acuteness, that the ni$htmare +ualities %ecame indu%ita%l" lin*ed )ith (ard- and the doctor feels shudderin$l" sure that enou$h solid evidence e#ists to sustain the "outh2s claim re$ardin$ his crucial discover". !n the first place, t)o )or*men of hi$h intelli$ence sa) 9oseph &ur)en2s ancient papers found. 6econdl", the %o" once she)ed 'r. (illett those papers and a pa$e of the &ur)en diar", and each of the documents had ever" appearance of $enuineness. .he hole )here (ard claimed to have found them )as lon$ a visi%le realit", and (illett had a ver" convincin$ final $limpse of them in surroundin$s )hich can scarcel" %e %elieved and can never perhaps %e proved. .hen there )ere the m"steries and coincidences of the 4rne and Hutchinson letters, and the pro%lem of the &ur)en penmanship and of )hat the detectives %rou$ht to li$ht a%out 'r. 5llen- these thin$s, and the terri%le messa$e in mediaeval minuscules found in (illett2s poc*et )hen he $ained consciousness after his shoc*in$ e#perience. 5nd most conclusive of all, there are the t)o hideous results )hich the doctor o%tained from a certain pair of 10

formulae durin$ his final investi$ations- results )hich virtuall" proved the authenticit" of the papers and of their monstrous implications at the same time that those papers )ere %orne forever from human *no)led$e.

2 4ne must loo* %ac* at &harles (ard2s earlier life as at somethin$ %elon$in$ as much to the past as the anti+uities he loved so *eenl". !n the autumn of 191:, and )ith a considera%le sho) of 3est in the militar" trainin$ of the period, he had %e$un his 1unior "ear at the ,oses Bro)n 6chool, )hich lies ver" near his home. .he old main %uildin$, erected in 1:19, had al)a"s charmed his "outhful anti+uarian sense- and the spacious par* in )hich the academ" is set appealed to his sharp e"e for landscape. His social activities )ere fe)- and his hours )ere spent mainl" at home, in ram%lin$ )al*s, in his classes and drills, and in pursuit of anti+uarian and $enealo$ical data at the &it" Hall, the 6tate House, the Pu%lic Li%rar", the 5thenaeum, the Historical 6ociet", the 9ohn &arter Bro)n and 9ohn Ha" Li%raries of Bro)n <niversit", and the ne)l" opened 6heple" Li%rar" in Benefit 6treet. 4ne ma" picture him "et as he )as in those da"s- tall, slim, and %lond, )ith studious e"es and a sli$ht droop, dressed some)hat carelessl", and $ivin$ a dominant impression of harmless a)*)ardness rather than attractiveness. His )al*s )ere al)a"s adventures in anti+uit", durin$ )hich he mana$ed to recapture from the m"riad relics of a $lamorous old cit" a vivid and connected picture of the centuries %efore. His home )as a $reat ;eor$ian mansion atop the )ell-ni$h precipitous hill that rises 1ust east of the 11

river- and from the rear )indo)s of its ram%lin$ )in$s he could loo* di33il" out over all the clustered spires, domes, roofs, and s*"scraper summits of the lo)er to)n to the purple hills of the countr"side %e"ond. Here he )as %orn, and from the lovel" classic porch of the dou%le-%a"ed %ric* facade his nurse had first )heeled him in his carria$e- past the little )hite farmhouse of t)o hundred "ears %efore that the to)n had lon$ a$o overta*en, and on to)ard the statel" colle$es alon$ the shad", sumptuous street, )hose old s+uare %ric* mansions and smaller )ooden houses )ith narro), heav"columned 'oric porches dreamed solid and e#clusive amidst their $enerous "ards and $ardens. He had %een )heeled, too, alon$ sleep" &on$don 6treet, one tier lo)er do)n on the steep hill, and )ith all its eastern homes on hi$h terraces. .he small )ooden houses avera$ed a $reater a$e here, for it )as up this hill that the $ro)in$ to)n had clim%ed- and in these rides he had im%i%ed somethin$ of the colour of a +uaint colonial villa$e. .he nurse used to stop and sit on the %enches of Prospect .errace to chat )ith policemen- and one of the child2s first memories )as of the $reat )est)ard sea of ha3" roofs and domes and steeples and far hills )hich he sa) one )inter afternoon from that $reat railed em%an*ment, and violet and m"stic a$ainst a fevered, apocal"ptic sunset of reds and $olds and purples and curious $reens. .he vast mar%le dome of the 6tate House stood out in massive silhouette, its cro)nin$ statue haloed fantasticall" %" a %rea* in one of the tinted stratus clouds that %arred the flamin$ s*". (hen he )as lar$er his famous )al*s %e$an- first )ith his impatientl" dra$$ed nurse, and then alone in dream" meditation. 0arther and farther do)n that almost perpendicular hill he )ould venture, each time reachin$ older and +uainter levels of the ancient cit". He )ould hesitate 12

$in$erl" do)n vertical 9enc*es 6treet )ith its %an* )alls and colonial $a%les to the shad" Benefit 6treet corner, )here %efore him )as a )ooden anti+ue )ith an !onic-pilastered pair of door)a"s, and %eside him a prehistoric $am%rel-roofer )ith a %it of primal farm"ard remainin$, and the $reat 9ud$e 'urfee house )ith its fallen vesti$es of ;eor$ian $randeur. !t )as $ettin$ to %e a slum here- %ut the titan elms cast a restorin$ shado) over the place, and the %o" used to stroll south past the lon$ lines of the pre- evolutionar" homes )ith their $reat central chimne"s and classic portals. 4n the eastern side the" )ere set hi$h over %asements )ith railed dou%le fli$hts of stone steps, and the "oun$ &harles could picture them as the" )ere )hen the street )as ne), and red heels and peri)i$s set off the painted pediments )hose si$ns of )ear )ere no) %ecomin$ so visi%le. (est)ard the hill dropped almost as steepl" as a%ove, do)n to the old 8.o)n 6treet8 that the founders had laid out at the river2s ed$e in 1=>=. Here ran innumera%le little lanes )ith leanin$, huddled houses of immense anti+uit"- and fascinated thou$h he )as, it )as lon$ %efore he dared to thread their archaic verticalit" for fear the" )ould turn out a dream or a $ate)a" to un*no)n terrors. He found it much less formida%le to continue alon$ Benefit 6treet past the iron fence of 6t. 9ohn2s hidden church"ard and the rear of the 17=1 &olon" House and the moulderin$ %ul* of the ;olden Ball !nn )here (ashin$ton stopped. 5t ,eetin$ 6treet?the successive ;aol Lane and @in$ 6treet of other periods?he )ould loo* up)ard to the east and see the arched fli$ht of steps to )hich the hi$h)a" had to resort in clim%in$ the slope, and do)n)ard to the )est, $limpsin$ the old %ric* colonial schoolhouse that smiles across the road at the ancient 6i$n of 6ha*espeare2s Head )here the Providence ;a3ette and &ountr"-9ournal )as printed %efore the evolution. .hen 13

came the e#+uisite 0irst Baptist &hurch of 177A, lu#urious )ith its matchless ;i%%s steeple, and the ;eor$ian roofs and cupolas hoverin$ %". Here and to the south)ard the nei$h%ourhood %ecame %etter, flo)erin$ at last into a marvellous $roup of earl" mansions- %ut still the little ancient lanes led off do)n the precipice to the )est, spectral in their man"-$a%led archaism and dippin$ to a riot of iridescent deca" )here the )ic*ed old )ater-front recalls its proud /ast !ndia da"s amidst pol"$lot vice and s+ualor, rottin$ )harves, and %lear-e"ed ship-chandleries, )ith such survivin$ alle" names as Pac*et, Bullion, ;old, 6ilver, &oin, 'ou%loon, 6overei$n, ;uilder, 'ollar, 'ime, and &ent. 6ometimes, as he $re) taller and more adventurous, "oun$ (ard )ould venture do)n into this maelstrom of totterin$ houses, %ro*en transoms, tum%lin$ steps, t)isted %alustrades, s)arth" faces, and nameless odours- )indin$ from 6outh ,ain to 6outh (ater, searchin$ out the doc*s )here the %a" and sound steamers still touched, and returnin$ north)ard at this lo)er level past the steep-roofed 1:1= )arehouses and the %road s+uare at the ;reat Brid$e, )here the 177> ,ar*et House still stands firm on its ancient arches. !n that s+uare he )ould pause to drin* in the %e)ilderin$ %eaut" of the old to)n as it rises on its east)ard %luff, dec*ed )ith its t)o ;eor$ian spires and cro)ned %" the vast ne) &hristian 6cience dome as London is cro)ned %" 6t. Paul2s. He li*ed mostl" to reach this point in the late afternoon, )hen the slantin$ sunli$ht touches the ,ar*et House and the ancient hill roofs and %elfries )ith $old, and thro)s ma$ic around the dreamin$ )harves )here Providence !ndiamen used to ride at anchor. 5fter a lon$ loo* he )ould $ro) almost di33" )ith a poet2s love for the si$ht, and then he )ould scale the slope home)ard in the dus* past the old )hite church and up the narro) precipitous )a"s 14

)here "ello) $leams )ould %e$in to peep out in small-paned )indo)s and throu$h fanli$hts set hi$h over dou%le fli$hts of steps )ith curious )rou$ht-iron railin$s. 5t other times, and in later "ears, he )ould see* for vivid contrasts- spendin$ half a )al* in the crum%lin$ colonial re$ions north)est of his home, )here the hill drops to the lo)er eminence of 6tampers2 Hill )ith its $hetto and ne$ro +uarter clusterin$ round the place )here the Boston sta$e coach used to start %efore the evolution, and the other half in the $racious southerl" realm a%out ;eor$e, Benevolent, Po)er, and (illiams 6treets, )here the old slope holds unchan$ed the fine estates and %its of )alled $arden and steep $reen lane in )hich so man" fra$rant memories lin$er. .hese ram%les, to$ether )ith the dili$ent studies )hich accompanied them, certainl" account for a lar$e amount of the anti+uarian lore )hich at last cro)ded the modern )orld from &harles (ard2s mind- and illustrate the mental soil upon )hich fell, in that fateful )inter of 1919-27, the seeds that came to such stran$e and terri%le fruition. 'r. (illett is certain that, up to this ill-omened )inter of first chan$e, &harles (ard2s anti+uarianism )as free from ever" trace of the mor%id. ;rave"ards held for him no particular attraction %e"ond their +uaintness and historic value, and of an"thin$ li*e violence or sava$e instinct he )as utterl" devoid. .hen, %" insidious de$rees, there appeared to develop a curious se+uel to one of his $enealo$ical triumphs of the "ear %efore- )hen he had discovered amon$ his maternal ancestors a certain ver" lon$-lived man named 9oseph &ur)en, )ho had come from 6alem in ,arch of 1=92, and a%out )hom a )hispered series of hi$hl" peculiar and dis+uietin$ stories clustered. (ard2s $reat-$reat-$randfather (elcome Potter had in 17:A married a certain 25nn .illin$hast, dau$hter of ,rs. 15

/li3a, dau$hter to &apt. 9ames .illin$hast,2 of )hose paternit" the famil" had preserved no trace. Late in 191:, )hilst e#aminin$ a volume of ori$inal to)n records in manuscript, the "oun$ $enealo$ist encountered an entr" descri%in$ a le$al chan$e of name, %" )hich in 1772 a ,rs. /li3a &ur)en, )ido) of 9oseph &ur)en, resumed, alon$ )ith her seven-"ear-old dau$hter 5nn, her maiden name of .illin$hast- on the $round 2that her Hus%and2s name )as %ecome a pu%lic eproach %" eason of )hat )as *no)ne after his 'ecease- the )hich confirmin$ an antient common umour, tho2 not to %e credited %" a lo"all (ife till so proven as to %e )holel" past 'ou%tin$.2 .his entr" came to li$ht upon the accidental separation of t)o leaves )hich had %een carefull" pasted to$ether and treated as one %" a la%oured revision of the pa$e num%ers. !t )as at once clear to &harles (ard that he had indeed discovered a hitherto un*no)n $reat-$reat-$reat-$randfather. .he discover" dou%l" e#cited him %ecause he had alread" heard va$ue reports and seen scattered allusions relatin$ to this person- a%out )hom there remained so fe) pu%licl" availa%le records, aside from those %ecomin$ pu%lic onl" in modern times, that it almost seemed as if a conspirac" had e#isted to %lot him from memor". (hat did appear, moreover, )as of such a sin$ular and provocative nature that one could not fail to ima$ine curiousl" )hat it )as that the colonial recorders )ere so an#ious to conceal and for$et- or to suspect that the deletion had reasons all too valid. Before this, (ard had %een content to let his romancin$ a%out old 9oseph &ur)en remain in the idle sta$e- %ut havin$ discovered his o)n relationship to this apparentl" 8hushedup8 character, he proceeded to hunt out as s"stematicall" as possi%le )hatever he mi$ht find concernin$ him. !n this e#cited +uest he eventuall" succeeded %e"ond his hi$hest 16

e#pectations- for old letters, diaries, and sheaves of unpu%lished memoirs in co%)e%%ed Providence $arrets and else)here "ielded man" illuminatin$ passa$es )hich their )riters had not thou$ht it )orth their )hile to destro". 4ne important sideli$ht came from a point as remote as Be) Cor*, )here some hode !sland colonial correspondence )as stored in the ,useum at 0raunces2 .avern. .he reall" crucial thin$, thou$h, and )hat in 'r, (illett2s opinion formed the definite source of (ard2s undoin$, )as the matter found in 5u$ust 1919 %ehind the panellin$ of the crum%lin$ house in 4lne" &ourt. !t )as that, %e"ond a dou%t, )hich opened up those %lac* vistas )hose end )as deeper than the pit.

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Chapter II: An Antecedent and a Horror

1 oseph &ur)en, as revealed %" the ram%lin$ le$ends em%odied in )hat (ard heard and unearthed, )as a ver" astonishin$, eni$matic, and o%scurel" horri%le individual. He had fled from 6alem to Providence?that universal haven of the odd, the free, and the dissentin$?at the %e$innin$ of the $reat )itchcraft panic- %ein$ in fear of accusation %ecause of his solitar" )a"s and +ueer chemical or alchemical e#periments. He )as a colourless-loo*in$ man of a%out thirt", and )as soon found +ualified to %ecome a freeman of Providence- thereafter %u"in$ a home lot 1ust north of ;re$or" 'e#ter2s at a%out the foot of 4lne" 6treet. His house )as %uilt on 6tampers2 Hill )est of the .o)n 6treet, in )hat later %ecame 4lne" &ourt- and in 17=1 he replaced this )ith a lar$er one, on the same site, )hich is still standin$. Bo) the first odd thin$ a%out 9oseph &ur)en )as that he did not seem to $ro) much older than he had %een on his arrival. He en$a$ed in shippin$ enterprises, purchased )harfa$e near ,ile-/nd &ove, helped re%uild the ;reat Brid$e in 171>, and in 172> )as one of the founders of the &on$re$ational &hurch on the hill- %ut al)a"s did he retain his nondescript aspect of a man not $reatl" over thirt" or thirt"-five. 5s decades mounted up, this sin$ular +ualit" %e$an to e#cite )ide notice- %ut &ur)en al)a"s e#plained it %" sa"in$ that he came of hard" forefathers, and practised a simplicit" of livin$ )hich did not )ear him out. Ho) such simplicit" could %e reconciled )ith the ine#plica%le comin$s and $oin$s of the secretive merchant, and )ith the +ueer 18

9

$leamin$ of his )indo)s at all hours of ni$ht, )as not ver" clear to the to)nsfol*- and the" )ere prone to assi$n other reasons for his continued "outh and lon$evit". !t )as held, for the most part, that &ur)en2s incessant mi#in$s and %oilin$s of chemicals had much to do )ith his condition. ;ossip spo*e of the stran$e su%stances he %rou$ht from London and the !ndies on his ships or purchased in Be)port, Boston, and Be) Cor*- and )hen old 'r. 9a%e3 Bo)en came from eho%oth and opened his apothecar" shop across the ;reat Brid$e at the 6i$n of the <nicorn and ,ortar, there )as ceaseless tal* of the dru$s, acids, and metals that the taciturn recluse incessantl" %ou$ht or ordered from him. 5ctin$ on the assumption that &ur)en possessed a )ondrous and secret medical s*ill, man" sufferers of various sorts applied to him for aid- %ut thou$h he appeared to encoura$e their %elief in a non-committal )a", and al)a"s $ave them odd-coloured potions in response to their re+uests, it )as o%served that his ministrations to others seldom proved of %enefit. 5t len$th, )hen over fift" "ears had passed since the stran$er2s advent, and )ithout producin$ more than five "ears2 apparent chan$e in his face and ph"si+ue, the people %e$an to )hisper more dar*l"- and to meet more than half )a" that desire for isolation )hich he had al)a"s she)n. Private letters and diaries of the period reveal, too, a multitude of other reasons )h" 9oseph &ur)en )as marvelled at, feared, and finall" shunned li*e a pla$ue. His passion for $rave"ards, in )hich he )as $limpsed at all hours, and under all conditions, )as notorious- thou$h no one had )itnessed an" deed on his part )hich could actuall" %e termed $houlish. 4n the Pa)tu#et oad he had a farm, at )hich he $enerall" lived durin$ the summer, and to )hich he )ould fre+uentl" %e seen ridin$ at various odd times of the da" or ni$ht. Here his onl" visi%le servants, farmers, and careta*ers )ere a 19

sullen pair of a$ed Barra$ansett !ndians- the hus%and dum% and curiousl" scarred, and the )ife of a ver" repulsive cast of countenance, pro%a%l" due to a mi#ture of ne$ro %lood. !n the lead-to of this house )as the la%orator" )here most of the chemical e#periments )ere conducted. &urious porters and teamers )ho delivered %ottles, %a$s, or %o#es at the small red door )ould e#chan$e accounts of the fantastic flas*s, cruci%les, alem%ics, and furnaces the" sa) in the lo) shelved room- and prophesied in )hispers that the close-mouthed 8ch"mist8?%" )hich the" meant alchemist?)ould not %e lon$ in findin$ the Philosopher2s 6tone. .he nearest nei$h%ours to this farm?the 0enners, a +uarter of a mile a)a"?had still +ueerer thin$s to tell of certain sounds )hich the" insisted came from the &ur)en place in the ni$ht. .here )ere cries, the" said, and sustained ho)lin$s- and the" did not li*e the lar$e num%ers of livestoc* )hich thron$ed the pastures, for no such amount )as needed to *eep a lone old man and a ver" fe) servants in meat, mil*, and )ool. .he identit" of the stoc* seemed to chan$e from )ee* to )ee* as ne) droves )ere purchased from the @in$sto)n farmers. .hen, too, there )as somethin$ ver" o%no#ious a%out a certain $reat stone out%uildin$ )ith onl" hi$h narro) slits for )indo)s. ;reat Brid$e idlers li*e)ise had much to sa" of &ur)en2s to)n house in 4lne" &ourt- not so much the fine ne) one %uilt in 17=1, )hen the man must have %een nearl" a centur" old, %ut the first lo) $am%rel-roofed one )ith the )indo)less attic and shin$led sides, )hose tim%ers he too* the peculiar precaution of %urnin$ after its demolition. Here there )as less m"ster", it is true- %ut the hours at )hich li$hts )ere seen, the secretiveness of the t)o s)arth" forei$ners )ho comprised the onl" menservants, the hideous indistinct mum%lin$ of the incredi%l" a$ed 0rench house*eeper, the lar$e amounts of 20

food seen to enter a door )ithin )hich onl" four persons lived, and the +ualit" of certain voices often heard in muffled conversation at hi$hl" unseasona%le times, all com%ined )ith )hat )as *no)n of the Pa)tu#et farm to $ive the place a %ad name. !n choicer circles, too, the &ur)en home )as %" no means undiscussed- for as the ne)comer had $raduall" )or*ed into the church and tradin$ life of the to)n, he had naturall" made ac+uaintances of the %etter sort, )hose compan" and conversation he )as )ell fitted %" education to en1o". His %irth )as *no)n to %e $ood, since the &ur)ens or &or)ins of 6alem needed no introduction in Be) /n$land. !t developed that 9oseph &ur)en had travelled much in ver" earl" life, livin$ for a time in /n$land and ma*in$ at least t)o vo"a$es to the 4rient- and his speech, )hen he dei$ned to use it, )as that of a learned and cultivated /n$lishman. But for some reason or other &ur)en did not care for societ". (hilst never actuall" re%uffin$ a visitor, he al)a"s reared such a )all of reserve that fe) could thin* of an"thin$ to sa" to him )hich )ould not sound inane. .here seemed to lur* in his %earin$ some cr"ptic, sardonic arro$ance, as if he had come to find all human %ein$s dull throu$h havin$ moved amon$ stran$er and more potent entities. (hen 'r. &hec*le" the famous )it came from Boston in 17>: to %e rector of @in$2s &hurch, he did not ne$lect callin$ on one of )hom he soon heard so much- %ut left in a ver" short )hile %ecause of some sinister undercurrent he detected in his host2s discourse. &harles (ard told his father, )hen the" discussed &ur)en one )inter evenin$, that he )ould $ive much to learn )hat the m"sterious old man had said to the spri$htl" cleric, %ut that all diarists a$ree concernin$ 'r. &hec*le"2s reluctance to repeat an"thin$ he had heard. .he $ood man had %een hideousl" shoc*ed, and 21

could never recall 9oseph &ur)en )ithout a visi%le loss of the $a" ur%anit" for )hich he )as famed. ,ore definite, ho)ever, )as the reason )h" another man of taste and %reedin$ avoided the hau$ht" hermit. !n 17D= ,r. 9ohn ,erritt, an elderl" /n$lish $entleman of literar" and scientific leanin$s, came from Be)port to the to)n )hich )as so rapidl" overta*in$ it in standin$, and %uilt a fine countr" seat on the Bec* in )hat is no) the heart of the %est residence section. He lived in considera%le st"le and comfort, *eepin$ the first coach and liveried servants in to)n, and ta*in$ $reat pride in his telescope, his microscope, and his )ell-chosen li%rar" of /n$lish and Latin %oo*s. Hearin$ of &ur)en as the o)ner of the %est li%rar" in Providence, ,r. ,erritt earl" paid him a call, and )as more cordiall" received than most other callers at the house had %een. His admiration for his host2s ample shelves, )hich %esides the ;ree*, Latin, and /n$lish classics )ere e+uipped )ith a remar*a%le %atter" of philosophical, mathematical, and scientific )or*s includin$ Paracelsus, 5$ricola, Ean Helmont, 6"lvius, ;lau%er, Bo"le, Boerhaave, Becher, and 6tahl, led &ur)en to su$$est a visit to the farmhouse and la%orator" )hither he had never invited an"one %efore- and the t)o drove out at once in ,r. ,erritt2s coach. ,r. ,erritt al)a"s confessed to seein$ nothin$ reall" horri%le at the farmhouse, %ut maintained that the titles of the %oo*s in the special li%rar" of thaumatur$ical, alchemical, and theolo$ical su%1ects )hich &ur)en *ept in a front room )ere alone sufficient to inspire him )ith a lastin$ loathin$. Perhaps, ho)ever, the facial e#pression of the o)ner in e#hi%itin$ them contri%uted much of the pre1udice. .his %i3arre collection, %esides a host of standard )or*s )hich ,r. ,erritt )as not too alarmed to env", em%raced nearl" all the ca%%alists, daemonolo$ists, and ma$icians *no)n to man22

and )as a treasure-house of lore in the dou%tful realms of alchem" and astrolo$". Hermes .risme$istus in ,esnard2s edition, the .ur%a Philosophorum, ;e%er2s Li%er !nvesti$ationis, and 5rtephius2s @e" of (isdom all )ere there- )ith the ca%%alistic Fohar, Peter 9amm"2s set of 5l%ertus ,a$nus, a"mond Lull"2s 5rs ,a$na et <ltima in Fetsner2s edition, o$er Bacon2s .hesaurus &hemicus, 0ludd2s &lavis 5lchimiae, and .rithemius2s 'e Lapide Philosophico cro)din$ them close. ,ediaeval 9e)s and 5ra%s )ere represented in profusion, and ,r. ,erritt turned pale )hen, upon ta*in$ do)n a fine volume conspicuousl" la%elled as the Ganoon-e-!slam, he found it )as in truth the for%idden Becronomicon of the mad 5ra% 5%dul 5lha3red, of )hich he had heard such monstrous thin$s )hispered some "ears previousl" after the e#posure of nameless rites at the stran$e little fishin$ villa$e of @in$sport, in the province of the ,assachussetts-Ba". But oddl" enou$h, the )orth" $entleman o)ned himself most impalpa%l" dis+uieted %" a mere minor detail. 4n the hu$e maho$an" ta%le there la" face do)n)ards a %adl" )orn cop" of Borellus, %earin$ man" cr"ptical mar$inalia and interlineations in &ur)en2s hand. .he %oo* )as open at a%out its middle, and one para$raph displa"ed such thic* and tremulous pen-stro*es %eneath the lines of m"stic %lac*-letter that the visitor could not resist scannin$ it throu$h. (hether it )as the nature of the passa$e underscored, or the feverish heaviness of the stro*es )hich formed the underscorin$, he could not tell- %ut somethin$ in that com%ination affected him ver" %adl" and ver" peculiarl". He recalled it to the end of his da"s, )ritin$ it do)n from memor" in his diar" and once tr"in$ to recite it to his close friend 'r. &hec*le" till he sa) ho) $reatl" it distur%ed the ur%ane rector. !t readH

23

2.he essential 6altes of 5nimals ma" %e so prepared and preserved, that an in$enious ,an ma" have the )hole 5r* of Boah in his o)n 6tudie, and raise the fine 6hape of an 5nimal out of its 5shes at his Pleasure- and %" the l"*e ,ethod from the essential 6altes of humane 'ust, a Philosopher ma", )ithout an" criminal Becromanc", call up the 6hape of an" dead 5ncestour from the 'ust )hereinto his Bodie has %een incinerated.2 !t )as near the doc*s alon$ the southerl" part of the .o)n 6treet, ho)ever, that the )orst thin$s )ere muttered a%out 9oseph &ur)en. 6ailors are superstitious fol*- and the seasoned salts )ho manned the infinite rum, slave, and molasses sloops, the ra*ish privateers, and the $reat %ri$s of the Bro)ns, &ra)fords, and .illin$hasts, all made stran$e furtive si$ns of protection )hen the" sa) the slim, deceptivel" "oun$-loo*in$ fi$ure )ith its "ello) hair and sli$ht stoop enterin$ the &ur)en )arehouse in 'ou%loon 6treet or tal*in$ )ith captains and supercar$oes on the lon$ +ua" )here the &ur)en ships rode restlessl". &ur)en2s o)n cler*s and captains hated and feared him, and all his sailors )ere mon$rel riff-raff from ,artini+ue, 6t. /ustatius, Havana, or Port o"al. !t )as, in a )a", the fre+uenc" )ith )hich these sailors )ere replaced )hich inspired the acutest and most tan$i%le part of the fear in )hich the old man )as held. 5 cre) )ould %e turned loose in the to)n on shore leave, some of its mem%ers perhaps char$ed )ith this errand or that- and )hen reassem%led it )ould %e almost sure to lac* one or more men. .hat man" of the errands had concerned the farm of Pa)tu#et oad, and that fe) of the sailors had ever %een seen to return from that place, )as not for$otten- so that in time it %ecame e#ceedin$l" difficult for &ur)en to *eep his oddl" 24

assorted hands. 5lmost invaria%l" several )ould desert soon after hearin$ the $ossip of the Providence )harves, and their replacement in the (est !ndies %ecame an increasin$l" $reat pro%lem to the merchant. B" 17=7 9oseph &ur)en )as virtuall" an outcast, suspected of va$ue horrors and daemoniac alliances )hich seemed all the more menacin$ %ecause the" could not %e named, understood, or even proved to e#ist. .he last stra) ma" have come from the affair of the missin$ soldiers in 17A:, for in ,arch and 5pril of that "ear t)o o"al re$iments on their )a" to Be) 0rance )ere +uartered in Providence, and depleted %" an ine#plica%le process far %e"ond the avera$e rate of desertion. umour d)elt on the fre+uenc" )ith )hich &ur)en )as )ont to %e seen tal*in$ )ith the red-coated stran$ers- and as several of them %e$an to %e missed, people thou$ht of the odd conditions amon$ his o)n seamen. (hat )ould have happened if the re$iments had not %een ordered on, no one can tell. ,ean)hile the merchant2s )orldl" affairs )ere prosperin$. He had a virtual monopol" of the to)n2s trade in saltpetre, %lac* pepper, and cinnamon, and easil" led an" other one shippin$ esta%lishment save the Bro)ns in his importation of %rass)are, indi$o, cotton, )oollens, salt, ri$$in$, iron, paper, and /n$lish $oods of ever" *ind. 6uch shop*eepers as 9ames ;reen, at the 6i$n of the /lephant in &heapside, the ussells, at the 6i$n of the ;olden /a$le across the Brid$e, or &lar* and Bi$htin$ale at the 0r"in$-Pan and 0ish near Be) &offeeHouse, depended almost )holl" upon him for their stoc*- and his arran$ements )ith the local distillers, the Barra$ansett dair"men and horse-%reeders, and the Be)port candlema*ers, made him one of the prime e#porters of the &olon". 4stracised thou$h he )as, he did not lac* for civic spirit of a sort. (hen the &olon" House %urned do)n, he su%scri%ed 25

handsomel" to the lotteries %" )hich the ne) %ric* one?still standin$ at the head of its parade in the old main street?)as %uilt in 17=1. !n that same "ear, too, he helped re%uild the ;reat Brid$e after the 4cto%er $ale. He replaced man" of the %oo*s of the pu%lic li%rar" consumed in the &olon" House fire, and %ou$ht heavil" in the lotter" that $ave the mudd" ,ar*et Parade and deep-rutted .o)n 6treet their pavement of $reat round stones )ith a %ric* foot)al* or 8cause"8 in the middle. 5%out this time, also, he %uilt the plain %ut e#cellent ne) house )hose door)a" is still such a triumph of carvin$. (hen the (hitefield adherents %ro*e off from 'r. &otton2s hill church in 17D> and founded 'eacon 6no)2s church across the Brid$e, &ur)en had $one )ith them- thou$h his 3eal and attendance soon a%ated. Bo), ho)ever, he cultivated piet" once more- as if to dispel the shado) )hich had thro)n him into isolation and )ould soon %e$in to )rec* his %usiness fortunes if not sharpl" chec*ed.

2 .he si$ht of this stran$e, pallid man, hardl" middle-a$ed in aspect "et certainl" not less than a full centur" old, see*in$ at last to emer$e from a cloud of fri$ht and detestation too va$ue to pin do)n or anal"se, )as at once a pathetic, a dramatic, and a contempti%le thin$. 6uch is the po)er of )ealth and of surface $estures, ho)ever, that there came indeed a sli$ht a%atement in the visi%le aversion displa"ed to)ard himespeciall" after the rapid disappearances of his sailors a%ruptl" ceased. He must li*e)ise have %e$un to practice an e#treme care and secrec" in his $rave"ard e#peditions, for he )as never a$ain cau$ht at such )anderin$s- )hilst the rumours of uncann" sounds and manoeuvres at his Pa)tu#et 26

farm diminished in proportion. His rate of food consumption and cattle replacement remained a%normall" hi$h- %ut not until modern times, )hen &harles (ard e#amined a set of his accounts and invoices in the 6heple" Li%rar", did it occur to an" person?save one em%ittered "outh, perhaps?to ma*e dar* comparisons %et)een the lar$e num%er of ;uinea %lac*s he imported until 17==, and the distur%in$l" small num%er for )hom he could produce %ona fide %ills of sale either to slavedealers at the ;reat Brid$e or to the planters of the Barra$ansett &ountr". &ertainl", the cunnin$ and in$enuit" of this a%horred character )ere uncannil" profound, once the necessit" for their e#ercise had %ecome impressed upon him. But of course the effect of all this %elated mendin$ )as necessaril" sli$ht. &ur)en continued to %e avoided and distrusted, as indeed the one fact of his continued air of "outh at a $reat a$e )ould have %een enou$h to )arrant- and he could see that in the end his fortunes )ould %e li*el" to suffer. His ela%orate studies and e#periments, )hatever the" ma" have %een, apparentl" re+uired a heav" income for their maintenance- and since a chan$e of environment )ould deprive him of the tradin$ advanta$es he had $ained, it )ould not have profited him to %e$in ane) in a different re$ion 1ust then. 9ud$ement demanded that he patch up his relations )ith the to)nsfol* of Providence, so that his presence mi$ht no lon$er %e a si$nal for hushed conversation, transparent e#cuses or errands else)here, and a $eneral atmosphere of constraint and uneasiness. His cler*s, %ein$ no) reduced to the shiftless and impecunious residue )hom no one else )ould emplo", )ere $ivin$ him much )orr"- and he held to his sea-captains and mates onl" %" shre)dness in $ainin$ some *ind of ascendanc" over them?a mort$a$e, a promissor" note, or a %it of information ver" pertinent to their )elfare. !n man" cases, diarists have recorded )ith some 27

a)e, &ur)en she)ed almost the po)er of a )i3ard in unearthin$ famil" secrets for +uestiona%le use. 'urin$ the final five "ears of his life it seemed as thou$h onl" direct tal*s )ith the lon$-dead could possi%l" have furnished some of the data )hich he had so $li%l" at his ton$ue2s end. 5%out this time the craft" scholar hit upon a last desperate e#pedient to re$ain his footin$ in the communit". Hitherto a complete hermit, he no) determined to contract an advanta$eous marria$e- securin$ as a %ride some lad" )hose un+uestioned position )ould ma*e all ostracism of his home impossi%le. !t ma" %e that he also had deeper reasons for )ishin$ an alliance- reasons so far outside the *no)n cosmic sphere that onl" papers found a centur" and a half after his death caused an"one to suspect them- %ut of this nothin$ certain can ever %e learned. Baturall" he )as a)are of the horror and indi$nation )ith )hich an" ordinar" courtship of his )ould %e received, hence he loo*ed a%out for some li*el" candidate upon )hose parents he mi$ht e#ert a suita%le pressure. 6uch candidates, he found, )ere not at all eas" to discover- since he had ver" particular re+uirements in the )a" of %eaut", accomplishments, and social securit". 5t len$th his surve" narro)ed do)n to the household of one of his %est and oldest ship-captains, a )ido)er of hi$h %irth and un%lemished standin$ named 'utee .illin$hast, )hose onl" dau$hter /li3a seemed do)ered )ith ever" conceiva%le advanta$e save prospects as an heiress. &apt. .illin$hast )as completel" under the domination of &ur)en- and consented, after a terri%le intervie) in his cupolaed house on Po)er2s Lane hill, to sanction the %lasphemous alliance. /li3a .illin$hast )as at that time ei$hteen "ears of a$e, and had %een reared as $entl" as the reduced circumstances of her father permitted. 6he had attended 6tephen 9ac*son2s school opposite the &ourt-House Parade- and had %een dili$entl" 28

instructed %" her mother, %efore the latter2s death of smallpo# in 17A7, in all the arts and refinements of domestic life. 5 sampler of hers, )or*ed in 17A> at the a$e of nine, ma" still %e found in the rooms of the hode !sland Historical 6ociet". 5fter her mother2s death she had *ept the house, aided onl" %" one old %lac* )oman. Her ar$uments )ith her father concernin$ the proposed &ur)en marria$e must have %een painful indeed- %ut of these )e have no record. &ertain it is that her en$a$ement to "oun$ /3ra (eeden, second mate of the &ra)ford pac*et /nterprise, )as dutifull" %ro*en off, and that her union )ith 9oseph &ur)en too* place on the seventh of ,arch, 17=>, in the Baptist church, in the presence of the most distin$uished assem%la$es )hich the to)n could %oastthe ceremon" %ein$ performed %" the "oun$er 6amuel (insor. .he ;a3ette mentioned the event ver" %riefl", and in most survivin$ copies the item in +uestion seems to %e cut or torn out. (ard found a sin$le intact cop" after much search in the archives of a private collector of note, o%servin$ )ith amusement the meanin$less ur%anit" of the lan$ua$eH 2,onda" evenin$ last, ,r. 9oseph &ur)en, of this .o)n, ,erchant, )as married to ,iss /li3a .illin$hast, 'au$hter of &apt. 'utee .illin$hast, a "oun$ Lad" )ho has real ,erit, added to a %eautiful Person, to $race the connu%ial 6tate and perpetuate its 0elicit".2 .he collection of 'urfee-5rnold letters, discovered %" &harles (ard shortl" %efore his first reputed madness in the private collection of ,elville 0. Peters, /s+., of ;eor$e 6t., and coverin$ this and a some)hat antecedent period, thro)s vivid li$ht on the outra$e done to pu%lic sentiment %" this illassorted match. .he social influence of the .illin$hasts, 29

ho)ever, )as not to %e denied- and once more 9oseph &ur)en found his house fre+uented %" persons )hom he could never other)ise have induced to cross his threshold. His acceptance )as %" no means complete, and his %ride )as sociall" the sufferer throu$h her forced venture- %ut at all events the )all of utter ostracism )as some)hat torn do)n. !n his treatment of his )ife the stran$e %ride$room astonished %oth her and the communit" %" displa"in$ an e#treme $raciousness and consideration. .he ne) house in 4lne" &ourt )as no) )holl" free from distur%in$ manifestations, and althou$h &ur)en )as much a%sent at the Pa)tu#et farm )hich his )ife never visited, he seemed more li*e a normal citi3en than at an" other time in his lon$ "ears of residence. 4nl" one person remained in open enmit" )ith him, this %ein$ the "outhful ship2s officer )hose en$a$ement to /li3a .illin$hast had %een so a%ruptl" %ro*en. /3ra (eeden had fran*l" vo)ed ven$eance- and thou$h of a +uiet and ordinaril" mild disposition, )as no) $ainin$ a hate-%red, do$$ed purpose )hich %oded no $ood to the usurpin$ hus%and. 4n the seventh of ,a", 17=A, &ur)en2s onl" child 5nn )as %orn- and )as christened %" the ev. 9ohn ;raves of @in$2s &hurch, of )hich %oth hus%and and )ife had %ecome communicants shortl" after their marria$e, in order to compromise %et)een their respective &on$re$ational and Baptist affiliations. .he record of this %irth, as )ell as that of the marria$e t)o "ears %efore, )as stric*en from most copies of the church and to)n annals )here it ou$ht to appear- and &harles (ard located %oth )ith the $reatest difficult" after his discover of the )ido)2s chan$e of name had apprised him of his o)n relationship, and en$endered the feverish interest )hich culminated in his madness. .he %irth entr", indeed, )as found ver" curiousl" throu$h correspondence )ith the 30

heirs of the lo"alist 'r. ;raves, )ho had ta*en )ith him a duplicate set of records )hen he left his pastorate at the out%rea* of the evolution. (ard had tried this source %ecause he *ne) that his $reat-$reat-$randmother 5nn .illin$hast Potter had %een an /piscopalian. 6hortl" after the %irth of his dau$hter, an event he seemed to )elcome )ith a fervour $reatl" out of *eepin$ )ith his usual coldness, &ur)en resolved to sit for a portrait. .his he had painted %" a ver" $ifted 6cotsman named &osmo 5le#ander, then a resident of Be)port, and since famous as the earl" teacher of ;il%ert 6tuart. .he li*eness )as said to have %een e#ecuted on a )all-panel of the li%rar" of the house in 4lne" &ourt, %ut neither of the t)o old diaries mentionin$ it $ave an" hint of its ultimate disposition. 5t this period the erratic scholar she)ed si$ns of unusual a%straction, and spent as much time as he possi%l" could at his farm on the Pa)tu#et oad. He seemed, as )as stated, in a condition of suppressed e#citement or suspense- as if e#pectin$ some phenomenal thin$ or on the %rin* of some stran$e discover". &hemistr" or alchem" )ould appear to have pla"ed a $reat part, for he too* from his house to the farm the $reater num%er of his volumes on that su%1ect. His affectation of civic interest did not diminish, and he lost no opportunities for helpin$ such leaders as 6tephen Hop*ins, 9oseph Bro)n, and Ben1amin (est in their efforts to raise the cultural tone of the to)n, )hich )as then much %elo) the level of Be)port in its patrona$e of the li%eral arts. He had helped 'aniel 9enc*es found his %oo*shop in 17=>, and )as thereafter his %est customer- e#tendin$ aid li*e)ise to the stru$$lin$ ;a3ette that appeared each (ednesda" at the 6i$n of 6ha*espeare2s Head. !n politics he ardentl" supported ;overnor Hop*ins a$ainst the (ard part" )hose prime stren$th )as in Be)port, and his reall" elo+uent 31

speech at Hacher2s Hall in 17=A a$ainst the settin$ off of Borth Providence as a separate to)n )ith a pro-(ard vote in the ;eneral 5ssem%l" did more than an" other thin$ to )ear do)n the pre1udice a$ainst him. But /3ra (eeden, )ho )atched him closel", sneered c"nicall" at all this out)ard activit"- and freel" s)ore it )as no more than a mas* for some nameless traffic* )ith the %lac*est $ulfs of .artarus. .he reven$eful "outh %e$an a s"stematic stud" of the man and his doin$s )henever he )as in port- spendin$ hours at ni$ht %" the )harves )ith a dor" in readiness )hen he sa) li$hts in the &ur)en )arehouses, and follo)in$ the small %oat )hich )ould sometimes steal +uietl" off and do)n the %a". He also *ept as close a )atch as possi%le on the Pa)tu#et farm, and )as once severel" %itten %" the do$s the old !ndian couple loosed upon him.

3 !n 17== came the final chan$e in 9oseph &ur)en. !t )as ver" sudden, and $ained )ide notice amon$st the curious to)nsfol*- for the air of suspense and e#pectanc" dropped li*e an old cloa*, $ivin$ instant place to an ill-concealed e#altation of perfect triumph. &ur)en seemed to have difficult" in restrainin$ himself from pu%lic haran$ues on )hat he had found or learned or made- %ut apparentl" the need of secrec" )as $reater than the lon$in$ to share his re1oicin$, for no e#planation )as ever offered %" him. !t )as after this transition, )hich appears to have come earl" in 9ul", that the sinister scholar %e$an to astonish people %" his possession of information )hich onl" their lon$-dead ancestors )ould seem to %e a%le to impart.

32

But &ur)en2s feverish secret activities %" no means ceased )ith this chan$e. 4n the contrar", the" tended rather to increase- so that more and more of his shippin$ %usiness )as handled %" the captains )hom he no) %ound to him %" ties of fear as potent as those of %an*ruptc" had %een. He alto$ether a%andoned the slave trade, alle$in$ that its profits )ere constantl" decreasin$. /ver" possi%le moment )as spent at the Pa)tu#et farm- althou$h there )ere rumours no) and then of his presence in places )hich, thou$h not actuall" near $rave"ards, )ere "et so situated in relation to $rave"ards that thou$htful people )ondered 1ust ho) thorou$h the old merchant2s chan$e of ha%its reall" )as. /3ra (eeden, thou$h his periods of espiona$e )ere necessaril" %rief and intermittent on account of his sea vo"a$in$, had a vindictive persistence )hich the %ul* of the practical to)nsfol* and farmers lac*ed- and su%1ected &ur)en2s affairs to a scrutin" such as the" had never had %efore. ,an" of the odd manoeuvres of the stran$e merchant2s vessels had %een ta*en for $ranted on account of the unrest of the times, )hen ever" colonist seemed determined to resist the provisions of the 6u$ar 5ct )hich hampered a prominent traffic*. 6mu$$lin$ and evasion )ere the rule in Barra$ansett Ba", and nocturnal landin$s of illicit car$oes )ere continuous commonplaces. But (eeden, ni$ht after ni$ht follo)in$ the li$hters or small sloops )hich he sa) steal off from the &ur)en )arehouses at the .o)n 6treet doc*s, soon felt assured that it )as not merel" His ,a1est"2s armed ships )hich the sinister s*ul*er )as an#ious to avoid. Prior to the chan$e in 17== these %oats had for the most part contained chained ne$roes, )ho )ere carried do)n and across the %a" and landed at an o%scure point on the shore 1ust north of Pa)tu#et- %ein$ after)ard driven up the %luff and across countr" to the &ur)en farm, )here the" )ere loc*ed in that 33

enormous stone out%uildin$ )hich had onl" five hi$h narro) slits for )indo)s. 5fter that chan$e, ho)ever, the )hole pro$ramme )as altered. !mportation of slaves ceased at once, and for a time &ur)en a%andoned his midni$ht sailin$s. .hen, a%out the sprin$ of 17=7, a ne) polic" appeared. 4nce more the li$hters $re) )ont to put out from the %lac*, silent doc*s, and this time the" )ould $o do)n the %a" some distance, perhaps as far as Bam+uit Point, )here the" )ould meet and receive car$o from stran$e ships of considera%le si3e and )idel" varied appearance. &ur)en2s sailors )ould then deposit this car$o at the usual point on the shore, and transport it overland to the farm- loc*in$ it in the same cr"ptical stone %uildin$ )hich had formerl" received the ne$roes. .he car$o consisted almost )holl" of %o#es and cases, of )hich a lar$e proportion )ere o%lon$ and heav" and distur%in$l" su$$estive of coffins. (eeden al)a"s )atched the farm )ith unremittin$ assiduit"- visitin$ it each ni$ht for lon$ periods, and seldom lettin$ a )ee* $o %" )ithout a si$ht e#cept )hen the $round %ore a footprint-revealin$ sno). /ven then he )ould often )al* as close as possi%le in the travelled road or on the ice of the nei$h%ourin$ river to see )hat trac*s others mi$ht have left. 0indin$ his o)n vi$ils interrupted %" nautical duties, he hired a tavern companion named /lea3ar 6mith to continue the surve" durin$ his a%sence- and %et)een them the t)o could have set in motion some e#traordinar" rumours. .hat the" did not do so )as onl" %ecause the" *ne) the effect of pu%licit" )ould %e to )arn their +uarr" and ma*e further pro$ress impossi%le. !nstead, the" )ished to learn somethin$ definite %efore ta*in$ an" action. (hat the" did learn must have %een startlin$ indeed, and &harles (ard spo*e man" times to his parents of his re$ret at (eeden2s later %urnin$ of his note%oo*s. 5ll that can %e told of their discoveries is )hat 34

/lea3ar 6mith 1otted do)n in a non too coherent diar", and )hat other diarists and letter-)riters have timidl" repeated from the statements )hich the" finall" made?and accordin$ to )hich the farm )as onl" the outer shell of some vast and revoltin$ menace, of a scope and depth too profound and intan$i%le for more than shado)" comprehension. !t is $athered that (eeden and 6mith %ecame earl" convinced that a $reat series of tunnels and catacom%s, inha%ited %" a ver" si3ea%le staff of persons %esides the old !ndian and his )ife, underla" the farm. .he house )as an old pea*ed relic of the middle seventeenth centur" )ith enormous stac* chimne" and diamond-paned lattice )indo)s, the la%orator" %ein$ in a lean-to to)ard the north, )here the roof came nearl" to the $round. .his %uildin$ stood clear of an" other- "et 1ud$in$ %" the different voices heard at odd times )ithin, it must have %een accessi%le throu$h secret passa$es %eneath. .hese voices, %efore 17==, )ere mere mum%lin$s and ne$ro )hisperin$s and fren3ied screams, coupled )ith curious chants or invocations. 5fter that date, ho)ever, the" assumed a ver" sin$ular and terri%le cast as the" ran the $amut %et)i#t dronin$s of dull ac+uiescence and e#plosions of frantic pain or fur", rum%lin$s of conversations and )hines of entreat", pantin$s of ea$erness and shouts of protest. .he" appeared to %e in different lan$ua$es, all *no)n to &ur)en, )hose raspin$ accents )ere fre+uentl" distin$uisha%le in repl", reproof, or threatenin$. 6ometimes it seemed that several persons must %e in the house- &ur)en, certain captives, and the $uards of those captives. .here )ere voices of a sort that neither (eeden nor 6mith had ever heard %efore despite their )ide *no)led$e of forei$n parts, and man" that the" did seem to place as %elon$in$ to this or that nationalit". .he nature of the conversations seemed al)a"s a

35

*ind of catechism, as if &ur)en )ere e#tortin$ some sort of information from terrified or re%ellious prisoners. (eeden had man" ver%atim reports of overheard scraps in his note%oo*, for /n$lish, 0rench, and 6panish, )hich he *ne), )ere fre+uentl" used- %ut of these nothin$ has survived. He did, ho)ever, sa" that %esides a fe) $houlish dialo$ues in )hich the past affairs of Providence families )ere concerned, most of the +uestions and ans)ers he could understand )ere historical or scientific- occasionall" pertainin$ to ver" remote places and a$es. 4nce, for e#ample, an alternatel" ra$in$ and sullen fi$ure )as +uestioned in 0rench a%out the Blac* Prince2s massacre at Limo$es in 1>77, as if there )ere some hidden reason )hich he ou$ht to *no). &ur)en as*ed the prisoner?if prisoner he )ere?)hether the order to sla" )as $iven %ecause of the 6i$n of the ;oat found on the altar in the ancient oman cr"pt %eneath the &athedral, or )hether the 'ar* ,an of the Haute Eienne had spo*en the .hree (ords. 0ailin$ to o%tain replies, the in+uisitor had seemin$l" resorted to e#treme means- for there )as a terrific shrie* follo)ed %" silence and mutterin$ and a %umpin$ sound. Bone of these collo+uies )as ever ocularl" )itnessed, since the )indo)s )ere al)a"s heavil" draped. 4nce, thou$h, durin$ a discourse in an un*no)n ton$ue, a shado) )as seen on the curtain )hich startled (eeden e#ceedin$l"- remindin$ him of one of the puppets in a sho) he had seen in the autumn of 17=D in Hacher2s Hall, )hen a man from ;ermanto)n, Penns"lvania, had $iven a clever mechanical spectacle advertised as 25 Eie) of the 0amous &it" of 9erusalem, in )hich are represented 9erusalem, the .emple of 6olomon, his o"al .hrone, the noted .o)ers, and Hills, li*e)ise the 6ufferin$ of 4ur 6aviour from the ;arden of ;ethsemane to the &ross on 36

the Hill of ;ol$otha- an artful piece of 6tatuar", (orth" to %e seen %" the &urious.2 !t )as on this occasion that the listener, )ho had crept close to the )indo) of the front room )hence the spea*in$ proceeded, $ave a start )hich roused the old !ndian pair and caused them to loose the do$s on him. 5fter that no more conversations )ere ever heard in the house, and (eeden and 6mith concluded that &ur)en had transferred his field of action to re$ions %elo). .hat such re$ions in truth e#isted, seemed ampl" clear from man" thin$s. 0aint cries and $roans unmista*a%l" came up no) and then from )hat appeared to %e the solid earth in places far from an" structure- )hilst hidden in the %ushes alon$ the river-%an* in the rear, )here the hi$h $round sloped steepl" do)n to the valle" of the Pa)tu#et, there )as found an arched oa*en door in a frame of heav" masonr", )hich )as o%viousl" an entrance to caverns )ithin the hill. (hen or ho) these catacom%s could have %een constructed, (eeden )as una%le to sa"- %ut he fre+uentl" pointed out ho) easil" the place mi$ht have %een reached %" %ands of unseen )or*men from the river. 9oseph &ur)en put his mon$rel seamen to diverse uses indeedI 'urin$ the heav" sprin$ rains of 17=9 the t)o )atchers *ept a sharp e"e on the steep river%an* to see if an" su%terrene secrets mi$ht %e )ashed to li$ht, and )ere re)arded %" the si$ht of a profusion of %oth human and animal %ones in places )here deep $ullies had %een )orn in the %an*s. Baturall" there mi$ht %e man" e#planations of such thin$s in the rear of a stoc* farm, and a localit" )here old !ndian %ur"-$rounds )ere common, %ut (eeden and 6mith dre) their o)n inferences. !t )as in 9anuar" 1777, )hilst (eeden and 6mith )ere still de%atin$ vainl" on )hat, if an"thin$, to thin* or do a%out the )hole %e)ilderin$ %usiness, that the incident of the 0ortale3a 37

occurred. /#asperated %" the %urnin$ of the revenue sloop Li%ert" at Be)port durin$ the previous summer, the customs fleet under 5dmiral (allace had adopted an increased vi$ilance concernin$ stran$e vessels- and on this occasion His ,a1est"2s armed schooner &"$net, under &apt. &harles Leslie, captured after a short pursuit one earl" mornin$ the sco) 0ortale3a of Barcelona, 6pain, under &apt. ,anuel 5rruda, %ound accordin$ to its lo$ from ;rand &airo, /$"pt, to Providence. (hen searched for contra%and material, this ship revealed the astonishin$ fact that its car$o consisted e#clusivel" of /$"ptian mummies, consi$ned to 86ailor 5. B. &.8, )ho )ould come to remove his $oods in a li$hter 1ust off Bam+uit Point and )hose identit" &apt. 5rruda felt himself in honour %ound not to reveal. .he Eice-5dmiralt" at Be)port, at a loss )hat to do in vie) of the non-contra%and nature of the car$o on the one hand and of the unla)ful secrec" of the entr" on the other hand, compromised on &ollector o%inson2s recommendation %" freein$ the ship %ut for%iddin$ it a port in hode !sland )aters. .here )ere later rumours of its havin$ %een seen in Boston Har%our, thou$h it never openl" entered the Port of Boston. .his e#traordinar" incident did not fail of )ide remar* in Providence, and there )ere not man" )ho dou%ted the e#istence of some conne#ion %et)een the car$o of mummies and the sinister 9oseph &ur)en. His e#otic studies and his curious chemical importations %ein$ common *no)led$e, and his fondness for $rave"ards %ein$ common suspicion- it did not ta*e much ima$ination to lin* him )ith a frea*ish importation )hich could not conceiva%l" have %een destined for an"one else in the to)n. 5s if conscious of this natural %elief, &ur)en too* care to spea* casuall" on several occasions of the chemical value of the %alsams found in mummies- thin*in$ perhaps that he mi$ht ma*e the affair 38

seem less unnatural, "et stoppin$ 1ust short of admittin$ his participation. (eeden and 6mith, of course, felt no dou%t )hatsoever of the si$nificance of the thin$- and indul$ed in the )ildest theories concernin$ &ur)en and his monstrous la%ours. .he follo)in$ sprin$, li*e that of the "ear %efore, had heav" rains- and the )atchers *ept careful trac* of the river-%an* %ehind the &ur)en farm. Lar$e sections )ere )ashed a)a", and a certain num%er of %ones discovered- %ut no $limpse )as afforded of an" actual su%terranean cham%ers or %urro)s. 6omethin$ )as rumoured, ho)ever, at the villa$e of Pa)tu#et a%out a mile %elo), )here the river flo)s in falls over a roc*" terrace to 1oin the placed landloc*ed cove. .here, )here +uaint old cotta$es clim%ed the hill from the rustic %rid$e, and fishin$-smac*s la" anchored at their sleep" doc*s, a va$ue report )ent round of thin$s that )ere floatin$ do)n the river and flashin$ into si$ht for a minute as the" )ent over the falls. 4f course the Pa)tu#et in a lon$ river )hich )inds throu$h man" settled re$ions a%oundin$ in $rave"ards, and of course the sprin$ rains had %een ver" heav"- %ut the fisherfol* a%out the %rid$e did not li*e the )ild )a" that one of the thin$s stared as it shot do)n to the still )aters %elo), or the )a" that another half cried out althou$h its condition had $reatl" departed from that of o%1ects )hich normall" cried out. .hat rumour sent 6mith?for (eeden )as 1ust then at sea?in haste to the river-%an* %ehind the farm- )here surel" enou$h there remained the evidence of an e#tensive cave-in. .here )as, ho)ever, no trace of a passa$e into the steep %an*for the miniature avalanche had left %ehind a solid )all of mi#ed earth and shru%%er" from aloft. 6mith )ent to the e#tent of some e#perimental di$$in$, %ut )as deterred %" lac* of success?or perhaps %" fear of possi%le success. !t is

39

interestin$ to speculate on )hat the persistent and reven$eful (eeden )ould have done had he %een ashore at the time.

B" the autumn of 1777 (eeden decided that the time )as ripe to tell others of his discoveries- for he had a lar$e num%er of facts to lin* to$ether, and a second e"e-)itness to refute the possi%le char$e that 1ealous" and vindictiveness had spurred his fanc". 5s his first confidant he selected &apt. 9ames ,athe)son of the /nterprise, )ho on the one hand *ne) him )ell enou$h not to dou%t his veracit", and on the other hand )as sufficientl" influential in the to)n to %e heard in turn )ith respect. .he collo+u" too* place in an upper room of 6a%in2s .avern near the doc*s, )ith 6mith present to corro%orate virtuall" ever" statement- and it could %e seen that &apt. ,athe)son )as tremendousl" impressed. Li*e nearl" ever"one else in the to)n, he had had %lac* suspicions of his o)n anent 9oseph &ur)en- hence it needed onl" this confirmation and enlar$ement of data to convince him a%solutel". 5t the end of the conference he )as ver" $rave, and en1oined strict silence upon the t)o "oun$er men. He )ould, he said, transmit the information separatel" to some ten or so of the most learned and prominent citi3ens of Providence- ascertainin$ their vie)s and follo)in$ )hatever advice the" mi$ht have to offer. 6ecrec" )ould pro%a%l" %e essential in an" case, for this )as no matter that the to)n consta%les or militia could cope )ith- and a%ove all else the e#cita%le cro)d must %e *ept in i$norance, lest there %e enacted in these alread" trou%lous times a repetition of that fri$htful 6alem panic of less than a centur" %efore )hich had first %rou$ht &ur)en hither. 40

.he ri$ht persons to tell, he %elieved, )ould %e 'r. Ben1amin (est, )hose pamphlet on the late transit of Eenus proved him a scholar and *een thin*er- ev. 9ames ,annin$, President of the &olle$e )hich had 1ust moved up from (arren and )as temporaril" housed in the ne) @in$ 6treet schoolhouse a)aitin$ the completion of its %uildin$ on the hill a%ove Pres%"terian-Lane- e#-;overnor 6tephen Hop*ins, )ho had %een a mem%er of the Philosophical 6ociet" at Be)port, and )as a man of ver" %road perceptions- 9ohn &arter, pu%lisher of the ;a3ette- all four of the Bro)n %rothers, 9ohn, 9oseph, Bicholas, and ,oses, )ho formed the reco$nised local ma$nates, and of )hom 9oseph )as an amateur scientist of parts- old 'r. 9a%e3 Bo)en, )hose erudition )as considera%le, and )ho had much first-hand *no)led$e of &ur)en2s odd purchases- and &apt. 5%raham (hipple, a privateersman of phenomenal %oldness and ener$" )ho could %e counted on to lead in an" active measures needed. .hese men, if favoura%le, mi$ht eventuall" %e %rou$ht to$ether for collective deli%eration- and )ith them )ould rest the responsi%ilit" of decidin$ )hether or not to inform the ;overnor of the &olon", 9oseph (anton of Be)port, %efore ta*in$ action. .he mission of &apt. ,athe)son prospered %e"ond his hi$hest e#pectations- for )hilst he found one or t)o of the chosen confidants some)hat sceptical of the possi%le $hastl" side of (eeden2s tale, there )as not one )ho did not thin* it necessar" to ta*e some sort of secret and coJrdinated action. &ur)en, it )as clear, formed a va$ue potential menace to the )elfare of the to)n and &olon"- and must %e eliminated at an" cost. Late in 'ecem%er 1777 a $roup of eminent to)nsmen met at the home of 6tephen Hop*ins and de%ated tentative measures. (eeden2s notes, )hich he had $iven to &apt. ,athe)son, )ere carefull" read- and he and 6mith )ere 41

summoned to $ive testimon" anent details. 6omethin$ ver" li*e fear sei3ed the )hole assem%la$e %efore the meetin$ )as over, thou$h there ran throu$h that fear a $rim determination )hich &apt. (hipple2s %luff and resonant profanit" %est e#pressed. .he" )ould not notif" the ;overnor, %ecause a more than le$al course seemed necessar". (ith hidden po)ers of uncertain e#tent apparentl" at his disposal, &ur)en )as not a man )ho could safel" %e )arned to leave to)n. Bameless reprisals mi$ht ensue, and even if the sinister creature complied, the removal )ould %e no more than the shiftin$ of an unclean %urden to another place. .he times )ere la)less, and men )ho had flouted the @in$2s revenue forces for "ears )ere not the ones to %al* at sterner thin$s )hen dut" impelled. &ur)en must %e surprised at his Pa)tu#et farm %" a lar$e raidin$-part" of seasoned privateersmen and $iven one decisive chance to e#plain himself. !f he proved a madman, amusin$ himself )ith shrie*s and ima$inar" conversations in different voices, he )ould %e properl" confined. !f somethin$ $raver appeared, and if the under$round horrors indeed turned out to %e real, he and all )ith him must die. !t could %e done +uietl", and even the )ido) and her father need not %e told ho) it came a%out. (hile these serious steps )ere under discussion there occurred in the to)n an incident so terri%le and ine#plica%le that for a time little else )as mentioned for miles around. !n the middle of a moon-li$ht 9anuar" ni$ht )ith heav" sno) underfoot there resounded over the river and up the hill a shoc*in$ series of cries )hich %rou$ht sleep" heads to ever" )indo)- and people around (e"%osset Point sa) a $reat )hite thin$ plun$in$ franticall" alon$ the %adl" cleared space in front of the .ur*2s Head. .here )as a %a"in$ of do$s in the distance, %ut this su%sided as soon as the clamour of the 42

a)a*ened to)n %ecame audi%le. Parties of men )ith lanterns and mus*ets hurried out to see )hat )as happenin$, %ut nothin$ re)arded their search. .he ne#t mornin$, ho)ever, a $iant, muscular %od", star* na*ed, )as found on the 1ams of ice around the southern piers of the ;reat Brid$e, )here the Lon$ 'oc* stretched out %eside 5%%ott2s distil-house, and the identit" of this o%1ect %ecame a theme for endless speculation and )hisperin$. !t )as not so much the "oun$er as the older fol* )ho )hispered, for onl" in the patriarchs did that ri$id face )ith horror-%ul$in$ e"es stri*e an" chord of memor". .he", sha*in$ as the" did so, e#chan$ed furtive murmurs of )onder and fear- for in those stiff, hideous features la" a resem%lance so marvellous as to %e almost an identit"?and that identit" )as )ith a man )ho had died full fift" "ears %efore. /3ra (eeden )as present at the findin$- and remem%erin$ the %a"in$ of the ni$ht %efore, set out alon$ (e"%osset 6treet and across ,udd" 'oc* Brid$e )hence the sound had come. He had a curious e#pectanc", and )as not surprised )hen, reachin$ the ed$e of the settled district )here the street mer$ed into the Pa)tu#et oad, he came upon some ver" curious trac*s in the sno). .he na*ed $iant had %een pursued %" do$s and man" %ooted men, and the returnin$ trac*s of the hounds and their masters could %e easil" traced. .he" had $iven up the chase upon comin$ too near the to)n. (eeden smiled $riml", and as a perfunctor" detail traced the footprints %ac* to their source. !t )as the Pa)tu#et farm of 9oseph &ur)en, as he )ell *ne) it )ould %e- and he )ould have $iven much had the "ard %een less confusin$l" trampled. 5s it )as, he dared not seem too interested in full da"li$ht. 'r. Bo)en, to )hom (eeden )ent at once )ith his report, performed an autops" on the stran$e corpse, and discovered peculiarities )hich %affled him utterl". .he di$estive tracts of 43

the hu$e man seemed never to have %een in use, )hilst the )hole s*in had a coarse, loosel" *nit te#ture impossi%le to account for. !mpressed %" )hat the old men )hispered of this %od"2s li*eness to the lon$-dead %lac*smith 'aniel ;reen, )hose $reat-$randson 5aron Hoppin )as a supercar$o in &ur)en2s emplo", (eeden as*ed casual +uestions till he found )here ;reen )as %uried. .hat ni$ht a part" of ten visited the old Borth Bur"in$ ;round opposite Herrenden2s Lane and opened a $rave. .he" found it vacant, precisel" as the" had e#pected. ,ean)hile arran$ements had %een made )ith the post riders to intercept 9oseph &ur)en2s mail, and shortl" %efore the incident of the na*ed %od" there )as found a letter from one 9edediah 4rne of 6alem )hich made the coJperatin$ citi3ens thin* deepl". Parts of it, copied and preserved in the private archives of the 6mith famil" )here &harles (ard found it, ran as follo)s. ! deli$ht that "ou continue in "e ;ett2$ at 4lde ,atters in "our (a", and doe not thin* %etter )as done at ,r. Hutchinson2s in 6alem-Eilla$e. &ertainel", there )as Both2$ %ut "e liveliest 5)fulness in that )hich H. rais2d upp from (hat he cou2d $ather onlie a part of. (hat "ou sente, did not (or*e, )hether %ecause of 5n" .hin$ miss2$, or %ecause "e (ordes )ere not i$hte from m" 6pea*2$ or "r &op"2$. ! alone am at a Loss. ! have not "e &h"micall art to follo)e Borellus, and o)ne m" 6elf confounded %" "e E!!. Boo*e of "e Becronomicon that "ou recommende. But ! )ou2d have "ou 4%serve )hat )as told to us a%oute ta*2$ &are )hom to calle upp, for "ou are 6ensi%le )hat ,r. ,ather )rit in "e ,a$nalia of ------, and can 1ud$e ho) truel" that Horrendous thin$ is reported. ! sa" to 44

"ou a$aine, doe not call up 5n" that "ou can not put do)ne- %" the (hich ! meane, 5n" that can in .urne call up 6ome)hat a$ainst "ou, )here%" "our Po)erfullest 'evices ma" not %e of use. 5s* of the Lesser, lest the ;reater shal not )ish to 5ns)er, and shal commande more than "ou. ! )as fri$hted )hen ! read of "our *no)2$ )hat Ben Fariatnatmi* hadde in his e%on" Bo#e, for ! )as conscious )ho must have tolde "ou. 5nd a$aine ! as* that "ou shalle )rite me as 9edediah and not 6imon. !n this &ommunit" a ,an ma" not live too lon$, and "ou *no)e m" Plan %" )hich ! came %ac* as m" 6on. ! am desirous "ou )ill 5c+uaint me )ith )hat "e Blac* ,an learnt from 6"lvanus &ocidius in "e Eault, under "e oman (all, and )ill %e o%li$2d for "e lend2$ of "e ,6. "ou spea* of. 5nother and unsi$ned letter from Philadelphia provo*ed e+ual thou$ht, especiall" for the follo)in$ passa$eH ! )ill o%serve )hat "ou sa" respectin$ the sendin$ of 5ccounts onl" %" "r Eessels, %ut can not al)a"s %e certain )hen to e#pect them. !n the ,atter spo*e of, ! re+uire onlie one more thin$- %ut )ish to %e sure ! apprehend "ou e#actl". Cou inform me, that no Part must %e missin$ if the finest /ffects are to %e had, %ut "ou can not %ut *no) ho) hard it is to %e sure. !t seems a $reat Ha3ard and Burthen to ta*e a)a" the )hole Bo#, and in .o)n (i.e. 6t. Peter2s, 6t. Paul2s, 6t. ,ar"2s or &hrist &hurch) it can scarce %e done at all. But ! *no) )hat !mperfections )ere in the one ! rais2d up 4cto%er last, and ho) man" live 6pecimens "ou )ere forc2d to implo" %efore "ou hit upon the ri$ht ,ode in the "ear 17==- so )ill %e $uided %" "ou in all 45

,atters. ! am impatient for "r Bri$, and in+uire dail" at ,r. Biddle2s (harf. 5 third suspicious letter )as in an un*no)n ton$ue and even an un*no)n alpha%et. !n the 6mith diar" found %" &harles (ard a sin$le oft-repeated com%ination of characters is clumsil" copied- and authorities at Bro)n <niversit" have pronounced the alpha%et 5mharic or 5%"ssinian, althou$h the" do not reco$nise the )ord. Bone of these epistles )as ever delivered to &ur)en, thou$h the disappearance of 9edediah 4rne from 6alem as recorded shortl" after)ard she)ed that the Providence men too* certain +uiet steps. .he Penns"lvania Historical 6ociet" also has some curious letters received %" 'r. 6hippen re$ardin$ the presence of an un)holesome character in Philadelphia. But more decisive steps )ere in the air, and it is in the secret assem%la$es of s)orn and tested sailors and faithful old privateersmen in the Bro)n )arehouses %" ni$ht that )e must loo* for the main fruits of (eeden2s disclosures. 6lo)l" and surel" a plan of campai$n )as under development )hich )ould leave no trace of 9oseph &ur)en2s no#ious m"steries. &ur)en, despite all precautions, apparentl" felt that somethin$ )as in the )ind- for he )as no) remar*ed to )ear an unusuall" )orried loo*. His coach )as seen at all hours in the to)n and on the Pa)tu#et oad, and he dropped little %" little the air of forced $enialit" )ith )hich he had latterl" sou$ht to com%at the to)n2s pre1udice. .he nearest nei$h%ours to his farm, the 0enners, one ni$ht remar*ed a $reat shaft of li$ht shootin$ into the s*" from some aperture in the roof of that cr"ptical stone %uildin$ )ith the hi$h, e#cessivel" narro) )indo)s- an event )hich the" +uic*l" communicated to 9ohn Bro)n in Providence. ,r. Bro)n had %ecome the e#ecutive leader of the select $roup %ent on 46

&ur)en2s e#tirpation, and had informed the 0enners that some action )as a%out to %e ta*en. .his he deemed needful %ecause of the impossi%ilit" of their not )itnessin$ the final raid- and he e#plained his course %" sa"in$ that &ur)en )as *no)n to %e a sp" of the customs officers at Be)port, a$ainst )hom the hand of ever" Providence s*ipper, merchant, and farmer )as openl" or clandestinel" raised. (hether the ruse )as )holl" %elieved %" nei$h%ours )ho had seen so man" +ueer thin$s is not certain- %ut at an" rate the 0enners )ere )illin$ to connect an" evil )ith a man of such +ueer )a"s. .o them ,r. Bro)n had entrusted the dut" of )atchin$ the &ur)en farmhouse, and of re$ularl" reportin$ ever" incident )hich too* place there.

! .he pro%a%ilit" that &ur)en )as on $uard and attemptin$ unusual thin$s, as su$$ested %" the odd shaft of li$ht, precipitated at last the action so carefull" devised %" the %and of serious citi3ens. 5ccordin$ to the 6mith diar" a compan" of a%out 177 men met at 17 p.m. on 0rida", 5pril 12th, 1771, in the $reat room of .hurston2s .avern at the 6i$n of the ;olden Lion on (e"%osset Point across the Brid$e. 4f the $uidin$ $roup of prominent men in addition to the leader 9ohn Bro)n there )ere present 'r. Bo)en, )ith his case of sur$ical instruments, President ,annin$ )ithout the $reat peri)i$ (the lar$est in the &olonies) for )hich he )as noted, ;overnor Hop*ins, )rapped in his dar* cloa* and accompanied %" his seafarin$ %rother /se*, )hom he had initiated at the last moment )ith the permission of the rest, 9ohn &arter, &apt. ,athe)son, and &apt. (hipple, )ho )as to lead the actual raidin$ part". .hese chiefs conferred apart in a rear cham%er, 47

after )hich &apt. (hipple emer$ed to the $reat room and $ave the $athered seamen their last oaths and instructions. /lea3ar 6mith )as )ith the leaders as the" sat in the rear apartment a)aitin$ the arrival of /3ra (eeden, )hose dut" )as to *eep trac* of &ur)en and report the departure of his coach for the farm. 5%out 17H>7 a heav" rum%le )as heard on the ;reat Brid$e, follo)ed %" the sound of a coach in the street outsideand at that hour there )as no need of )aitin$ for (eeden in order to *no) that the doomed man had set out for his last ni$ht of unhallo)ed )i3ardr". 5 moment later, as the recedin$ coach clattered faintl" over the ,udd" 'oc* Brid$e, (eeden appeared- and the raiders fell silentl" into militar" order in the street, shoulderin$ the fireloc*s, fo)lin$-pieces, or )halin$ harpoons )hich the" had )ith them. (eeden and 6mith )ere )ith the part", and of the deli%eratin$ citi3ens there )ere present for active service &apt. (hipple, the leader, &apt. /se* Hop*ins, 9ohn &arter, President ,annin$, &apt. ,athe)son, and 'r. Bo)en- to$ether )ith ,oses Bro)n, )ho had come up at the eleventh hour thou$h a%sent from the preliminar" session in the tavern. 5ll these freemen and their hundred sailors %e$an the lon$ march )ithout dela", $rim and a trifle apprehensive as the" left the ,udd" 'oc* %ehind and mounted the $entle rise of Broad 6treet to)ard the Pa)tu#et oad. 9ust %e"ond /lder 6no)2s church some of the men turned %ac* to ta*e a partin$ loo* at Providence l"in$ outspread under the earl" sprin$ stars. 6teeples and $a%les rose dar* and shapel", and salt %ree3es s)ept up $entl" from the cove north of the Brid$e. Ee$a )as clim%in$ a%ove the $reat hill across the )ater, )hose crest of trees )as %ro*en %" the roof-line of the unfinished &olle$e edifice. 5t the foot of that hill, and alon$ the narro) mountin$ lanes of its side, the old to)n dreamed- 4ld Providence, for 48

)hose safet" and sanit" so monstrous and colossal a %lasphem" )as a%out to %e )iped out. 5n hour and a +uarter later the raiders arrived, as previousl" a$reed, at the 0enner farmhouse- )here the" heard a final report on their intended victim. He had reached his farm over half an hour %efore, and the stran$e li$ht had soon after)ard shot once more into the s*", %ut there )ere no li$hts in an" visi%le )indo)s. .his )as al)a"s the case of late. /ven as this ne)s )as $iven another $reat $lare arose to)ard the south, and the part" realised that the" had indeed come close to the scene of a)esome and unnatural )onders. &apt. (hipple no) ordered his force to separate into three divisions- one of t)ent" men under /lea3ar 6mith to stri*e across to the shore and $uard the landin$-place a$ainst possi%le reinforcements for &ur)en until summoned %" a messen$er for desperate service, a second of t)ent" men under &apt. /se* Hop*ins to steal do)n into the river valle" %ehind the &ur)en farm and demolish )ith a#es or $unpo)der the oa*en door in the hi$h, steep %an*, and the third to close in on the house and ad1acent %uildin$s themselves. 4f this division one third )as to %e led %" &apt. ,athe)son to the cr"ptical stone edifice )ith hi$h narro) )indo)s, another third to follo) &apt. (hipple himself to the main farmhouse, and the remainin$ third to preserve a circle around the )hole $roup of %uildin$s until summoned %" a final emer$enc" si$nal. .he river part" )ould %rea* do)n the hillside door at the sound of a sin$le )histle-%last, then )ait and capture an"thin$ )hich mi$ht issue from the re$ions )ithin. 5t the sound of t)o )histle-%lasts it )ould advance throu$h the aperture to oppose the enem" or 1oin the rest of the raidin$ contin$ent. .he part" at the stone %uildin$ )ould accept these respective si$nals in an analo$ous manner- forcin$ an 49

entrance at the first, and at the second descendin$ )hatever passa$e into the $round mi$ht %e discovered, and 1oinin$ the $eneral or focal )arfare e#pected to ta*e place )ithin the caverns. 5 third or emer$enc" si$nal of three %lasts )ould summon the immediate reserve from its $eneral $uard dut"its t)ent" men dividin$ e+uall" and enterin$ the un*no)n depths throu$h %oth farmhouse and stone %uildin$. &apt. (hipple2s %elief in the e#istence of catacom%s )as a%solute, and he too* no alternative into consideration )hen ma*in$ his plans. He had )ith him a )histle of $reat po)er and shrillness, and did not fear an" upsettin$ or misunderstandin$ of si$nals. .he final reserve at the landin$, of course, )as nearl" out of the )histle2s ran$e- hence )ould re+uire a special messen$er if needed for help. ,oses Bro)n and 9ohn &arter )ent )ith &apt. Hop*ins to the river-%an*, )hile President ,annin$ )as detailed )ith &apt. ,athe)son to the stone %uildin$. 'r. Bo)en, )ith /3ra (eeden, remained in &apt. (hipple2s part" )hich )as to storm the farmhouse itself. .he attac* )as to %e$in as soon as a messen$er from &apt. Hop*ins had 1oined &apt. (hipple to notif" him of the river part"2s readiness. .he leader )ould then deliver the loud sin$le %last, and the various advance parties )ould commence their simultaneous attac* on three points. 6hortl" %efore 1 a.m. the three divisions left the 0enner farmhouse- one to $uard the landin$, another to see* the river valle" and the hillside door, and the third to su%divide and attend to the actual %uildin$s of the &ur)en farm. /lea3ar 6mith, )ho accompanied the shore-$uardin$ part", records in his diar" an uneventful march and a lon$ )ait on the %luff %" the %a"- %ro*en once %" )hat seemed to %e the distant sound of the si$nal )histle and a$ain %" a peculiar muffled %lend of roarin$ and cr"in$ and a po)der %last )hich 50

seemed to come from the same direction. Later on one man thou$ht he cau$ht some distant $unshots, and still later 6mith himself felt the thro% of titanic and thunderous )ords resoundin$ in upper air. !t )as 1ust %efore da)n that a sin$le ha$$ard messen$er )ith )ild e"es and a hideous un*no)n odour a%out his clothin$ appeared and told the detachment to disperse +uietl" to their homes and never a$ain thin* or spea* of the ni$ht2s doin$s or of him )ho had %een 9oseph &ur)en. 6omethin$ a%out the %earin$ of the messen$er carried a conviction )hich his mere )ords could never have conve"edfor thou$h he )as a seaman )ell *no)n to man" of them, there )as somethin$ o%scurel" lost or $ained in his soul )hich set him for evermore apart. !t )as the same later on )hen the" met other old companions )ho had $one into that 3one of horror. ,ost of them had lost or $ained somethin$ impondera%le and indescri%a%le. .he" had seen or heard or felt somethin$ )hich )as not for human creatures, and could not for$et it. 0rom them there )as never an" $ossip, for to even the commonest of mortal instincts there are terri%le %oundaries. 5nd from that sin$le messen$er the part" at the shore cau$ht a nameless a)e )hich almost sealed their o)n lips. Eer" fe) are the rumours )hich ever came from an" of them, and /lea3ar 6mith2s diar" is the onl" )ritten record )hich has survived from that )hole e#pedition )hich set forth from the 6i$n of the ;olden Lion under the stars. &harles (ard, ho)ever, discovered another va$ue sideli$ht in some 0enner correspondence )hich he found in Be) London, )here he *ne) another %ranch of the famil" had lived. !t seems that the 0enners, from )hose house the doomed farm )as distantl" visi%le, had )atched the departin$ columns of raiders- and had heard ver" clearl" the an$r" %ar*in$ of the &ur)en do$s, follo)ed %" the first shrill %last )hich precipitated the attac*. .his %last had %een follo)ed %" 51

a repetition of the $reat shaft of li$ht from the stone %uildin$, and in another moment, after a +uic* soundin$ of the second si$nal orderin$ a $eneral invasion, there had come a su%dued prattle of mus*etr" follo)ed %" a horri%le roarin$ cr" )hich the correspondent Lu*e 0enner had represented in his epistle %" the characters 2(aaaahrrrrr- 2)aaahrrr.2 .his cr", ho)ever, had possessed a +ualit" )hich no mere )ritin$ could conve", and the correspondent mentions that his mother fainted completel" at the sound. !t )as later repeated less loudl", and further %ut more muffled evidences of $unfire ensued- to$ether )ith a loud e#plosion of po)der from the direction of the river. 5%out an hour after)ard all the do$s %e$an to %ar* fri$htfull", and there )ere va$ue $round rum%lin$s so mar*ed that the candlestic*s tottered on the mantelpiece. 5 stron$ smell of sulphur )as noted- and Lu*e 0enner2s father declared that he heard the third or emer$enc" )histle si$nal, thou$h the others failed to detect it. ,uffled mus*etr" sounded a$ain, follo)ed %" a deep scream less piercin$ %ut even more horri%le than the those )hich had preceded it- a *ind of throat", nastil" plastic cou$h or $ur$le )hose +ualit" as a scream must have come more from its continuit" and ps"cholo$ical import than from its actual acoustic value. .hen the flamin$ thin$ %urst into si$ht at a point )here the &ur)en farm ou$ht to lie, and the human cries of desperate and fri$htened men )ere heard. ,us*ets flashed and crac*ed, and the flamin$ thin$ fell to the $round. 5 second flamin$ thin$ appeared, and a shrie* of human ori$in )as plainl" distin$uished. 0enner )rote that he could even $ather a fe) )ords %elched in fren3"H 5lmi$ht", protect th" lam%I .hen there )ere more shots, and the second flamin$ thin$ fell. 5fter that came silence for a%out three-+uarters of an hour- at the end of )hich time little 5rthur 0enner, Lu*e2s %rother, 52

e#claimed that he sa) 8a red fo$8 $oin$ up to the stars from the accursed farm in the distance. Bo one %ut the child can testif" to this, %ut Lu*e admits the si$nificant coincidence implied %" the panic of almost convulsive fri$ht )hich at the same moment arched the %ac*s and stiffened the fur of the three cats then )ithin the room. 0ive minutes later a chill )ind %le) up, and the air %ecame suffused )ith an intolera%le stench that onl" the stron$ freshness of the sea could have prevented its %ein$ noticed %" the shore part" or %" an" )a*eful souls in the Pa)tu#et villa$e. .his stench )as nothin$ )hich an" of the 0enners had ever encountered %efore, and produced a *ind of clutchin$, amorphous fear %e"ond that of the tom% or the charnelhouse. &lose upon it came the a)ful voice )hich no hapless hearer )ill ever %e a%le to for$et. !t thundered out of the s*" li*e a doom, and )indo)s rattled as its echoes died a)a". !t )as deep and musical- po)erful as a %ass or$an, %ut evil as the for%idden %oo*s of the 5ra%s. (hat it said no man can tell, for it spo*e in an un*no)n ton$ue, %ut this is the )ritin$ Lu*e 0enner set do)n to portra" the daemoniac intonationsH 2'//6,//6 9/6H/. B4B/ '46/0/ '<E/,5 /B!./,466.2 Bot till the "ear 1919 did an" soul lin* this crude transcript )ith an"thin$ else in mortal *no)led$e, %ut &harles (ard paled as he reco$nised )hat ,irandola had denounced in shudders as the ultimate horror amon$ %lac* ma$ic2s incantations. 5n unmista*a%le human shout or deep chorused scream seemed to ans)er this mali$n )onder from the &ur)en farm, after )hich the un*no)n stench $re) comple# )ith an added odour e+uall" intolera%le. 5 )ailin$ distinctl" different from the scream no) %urst out, and )as protracted ululantl" in risin$ and fallin$ paro#"sms. 5t times it %ecame almost articulate, thou$h no auditor could trace an" definite )ords53

and at one point it seemed to ver$e to)ard the confines of dia%olic and h"sterical lau$hter. .hen a "ell of utter, ultimate fri$ht and star* madness )renched from scores of human throats?a "ell )hich came stron$ and clear despite the depth from )hich it must have %urst- after )hich dar*ness and silence ruled all thin$s. 6pirals of acrid smo*e ascended to %lot out the stars, thou$h no flames appeared and no %uildin$s )ere o%served to %e $one or in1ured on the follo)in$ da". .o)ard da)n t)o fri$htened messen$ers )ith monstrous and unplacea%le odours saturatin$ their clothin$ *noc*ed at the 0enner door and re+uested a *e$ of rum, for )hich the" paid ver" )ell indeed. 4ne of them told the famil" that the affair of 9oseph &ur)en )as over, and that the events of the ni$ht )ere not to %e mentioned a$ain. 5rro$ant as the order seemed, the aspect of him )ho $ave it too* a)a" all resentment and lent it a fearsome authorit"- so that onl" these furtive letters of Lu*e 0enner, )hich he ur$ed his &onnecticut relative to destro", remain to tell )hat )as seen and heard. .he non-compliance of that relative, )here%" the letters )ere saved after all, has alone *ept the matter from a merciful o%livion. &harles (ard had one detail to add as a result of a lon$ canvass of Pa)tu#et residents for ancestral traditions. 4ld &harles 6locum of that villa$e said that there )as *no)n to his $randfather a +ueer rumour concernin$ a charred, distorted %od" found in the fields a )ee* after the death of 9oseph &ur)en )as announced. (hat *ept the tal* alive )as the notion that this %od", so far as could %e seen in its %urnt and t)isted condition, )as neither thorou$hl" human nor )holl" allied to an" animal )hich Pa)tu#et fol* had ever seen or read a%out.

54

" Bot one man )ho participated in that terri%le raid could ever %e induced to sa" a )ord concernin$ it, and ever" fra$ment of the va$ue data )hich survives comes from those outside the final fi$htin$ part". .here is somethin$ fri$htful in the care )ith )hich these actual raiders destro"ed each scrap )hich %ore the least allusion to the matter. /i$ht sailors had %een *illed, %ut althou$h their %odies )ere not produced their families )ere satisfied )ith the statement that a clash )ith customs officers had occurred. .he same statement also covered the numerous cases of )ounds, all of )hich )ere e#tensivel" %anda$ed and treated onl" %" 'r. 9a%e3 Bo)en, )ho had accompanied the part". Hardest to e#plain )as the nameless odour clin$in$ to all the raiders, a thin$ )hich )as discussed for )ee*s. 4f the citi3en leaders, &apt. (hipple and ,oses Bro)n )ere most severel" hurt, and letters of their )ives testif" the %e)ilderment )hich their reticence and close $uardin$ of their %anda$es produced. Ps"cholo$icall" ever" participant )as a$ed, so%ered, and sha*en. !t is fortunate that the" )ere all stron$ men of action and simple, orthodo# reli$ionists, for )ith more su%tle introspectiveness and mental comple#it" the" )ould have fared ill indeed. President ,annin$ )as the most distur%ed- %ut even he out$re) the dar*est shado), and smothered memories in pra"ers. /ver" man of those leaders had a stirrin$ part to pla" in later "ears, and it is perhaps fortunate that this is so. Little more than a t)elvemonth after)ard &apt. (hipple led the mo% )ho %urnt the revenue ship ;aspee, and in this %old act )e ma" trace one step in the %lottin$ out of un)holesome ima$es. .here )as delivered to the )ido) of 9oseph &ur)en a sealed leaden coffin of curious desi$n, o%viousl" found read" on the spot )hen needed, in )hich she )as told her hus%and2s 55

%od" la". He had, it )as e#plained, %een *illed in a customs %attle a%out )hich it )as not politic to $ive details. ,ore than this no ton$ue ever uttered of 9oseph &ur)en2s end, and &harles (ard had onl" a sin$le hint )here)ith to construct a theor". .his hint )as the merest thread?a sha*" underscorin$ of a passa$e in 9edediah 4rne2s confiscated letter to &ur)en, as partl" copied in /3ra (eeden2s hand)ritin$. .he cop" )as found in the possession of 6mith2s descendants- and )e are left to decide )hether (eeden $ave it to his companion after the end, as a mute clue to the a%normalit" )hich had occurred, or )hether, as is more pro%a%le, 6mith had it %efore, and added the underscorin$ himself from )hat he had mana$ed to e#tract from his friend %" shre)d $uessin$ and adroit cross-+uestionin$. .he underlined passa$e is merel" thisH # say to you againe, doe not all up Any that you an not put downe; by the $hi h # meane, Any that an in Turne all up Somewhat against you, whereby your Powerfullest Devi es may not be of use" Ask of the %esser, lest the &reater shal not wish to Answer, and shal ommande more than you" !n the li$ht of this passa$e, and reflectin$ on )hat last unmentiona%le allies a %eaten man mi$ht tr" to summon in his direst e#tremit", &harles (ard ma" )ell have )ondered )hether an" citi3en of Providence *illed 9oseph &ur)en. .he deli%erate effacement of ever" memor" of the dead man from Providence life and annals )as vastl" aided %" the influence of the raidin$ leaders. .he" had not at first meant to %e so thorou$h, and had allo)ed the )ido) and her father and child to remain in i$norance of the true conditions- %ut &apt. .illin$hast )as an astute man, and soon uncovered 56

enou$h rumours to )het his horror and cause him to demand that the dau$hter and $randdau$hter chan$e their name, %urn the li%rar" and all remainin$ papers, and chisel the inscription from the slate sla% a%ove 9oseph &ur)en2s $rave. He *ne) &apt. (hipple )ell, and pro%a%l" e#tracted more hints from that %luff mariner and an"one else ever $ained repectin$ the end of the accursed sorcerer. 0rom that time on the o%literation of &ur)en2s memor" %ecame increasin$l" ri$id, e#tendin$ at last %" common consent even to the to)n records and files of the ;a3ette. !t can %e compared in spirit onl" to the hush that la" on 4scar (ilde2s name for a decade after his dis$race, and in e#tent onl" to the fate of that sinful @in$ of una3ar in Lord 'unsan"2s tale, )hom the ;ods decided must not onl" cease to %e, %ut must cease ever to have %een. ,rs. .illin$hast, as the )ido) %ecame *no)n after 1772, sold the house in 4lne" &ourt and resided )ith her father in Po)er2s Lane till her death in 1:17. .he farm at Pa)tu#et, shunned %" ever" livin$ soul, remained to moulder throu$h the "ears- and seemed to deca" )ith unaccounta%le rapidit". B" 17:7 onl" the stone and %ric*)or* )ere standin$, and %" 1:77 even these had fallen to shapeless heaps. Bone ventured to pierce the tan$led shru%%er" on the river-%an* %ehind )hich the hillside door ma" have lain, nor did an" tr" to frame a definite ima$e of the scenes amidst )hich 9oseph &ur)en departed from the horrors he had )rou$ht. 4nl" ro%ust old &apt. (hipple )as heard %" alert listeners to mutter once in a )hile to himself, 8Po# on that ------, %ut he had no %usiness to lau$h )hile he screamed. 2.)as as thou$h the damn2d ------ had some2at up his sleeve. 0or half a cro)n !2d %urn his ------ home.2

57

Chapter III: A #earch and an $%ocat&on

1 harles (ard, as )e have seen, first learned in 191: of his descent from 9oseph &ur)en. .hat he at once too* an intense interest in ever"thin$ pertainin$ to the %"$one m"ster" is not to %e )ondered at- for ever" va$ue rumour that he had heard of &ur)en no) %ecame somethin$ vital to himself, in )hom flo)ed &ur)en2s %lood. Bo spirited and ima$inative $enealo$ist could have done other)ise than %e$in forth)ith an avid and s"stematic collection of &ur)en data. !n his first delvin$s there )as not the sli$htest attempt at secrec"- so that even 'r. L"man hesitates to date the "outh2s madness from an" period %efore the close of 1919. He tal*ed freel" )ith his famil"?thou$h his mother )as not particularl" pleased to o)n an ancestor li*e &ur)en?and )ith the officials of the various museums and li%raries he visited. !n appl"in$ to private families for records thou$ht to %e in their possession he made no concealment of his o%1ect, and shared the some)hat amused scepticism )ith )hich the accounts of the old diarists and letter-)riters )ere re$arded. He often e#pressed a *een )onder as to )hat reall" had ta*en place a centur" and a half %efore at the Pa)tu#et farmhouse )hose site he vainl" tried to find, and )hat 9oseph &ur)en reall" had %een. (hen he came across the 6mith diar" and archives and encountered the letter from 9edediah 4rne he decided to visit 6alem and loo* up &ur)en2s earl" activities and conne#ions there, )hich he did durin$ the /aster vacation of 1919. 5t the 58

&

/sse# !nstitute, )hich )as )ell *no)n to him from former so1ourns in the $lamorous old to)n of crum%lin$ Puritan $a%les and clustered $am%rel roofs, he )as ver" *indl" received, and unearthed there a considera%le amount of &ur)en data. He found that his ancestor )as %orn in 6alemEilla$e, no) 'anvers, seven miles from to)n, on the ei$hteenth of 0e%ruar" (4.6.) 1==2->- and that he had run a)a" to sea at the a$e of fifteen, not appearin$ a$ain for nine "ears, )hen he returned )ith the speech, dress, and manners of a native /n$lishman and settled in 6alem proper. 5t that time he had little to do )ith his famil", %ut spent most of his hours )ith the curious %oo*s he had %rou$ht from /urope, and the stran$e chemicals )hich came for him on ships from /n$land, 0rance, and Holland. &ertain trips of his into the countr" )ere the o%1ects of much local in+uisitiveness, and )ere )hisperin$l" associated )ith va$ue rumours of fires on the hills at ni$ht. &ur)en2s onl" close friends had %een one /d)ard Hutchinson of 6alem-Eilla$e and one 6imon 4rne of 6alem. (ith these men he )as often seen in conference a%out the &ommon, and visits amon$ them )ere %" no means infre+uent. Hutchinson had a house )ell out to)ard the )oods, and it )as not alto$ether li*ed %" sensitive people %ecause of the sounds heard there at ni$ht. He )as said to entertain stran$e visitors, and the li$hts seen from his )indo)s )ere not al)a"s of the same colour. .he *no)led$e he displa"ed concernin$ lon$-dead persons and lon$for$otten events )as considered distinctl" un)holesome, and he disappeared a%out the time the )itchcraft panic %e$an, never to %e heard from a$ain. 5t that time 9oseph &ur)en also departed, %ut his settlement in Providence )as soon learned of. 6imon 4rne lived in 6alem until 1727, )hen his failure to $ro) visi%l" old %e$an to e#cite attention. He 59

thereafter disappeared, thou$h thirt" "ears later his precise counterpart and self-st"led son turned up to claim his propert". .he claim )as allo)ed on the stren$th of documents in 6imon 4rne2s *no)n hand, and 9edediah 4rne continued to d)ell in 6alem till 1771, )hen certain letters from Providence citi3ens to the ev. .homas Barnard and others %rou$ht a%out his +uiet removal to parts un*no)n. &ertain documents %" and a%out all of the stran$e characters )ere availa%le at the /sse# !nstitute, the &ourt House, and the e$istr" of 'eeds, and included %oth harmless commonplaces such as land titles and %ills of sale, and furtive fra$ments of a more provocative nature. .here )ere four or five unmista*a%le allusions to them on the )itchcraft trial records- as )hen one Hep3i%ah La)son s)ore on 9ul" 17, 1=92, at the &ourt of 4"er and .erminer under 9ud$e Hathorne, thatH 2fortie (itches and the Blac*e ,an )ere )ont to meete in the (oodes %ehind ,r. Hutchinson2s house2, and one 5mit" Ho) declared at a session of 5u$ust :th %efore 9ud$e ;edne" thatH2,r. ;. B. ( ev. ;eor$e Burrou$hs) on that Bi$hte putt "e 'ivell his ,ar*e upon Brid$et 6., 9onathan 5., 6imon 4., 'eliverance (., 9oseph &., 6usan P., ,ehita%le &., and 'e%orah B.2 .hen there )as a catalo$ue of Hutchinson2s uncann" li%rar" as found after his disappearance, and an unfinished manuscript in his hand)ritin$, couched in a cipher none could read. (ard had a photostatic cop" of this manuscript made, and %e$an to )or* casuall" on the cipher as soon as it )as delivered to him. 5fter the follo)in$ 5u$ust his la%ours on the cipher %ecame intense and feverish, and there is reason to %elieve from his speech and conduct that he hit upon the *e" %efore 4cto%er or Bovem%er. He never stated, thou$h, )hether or not he had succeeded.

60

But of $reatest immediate interest )as the 4rne material. !t too* (ard onl" a short time to prove from identit" of penmanship a thin$ he had alread" considered esta%lished from the te#t of the letter to &ur)en- namel", that 6imon 4rne and his supposed son )ere one and the same person. 5s 4rne had said to his correspondent, it )as hardl" safe to live too lon$ in 6alem, hence he resorted to a thirt"-"ear so1ourn a%road, and did not return to claim his lands e#cept as a representative of a ne) $eneration. 4rne had apparentl" %een careful to destro" most of his correspondence, %ut the citi3ens )ho too* action in 1771 found and preserved a fe) letters and papers )hich e#cited their )onder. .here )ere cr"ptic formulae and dia$rams in his and other hands )hich (ard no) either copied )ith care or had photo$raphed, and one e#tremel" m"sterious letter in a chiro$raph" that the searcher reco$nised from items in the e$istr" of 'eeds as positivel" 9oseph &ur)en2s. .his &ur)en letter, thou$h undated as to the "ear, )as evidentl" not the one in ans)er to )hich 4rne had )ritten the confiscated missive- and from internal evidence (ard placed it not much later than 17A7. !t ma" not %e amiss to $ive the te#t in full, as a sample of the st"le of one )hose histor" )as so dar* and terri%le. .he recipient is addressed as 86imon8, %ut a line ()hether dra)n %" &ur)en or 4rne (ard could not tell) is run throu$h the )ord. Providence, 1. ,a" BrotherH," honour2d 5ntient 0riende, due espects and earnest (ishes to Him )hom )e serue for "r eternall Po)er. ! am 1ust come upon .hat )hich "ou ou$ht to 61

*no)e, concern2$ the ,atter of the Laste /#tremitie and )hat to doe re$ard2$ "t. ! am not dispos2d to follo)e "ou in $o2$ 5)a" on acct. of m" Ceares, for Prouidence hath not "e 6harpeness of "e Ba" in hunt2$ oute uncommon .hin$s and %rin$in$e to .r"all. ! am t"2d up in 6hippes and ;oodes, and cou2d not doe as "ou did, %esides the (hiche m" 0arme at Patu#et hath under it (hat "ou @no)e, and )ou2d not )aite for m" com2$ Bac*e as an 4ther. But ! am unreadie for harde 0ortunes, as ! haue tolde "ou, and haue lon$e )or*2d upon "e (a" of $et2$ Bac*e after "e Laste. ! laste Bi$ht struc*e on "e (ordes that %rin$e up C4;;/-64.H4.H/, and sa)e for "e first .ime that 0ace spo*e of %" !%n 6chaca%ao in "e ------. 5nd !. said, that "e !!! Psalme in "e Li%er-'amnatus holdes "e &lauicle. (ith 6unne in E House, 6aturne in .rine, dra)e "e Penta$ram of 0ire, and sa"e "e ninth <erse thrice. .his <erse repeate eache oodemas and Hallo)2s /ue- and "e .hin$ )ill %reede in "e 4utside 6pheres. 5nd of "e 6eede of 4lde shal 4ne %e %orne )ho shal loo*e Bac*e, tho2 *no)2$ not )hat he see*es. Cett )ill this auaile Bothin$ if there %e no Heir, and if the 6altes, or the (a" to ma*e the 6altes, %ee not eadie for his Hande- and here ! )ill o)ne, ! haue not ta*en needed 6tepps nor founde ,uch. Ce Process is pla$u" harde to come neare- and it used up such a 6tore of 6pecimens, ! am harde putte to it to $et /nou$h, not)ithstand2$ the 6ailors ! haue from "e !ndies. Ce People a%oute are %ecome curious, %ut ! can stande them off. Ce ;entr" are )orse that the Populace, %e2$ more &ircumstantiall in their 5ccts. and more %elieu2d in )hat the" tell. .hat Parson and 62

,r. ,erritt haue tal*2d 6ome, ! am fearfull, %ut no .hin$ soe far is 'an$erous. Ce &h"mical 6u%stances are easie of $et2$, there %e2$ !!. $oode &h"mists in .o)ne, 'r, Bo)en and 6amH &are). ! am foll2$ oute )hat Borellus saith, and haue Helpe in 5%dool 5lHa3red his E!!. Boo*e. (hateuer ! $ette, "ou shal haue. 5nd in "e meane )hile, do not ne$lect to ma*e use of "e (ordes ! haue here $iuen. ! haue them i$hte, %ut if "ou 'esire to see H!,, implo" the (ritin$s on "e Piece of ------ that ! am putt2$ in this Pac*et. 6a"e "e <erses euer" oodmas and Hallo)2s /ue- and if "e Line runn out not, one shal %ee in "eares to come that shal loo*e %ac*e and use )hat 6altes or 6tuff for 6altes "ou shal leaue him. 9o% K!E. K!E. ! re1oice "ou are a$ain at 6alem, and hope ! ma" see "ou not lon$e hence. ! haue a $oode 6tallion, and am thin*2$ of $et2$ a &oach, there %e2$ one (,r. ,erritt2s) in Prouidence alread", tho2 "e oades are %ad. !f "ou are dispos2d to .rauel, doe not pass me %"e. 0rom Boston ta*e "e Post d. thro2 'edham, (rentham, and 5ttle%orou$h, $oode .auerns %e2$ at all these .o)nes. 6top at ,r. Balcom2s in (rentham, )here "e Beddes are finer than ,r. Hatch2s, %ut eate at "e other House for their &oo*e is %etter. .urne into Prou. %" Patuc*et 0alls, and "e d. past ,r. 6a"les2s .auern. ," House opp. ,r. /penetus 4lne"2s .auern off "e .o)ne 6treet, !st on "e B. side of 4lne"2s &ourt. 'istance from Boston 6tone a%t. KL!E ,iles. 6ir, ! am "e olde and true 0riend and 6erut. in 5lmonsin-,etraton.

63

9osephus &. .o ,r. 6imon 4rne, (illiam2s-Lane, in 6alem. .his letter, oddl" enou$h, )as )hat first $ave (ard the e#act location of &ur)en2s Providence home- for none of the records encountered up to that time had %een at all specific. .he discover" )as dou%l" stri*in$ %ecause it indicated as the ne)er &ur)en house, %uilt in 17=1 on the site of the old, a dilapidated %uildin$ still standin$ in 4lne" &ourt and )ell *no)n to (ard in his anti+uarian ram%les over 6tampers2 Hill. .he place )as indeed onl" a fe) s+uares from his o)n home on the $reat hill2s hi$her $round, and )as no) the a%ode of a ne$ro famil" much esteemed for occasional )ashin$, housecleanin$, and furnace-tendin$ services. .o find, in distant 6alem, such sudden proof of the si$nificance of this familiar roo*er" in his o)n famil" histor", )as a hi$hl" impressive thin$ to (ard- and he resolved to e#plore the place immediatel" upon his return. .he more m"stical phases of the letter, )hich he too* to %e some e#trava$ant *ind of s"m%olism, fran*l" %affled him- thou$h he noted )ith a thrill of curiousit" that the Bi%lical passa$e referred to?9o% 1D,1D? )as the familiar verse, 2!f a man die, shall he live a$ainL 5ll the da"s of m" appointed time )ill ! )ait, until m" chan$e come.2

2 Coun$ (ard came home in a state of pleasant e#citement, and spent the follo)in$ 6aturda" in a lon$ and e#haustive stud" of the house in 4lne" &ourt. .he place, no) crum%lin$ 64

)ith a$e, had never %een a mansion- %ut )as a modest t)oand-a-half stor" )ooden to)n house of the familiar Providence colonial t"pe, )ith plain pea*ed roof, lar$e central chimne", and artisticall" carved door)a" )ith ra"ed fanli$ht, trian$ular pediment, and trim 'oric pilasters. !t had suffered %ut little alteration e#ternall", and (ard felt he )as $a3in$ on somethin$ ver" close to the sinister matters of his +uest. .he present ne$ro inha%itants )ere *no)n to him, and he )as ver" courteousl" she)n a%out the interior %" old 5sa and his stout )ife Hannah. Here there )as more chan$e than the outside indicated, and (ard sa) )ith re$ret that full" half of the fine scroll-and-urn overmantels and shell-carved cup%oard linin$s )ere $one, )hilst most of the fine )ainscottin$ and %olection mouldin$ )as mar*ed, hac*ed, and $ou$ed, or covered up alto$ether )ith cheap )all-paper. !n $eneral, the surve" did not "ield as much as (ard had someho) e#pected- %ut it )as at least e#citin$ to stand )ithin the ancestral )alls )hich had housed such a man of horror as 9oseph &ur)en. He sa) )ith a thrill that a mono$ram had %een ver" carefull" effaced from the ancient %rass *noc*er. 0rom then until after the close of school (ard spent his time on the photostatic cop" of the Hutchinson cipher and the accumulation of local &ur)en data. .he former still proved un"ieldin$- %ut of the latter he o%tained so much, and so man" clues to similar data else)here, that he )as read" %" 9ul" to ma*e a trip to Be) London and Be) Cor* to consult old letters )hose presence in those places )as indicated. .his trip )as ver" fruitful, for it %rou$ht him the 0enner letters )ith their terri%le description of the Pa)tu#et farmhouse raid, and the Bi$htin$ale-.al%ot letters in )hich he learned of the portrait painted on a panel of the &ur)en li%rar". .his matter of the portrait interested him particularl", since he )ould have $iven much to *no) 1ust )hat 9oseph &ur)en 65

loo*ed li*e- and he decided to ma*e a second search of the house in 4lne" &ourt to see if there mi$ht not %e some trace of the ancient features %eneath peelin$ coats of later paint or la"ers of mould" )all-paper. /arl" in 5u$ust that search too* place, and (ard )ent carefull" over the )alls of ever" room si3ea%le enou$h to have %een %" an" possi%ilit" the li%rar" of the evil %uilder. He paid especial attention to the lar$e panels of such overmantels as still remained- and )as *eenl" e#cited after a%out an hour, )hen on a %road area a%ove the fireplace in a spacious $round-floor room he %ecame certain that the surface %rou$ht out %" the peelin$ of several coats of paint )as sensi%l" dar*er than an" ordinar" interior paint or the )ood %eneath it )as li*el" to have %een. 5 fe) more careful tests )ith a thin *nife, and he *ne) that he had come upon an oil portrait of $reat e#tent. (ith trul" scholarl" restraint the "outh did not ris* the dama$e )hich an immediate attempt to uncover the hidden picture )ith the *nife mi$ht have %een, %ut 1ust retired from the scene of his discover" to enlist e#pert help. !n three da"s he returned )ith an artist of lon$ e#perience, ,r. (alter &. ')i$ht, )hose studio is near the foot of &olle$e Hill- and that accomplished restorer of paintin$s set to )or* at once )ith proper methods and chemical su%stances. 4ld 5sa and his )ife )ere dul" e#cited over their stran$e visitors, and )ere properl" reim%ursed for this invasion of their domestic hearth. 5s da" %" the da" the )or* of restoration pro$ressed, &harles (ard loo*ed on )ith $ro)in$ interest at the lines and shades $raduall" unveiled after their lon$ o%livion. ')i$ht had %e$un at the %ottom- hence since the picture )as a three+uarter-len$th one, the face did not come out for some time. !t )as mean)hile seen that the su%1ect )as a spare, )ellshaped man )ith dar*-%lue coat, em%roidered )aistcoat, 66

%lac* satin small-clothes, and )hite sil* stoc*in$s, seated in a carved chair a$ainst the %ac*$round of a )indo) )ith )harves and ships %e"ond. (hen the head came out it )as o%served to %ear a neat 5l%emarle )i$, and to possess a thin, calm, undistin$uished face )hich seemed someho) familiar to %oth (ard and the artist. 4nl" at the ver" last, thou$h, did the restorer and his client %e$in to $rasp )ith astonishment at the details of that lean, pallid visa$e, and to reco$nise )ith a touch of a)e the dramatic tric* )hich heredit" had pla"ed. 0or it too* the final %ath of oil and the final stro*e of the delicate scraper to %rin$ out full" the e#pression )hich centuries had hidden- and to confront the %e)ildered &harles 'e#ter (ard, d)eller in the past, )ith his o)n livin$ features in the countenance of his horri%le $reat-$reat-$reat$randfather. (ard %rou$ht his parents to see the marvel he had uncovered, and his father at once determined to purchase the picture despite its e#ecution on stationar" panellin$. .he resem%lance to the %o", despite an appearance of rather $reat a$e, )as marvellous- and it could %e seen that throu$h some tric* of atavism the ph"sical contours of 9oseph &ur)en had found precise duplication after a centur" and a half. ,rs. (ard2s resem%lance to her ancestor )as not at all mar*ed, thou$h she could recall relatives )ho had some of the facial characteristics shared %" her son and %" the %"$one &ur)en. 6he did not relish the discover", and told her hus%and that he had %etter %urn the picture instead of %rin$in$ it home. .here )as, she averred, somethin$ un)holesome a%out it- not onl" intrinsicall", %ut in its ver" resem%lance to &harles. ,r. (ard, ho)ever, )as a practical man of po)er and affairs?a cotton manufacturer )ith e#tensive mills at iverpoint in the Pa)tu#et Ealle"?and not one to listen to feminine scruples. .he picture impressed him mi$htil" )ith its li*eness to his 67

son, and he %elieved the %o" deserved it as a present. !n this opinion, it is needless to sa", &harles most heartil" concurredand a fe) da"s later ,r. (ard located the o)ner of the house?a small rodent-featured person )ith a $uttural accent?and o%tained the )hole mantel and overmantel %earin$ the picture at a curtl" fi#ed price )hich cut short the impendin$ torrent of unctuous ha$$lin$. !t no) remained to ta*e off the panellin$ and remove it to the (ard home, )here provisions )ere made for its thorou$h restoration and installation )ith an electric moc*-fireplace in &harles2s third-floor stud" or li%rar". .o &harles )as left the tas* of superintendin$ this removal, and on the t)ent"-ei$hth of 5u$ust he accompanied t)o e#pert )or*men from the &roo*er decoratin$ firm to the house in 4lne" &ourt, )here the mantel and portrait-%earin$ overmantel )ere detached )ith $reat care and precision for transportation in the compan"2s motor truc*. .here )as left a space of e#posed %ric*)or* mar*in$ the chimne"2s course, and in this "oun$ (ard o%served a cu%ical recess a%out a foot s+uare, )hich must have lain directl" %ehind the head of the portrait. &urious as to )hat such a space mi$ht mean or contain, the "outh approached and loo*ed )ithin- findin$ %eneath the deep coatin$s of dust and soot some loose "ello)ed papers, a crude, thic* cop"%oo*, and a fe) moulderin$ te#tile shreds )hich ma" have formed the ri%%on %indin$ the rest to$ether. Blo)in$ a)a" the %ul* of the dirt and cinders, he too* up the %oo* and loo*ed at the %old inscription on its cover. !t )as in a hand )hich he had learned to reco$nise at the /sse# !nstitute, and proclaimed the volume as the 29ournall and Botes of 9osH &ur)en, ;ent. of Prouidence-Plantations, Late of 6alem.2 /#cited %e"ond measure %" his discover", (ard she)ed the %oo* to the t)o curious )or*men %eside him. .heir testimon" 68

is a%solute as to the nature and $enuineness of the findin$, and 'r. (illett relies on them to help esta%lish his theor" that the "outh )as not mad )hen he %e$an his ma1or eccentricities. 5ll the other papers )ere li*e)ise in &ur)en2s hand)ritin$, and one of them seemed especiall" portentous %ecause of its inscriptionH 2.o Him (ho 6hal &ome 5fter, M Ho) He ,a" ;ett Be"onde .ime M Ce 6pheres.2 5nother )as in a cipher- the same, (ard hoped, as the Hutchinson cipher )hich had hitherto %affled him. 5 third, and here the searcher re1oiced, seemed to %e a *e" to the cipher- )hilst the fourth and fifth )ere addressed respectivel" toH2/d)H Hutchinson, 5rmi$er2 and 9edediah 4rne, es+.2, 2or .heir Heir or Heirs, or .hose epresent2$ .hem.2 .he si#th and last )as inscri%edH 29oseph &ur)en his Life and .ravells Bet2n "e "eares 1=7: and 1=:7H 4f (hither He Eo"a$2d, (here He 6ta"2d, (hom He 6a)e, and (hat He Learnt.2

3 (e have no) reached the point from )hich the more academic school of alienists date &harles (ard2s madness. <pon his discover" the "outh had loo*ed immediatel" at a fe) of the inner pa$es of the %oo* and manuscripts, and had evidentl" seen somethin$ )hich impressed him tremendousl". !ndeed, in she)in$ the titles to the )or*men, he appeared to $uard the te#t itself )ith peculiar care, and to la%our under a pertur%ation for )hich even the anti+uarian and $enealo$ical si$nificance of the find could hardl" account. <pon returnin$ home he %ro*e the ne)s )ith an almost em%arrassed air, as if he )ished to conve" an idea of its supreme importance )ithout havin$ to e#hi%it the evidence itself. He did not even she) the titles to his parents, %ut 69

simpl" told them that he had found some documents in 9oseph &ur)en2s hand)ritin$, 2mostl" in cipher2, )hich )ould have to %e studied ver" carefull" %efore "ieldin$ up their true meanin$. !t is unli*el" that he )ould have she)n )hat he did to the )or*men, had it not %een for their unconcealed curiousit". 5s it )as he dou%tless )ished to avoid an" displa" of peculiar reticence )hich )ould increase their discussion of the matter. .hat ni$ht &harles (ard sat up in his room readin$ the ne)-found %oo* and papers, and )hen da" came he did not desist. His meals, on his ur$ent re+uest )hen his mother called to see )hat )as amiss, )ere sent up to him- and in the afternoon he appeared onl" %riefl" )hen the men came to install the &ur)en picture and mantelpiece in his stud". .he ne#t ni$ht he slept in snatches in his clothes, mean)hile )restlin$ feverishl" )ith the unravellin$ of the cipher manuscript. !n the mornin$ his mother sa) that he )as at )or* on the photostatic cop" of the Hutchinson cipher, )hich he had fre+uentl" she)n her %efore- %ut in response to her +uer" he said that the &ur)en *e" could not %e applied to it. .hat afternoon he a%andoned his )or* and )atched the men fascinatedl" as the" finished their installation of the picture )ith its )ood)or* a%ove a cleverl" realistic electric lo$, settin$ the moc*-fireplace and overmantel a little out from the north )all as if a chimne" e#isted, and %o#in$ in the sides )ith panellin$ to match the room2s. .he front panel holdin$ the picture )as sa)n and hin$ed to allo) cup%oard space %ehind it. 5fter the )or*men )ent he moved his )or* into the stud" and sat do)n %efore it )ith his e"es half on the cipher and half on the portrait )hich stared %ac* at him li*e a "earaddin$ and centur"-recallin$ mirror. His parents, su%se+uentl" recallin$ his conduct at this period, $ive interestin$ details anent the polic" of 70

concealment )hich he practised. Before servants he seldom hid an" paper )hich he mi$ht %" stud"in$, since he ri$htl" assumed that &ur)en2s intricate and archaic chiro$raph" )ould %e too much for them. (ith his parents, ho)ever, he )as more circumspect- and unless the manuscript in +uestion )ere a cipher, or a mere mass of cr"ptic s"m%ols and un*no)n ideo$raphs (as that entitled 2.o Him (ho 6hal &ome 5fter, etc.2 seemed to %e), he )ould cover it )ith some convenient paper until his caller had departed. 5t ni$ht he *ept the papers under loc* and *e" in an anti+ue ca%inet of his, )here he also placed them )henever he left the room. He soon resumed fairl" re$ular hours and ha%its, e#cept that his lon$ )al*s and other outside interests seemed to cease. .he openin$ of school, )here he no) %e$an his senior "ear, seemed a $reat %ore to him- and he fre+uentl" asserted his determination never to %other )ith colle$e. He had, he said, important special investi$ations to ma*e, )hich )ould provide him )ith more avenues to)ard *no)led$e and the humanities than an" universit" )hich the )orld could %oast. Baturall", onl" one )ho had al)a"s %een more or less studious, eccentric, and solitar" could have pursued this course for man" da"s )ithout attractin$ notice. (ard, ho)ever, )as constitutionall" a scholar and a hermit- hence his parents )ere less surprised than re$retful at the close confinement and secrec" he adopted. 5t the same time, %oth his father and mother thou$ht it odd that he )ould she) them no scrap of his treasure-trove, nor $ive an" connected account of such data as he had deciphered. .his reticence he e#plained a)a" as due to a )ish to )ait until he mi$ht announce some connected revelation, %ut as the )ee*s passed )ithout further disclosures there %e$an to $ro) up %et)een the "outh and his famil" a *ind of constraint- intensified in his mother2s case %" her manifest disapproval of all &ur)en delvin$s. 71

'urin$ 4cto%er (ard %e$an visitin$ the li%raries a$ain, %ut no lon$er for the anti+uarian matter of his former da"s. (itchcraft and ma$ic, occultism and daemonolo$", )ere )hat he sou$ht no)- and )hen Providence sources proved unfruitful he )ould ta*e the train for Boston and tap the )ealth of the $reat li%rar" in &ople" 6+uare, the (idener Li%rar" at Harvard, or the Fion esearch Li%rar" in Broo*line, )here certain rare )or*s on Bi%lical su%1ects are availa%le. He %ou$ht e#tensivel", and fitted up a )hole additional set of shelves in his stud" for ne)l" ac+uired )or*s on uncann" su%1ects- )hile durin$ the &hristmas holida"s he made a round of out-of-to)n trips includin$ one to 6alem to consult certain records at the /sse# !nstitute. 5%out the middle of 9anuar", 1927, there entered (ard2s %earin$ an element of triumph )hich he did not e#plain, and he )as no more found at )or* upon the Hutchinson cipher. !nstead, he inau$urated a dual polic" of chemical research and record-scannin$- fittin$ up for the one a la%orator" in the unused attic of the house, and for the latter hauntin$ all the sources of vital statistics in Providence. Local dealers in dru$s and scientific supplies, later +uestioned, $ave astonishin$l" +ueer and meanin$less catalo$ues of the su%stances and instruments he purchased- %ut cler*s at the 6tate House, the &it" Hall, and the various li%raries a$ree as to the definite o%1ect of his second interest. He )as searchin$ intensel" and feverishl" for the $rave of 9oseph &ur)en, from )hose slate sla% an older $eneration had so )isel" %lotted the name. Little %" little there $re) upon the (ard famil" the conviction that somethin$ )as )ron$. &harles had had frea*s and chan$es of minor interests %efore, %ut this $ro)in$ secrec" and a%sorption in stran$e pursuits )as unli*e even him. His school )or* )as the merest pretence- and althou$h he failed in no test, it could %e seen that the older application 72

had all vanished. He had other concernments no)- and )hen not in his ne) la%orator" )ith a score of o%solete alchemical %oo*s, could %e found either porin$ over old %urial records do)n to)n or $lued to his volumes of occult lore in his stud", )here the startlin$l"?one almost fancied increasin$l"? similar features of 9oseph &ur)en stared %landl" at him from the $reat overmantel on the Borth )all. Late in ,arch (ard added to his archive-searchin$ a $houlish series of ram%les a%out the various ancient cemeteries of the cit". .he cause appeared later, )hen it )as learned from &it" Hall cler*s that he had pro%a%l" found an important clue. His +uest had suddenl" shifted from the $rave of 9oseph &ur)en to that of one Baphthali 0ield- and this shift )as e#plained )hen, upon $oin$ over the files that he had %een over, the investi$ators actuall" found a fra$mentar" record of &ur)en2s %urial )hich had escaped the $eneral o%literation, and )hich stated that the curious leaden coffin had %een interred 217 ft. 6. and A ft. (. of Baphthali 0ield2s $rave in "-.2 .he lac* of a specified %ur"in$-$round in the survivin$ entr" $reatl" complicated the search, and Baphthali 0ield2s $rave seemed as elusive as that of &ur)en- %ut here no s"stematic effacement had e#isted, and one mi$ht reasona%l" %e e#pected to stum%le on the stone itself even if its record had perished. Hence the ram%les?from )hich 6t. 9ohn2s (the former @in$2s) &hurch"ard and the ancient &on$re$ational %ur"in$-$round in the midst of 6)an Point &emeter" )ere e#cluded, since other statistics had she)n that the onl" Baphthali 0ield (o%iit 1729) )hose $rave could have %een meant had %een a Baptist.

73

!t )as to)ard ,a" )hen 'r. (illett, at the re+uest of the senior (ard, and fortified )ith all the &ur)en data )hich the famil" had $leaned from &harles in his non-secretive da"s, tal*ed )ith the "oun$ man. .he intervie) )as of little value or conclusiveness, for (illett felt at ever" moment that &harles )as thorou$h master of himself and in touch )ith matters of real importance- %ut it at least forced the secretive "outh to offer some rational e#planation of his recent demeanour. 4f a pallid, impassive t"pe not easil" she)in$ em%arrassment, (ard seemed +uite read" to discuss his pursuits, thou$h not to reveal their o%1ect. He stated that the papers of his ancestor had contained some remar*a%le secrets of earl" scientific *no)led$e, for the most part in cipher, of an apparent scope compara%le onl" to the discoveries of 0riar Bacon and perhaps surpassin$ even those. .he" )ere, ho)ever, meanin$less e#cept )hen correlated )ith a %od" of learnin$ no) )holl" o%solete- so that their immediate presentation to a )orld e+uipped onl" )ith modern science )ould ro% them of all impressiveness and dramatic si$nificance. .o ta*e their vivid place in the histor" of human thou$ht the" must first %e correlated %" one familiar )ith the %ac*$round out of )hich the" evolved, and to this tas* of correlation (ard )as no) devotin$ himself. He )as see*in$ to ac+uire as fast as possi%le those ne$lected arts of old )hich a true interpreter of the &ur)en data must possess, and hoped in time to ma*e a full announcement and presentation of the utmost interest to man*ind and to the )orld of thou$ht. Bot even /instein, he declared, could more profoundl" revolutionise the current conception of thin$s. 5s to his $rave"ard search, )hose o%1ect he freel" admitted, %ut the details of )hose pro$ress he did not relate, 74

he said he had reason to thin* that 9oseph &ur)en2s mutilated headstone %ore certain m"stic s"m%ols?carved from directions in his )ill and i$norantl" spared %" those )ho had effaced the name?)hich )ere a%solutel" essential to the final solution of his cr"ptic s"stem. &ur)en, he %elieved, had )ish to $uard his secret )ith care- and had conse+uentl" distri%uted the data in an e#ceedin$l" curious fashion. (hen 'r. (illett as*ed to see the m"stic documents, (ard displa"ed much reluctance and tried to put him off )ith such thin$s as photostatic copies of the Hutchinson cipher and 4rne formulae and dia$rams- %ut finall" she)ed him the e#teriors of some of the real &ur)en finds?the 29ournall and Botes2, the cipher (title in cipher also), and the formula-filled messa$e 2.o Him (ho 6hal &ome 5fter2?and let him $lance inside such as )ere in o%scure characters. He also opened the diar" at a pa$e carefull" selected for its innocuousness and $ave (illett a $limpse of &ur)en2s connected hand)ritin$ in /n$lish. .he doctor noted ver" closel" the cra%%ed and complicated letters, and the $eneral aura of the seventeenth centur" )hich clun$ round %oth penmanship and st"le despite the )riter2s survival into the ei$hteenth centur", and %ecame +uic*l" certain that the document )as $enuine. .he te#t itself )as relativel" trivial, and (illett recalled onl" a fra$mentH 2(edn. 1= 4ctr. 17AD. ," 6loope the (a*eful this 'a" putt in from London )ith KK ne)e ,en pic*2d up in "e !ndies, 6paniards from ,artineco and 2 'utch ,en from 6urinam. Ce 'utch ,en are li*e to 'esert from have2$ hearde 6ome)hat ill of these Eentures, %ut ! )ill see to "e !nducin$ of them to 6ta"e. 0or ,r. @ni$ht 'e#ter of "e Ba" and Boo* 127 Pieces &am%lets, 177 Pieces 5ssrtd. &am%leteens, 27 Pieces 75

%lue 'uffles, 177 Pieces 6halloons, A7 Pieces &alamancoes, >77 Pieces each, 6hendso" and Humhums. 0or ,r. ;reen at "e /lephant A7 ;allon &"ttles, 27 (arm2$ Pannes, 1A Ba*e &"ttles, 17 pr. 6mo*e2$ .on$es. 0or ,r. Perri$o 1 6ett of 5)les. 0or ,r. Bi$htin$ale A7 eames prime 0oolscap. 6a"2d "e 65B54.H thrice last Bi$hte %ut Bone appear2d. ! must heare more from ,r. H. in .rans"lvania, tho2 it is Harde reach2$ him and e#ceedin$ stran$e he can not $ive me the <se of (hat he hath so )ell us2d these hundred Ceares. 6imon hath not )rit these E. (ee*es, %ut ! e#pecte soon hear2$ from Him.2 (hen upon reachin$ this point 'r. (illett turned the leaf he )as +uic*l" chec*ed %" (ard, )ho almost snatched the %oo* from his $rasp. 5ll that the doctor had a chance to see on the ne)l" opened pa$e )as a %rief pair of sentences- %ut these, stran$el" enou$h, lin$ered tenacious in his memor". .he" ranH 2Ce Eerse from Li%er-'amnatus %e2$ spo*e E oodmasses and !E Hallo)s-/ves, ! am Hopeful "e .hin$ is %reed2$ 4utside "e 6pheres. !t )ill dra)e 4ne )ho is to &ome, if ! can ma*e sure he shal Bee, and he shal thin* on Past .hin$es and loo* %ac* thro2 all "e Ceares, a$ainst "e (hich ! must have read" "e 6altes or .hat to ma*e 2em )ith.2 (illett sa) no more, %ut someho) this small $limpse $ave a ne) and va$ue terror to the painted features of 9oseph &ur)en )hich stared %landl" do)n from the overmantel. /ven after that he entertained the odd fanc"?)hich his medical s*ill of course assured him )as onl" a fanc"?that the e"es of the portrait had a sort of )ish, if not an actual tendenc", to follo) "oun$ &harles (ard as he moved a%out the room. He stopped %efore leavin$ to stud" the picture closel", marvellin$ at its resem%lance to &harles and 76

memorisin$ ever" minute detail of the cr"ptical, colourless face, even do)n to a sli$ht scar or pit in the smooth %ro) a%ove the ri$ht e"e. &osmo 5le#ander, he decided, )as a painter )orth" of the 6cotland that produced ae%urn, and a teacher )orth" of his illustrious pupil ;il%ert 6tuart. 5ssured %" the doctor that &harles2s mental health )as in no dan$er, %ut that on the other hand he )as en$a$ed in researches )hich mi$ht prove of real importance, the (ards )ere more lenient than the" mi$ht other)ise have %een )hen durin$ the follo)in$ 9une the "outh made positive his refusal to attend colle$e. He had, he declared, studies of much more vital importance to pursue- and intimated a )ish to $o a%road the follo)in$ "ear in order to avail himself of certain sources of data not e#istin$ in 5merica. .he senior (ard, )hile den"in$ this latter )ish as a%surd for a %o" of onl" ei$hteen, ac+uiesced re$ardin$ the universit"- so that after a none too %rilliant $raduation from the ,oses Bro)n 6chool there ensued for &harles a three-"ear period of intensive occult stud" and $rave"ard searchin$. He %ecame reco$nised as an eccentric, and dropped even more completel" from the si$ht of his famil"2s friends than he had %een %efore- *eepin$ close to his )or* and onl" occasionall" ma*in$ trips to other cities to consult o%scure records. 4nce he )ent south to tal* to a stran$e mulatto )ho d)elt in a s)amp and a%out )hom a ne)spaper had printed a curious article. 5$ain he sou$ht a small villa$e in the 5dirondac*s )hence reports of certain odd ceremonial practices had come. But still his parents for%ade him the trip to the 4ld (orld )hich he desired. &omin$ of a$e in 5pril, 192>, and havin$ previousl" inherited a small competence from his maternal $randfather, (ard determined at last to ta*e the /uropean trip hitherto denied him. 4f his proposed itinerar" he )ould sa" nothin$ save that the needs of his studies )ould carr" him to man" 77

places, %ut he promised to )rite his parents full" and faithfull". (hen the" sa) he could not %e dissuaded, the" ceased all opposition and helped as %est the" could- so that in 9une the "oun$ man sailed for Liverpool )ith the fare)ell %lessin$s of his father and mother, )ho accompanied him to Boston and )aved him out of si$ht from the (hite 6tar pier in &harlesto)n. Letters soon told of his safe arrival, and of his securin$ $ood +uarters in ;reat ussell 6treet, London)here he proposed to sta", shunnin$ all famil" friends, till he had e#hausted the resources of the British ,useum in a certain direction. 4f his dail" life he )rote %" little, for there )as little to )rite. 6tud" and e#periment consumed all his time, and he mentioned a la%orator" )hich he had esta%lished in one of his rooms. .hat he said nothin$ of anti+uarian ram%les in the $lamorous old cit" )ith its lurin$ s*"line of ancient domes and steeples and its tan$les of roads and alle"s )hose m"stic convolutions and sudden vistas alternatel" %ec*on and surprise, )as ta*en %" his parents as a $ood inde# of the de$ree to )hich his ne) interests had en$rossed his mind. !n 9une, 192D, a %rief note told of his departure for Paris, to )hich he had %efore made one or t)o fl"in$ trips for material in the Bi%liothN+ue Bationale. 0or three months thereafter he sent onl" postal cards, $ivin$ an address in the ue 6t. 9ac+ues and referrin$ to a special search amon$ rare manuscripts in the li%rar" of an unnamed private collector. He avoided ac+uaintances, and no tourists %rou$ht %ac* reports of havin$ seen him. .hen came a silence, and in 4cto%er the (ards received a picture card from Pra$ue, &3echo-6lova*ia, statin$ that &harles )as in that ancient to)n for the purpose of conferrin$ )ith a certain ver" a$ed man supposed to %e the last livin$ possessor of some ver" curious mediaeval information. He $ave an address in the Beustadt, 78

and announced no move till the follo)in$ 9anuar"- )hen he dropped several cards from Eienna tellin$ of his passa$e throu$h that cit" on the )a" to)ard a more easterl" re$ion )hither one of his correspondents and fello)-delvers into the occult had invited him. .he ne#t card )as from @lausen%ur$ in .rans"lvania, and told of (ard2s pro$ress to)ard his destination. He )as $oin$ to visit a Baron 0erenc3", )hose estate la" in the mountains east of a*us- and )as to %e addressed at a*us in the care of that no%leman. 5nother card from a*us a )ee* later, sa"in$ that his host2s carria$e had met him and that he )as leavin$ the villa$e for the mountains, )as his last messa$e for a considera%le time- indeed, he did repl" to his parents2 fre+uent letters until ,a", )hen he )rote to discoura$e the plan of his mother for a meetin$ in London, Paris, or ome durin$ the summer, )hen the elder (ards )ere plannin$ to travel to /urope. His researches, he said, )ere such that he could not leave his present +uarters- )hile the situation of Baron 0erenc3"2s castle did not favour visits. !t )as on a cra$ in the dar* )ooded mountains, and the re$ion )as so shunned %" the countr" fol* that normal people could not help feelin$ ill at ease. ,oreover, the Baron )as not a person li*el" to appeal to correct and conservative Be) /n$land $entlefol*. His aspect and manners had idios"ncrasies, and his a$e )as so $reat as to %e dis+uietin$. !t )ould %e %etter, &harles said, if his parents )ould )ait for his return to Providence- )hich could scarcel" %e far distant. .hat return did not, ho)ever, ta*e place until ,a" 192=, )hen after a fe) heraldin$ cards the "oun$ )anderer +uietl" slipped into Be) Cor* on the Homeric and traversed the lon$ miles to Providence %" motor-coach, ea$erl" drin*in$ in the $reen rollin$ hills, and fra$rant, %lossomin$ orchards, and the )hite steepled to)ns of vernal &onnecticut- his first taste of 79

ancient Be) /n$land in nearl" four "ears. (hen the coach crossed the Pa)catuc* and entered hode !sland amidst the faer" $oldenness of a late sprin$ afternoon his heart %eat )ith +uic*ened force, and the entr" to Providence alon$ eservoir and /lm)ood 5venues )as a %reathless and )onderful thin$ despite the depths of for%idden lore to )hich he had delved. 5t the hi$h s+uare )here Broad, (e"%osset, and /mpire 6treets 1oin, he sa) %efore and %elo) him in the fire of sunset the pleasant, remem%ered houses and domes and steeples of the old to)n- and his head s)am curiousl" as the vehicle rolled do)n to the terminal %ehind the Biltmore, %rin$in$ into vie) the $reat dome and soft, roof-pierced $reener" of the ancient hill across the river, and the tall colonial spire of the 0irst Baptist &hurch limned pin* in the ma$ic evenin$ a$ainst the fresh sprin$time verdure of its precipitous %ac*$round. 4ld ProvidenceI !t )as this place and the m"sterious forces of its lon$, continuous histor" )hich had %rou$ht him into %ein$, and )hich had dra)n him %ac* to)ard marvels and secrets )hose %oundaries no prophet mi$ht fi#. Here la" the arcana, )ondrous or dreadful as the case ma" %e, for )hich all his "ears of travel and application had %een preparin$ him. 5 ta#ica% )hirled him throu$h Post 4ffice 6+uare )ith its $limpse of the river, the old ,ar*et House, and the head of the %a", and up the steep curved slope of (aterman 6treet to Prospect, )here the vast $leamin$ dome and sunset-flushed !onic columns of the &hristian 6cience &hurch %ec*oned north)ard. .hen ei$ht s+uares past the fine old estates his childish e"es had *no)n, and the +uaint %ric* side)al*s so often trodden %" his "outhful feet. 5nd at last the little )hite overta*en farmhouse on the ri$ht, on the left the classic 5dam porch and statel" facade of the $reat %ric* house )here he

80

)as %orn. !t )as t)ili$ht, and &harles 'e#ter (ard had come home.

! 5 school of alienists sli$htl" less academic than 'r. L"man2s assi$n to (ard2s /uropean trip the %e$innin$ of his true madness. 5dmittin$ that he )as sane )hen he started, the" %elieve that his conduct upon returnin$ implies a disastrous chan$e. But even to this claim 'r. (illett refuses to concede. .here )as, he insists, somethin$ later- and the +ueerness of the "outh at this sta$e he attri%utes to the practice of rituals learned a%road?odd enou$h thin$s, to %e sure, %ut %" no means impl"in$ mental a%erration on the part of their cele%rant. (ard himself, thou$h visi%l" a$ed and hardened, )as still normal in his $eneral reactions- and in several tal*s )ith 'r. (illett displa"ed a %alance )hich no madman?even an incipient one?could fei$n continuousl" for lon$. (hat elicited the notion of insanit" at this period )ere the sounds heard at all hours from (ard2s attic la%orator", in )hich he *ept himself most of the time. .here )ere chantin$s and repetitions, and thunderous declamations in uncann" rh"thms- and althou$h these sounds )ere al)a"s in (ard2s o)n voice, there )as somethin$ in the +ualit" of that voice, and in the accents of the formulae it pronounced, )hich could not %" chill the %lood of ever" hearer. !t )as noticed that Bi$, the venera%le and %eloved %lac* cat of the household, %ristled and arched his %ac* percepti%l" )hen certain of the tones )ere heard. .he odours occasionall" )afted from the la%orator" )ere li*e)ise e#ceedin$l" stran$e. 6ometimes the" )ere ver" no#ious, %ut more often the" )ere aromatic, )ith a hauntin$, 81

elusive +ualit" )hich seemed to have the po)er of inducin$ fantastic ima$es. People )ho smelled them had a tendenc" to $limpse momentar" mira$es of enormous vistas, )ith stran$e hills or endless avenues of sphin#es and hippo$riffs stretchin$ off into infinite distance. (ard did not resume his old-time ram%les, %ut applied himself dili$entl" to the stran$e %oo*s he had %rou$ht home, and to e+uall" stran$e delvin$s )ithin his +uarters- e#plainin$ that /uropean sources had $reatl" enlar$ed the possi%ilities of his )or*, and promisin$ $reat revelations in the "ears to come. His older aspect increased to a startlin$ de$ree his resem%lance to the &ur)en portrait in his li%rar"- and 'r. (illett )ould often pause %" the latter after a call, marvellin$ at the virtual identit", and reflectin$ that onl" the small pit a%ove the picture2s ri$ht e"e no) remained to differentiate the lon$-dead )i3ard from the livin$ "outh. .hese calls of (illett2s, underta*en at the re+uest of the senior (ards, )ere curious affairs. (ard at no time repulsed the doctor, %ut the latter sa) that he could never reach the "oun$ man2s inner ps"cholo$". 0re+uentl" he noted peculiar thin$s a%out- little )a# ima$es of $rotes+ue desi$n on the shelves or ta%les, and the half-erased remnants of circles, trian$les, and penta$rams in chal* or charcoal on the cleared central space of the lar$e room. 5nd al)a"s in the ni$ht those rh"thms and incantations thundered, till it %ecame ver" difficult to *eep servants or suppress furtive tal* of &harles2s madness. !n 9anuar", 1927, a peculiar incident occurred. 4ne ni$ht a%out midni$ht, as &harles )as chantin$ a ritual )hose )eird cadence echoed unpleasantl" throu$h the house %elo), there came a sudden $ust of chill )ind from the %a", and a faint, o%scure trem%lin$ of the earth )hich ever"one in the nei$h%ourhood noted. 5t the same time the cat e#hi%ited phenomenal traces of fri$ht, )hile do$s %a"ed for as much as 82

a mile around. .his )as the prelude to a sharp thunderstorm, anomalous for the season, )hich %rou$ht )ith it such a crash that ,r. and ,rs. (ard %elieved the house had %een struc*. .he" rushed upstairs to see )hat dama$e had %een done, %ut &harles met them at the door to the attic- pale, resolute, and portentous, )ith an almost fearsome com%ination of triumph and seriousness on his face. He assured them that the house had not reall" %een struc*, and that the storm )ould soon %e over. .he" paused, and loo*in$ throu$h a )indo) sa) that he )as indeed ri$ht- for the li$htnin$ flashed farther and farther off, )hilst the trees ceased to %end in the stran$e fri$id $ust from the )ater. .he thunder san* to a sort of dull mum%lin$ chuc*le and finall" died a)a". 6tars came out, and the stamp of triumph on &harles (ard2s face cr"stallised into a ver" sin$ular e#pression. 0or t)o months or more after this incident (ard )as less confined than usual to his la%orator". He e#hi%ited a curious interest in the )eather, and made odd in+uires a%out the date of the sprin$ tha)in$ of the $round. 4ne ni$ht late in ,arch he left the house after midni$ht, and did not return till almost mornin$- )hen his mother, %ein$ )a*eful, heard a rum%lin$ motor dra) up to the carria$e entrance. ,uffled oaths could %e distin$uished, and ,rs. (ard, risin$ and $oin$ to the )indo), sa) four dar* fi$ures removin$ a lon$, heav" %o# from a truc* at &harles2s direction and carr"in$ it )ithin %" the side door. 6he heard la%oured %reathin$ and ponderous footfalls on the stairs, and finall" a dull thumpin$ in the atticafter )hich the footfalls descended a$ain, and the four reappeared outside and drove off in their truc*. .he ne#t da" &harles resumed his strict attic seclusion, dra)in$ do)n the dar* shades of his la%orator" )indo)s and appearin$ to %e )or*in$ on some metal su%stance. He )ould open the door to no one, and steadfastl" refused all proffered 83

food. 5%out noon a )renchin$ sound follo)ed %" a terri%le cr" and a fall )ere heard, %ut )hen ,rs. (ard rapped at the door her son at len$th ans)ered faintl", and told her that nothin$ had $one amiss. .he hideous and indescri%a%le stench no) )ellin$ out )as a%solutel" harmless and unfortunatel" necessar". 6olitude )as the one prime essential, and he )ould appear later for dinner. .hat afternoon, after the conclusion of some odd hissin$ sounds )hich came from %ehind the loc*ed portal, he did finall" appear- )earin$ an e#tremel" ha$$ard aspect and for%iddin$ an"one to enter the la%orator" upon an" prete#t. .his, indeed, proved the %e$innin$ of a ne) polic" of secrec"- for never after)ard )as an" other person permitted to visit either the m"sterious $arret )or*room or the ad1acent storeroom )hich he cleaned out, furnished rou$hl", and added to his inviola%le private domain as a sleepin$ apartment. Here he lived, )ith %oo*s %rou$ht up from his li%rar" %eneath, till the time he purchased the Pa)tu#et %un$alo) and moved to it all his scientific effects. !n the evenin$ &harles secured the paper %efore the rest of the famil" and dama$ed part of it throu$h an apparent accident. Later on 'r. (illett, havin$ fi#ed the date from statements %" various mem%ers of the household, loo*ed up an intact cop" at the 9ournal office and found that in the destro"ed section the follo)in$ small item had occurredH B4&.< B5L '!;;/ 6 6< P !6/' !B B4 .H B< !5L ; 4<B' o%ert Hart, ni$ht )atchman at the Borth Burial ;round, this mornin$ discovered a part" of several men )ith a motor truc* in the oldest part of the cemeter", %ut apparentl" fri$htened them off %efore 84

the" had accomplished )hatever their o%1ect ma" have %een. .he discover" too* place at a%out four o2cloc*, )hen Hart2s attention )as attracted %" the sound of a motor outside his shelter. !nvesti$atin$, he sa) a lar$e truc* on the main drive several rods a)a"- %ut could not reach it %efore the noise of his feet on the $ravel had revealed his approach. .he men hastil" placed a lar$e %o# in the truc* and drove a)a" to)ard the street %efore the" could %e overta*en- and since no *no)n $rave )as distur%ed, Hart %elieves that this %o# )as an o%1ect )hich the" )ished to %ur". .he di$$ers must have %een at )or* for a lon$ )hile %efore detection, for Hart found an enormous hold du$ at a considera%le distance %ac* from the road)a" in the lot of 5masa 0ield, )here most of the old stones have lon$ a$o disappeared. .he hole, a place as lar$e and deep as a $rave, )as empt"- and did not coincide )ith an" interment mentioned in the cemeter" records. 6er$t. ile" of the 6econd 6tation vie)ed the spot and $ave the opinion that the hole )as du$ %" %ootle$$ers rather $ruesomel" and in$eniousl" see*in$ a safe cache for li+uor in a place not li*el" to %e distur%ed. !n repl" to +uestions Hart said he thou$h the escapin$ truc* had headed up ocham%eau 5venue, thou$h he could not %e sure. 'urin$ the ne#t fe) da"s &harles (ard )as seldom seen %" his famil". Havin$ added sleepin$ +uarters to his attic realm, he *ept closel" to himself there, orderin$ food %rou$ht to the door and not ta*in$ it in until after the servant had $one a)a". .he dronin$ of monotonous formulae and the chantin$ 85

of %i3arre rh"thms recurred at intervals, )hile at other times occasional listeners could detect the sound of tin*lin$ $lass, hissin$ chemicals, runnin$ )ater, or roarin$ $as flames. 4dours of the most unplacea%le +ualit", )holl" unli*e an" %efore noted, hun$ at times around the door- and the air of tension o%serva%le in the "oun$ recluse )henever he did venture %riefl" forth )as such as to e#cite the *eenest speculation. 4nce he made a hast" trip to the 5thenaeum for a %oo* he re+uired, and a$ain he hired a messen$er to fetch him a hi$hl" o%scure volume from Boston. 6uspense )as )ritten portentousl" over the )hole situation, and %oth the famil" and 'r. (illett confessed themselves )holl" at a loss )hat to do or thin* a%out it.

" .hen on the fifteenth of 5pril a stran$e development occurred. (hile nothin$ appeared to $ro) different in *ind, there )as certainl" a ver" terri%le difference in de$ree- and 'r. (illett someho) attaches $reat si$nificance to the chan$e. .he da" )as ;ood 0rida", a circumstance of )hich the servants made much, %ut )hich others +uite naturall" dismiss as an irrelevant coincidence. Late in the afternoon "oun$ (ard %e$an repeatin$ a certain formula in a sin$ularl" loud voice, at the same time %urnin$ some su%stance so pun$ent that its fumes escaped over the entire house. .he formula )as so plainl" audi%le in the hall outside the loc*ed door that ,rs. (ard could not help memorisin$ it as she )aited and listened an#iousl", and later on she )as a%le to )rite it do)n at 'r. (illett2s re+uest. !t ran as follo)s, and e#perts have told 'r. (illett that its ver" close analo$ue can %e found in the m"stic )ritin$s of 8/liphas Levi8, that cr"ptic soul )ho crept throu$h 86

a crac* in the for%idden door and $limpsed the fri$htful vistas of the void %e"ondH 2Per 5donai /loim, 5donai 9ehova, 5donai 6a%aoth, ,etraton 4n 5$la ,athon, ver%um p"thonicum, m"sterium salamandrae, conventus s"lvorum, antra $nomorum, daemonia &oeli ;od, 5lmonsin, ;i%or, 9ehosua, /vam, Fariatnatmi*, veni, veni, veni.2 .his had %een $oin$ on for t)o hours )ithout chan$e or intermission )hen over all the nei$h%ourhood a pandaemoniac ho)lin$ of do$s set in. .he e#tent of this ho)lin$ can %e 1ud$ed from the space it received in the papers the ne#t da", %ut to those in the (ard household it )as overshado)ed %" the odour )hich instantl" follo)ed it- a hideous, all-pervasive odour )hich none of them had ever smelt %efore or have ever smelt since. !n the midst of this mephitic flood there came a ver" percepti%le flash li*e that of li$htnin$, )hich )ould have %een %lindin$ and impressive %ut for the da"li$ht around- and then )as heard the voice that no listener can ever for$et %ecause of its thunderous remoteness, its incredi%le depth, and its eldritch dissimilarit" to &harles (ard2s voice. !t shoo* the house, and )as clearl" heard %" at least t)o nei$h%ours a%ove the ho)lin$ of the do$s. ,rs. (ard, )ho had %een listenin$ in despair outside her son2s loc*ed la%orator", shivered as she reco$nised its hellish imports- for &harles had told of its evil fame in dar* %oo*s, and of the manner in )hich it had thundered, accordin$ to the 0enner letter, a%ove the doomed Pa)tu#et farmhouse on the ni$ht of 9oseph &ur)en2s annihilation. .here )as no mista*in$ that ni$htmare phrase, for &harles had descri%ed it too vividl" in the old da"s )hen he had tal*ed fran*l" of his 87

&ur)en investi$ations. 5nd "et it )as onl" this fra$ment of an archaic and for$otten lan$ua$eH 2'!/6 ,!/6 9/6&H/. B4/B/ '4/6/0 '4<E/,5 /B!./,5<6.2 &lose upon this thunderin$ there came a momentar" dar*enin$ of the da"li$ht, thou$h sunset )as still an hour distant, and then a puff of added odour different from the first %ut e+uall" un*no)n and intolera%le. &harles )as chantin$ a$ain no) and his mother could hear s"lla%les that sounded li*e 2Ci nash Co$ 6othoth he l$e% throda$2?endin$ in a 2CahI2 )hose maniacal force mounted in an ear-splittin$ crescendo. 5 second later all previous memories )ere effaced %" the )ailin$ scream )hich %urst out )ith frantic e#plosiveness and $raduall" chan$ed form to a paro#"sm of dia%olic and h"sterical lau$hter. ,rs. (ard, )ith the min$led fear and %lind coura$e of maternit", advanced and *noc*ed affri$htedl" at the concealin$ panels, %ut o%tained no si$n of reco$nition. 6he *noc*ed a$ain, %ut paused nervelessl" as a second shrie* arose, this one unmista*a%l" in the familiar voice of her son, and soundin$ concurrentl" )ith the still %urstin$ cachinnations of that other voice. Presentl" she fainted, althou$h she is still una%le to recall the precise and immediate cause. ,emor" sometimes ma*es merciful deletions. ,r. (ard returned from the %usiness section at a%out +uarter past si#- and not findin$ his )ife do)nstairs, )as told %" the fri$htened servants that she )as pro%a%l" )atchin$ at &harles2s door, from )hich the sounds had %een far stran$er than ever %efore. ,ountin$ the stairs at once, he sa) ,rs. (ard stretched out at full len$th on the floor of the corridor outside the la%orator"- and realisin$ that she had fainted, hastened to fetch a $lass of )ater from a set %o)l in a nei$h%ourin$ alcove. 'ashin$ the cold fluid in her face, he )as heartened to o%serve an immediate response on her part, 88

and )as )atchin$ the %e)ildered openin$ of her e"es )hen a chill shot throu$h him and threatened to reduce him to the ver" state from )hich she )as emer$in$. 0or the seemin$l" silent la%orator" )as not as silent as it had appeared to %e, %ut held the murmurs of a tense, muffled conversation in tones too lo) for comprehension, "et of a +ualit" profoundl" distur%in$ to the soul. !t )as not, of course, ne) for &harles to mutter formulae%ut this mutterin$ )as definitel" different. !t )as so palpa%l" a dialo$ue, or imitation of a dialo$ue, )ith the re$ular alteration of inflections su$$estin$ +uestion and ans)er, statement and response. 4ne voice )as undis$uisedl" that of &harles, %ut the other had a depth and hollo)ness )hich the "outh2s %est po)ers of ceremonial mimicr" had scarcel" approached %efore. .here )as somethin$ hideous, %lasphemous, and a%normal a%out it, and %ut for a cr" from his recoverin$ )ife )hich cleared his mind %" arousin$ his protective instincts it is not li*el" that .heodore Ho)land (ard could have maintained for nearl" a "ear more his old %oast that he had never fainted. 5s it )as, he sei3ed his )ife in his arms and %ore her +uic*l" do)nstairs %efore she could notice the voices )hich had so horri%l" distur%ed him. /ven so, ho)ever, he )as not +uic* enou$h to escape catchin$ somethin$ himself )hich caused him to sta$$er dan$erousl" )ith his %urden. 0or ,rs. (ard2s cr" had evidentl" %een heard %" others than he, and there had come in response to it from %ehind the loc*ed door the first distin$uisha%le )ords )hich that mas*ed and terri%le collo+u" had "ielded. .he" )ere merel" an e#cited caution in &harles2s o)n voice, %ut someho) their implications held a nameless fri$ht for the father )ho overheard them. .he phrase )as 1ust thisH 26shhI)riteI2

89

,r. and ,rs. (ard conferred at some len$th after dinner, and the former resolved to have a firm and serious tal* )ith &harles that ver" ni$ht. Bo matter ho) important the o%1ect, such conduct could no lon$er %e permitted- for these latest developments transcended ever" limit of sanit" and formed a menace to the order and nervous )ell-%ein$ of the entire household. .he "outh must indeed have ta*en complete leave of his senses, since onl" do)nri$ht madness could have prompted the )ild screams and ima$inar" conversations in assumed voices )hich the present da" had %rou$ht forth. 5ll this must %e stopped, or ,rs. (ard )ould %e made ill and the *eepin$ of servants %ecome an impossi%ilit". ,r. (ard rose at the close of the meal and started upstairs for &harles2s la%orator". 4n the third floor, ho)ever, he paused at the sounds )hich he heard proceedin$ from the no) disused li%rar" of his son. Boo*s )ere apparentl" %ein$ flun$ a%out and papers )ildl" rustled, and upon steppin$ to the door ,r. (ard %eheld the "outh )ithin, e#citedl" assem%lin$ a vast armful of literar" matter of ever" si3e and shape. &harles2s aspect )as ver" dra)n and ha$$ard, and he dropped his entire load )ith a start at the sound of his father2s voice. 5t the elder man2s command he sat do)n, and for some time listened to the admonitions he had so lon$ deserved. .here )as no scene. 5t the end of the lecture he a$reed that his father )as ri$ht, and that his noises, mutterin$s, incantations, and chemical odours )ere indeed ine#cusa%le nuisances. He a$reed to a polic" of $reat +uiet, thou$h insistin$ on a prolon$ation of his e#treme privac". ,uch of his future )or*, he said, )as in an" case purel" %oo* researchand he could o%tain +uarters else)here for an" such vocal rituals as mi$ht %e necessar" at a later sta$e. 0or the fri$ht and faintin$ of his mother he e#pressed the *eenest contrition, and e#plained that the conversation later heard 90

)as part of an ela%orate s"m%olism desi$ned to create a certain mental atmosphere. His use of a%struse technical terms some)hat %e)ildered ,r. (ard, %ut the partin$ impression )as one of undenia%le sanit" and poise despite a m"sterious tension of the utmost $ravit". .he intervie) )as reall" +uite inconclusive, and as &harles pic*ed up his armful and left the room ,r. (ard hardl" *ne) )hat to ma*e of the entire %usiness. !t )as as m"sterious as the death of poor old Bi$, )hose stiffenin$ form had %een found an hour %efore in the %asement, )ith starin$ e"es and fear-distorted mouth. 'riven %" some va$ue detective instinct, the %e)ildered parent no) $lanced curiousl" at the vacant shelves to see )hat his son had ta*en up to the attic. .he "outh2s li%rar" )as plainl" and ri$idl" classified, so that one mi$ht tell at a $lance the %oo*s or at least the *ind of %oo*s )hich had %een )ithdra)n. 4n this occasion ,r. (ard )as astonished to find that nothin$ of the occult or the anti+uarian, %e"ond )hat had %een previousl" removed, )as missin$. .hese ne) )ithdra)als )ere all modern items- histories, scientific treatises, $eo$raphies, manuals of literature, philosophic )or*s, and certain contemporar" ne)spapers and ma$a3ines. !t )as a ver" curious shift from &harles (ard2s recent run of readin$, and the father paused in a $ro)in$ vorte# of perple#it" and an en$ulfin$ sense of stran$eness. .he stran$eness )as a ver" poi$nant sensation, and almost cla)ed at his chest as he strove to see 1ust )hat )as )ron$ around him. 6omethin$ )as indeed )ron$, and tan$i%l" as )ell as spirituall" so. /ver since he had %een in this room he had *no)n that somethin$ )as amiss, and at last it da)ned upon him )hat it )as. 4n the north )all rose still the ancient carved overmantel from the house in 4lne" &ourt, %ut to the crac*ed and precariousl" restored oils of the lar$e &ur)en portrait disaster 91

had come. .ime and une+ual heatin$ had done their )or* at last, and at some time since the room2s last cleanin$ the )orst had happened. Peelin$ clear of the )ood, curlin$ ti$hter and ti$hter, and finall" crum%lin$ into small %its )ith )hat must have %een mali$nl" silent suddenness, the portrait of 9oseph &ur)en had resi$ned forever its starin$ surveillance of the "outh it so stran$el" resem%led, and no) la" scattered on the floor as a thin coatin$ of fine %lue-$re" dust.

92

Chapter I': A (utat&on and a (adness

1 n the )ee* follo)in$ that memora%le ;ood 0rida" &harles (ard )as seen more often than usual, and )as continuall" carr"in$ %oo*s %et)een his li%rar" and the attic la%orator". His actions )ere +uiet and rational, %ut he had a furtive, hunted loo* )hich his mother did not li*e, and developed an incredi%l" ravenous appetite as $au$ed %" his demands upon the coo*. 'r. (illett had %een told of those 0rida" noises and happenin$s, and on the follo)in$ .uesda" had a lon$ conversation )ith the "outh in the li%rar" )here the picture stared no more. .he intervie) )as, as al)a"s, inconclusive- %ut (illett is still read" to s)ear that the "outh )as sane and himself at the time. He held out promises of an earl" revelation, and spo*e of the need of securin$ a la%orator" else)here. 5t the loss of the portrait he $rieved sin$ularl" little considerin$ his first enthusiasm over it, %ut seemed to find somethin$ of positive humour in its sudden crum%lin$. 5%out the second )ee* &harles %e$an to %e a%sent from the house for lon$ periods, and one da" )hen $ood old %lac* Hannah came to help )ith the sprin$ cleanin$ she mentioned his fre+uent visits to the old house in 4lne" &ourt, )here he )ould come )ith a lar$e valise and perform curious delvin$s in the cellar. He )as al)a"s ver" li%eral to her and to old 5sa, %ut seemed more )orried than he used to %e- )hich $rieved her ver" much, since she had )atched him $ro) up from %irth. 5nother report of his doin$s came from Pa)tu#et, )here some friends of the famil" sa) him at a distance a 93

!

surprisin$ num%er of times. He seemed to haunt the resort and canoe-house of hodes-on-the-Pa)tu#et, and su%se+uent in+uiries %" 'r. (illett at that place %rou$ht out the fact that his purpose )as al)a"s to secure access to the rather hed$edin river-%an*, alon$ )hich he )ould )al* to)ard the north, usuall" not reappearin$ for a ver" lon$ )hile. Late in ,a" came a momentar" revival of ritualistic sounds in the attic la%orator" )hich %rou$ht a stern reproof from ,r. (ard and a some)hat distracted promise of amendment from &harles. !t occurred one mornin$, and seemed to form a resumption of the ima$inar" conversation noted on that tur%ulent ;ood 0rida". .he "outh )as ar$uin$ or remonstratin$ hotl" )ith himself, for there suddenl" %urst forth a perfectl" distin$uisha%le series of clashin$ shouts in differentiated tones li*e alternate demands and denials )hich caused ,rs. (ard to run upstairs and listen at the door. 6he could hear no more than a fra$ment )hose onl" plain )ords )ere 2must have it red for three months2, and upon her *noc*in$ all sounds ceased at once. (hen &harles )as later +uestioned %" his father he said that there )ere certain conflicts of spheres of consciousness )hich onl" $reat s*ill could avoid, %ut )hich he )ould tr" to transfer to other realms. 5%out the middle of 9une a +ueer nocturnal incident occurred. !n the earl" evenin$ there had %een some noise and thumpin$ in the la%orator" upstairs, and ,r. (ard )as on the point of investi$atin$ )hen it suddenl" +uieted do)n. .hat midni$ht, after the famil" had retired, the %utler )as ni$htloc*in$ the front door )hen accordin$ to his statement &harles appeared some)hat %lunderin$l" and uncertainl" at the foot of the stairs )ith a lar$e suitcase and made si$ns that he )ished e$ress. .he "outh spo*e no )ord, %ut the )orth" Cor*shireman cau$ht one si$ht of his fevered e"es and 94

trem%led causelessl". He opened the door and "oun$ (ard )ent out, %ut in the mornin$ he presented his resi$nation to ,rs. (ard. .here )as, he said, somethin$ unhol" in the $lance &harles had fi#ed on him. !t )as no )a" for a "oun$ $entleman to loo* at an honest person, and he could not possi%l" sta" another ni$ht. ,rs. (ard allo)ed the man to depart, %ut she did not value his statement hi$hl". .o fanc" &harles in a sava$e state that ni$ht )as +uite ridiculous, for as lon$ as she had remained a)a*e she had heard faint sounds from the la%orator" a%ove- sounds as if of so%%in$ and pacin$, and of a si$hin$ )hich told onl" of despair2s profoundest depths. ,rs. (ard had $ro)n used to listenin$ for sounds in the ni$ht, for the m"ster" of her son )as fast drivin$ all else from her mind. .he ne#t evenin$, much as on another evenin$ nearl" three months %efore, &harles (ard sei3ed the ne)spaper ver" earl" and accidentall" lost the main section. .his matter )as not recalled till later, )hen 'r. (illett %e$an chec*in$ up loose ends and searchin$ out missin$ lin*s here and there. !n the 9ournal office he found the section )hich &harles had lost, and mar*ed t)o items as of possi%le si$nificance. .he" )ere as follo)sH ,4
/ &/,/./ C '/LE!B;

!t )as this mornin$ discovered %" o%ert Hart, ni$ht )atchman at the Borth Burial ;round, that $houls )ere a$ain at )or* in the ancient portion of the cemeter". .he $rave of /3ra (eeden, )ho )as %orn in 17D7 and died in 1:2D accordin$ to his uprooted and sava$el" splintered slate headstone, )as found e#cavated and rifled, the )or* %ein$ evidentl" done )ith a spade stolen from an ad1acent tool-shed. 95

(hatever the contents ma" have %een after more than a centur" of %urial, all )as $one e#cept a fe) slivers of deca"ed )ood. .here )ere no )heel trac*s, %ut the police have measured a sin$le set of footprints )hich the" found in the vicinit", and )hich indicate the %oots of a man of refinement. Hart is inclined to lin* this incident )ith the di$$in$ discovered last ,arch, )hen a part" in a motor truc* )ere fri$htened a)a" after ma*in$ a deep e#cavation- %ut 6er$t. ile" of the 6econd 6tation discounts this theor" and points to vital differences in the t)o cases. !n ,arch the di$$in$ had %een in a spot )here no $rave )as *no)n- %ut this time a )ellmar*ed and cared-for $rave had %een rifled )ith ever" evidence of deli%erate purpose, and )ith a conscious mali$nit" e#pressed in the splinterin$ of the sla% )hich had %een intact up to the da" %efore. ,em%ers of the (eeden famil", notified of the happenin$, e#pressed their astonishment and re$retand )ere )holl" una%le to thin* of an" enem" )ho )ould care to violate the $rave of their ancestor. Ha3ard (eeden of A9: 5n$ell 6treet recalls a famil" le$end accordin$ to )hich /3ra (eeden )as involved in some ver" peculiar circumstances, not dishonoura%le to himself, shortl" %efore the evolution- %ut of an" modern feud or m"ster" he is fran*l" i$norant. !nspector &unnin$ham has %een assi$ned to the case, and hopes to uncover some valua%le clues in the near future.

'4;6 B4!6C !B P5(.<K/.

96

esidents of Pa)tu#et )ere aroused a%out > a.m. toda" %" a phenomenal %a"in$ of do$s )hich seemed to centre near the river 1ust north of hodes-on-thePa)tu#et. .he volume and +ualit" of the ho)lin$ )ere unusuall" odd, accordin$ to most )ho heard it- and 0red Lemdin, ni$ht )atchman at hodes, declares it )as mi#ed )ith somethin$ ver" li*e the shrie*s of a man in mortal terror and a$on". 5 sharp and ver" %rief thunderstorm, )hich seemed to stri*e some)here near the %an* of the river, put an end to the distur%ance. 6tran$e and unpleasant odours, pro%a%l" from the oil tan*s alon$ the %a", are popularl" lin*ed )ith this incident- and ma" have had their share in e#citin$ the do$s. .he aspect of &harles no) %ecame ver" ha$$ard and hunted, and all a$reed in retrospect that he ma" have )ished at this period to ma*e some statement or confession from )hich sheer terror )ithheld him. .he mor%id listenin$ of his mother in the ni$ht %rou$ht out the fact that he made fre+uent sallies a%road under cover of dar*ness, and most of the more academic alienists unite at present in char$in$ him )ith the revoltin$ cases of vampirism )hich the press so sensationall" reported a%out this time, %ut )hich have not "et %een definitel" traced to an" *no)n perpetrator. .hese cases, too recent and cele%rated to need detailed mention, involved victims of ever" a$e and t"pe and seemed to cluster around t)o distinct localities- the residential hill and the Borth /nd, near the (ard home, and the su%ur%an districts across the &ranston line near Pa)tu#et. Both late )a"farers and sleepers )ith open )indo)s )ere attac*ed, and those )ho lived to tell the tale spo*e unanimousl" of a lean, lithe, leapin$ monster

97

)ith %urnin$ e"es )hich fastened its teeth in the throat or upper arm and feasted ravenousl". 'r. (illett, )ho refuses to date the madness of &harles (ard as far %ac* as even this, is cautious in attemptin$ to e#plain these horrors. He has, he declares, certain theories of his o)n- and limits his positive statements to a peculiar *ind of ne$ationH 2! )ill not,2 he sa"s, 2state )ho or )hat ! %elieve perpetrated these attac*s and murders, %ut ! )ill declare that &harles (ard )as innocent of them. ! have reason to %e sure he )as i$norant of the taste of %lood, as indeed his continued anaemic decline and increasin$ pallor prove %etter than an" ver%al ar$ument. (ard meddled )ith terri%le thin$s, %ut he has paid for it, and he )as never a monster or a villain. 5s for no)?! don2t li*e to thin*. 5 chan$e came, and !2m content to %elieve that the old &harles (ard died )ith it. His soul did, an"ho), for that mad flesh that vanished from (aite2s hospital had another.2 (illett spea*s )ith authorit", for he )as often at the (ard home attendin$ ,rs. (ard, )hose nerves had %e$un to snap under the strain. Her nocturnal listenin$ had %red some mor%id hallucinations )hich she confided to the doctor )ith hesitanc", and )hich he ridiculed in tal*in$ to her, althou$h the" made him ponder deepl" )hen alone. .hese delusions al)a"s concernin$ the faint sounds )hich she fancied she heard in the attic la%orator" and %edroom, and emphasised the occurrence of muffled si$hs and so%%in$s at the most impossi%le times. /arl" in 9ul" (illett ordered ,rs. (ard to 5tlantic &it" for an indefinite recuperative so1ourn, and cautioned %oth ,r. (ard and the ha$$ard and elusive &harles to )rite her onl" cheerin$ letters. !t is pro%a%l" to this enforced and reluctant escape that she o)es her life and continued sanit".

98

2 Bot lon$ after his mother2s departure, &harles (ard %e$an ne$otiatin$ for the Pa)tu#et %un$alo). !t )as a s+ualid little )ooden edifice )ith a concrete $ara$e, perched hi$h on the sparsel" settled %an* of the river sli$htl" a%ove hodes, %ut for some odd reason the "outh )ould have nothin$ else. He $ave the real-estate a$encies no peace till one of them secured it for him at an e#or%itant price from a some)hat reluctant o)ner, and as soon as it )as vacant he too* possession under cover of dar*ness, transportin$ in a $reat closed van the entire contents of his attic la%orator", includin$ the %oo*s %oth )eird and modern )hich he had %orro)ed from his stud". He had this van loaded in the %lac* small hours, and his father recalls onl" a dro)s" realisation of stifled oaths and stampin$ feet on the ni$ht the $oods )ere ta*en a)a". 5fter that &harles moved %ac* to his o)n old +uarters on the third floor, and never haunted the attic a$ain. .o the Pa)tu#et %un$alo) &harles transferred all the secrec" )ith )hich he had surrounded his attic realm, save that he no) appeared to have t)o sharers of his m"steries- a villainous-loo*in$ Portu$uese half-caste from the 6outh ,ain 6t. )aterfront )ho acted as a servant, and a thin, scholarl" stran$er )ith dar* $lasses and a stu%%l" full %eard of d"ed aspect )hose status )as evidentl" that of a collea$ue. Bei$h%ours vainl" tried to en$a$e these odd persons in conversation. .he mulatto ;omes spo*e ver" little /n$lish, and the %earded man, )ho $ave his name as 'r. 5llen, voluntaril" follo)ed his e#ample. (ard himself tried to %e more affa%le, %ut succeeded onl" in provo*in$ curiousit" )ith his ram%lin$ accounts of chemical research. Before lon$ +ueer tales %e$an to circulate re$ardin$ the all-ni$ht %urnin$ of 99

li$hts- and some)hat later, after this %urnin$ had suddenl" ceased, there rose still +ueerer tales of disproportionate orders of meat from the %utcher2s and of the muffled shoutin$, declamation, rh"thmic chantin$, and screamin$ supposed to come from some ver" cellar %elo) the place. ,ost distinctl" the ne) and stran$e household )as %itterl" disli*ed %" the honest %our$eoisie of the vicinit", and it is not remar*a%le that dar* hints )ere advanced connectin$ the hated esta%lishment )ith the current epidemic of vampiristic attac*s and murders- especiall" since the radius of that pla$ue seemed no) confined )holl" to Pa)tu#et and the ad1acent streets of /d$e)ood. (ard spent most of his time at the %un$alo), %ut slept occasionall" at home and )as still rec*oned a d)eller %eneath his father2s roof. .)ice he )as a%sent from the cit" on )ee*lon$ trips, )hose destinations have not "et %een discovered. He $re) steadil" paler and more emaciated even than %efore, and lac*ed some of his former assurance )hen repeatin$ to 'r. (illett his old, old stor" of vital research and future revelations. (illett often )a"laid him at his father2s house, for the elder (ard )as deepl" )orried and perple#ed, and )ished his son to $et as much sound oversi$ht as could %e mana$ed in the case of so secretive and independent an adult. .he doctor still insists that the "outh )as sane even as late as this, and adduces man" a conversation to prove his point. 5%out 6eptem%er the vampirism declined, %ut in the follo)in$ 9anuar" almost %ecame involved in serious trou%le. 0or some time the nocturnal arrival and departure of motor truc*s at the Pa)tu#et %un$alo) had %een commented upon, and at this 1uncture an unforeseen hitch e#posed the nature of at least one item of their contents. !n a lonel" spot near Hope Ealle" had occurred one of the fre+uent sordid )a"la"in$ of truc*s %" 8hi-1ac*ers8 in +uest of li+uor shipments, %ut this 100

time the ro%%ers had %een destined to receive the $reater shoc*. 0or the lon$ cases the" sei3ed proved upon openin$ to contain some e#ceedin$l" $ruesome thin$s- so $ruesome, in fact, that the matter could not %e *ept +uiet amon$st the deni3ens of the under)orld. .he thieves had hastil" %uried )hat the" discovered, %ut )hen the 6tate Police $ot )ind of the matter a careful search )as made. 5 recentl" arrived va$rant, under promise of immunit" from prosecution on an" additional char$e, at last consented to $uide a part" of troopers to the spot- and there )as found in that hast" cache a ver" hideous and shameful thin$. !t )ould not %e )ell for the national?or even the international?sense of decorum if the pu%lic )ere ever to *no) )hat )as uncovered %" that a)estruc* part". .here )as no mista*in$ it, even %" those far from studious officers- and tele$rams to (ashin$ton ensued )ith feverish rapidit". .he cases )ere addressed to &harles (ard at his Pa)tu#et %un$alo), and 6tate and 0ederal officials at once paid him a ver" forceful and serious call. .he" found him pallid and )orried )ith his t)o odd companions, and received from him )hat seemed to %e a valid e#planation and evidence of innocence. He had needed certain anatomical specimens as part of a pro$ramme of research )hose depth and $enuineness an"one )ho had *no)n him in the last decade could prove, and had ordered the re+uired *ind and num%er from a$encies )hich he had thou$ht as reasona%l" le$itimate as such thin$s can %e. 4f the identit" of the specimens he had *no)n a%solutel" nothin$, and )as properl" shoc*ed )hen the inspectors hinted at the monstrous effect on pu%lic sentiment and national di$nit" )hich a *no)led$e of the matter )ould produce. !n this statement he )as firml" sustained %" his %earded collea$ue 'r. 5llen, )hose oddl" hollo) voice carried even more conviction than his o)n 101

nervous tones- so that in the end the officials too* no action, %ut carefull" set do)n the Be) Cor* name and address )hich (ard $ave them a %asis for a search )hich came to nothin$. !t is onl" fair to add that the specimens )ere +uic*l" and +uietl" restored to their proper places, and that the $eneral pu%lic )ill never *no) of their %lasphemous distur%ance. 4n 0e%ruar" 9, 192:, 'r. (illett received a letter from &harles (ard )hich he considers of e#traordinar" importance, and a%out )hich he has fre+uentl" +uarrelled )ith 'r. L"man. L"man %elieves that this note contains positive proof of a )ell-developed case of dementia praeco#, %ut (illett on the other hand re$ards it as the last perfectl" sane utterance of the hapless "outh. He calls especial attention to the normal character of the penmanship- )hich thou$h she)in$ traces of shattered nerves, is nevertheless distinctl" (ard2s o)n. .he te#t in full is as follo)sH 177 Prospect 6t. Providence, .!., 0e%ruar" :, 192:. 'ear 'r. (illettH! feel that at last the time has come for me to ma*e the disclosures )hich ! have so lon$ promised "ou, and for )hich "ou have pressed me so often. .he patience "ou have she)n in )aitin$, and the confidence "ou have she)n in m" mind and inte$rit", are thin$s ! shall never cease to appreciate. 5nd no) that ! am read" to spea*, ! must o)n )ith humiliation that no triumph such as ! dreamed of can ever %" mine. !nstead of triumph ! have found terror, and m" tal* )ith "ou )ill not %e a %oast of victor" %ut 102

a plea for help and advice in savin$ %oth m"self and the )orld from a horror %e"ond all human conception or calculation. Cou recall )hat those 0enner letters said of the old raidin$ part" at Pa)tu#et. .hat must all %e done a$ain, and +uic*l". <pon us depends more than can %e put into )ords?all civilisation, all natural la), perhaps even the fate of the solar s"stem and the universe. ! have %rou$ht to li$ht a monstrous a%normalit", %ut ! did it for the sa*e of *no)led$e. Bo) for the sa*e of all life and Bature "ou must help me thrust it %ac* into the dar* a$ain. ! have left that Pa)tu#et place forever, and )e must e#tirpate ever"thin$ e#istin$ there, alive or dead. ! shall not $o there a$ain, and "ou must not %elieve it if "ou ever hear that ! am there. ! )ill tell "ou )h" ! sa" this )hen ! see "ou. ! have come home for $ood, and )ish "ou )ould call on me at the ver" first moment that "ou can spare five or si# hours continuousl" to hear )hat ! have to sa". !t )ill ta*e that lon$?and %elieve me )hen ! tell "ou that "ou never had a more $enuine professional dut" than this. ," life and reason are the ver" least thin$s )hich han$ in the %alance. ! dare not tell m" father, for he could not $rasp the )hole thin$. But ! have told him of m" dan$er, and he has four men from a detective a$enc" )atchin$ the house. ! don2t *no) ho) much $ood the" can do, for the" have a$ainst them forces )hich even "ou could scarcel" envisa$e or ac*no)led$e. 6o come +uic*l" if "ou )ish to see me alive and hear ho) "ou ma" help to save the cosmos from star* hell. 5n" time )ill do?! shall not %e out of the house. 'on2t telephone ahead, for there is no tellin$ )ho or 103

)hat ma" tr" to intercept "ou. 5nd let us pra" to )hatever $ods there %e that nothin$ ma" prevent this meetin$. !n utmost $ravit" and desperation, &harles 'e#ter (ard. P.6. 6hoot 'r. 5llen on si$ht and dissolve his %od" in acid. 'on2t %urn it. 'r. (illett received this note a%out 17H>7 a.m., and immediatel" arran$ed to spare the )hole late afternoon and evenin$ for the momentous tal*, lettin$ it e#tend on into the ni$ht as lon$ as mi$ht %e necessar". He planned to arrive a%out four o2cloc*, and throu$h all the intervenin$ hours )as so en$ulfed in ever" sort of )ild speculation that most of his tas*s )ere ver" mechanicall" performed. ,aniacal as the letter )ould have sounded to a stran$er, (illett had seen too much of &harles (ard2s oddities to dismiss it as sheer ravin$. .hat somethin$ ver" su%tle, ancient, and horri%le )as hoverin$ a%out he felt +uite sure, and the reference to 'r. 5llen could almost %e comprehended in vie) of )hat Pa)tu#et $ossip said of (ard2s eni$matical collea$ue. (illett had never seen the man, %ut had heard much of his aspect and %earin$, and could not %ut )onder )hat sort of e"es those much-discussed dar* $lasses mi$ht conceal. Promptl" at four 'r. (illett presented himself at the (ard residence, %ut found to his anno"ance that &harles had not adhered to his determination to remain indoors. .he $uards )ere there, %ut said that the "oun$ man seemed to have lost part of his timidit". He had that mornin$ done much apparentl" fri$htened ar$uin$ and protestin$ over the 104

telephone, one of the detectives said, repl"in$ to some un*no)n voice )ith phrases such as 2! am ver" tired and must rest a )hile2, 2! can2t receive an"one for some time2, 2"ou2ll have to e#cuse me2, 2Please postpone decisive action till )e can arran$e some sort of compromise2, or 2! am ver" sorr", %ut ! must ta*e a complete vacation from ever"thin$- !2ll tal* )ith "ou later.2 .hen, apparentl" $ainin$ %oldness throu$h meditation, he had slipped out so +uietl" that no one had seen him depart or *ne) that he had $one until he returned a%out one o2cloc* and entered the house )ithout a )ord. He had $one upstairs, )here a %it of his fear must have sur$ed %ac*for he )as heard to cr" out in a hi$hl" terrified fashion upon enterin$ his li%rar", after)ard trailin$ off into a *ind of cho*in$ $asp. (hen, ho)ever, the %utler had $one to in+uire )hat the trou%le )as, he had appeared at the door )ith a $reat sho) of %oldness, and had silentl" $estured the man a)a" in a manner that terrified him unaccounta%l". .hen he had evidentl" done some rearran$in$ of his shelves, for a $reat clatterin$ and thumpin$ and crea*in$ ensued- after )hich he had reappeared and left at once. (illett in+uired )hether or not an" messa$e had %een left, %ut )as told that there )as no none. .he %utler seemed +ueerl" distur%ed a%out somethin$ in &harles2s appearance and manner, and as*ed solicitousl" if there )as much hope for a cure of his disordered nerves. 0or almost t)o hours 'r. (illett )aited vainl" in &harles (ard2s li%rar", )atchin$ the dust" shelves )ith their )ide $aps )here %oo*s had %een removed, and smilin$ $riml" at the panelled overmantel on the north )all, )hence a "ear %efore the suave features of old 9oseph &ur)en had loo*ed mildl" do)n. 5fter a time the shado)s %e$an to $ather, and the sunset cheer $ave place to a va$ue $ro)in$ terror )hich fle) shado)-li*e %efore the ni$ht. ,r. (ard finall" arrived, 105

and she)ed much surprise and an$er at his son2s a%sence after all the pains )hich had %een ta*en to $uard him. He had not *no)n of &harles2s appointment, and promised to notif" (illett )hen the "outh returned. !n %iddin$ the doctor $oodni$ht he e#pressed his utter perple#it" at his son2s condition, and ur$ed his caller to do all he could to restore the %o" to normal poise. (illett )as $lad to escape from that li%rar", for somethin$ fri$htful and unhol" seemed to haunt it- as if the vanished picture had left %ehind a le$ac" of evil. He had never li*ed that picture- and even no), stron$-nerved thou$h he )as, there lur*ed a +ualit" in its vacant panel )hich made him feel an ur$ent need to $et out into the pure air as soon as possi%le.

3 .he ne#t mornin$ (illett received a messa$e from the senior (ard, sa"in$ that &harles )as still a%sent. ,r. (ard mentioned that 'r. 5llen had telephoned him to sa" that &harles )ould remain at Pa)tu#et for some time, and that he must not %e distur%ed. .his )as necessar" %ecause 5llen himself )as suddenl" called a)a" for an indefinite period, leavin$ the researches in need of &harles2s constant oversi$ht. &harles sent his %est )ishes, and re$retted an" %other his a%rupt chan$e of plans mi$ht have caused. !n listenin$ to this messa$e ,r. (ard heard 'r. 5llen2s voice for the first time, and it seemed to e#cite some va$ue and elusive memor" )hich could not %e actuall" placed, %ut )hich )as distur%in$ to the point of fearfulness. 0aced %" these %afflin$ and contradictor" reports, 'r. (illett )as fran*l" at a loss )hat to do. .he frantic earnestness of &harles2s note )as not to %e denied, "et )hat 106

could one thin* of its )riter2s immediate violation of his o)n e#pressed polic"L Coun$ (ard had )ritten that his delvin$s had %ecome %lasphemous and menacin$, that the" and his %earded collea$ue must %e e#tirpated at an" cost, and that he himself )ould never return to their final scene- "et accordin$ to latest advices he had for$otten all this and )as %ac* in the thic* of the m"ster". &ommon sense %ade one leave the "outh alone )ith his frea*ishness, "et some deeper instinct )ould not permit the impression of that fren3ied letter to su%side. (illett read it over a$ain, and could not ma*e its essence sound as empt" and insane as %oth its %om%astic ver%ia$e and its lac* of fulfilment )ould seem to impl". !ts terror )as too profound and real, and in con1unction )ith )hat the doctor alread" *ne) evo*ed too vivid hints of monstrosities from %e"ond time and space to permit of an" c"nical e#planation. .here )ere nameless horrors a%road- and no matter ho) little one mi$ht %e a%le to $et at them, one ou$ht to stand prepared for an" sort of action at an" time. 0or over a )ee* 'r. (illett pondered on the dilemma )hich seemed thrust upon him, and %ecame more and more inclined to pa" &harles a call at the Pa)tu#et %un$alo). Bo friend of the "outh had ever ventured to storm this for%idden retreat, and even his father *ne) of its interior onl" from such descriptions as he chose to $ive- %ut (illett felt that some direct conversation )ith his patient )as necessar". ,r. (ard had %een receivin$ %rief and non-committal t"ped notes from his son, and said that ,rs. (ard in her 5tlantic &it" retirement had had no %etter )ord. 6o at len$th the doctor resolved to act- and despite a curious sensation inspired %" old le$ends of 9oseph &ur)en, and %" more recent revelations and )arnin$s from &harles (ard, set %oldl" out for the %un$alo) on the %luff a%ove the river.

107

(illett had visited the spot %efore throu$h sheer curiousit", thou$h of course never enterin$ the house or proclaimin$ his presence- hence *ne) e#actl" the route to ta*e. 'rivin$ out Broad 6treet one earl" afternoon to)ard the end of 0e%ruar" in his small motor, he thou$ht oddl" of the $rim part" )hich had ta*en that selfsame road a hundred and fift"-seven "ears %efore on a terri%le errand )hich none mi$ht ever comprehend. .he ride throu$h the cit"2s deca"in$ frin$e )as short, and trim /d$e)ood and sleep" Pa)tu#et presentl" spread out ahead. (illett turned to the ri$ht do)n Loc*)ood 6treet and drove his car as far alon$ that rural road as he could, then ali$hted and )al*ed north to )here the %luff to)ered a%ove the lovel" %ends of the river and the s)eep of mist" do)nlands %e"ond. Houses )ere still fe) here, and there )as no mista*in$ the isolated %un$alo) )ith its concrete $ara$e on a hi$h point of land at his left. 6teppin$ %ris*l" up the ne$lected $ravel )al* he rapped at the door )ith a firm hand, and spo*e )ithout a tremor to the evil Portu$uese mulatto )ho opened it to the )idth of a crac*. He must, he said, see &harles (ard at once on vitall" important %usiness. Bo e#cuse )ould %e accepted, and a repulse )ould mean onl" a full report of the matter to the elder (ard. .he mulatto still hesitated, and pushed a$ainst the door )hen (illett attempted to open it- %ut the doctor merel" raised his voice and rene)ed his demands. .hen there came from the dar* interior a hus*" )hisper )hich someho) chilled the hearer throu$h and throu$h thou$h he did not *no) )h" he feared it. 2Let him in, .on",2 it said, 2)e ma" as )ell tal* no) as ever.2 But distur%in$ as )as the )hisper, the $reater fear )as that )hich immediatel" follo)ed. .he floor crea*ed and the spea*er hove in si$ht?and the o)ner of

108

those stran$e and resonant tones )as seen to %e no other than &harles 'e#ter (ard. .he minuteness )ith )hich 'r. (illett recalled and recorded his conversation of that afternoon is due to the importance he assi$ns to this particular period. 0or at last he concedes a vital chan$e in &harles 'e#ter (ard2s mentalit", and %elieves that the "outh no) spo*e from a %rain hopelessl" alien to the %rain )hose $ro)th he had )atched for si# and t)ent" "ears. &ontrovers" )ith 'r. L"man has compelled him to %e ver" specific, and he definitel" dates the madness of &harles (ard from the time the t"pe)ritten notes %e$an to reach his parents. .hose notes are not in (ard2s normal st"lenot even in the st"le of that last frantic letter to (illett. !nstead, the" are stran$e and archaic, as if the snappin$ of the )riter2s mind had released a flood of tendencies and impressions pic*ed up unconsciousl" throu$h %o"hood anti+uarianism. .here is an o%vious effort to %e modern, %ut the spirit and occasionall" the lan$ua$e are those of the past. .he past, too, )as evident in (ard2s ever" tone and $esture as he received the doctor in that shado)" %un$alo). He %o)ed, motioned (illett to a seat, and %e$an to spea* a%ruptl" in that stran$e )hisper )hich he sou$ht to e#plain at the ver" outset. 2! am $ro)n phthisical,2 he %e$an, 2from this cursed river air. Cou must e#cuse m" speech. ! suppose "ou are come from m" father to see )hat ails me, and ! hope "ou )ill sa" nothin$ to alarm him.2 (illett )as stud"in$ these scrapin$ tones )ith e#treme care, %ut stud"in$ even more closel" the face of the spea*er. 6omethin$, he felt, )as )ron$- and he thou$ht of )hat the famil" had told him a%out the fri$ht of that Cor*shire %utler one ni$ht. He )ished it )ere not so dar*, %ut did not re+uest that the %lind %e opened. !nstead, he merel" as*ed (ard )h" 109

he had so %elied the frantic note of little more than a )ee* %efore. 2! )as comin$ to that,2 the host replied. 2Cou must *no), ! am in a ver" %ad state of nerves, and do and sa" +ueer thin$s ! cannot account for. 5s ! have told "ou often, ! am on the ed$e of $reat matters- and the %i$ness of them has a )a" of ma*in$ me li$ht-headed. 5n" man mi$ht )ell %e fri$hted of )hat ! have found, %ut ! am not to %e put off for lon$. ! )as a dunce to have that $uard and stic* at home- for havin$ $one this far, m" place is here. ! am not )ell spo*e of m" pr"in$ nei$h%ours, and perhaps ! )as led %" )ea*ness to %elieve m"self )hat the" sa" of me. .here is no evil to an" in )hat ! do, so lon$ as ! do it ri$htl". Have the $oodness to )ait si# months, and !2ll she) "ou )hat )ill pa" "our patience )ell.2 2Cou ma" as )ell *no) ! have a )a" of learnin$ old matters from thin$s surer than %oo*s, and !2ll leave "ou to 1ud$e the importance of )hat ! can $ive to histor", philosoph", and the arts %" reason of the doors ! have access to. ," ancestor had all this )hen those )itless peepin$ .oms came and murdered him. ! no) have it a$ain, or am comin$ ver" imperfectl" to have a part of it. .his time nothin$ must happen, and least of all thou$h an" idiot fears of m" o)n. Pra" for$et all ! )rit "ou, 6ir, and have no fear of this place or an" in it. 'r. 5llen is a man of fine parts, and ! o)n him an apolo$" for an"thin$ ill ! have said of him. ! )ish ! had no need to spare him, %ut there )ere thin$s he had to do else)here. His 3eal is e+ual to mine in all those matters, and ! suppose that )hen ! feared the )or* ! feared him too as m" $reatest helper in it.2 (ard paused, and the doctor hardl" *ne) )hat to sa" or thin*. He felt almost foolish in the face of this calm repudiation of the letter- and "et there clun$ to him the fact that )hile the present discourse )as stran$e and alien and indu%ita%l" mad, the note itself had %een tra$ic in its 110

naturalness and li*eness to the &harles (ard he *ne). (illett no) tried to turn the tal* on earl" matters, and recall to the "outh some past events )hich )ould restore a familiar mood%ut in this process he o%tained onl" the most $rotes+ue results. !t )as the same )ith all the alienists later on. !mportant sections of &harles (ard2s store of mental ima$es, mainl" those touchin$ modern times and his o)n personal life, had %een unaccounta%l" e#pun$ed- )hilst all the massed anti+uarianism of his "outh had )elled up from some profound su%consciousness to en$ulf the contemporar" and the individual. .he "outh2s intimate *no)led$e of elder thin$s )as a%normal and unhol", and he tried his %est to hide it. (hen (illett )ould mention some favourite o%1ect of his %o"hood archaistic studies he often shed %" pure accident such a li$ht as no normal mortal could conceiva%l" %e e#pected to possess, and the doctor shuddered as the $li% allusion $lided %". !t )as not )holesome to *no) so much a%out the )a" the fat sheriff2s )i$ fell off as he leaned over at the pla" in ,r. 'ou$lass2s Histrionic* 5cadem" in @in$ 6treet on the eleventh of 0e%ruar", 17=2, )hich fell on a .hursda"- or a%out ho) the actors cut the te#t of 6teele2s &onscious Lover so %adl" that one )as almost $lad the Baptist-ridden le$islature closed the theatre a fortni$ht later. .hat .homas 6a%in2s Boston coach )as 8damn2d uncomforta%le8 old letters ma" )ell have told- %ut )hat health" anti+uarian could recall ho) the crea*in$ of /penetus 4lne"2s ne) si$n%oard (the $aud" cro)n he set up after he too* to callin$ his tavern the &ro)n &offee House) )as e#actl" li*e the first fe) notes of the ne) 1a33 piece all the radios in Pa)tu#et )ere pla"in$L (ard, ho)ever, )ould not %e +ui33ed lon$ in this vein. ,odern and personal topics he )aved aside +uite summaril", )hilst re$ardin$ anti+ue affairs he soon she)ed the plainest 111

%oredom. (hat he )ished clearl" enou$h )as onl" to satisf" his visitor enou$h to ma*e him depart )ithout the intention of returnin$. .o this end he offered to she) (illett the entire house, and at once proceeded to lead the doctor throu$h ever" room from cellar to attic. (illett loo*ed sharpl", %ut noted that the visi%le %oo*s )ere far too fe) and trivial to have ever filled the )ide $aps on (ard2s shelves at home, and that the mea$re so-called 8la%orator"8 )as the flimsiest sort of a %lind. &learl", there )ere a li%rar" and a la%orator" else)here- %ut 1ust )here, it )as impossi%le to sa". /ssentiall" defeated in his +uest for somethin$ he could not name, (illett returned to to)n %efore evenin$ and told the senior (ard ever"thin$ )hich had occurred. .he" a$reed that the "outh must %e definitel" out of his mind, %ut decided that nothin$ drastic need %e done 1ust then. 5%ove all, ,rs. (ard must %e *ept in as complete an i$norance as her son2s o)n stran$e t"ped notes )ould permit. ,r. (ard no) determined to call in person upon his son, ma*in$ it )holl" a surprise visit. 'r. (illett too* him in his car one evenin$, $uidin$ him to )ithin si$ht of the %un$alo) and )aitin$ patientl" for his return. .he session )as a lon$ one, and the father emer$ed in a ver" saddened and perple#ed state. His reception had developed much li*e (illett2s, save that &harles had %een an e#cessivel" lon$ time in appearin$ after the visitor had forced his )a" into the hall and sent the Portu$uese a)a" )ith an imperative demand- and in the %earin$ of the altered son there )as no trace of filial affection. .he li$hts had %een dim, "et even so the "outh had complained that the" da33led him outra$eousl". He had not spo*en out loud at all, averrin$ that his throat )as in ver" poor condition- %ut in his hoarse )hisper there )as a +ualit" so va$uel" distur%in$ that ,r. (ard could not %anish it from his mind. 112

Bo) definitel" lea$ued to$ether to do all the" could to)ard the "outh2s mental salvation, ,r. (ard and 'r. (illett set a%out collectin$ ever" scrap of data )hich the case mi$ht afford. Pa)tu#et $ossip )as the first item the" studied, and this )as relativel" eas" to $lean since %oth had friends in that re$ion. 'r. (illett o%tained the most rumours %ecause people tal*ed more fran*l" to him than to a parent of the central fi$ure, and from all he heard he could tell that "oun$ (ard2s life had %ecome indeed a stran$e one. &ommon ton$ues )ould not dissociate his household from the vampirism of the previous summer, )hile the nocturnal comin$s and $oin$s of the motor truc*s provided their share of dar* speculations. Local tradesmen spo*e of the +ueerness of the orders %rou$ht them %" the evil-loo*in$ mulatto, and in particular of the inordinate amounts of mean and fresh %lood secured from the t)o %utcher shops in the immediate nei$h%ourhood. 0or a household of onl" three, these +uantities )ere +uite a%surd. .hen there )as the matter of the sounds %eneath the earth. eports of these thin$s )ere harder to point do)n, %ut all the va$ue hints tallied in certain %asic essentials. Boises of a ritual nature positivel" e#isted, and at times )hen the %un$alo) )as dar*. .he" mi$ht, of course, have come from the *no)n cellar- %ut rumour insisted that there )ere deeper and more spreadin$ cr"pts. ecallin$ the ancient tales of 9oseph &ur)en2s catacom%s, and assumin$ for $ranted that the present %un$alo) had %een selected %ecause of its situation on the old &ur)en site as revealed in one of another of the documents found %ehind the picture, (illett and ,r. (ard $ave this phase of the $ossip much attention- and searched man" times )ithout success for the door in the river-%an* )hich old manuscripts mentioned. 5s to popular opinions of the %un$alo)2s various inha%itants, it )as soon plain that the Brava Portu$uese )as loathed, the %earded and 113

spectacled 'r. 5llen feared, and the pallid "oun$ scholar disli*ed to a profound de$ree. 'urin$ the last )ee* or t)o (ard had o%viousl" chan$ed much, a%andonin$ his attempts at affa%ilit" and spea*in$ onl" in hoarse %ut oddl" repellent )hispers on the fe) occasions that he ventured forth. 6uch )ere the shreds and fra$ments $athered here and there- and over these ,r. (ard and 'r. (illett held man" lon$ and serious conferences. .he" strove to e#ercise deduction, induction, and constructive ima$ination to their utmost e#tent- and to correlate ever" *no)n fact of &harles2s later life, includin$ the frantic letter )hich the doctor no) she)ed the father, )ith the mea$re documentar" evidence availa%le concernin$ old 9oseph &ur)en. .he" )ould have $iven much for a $limpse of the papers &harles had found, for ver" clearl" the *e" to the "outh2s madness la" in )hat he had learned of the ancient )i3ard and his doin$s.

5nd "et, after all, it )as from no step of ,r. (ard2s or 'r. (illett2s that the ne#t move in this sin$ular case proceeded. .he father and the ph"sician, re%uffed and confused %" a shado) too shapeless and intan$i%le to com%at, had rested uneasil" on their oars )hile the t"ped notes of "oun$ (ard to his parents $re) fe)er and fe)er. .hen came the first of the month )ith its customar" financial ad1ustments, and the cler*s at certain %an*s %e$an a peculiar sha*in$ of heads and telephonin$ from one to the other. 4fficials )ho *ne) &harles (ard %" si$ht )ent do)n to the %un$alo) to as* )h" ever" che+ue of his appearin$ at this 1uncture )as a clums" for$er", and )ere reassured less than the" ou$ht to have %een )hen the "outh hoarsel" e#plained that he had had latel" %een so 114

much affected %" a nervous shoc* as to ma*e normal )ritin$ impossi%le. He could, he said, form no )ritten characters at all e#cept )ith $reat difficult"- and could prove it %" the fact that he had %een forced to t"pe all his recent letters, even those to his father and mother, )ho )ould %ear out the assertion. (hat made the investi$ators pause in confusion )as not this circumstance alone, for that )as nothin$ unprecedented or fundamentall" suspicious, nor even the Pa)tu#et $ossip, of )hich one or t)o of them had cau$ht echoes. !t )as the muddled discourse of the "oun$ man )hich nonplussed them, impl"in$ as it did a virtuall" total loss of memor" concernin$ important monetar" matters )hich he had had at his fin$ertips onl" a month or t)o %efore. 6omethin$ )as )ron$for despite the apparent coherence and rationalit" of his speech, there could %e no normal reason for this ill-concealed %lan*ness on vital points. ,oreover, althou$h none of these men *ne) (ard )ell, the" could not help o%servin$ the chan$e in his lan$ua$e and manner. .he" had heard he )as an anti+uarian, %ut even the most hopeless anti+uarians do not ma*e dail" use of o%solete phraseolo$" and $estures. 5lto$ether, this com%ination of hoarseness, palsied hands, %ad memor", and altered speech and %earin$ must represent some distur%ance or malad" of $enuine $ravit", )hich no dou%t formed the %asis of the prevailin$ odd rumours- and after their departure the part" of officials decided that a tal* )ith the senior (ard )as imperative. 6o on the si#th of ,arch, 192:, there )as a lon$ and serious conference in ,r. (ard2s office, after )hich the utterl" %e)ildered father summoned 'r. (illett in a *ind of helpless resi$nation. (illett loo*ed over the strained and a)*)ard si$natures of the che+ue, and compared them in his mind )ith the penmanship of that last frantic note. &ertainl", 115

the chan$e )as radical and profound, and "et there )as somethin$ damna%l" familiar a%out the ne) )ritin$. !t had cra%%ed and archaic tendencies of a ver" curious sort, and seemed to result from a t"pe of stro*e utterl" different from that )hich the "outh had al)a"s used. !t )as stran$e?%ut )here had he seen it %eforeL 4n the )hole, it )as o%vious that &harles )as insane. 4f that there could %e no dou%t. 5nd since it appeared unli*el" that he could handle his propert" or continue to deal )ith the outside )orld much lon$er, somethin$ must +uic*l" %e done to)ard his oversi$ht and possi%le cure. !t )as then that the alienists )ere called in, 'rs. Pec* and (aite of Providence and 'r. L"man of Boston, to )hom ,r. (ard and 'r. (illett $ave the most e#haustive possi%le histor" of the case, and )ho conferred at len$th in the no) unused li%rar" of their "oun$ patient, e#aminin$ )hat %oo*s and papers of his )ere left in order to $ain some further notion of his ha%itual mental cast. 5fter scannin$ this material and e#aminin$ the ominous note to (illett the" all a$reed that &harles (ard2s studies had %een enou$h to unseat or at least to )arp an" ordinar" intellect, and )ished most heartil" that the" could see his more intimate volumes and documents- %ut this latter the" *ne) the" could do, if at all, onl" after a scene at the %un$alo) itself. (illett no) revie)ed the )hole case )ith fe%rile ener$"- it %ein$ at this time that he o%tained the statements of the )or*men )ho had seen &harles find the &ur)en documents, and that he collated the incidents of the destro"ed ne)spaper items, loo*in$ up the latter at the 9ournal office. 4n .hursda", the ei$hth of ,arch, 'rs. (illett, Pec*, L"man, and (aite, accompanied %" ,r. (ard, paid the "outh their momentous call- ma*in$ no concealment of their o%1ect and +uestionin$ the no) ac*no)led$ed patient )ith e#treme minuteness. &harles, althou$h he )as inordinatel" lon$ in 116

ans)erin$ the summons and )as still redolent of stran$e and no#ious la%orator" odours )hen he did finall" ma*e his a$itated appearance, proved a far from recalcitrant su%1ectand admitted freel" that his memor" and %alance had suffered some)hat from close application to a%struse studies. He offered no resistance )hen his removal to other +uarters )as insisted upon- and seemed, indeed, to displa" a hi$h de$ree of intelli$ence as apart from mere memor". His conduct )ould have sent his intervie)ers a)a" in %afflement had not the persistentl" archaic trend of his speech and unmista*a%le replacement of modern %" ancient ideas in his consciousness mar*ed him out as one definitel" removed from the normal. 4f his )or* he )ould sa" no more to the $roup of doctors than he had formerl" said to his famil" and to 'r. (illett, and his frantic note of the previous month he dismissed as mere nerves and h"steria. He insisted that this shado)" %un$alo) possessed no li%rar" or la%orator" %e"ond the visi%le ones, and )a#ed a%struse in e#plainin$ the a%sence from the house of such odours as no) saturated all his clothin$. Bei$h%ourhood $ossip he attri%uted to nothin$ more than the cheap inventiveness of %affled curiousit". 4f the )herea%outs of 'r. 5llen he said he did not feel at li%ert" to spea* definitel", %ut assured his in+uisitors that the %earded and spectacled man )ould return )hen needed. !n pa"in$ off the stolid Brava )ho resisted all +uestionin$ %" the visitors, and in closin$ the %un$alo) )hich still seemed to hold such ni$hted secrets, (ard she)ed no si$ns of nervousness save a %arel" noticed tendenc" to pause as thou$h listenin$ for somethin$ ver" faint. He )as apparentl" animated %" a calml" philosophic resi$nation, as if the removal )ere the merest transient incident )hich )ould cause the least trou%le if facilitated and disposed of once and for all. !t )as clear that he trusted to his o%viousl" unimpaired 117

*eenness of a%solute mentalit" to overcome all the em%arrassments into )hich his t)isted memor", his lost voice and hand)ritin$, and his secretive and eccentric %ehaviour had led him. His mother, it )as a$reed, )as not to %e told of the chan$e- his father suppl"in$ t"ped notes in his name. (ard )as ta*en to the restfull" and pictures+uel" situated private hospital maintained %" 'r. (aite on &onanicut !sland in the %a", and su%1ected to the closest scrutin" and +uestionin$ %" all the ph"sicians connected )ith the case. !t )as then that the ph"sical oddities )ere noticed- the slac*ened meta%olism, the altered s*in, and the disproportionate neural reactions. 'r. (illett )as the most pertur%ed of the various e#aminers, for he had attended (ard all his life and could appreciate )ith terri%le *eenness the e#tent of his ph"sical disor$anisation. /ven the familiar olive mar* on his hip )as $one, )hile on his chest )as a $reat %lac* mole or cicatrice )hich had never %een there %efore, and )hich made (illett )onder )hether the "outh had ever su%mitted to an" of the )itch mar*in$s reputed to %e inflicted at certain un)holesome nocturnal meetin$s in )ild and lonel" places. .he doctor could not *eep his mind off a certain transcri%ed )itch-trial record from 6alem )hich &harles had she)n him in the old non-secretive da"s, and )hich readH 2,r. ;. B. on that Bi$hte putt "e 'ivell his ,ar*e upon Brid$et 6., 9onathan 5., 6imon 4., 'eliverance (., 9oseph &., 6usan P., ,ehita%le &., and 'e%orah B.2 (ard2s face, too, trou%led him horri%l", till at len$th he suddenl" discovered )h" he )as horrified. 0or a%ove the "oun$ man2s ri$ht e"e )as somethin$ )hich he had never previousl" noticed?a small scar or pit precisel" li*e that in the crum%led paintin$ of old 9oseph &ur)en, and perhaps attestin$ some hideous ritualistic inoculation to )hich %oth had su%mitted at a certain sta$e of their occult careers. 118

(hile (ard himself )as pu33lin$ all the doctors at the hospital a ver" strict )atch )as *ept on all mail addressed either to him or to 'r. 5llen, )hich ,r. (ard had ordered delivered at the famil" home. (illett had predicted that ver" little )ould %e found, since an" communications of a vital nature )ould pro%a%l" have %een e#chan$ed %" messen$er%ut in the latter part of ,arch there did come a letter from Pra$ue for 'r. 5llen )hich $ave %oth the doctor and the father deep thou$ht. !t )as in a ver" cra%%ed and archaic hand- and thou$h clearl" not the effort of a forei$ner, she)ed almost as sin$ular a departure from modern /n$lish as the speech of "oun$ (ard himself. !t readH @leinstrasse 11, 5ltstadt, Pra$ue, 11th 0e%". 192:. Brother in 5lmonsin-,etratonH! this da" receiv2d "r mention of )hat came up from the 6altes ! sent "ou. !t )as )ron$, and meanes clearl" that "e Headstones had %een chan$2d )hen Barna%as $ott me the 6pecimen. !t is often so, as "ou must %e sensi%le of from the .hin$ "ou $ott from "e @in$s &hapell $round in 17=9 and )hat H. $ott from 4lde Bur"2$ Point in 1=97, that )as li*e to ende him. ! $ott such a .hin$ in 5e$"pt 7A "eares $one, from the )hich came that 6car "e Bo" sa) on me here in 192D. 5s ! told "ou lon$e a$o, do not calle up .hat )hich "ou can not put do)ne- either from dead 6altes or out of "e 6pheres %e"ond. Have "e (ordes for la"in$ at all times readie, and stopp not to %e sure )hen there is an" 'ou%te of (hom "ou have. 6tones are all chan$2d 119

no) in Bine $roundes out of 17. Cou are never sure till "ou +uestion. ! this da" heard from H., )ho has had .rou%le )ith the 6oldiers. He is li*e to %e sorr" .rans"lvania is pass2t from Hun$ar" to oumania, and )ou2d chan$e his 6eat if the &astel )eren2t so fulle of (hat )e @no)e. But of this he hath dou%tless )rit "ou. !n m" ne#t 6end2$ there )ill %e 6ome)hat from a Hill tom% from "e /ast that )ill deli$ht "ou $reatl". ,ean)hile for$et not ! am desirous of B. 0. if "ou can possi%l" $et him for me. Cou *no) ;. in Philada. %etter than !. Have him upp firste if "ou )ill, %ut doe not use him soe hard he )ill %e 'ifficult, for ! must spea*e to him in "e /nd. Co$$-6othoth Be%lod Fin 6imon 4. .o ,r. 9. &. in Providence. ,r. (ard and 'r. (illett paused in utter chaos %efore this apparent %it of unrelieved insanit". 4nl" %" de$rees did the" a%sor% )hat it seemed to impl". 6o the a%sent 'r. 5llen, and not &harles (ard, had come to %e the leadin$ spirit at Pa)tu#etL .hat must e#plain the )ild reference and denunciation in the "outh2s last frantic letter. 5nd )hat of this addressin$ of the %earded and spectacled stran$er as 8,r. 9. &.8L .here )as no escapin$ the inference, %ut there are limits to possi%le monstrosit". (ho )as 86imon 4.8- the old man (ard had visited in Pra$ue four "ears previousl"L Perhaps, %ut in the centuries %ehind there had %een another 6imon 4.?6imon 4rne, alias 9edediah, of 6alem, )ho vanished in 1771, and )hose peculiar hand)ritin$ 'r. (illett no) 120

unmista*a%l" reco$nised from the photostatic copies of the 4rne formulae )hich &harles had once sho)n him. (hat horrors and m"steries, )hat contradictions and contraventions of Bature, had come %ac* after a centur" and a half to harass 4ld Providence )ith her clustered spires and domesL .he father and the old ph"sician, virtuall" at a loss )hat to do or thin*, )ent to see &harles at the hospital and +uestioned him as delicatel" as the" could a%out 'r. 5llen, a%out the Pra$ue visit, and a%out )hat he had learned of 6imon or 9edediah 4rne of 6alem. .o all these en+uiries the "outh )as politel" non-committal, merel" %ar*in$ in his hoarse )hisper that he had found 'r. 5llen to have a remar*a%le spiritual rapport )ith certain souls from the past, and that an" correspondent the %earded man mi$ht have in Pra$ue )ould pro%a%l" %e similarl" $ifted. (hen the" left, ,r. (ard and 'r. (illett realised to their cha$rin that the" had reall" %een the ones under catechism- and that )ithout impartin$ an"thin$ vital himself, the confined "outh had adroitl" pumped them of ever"thin$ the Pra$ue letter had contained. 'rs. Pec*, (aite, and L"man )ere not inclined to attach much importance to the stran$e correspondence of "oun$ (ard2s companion- for the" *ne) the tendenc" of *indred eccentrics and monomaniacs to %and to$ether, and %elieved that &harles or 5llen had merel" unearthed an e#patriated counterpart?perhaps one )ho had seen 4rne2s hand)ritin$ and copied it in an attempt to pose as the %"$one character2s reincarnation. 5llen himself )as perhaps a similar case, and ma" have persuaded the "outh into acceptin$ him as an avatar of the lon$-dead &ur)en. 6uch thin$s had %een *no)n %efore, and on the same %asis the hard-headed doctors disposed of (illett2s $ro)in$ dis+uiet a%out &harles (ard2s 121

present hand)ritin$, as studied from unpremeditated specimens o%tained %" various ruses. (illett thou$ht he had placed its odd familiarit" at last, and that )hat it va$uel" resem%led )as the %"$one penmanship of old 9oseph &ur)en himself- %ut this the other ph"sicians re$arded as a phase of imitativeness onl" to %e e#pected in a mania of this sort, and refused to $rant it an" importance either favoura%le or unfavoura%le. eco$nisin$ this prosaic attitude in his collea$ues, (illett advised ,r. (ard to *eep to himself the letter )hich arrived for 'r. 5llen on the second of 5pril from a*us, .rans"lvania, in a hand)ritin$ so intensel" and fundamentall" li*e that of the Hutchinson cipher that %oth father and ph"sician paused in a)e %efore %rea*in$ the seal. .his read as follo)sH &astle 0erenc3" 7 ,arch 192:. 'ear &.HHadd a 6+uad of 27 ,ilitia up to tal* a%out )hat the &ountr" 0ol* sa". ,ust di$$ deeper and have less Hearde. .hese oumanians pla$ue me damna%l", %ein$ officious and particular )here "ou cou2d %u" a ,a$"ar off )ith a 'rin*e and 0ood. Last monthe ,. $ot me "e 6arcopha$us of "e 0ive 6phin#es from "e 5cropolis )here He )home ! call2d up sa"2d it )ou2d %e, and ! have hadde > .al*es )ith (hat )as therein inhum2d. !t )ill $o to 6. 4. in Pra$ue directl", and thence to "ou. !t is stu%%orn %ut "ou *no) "e (a" )ith 6uch. Cou she) (isdom in havin$ lesse a%out than Before- for there )as no Beede to *eep the ;uards in 122

6hape and eat2$ off their Heads, and it made ,uch to %e founde in &ase of .rou%le, as "ou too )elle *no)e. Cou can no) move and )or*e else)here )ith no @ill2$ .rou%le if needful, tho2 ! hope no .hin$ )ill soon force "ou to so Bothersome a &ourse. ! re1oice that "ou traffic* not so much )ith .hose 4utside- for there )as ever a ,ortall Peril in it, and "ou are sensi%le )hat it did )hen "ou as*2d Protection of 4ne not dispos2d to $ive it. Cou e#cel me in $ett2$ "e 0ormulae so another ma" sa"e them )ith 6uccess, %ut Borellus fanc"2d it )ou2d %e so if 1ust "e ri$ht (ordes )ere hadd. 'oes "e Bo" use 2em oftenL ! re$ret that he $ro)es s+ueamish, as ! fear2d he )ou2d )hen ! hadde him here ni$h 1A ,onthes, %ut am sensi%le "ou *no)e ho) to deal )ith him. Cou can2t sa"e him do)n )ith "e 0ormula, for that )ill (or*e onl" upon such as "e other 0ormula hath call2d up from 6altes- %ut "ou still have stron$ Handes and @nife and Pistol, and ;raves are not harde to di$$, nor 5cids loth to %urne. 4. sa"es "ou have promis2d him B. 0. ! must have him after. B. $oes to "ou soone, and ma" he $ive "ou )hat "ou )ishe of that 'ar*e .hin$ %elo)e ,emphis. !mplo" care in )hat "ou calle up, and %e)are of "e Bo". !t )ill %e ripe in a "eare2s time to have up "e Le$ions from <nderneath, and then there are no Boundes to )hat shal %e oures. Have &onfidence in )hat ! sa"e, for "ou *no)e 4. and ! have hadd these 1A7 "eares more than "ou to consulte these ,atters in. Bephreu?@a nai Hadoth 123

/d). H. 0or 9 &ur)en, /s+. Providence. But if (illett and ,r. (ard refrained from she)in$ this letter to the alienists, the" did not refrain from actin$ upon it themselves. Bo amount of learned sophistr" could controvert the fact that the stran$el" %earded and spectacled 'r. 5llen, of )hom &harles2s frantic letter had spo*en as such a monstrous menace, )as in close and sinister correspondence )ith t)o ine#plica%le creatures )hom (ard had visited in his travels and )ho plainl" claimed to %e survivals or avatars of &ur)en2s old 6alem collea$ues- that he )as re$ardin$ himself as the reincarnation of 9oseph &ur)en, and that he entertained?or )as at least advised to entertain?murderous desi$ns a$ainst a 8%o"8 )ho could scarcel" %e other than &harles (ard. .here )as or$anised horror afoot- and no matter )ho had started it, the missin$ 5llen )as %" this time at the %ottom of it. .herefore, than*in$ heaven that &harles )as no) safe in the hospital, ,r. (ard lost no time in en$a$in$ detectives to learn all the" could of the cr"ptic, %earded doctor- findin$ )hence he had come and )hat Pa)tu#et *ne) of him, and if possi%le discoverin$ his present )herea%outs. 6uppl"in$ the men )ith one of the %un$alo) *e"s )hich &harles "ielded up, he ur$ed them to e#plore 5llen2s vacant room )hich had %een identified )hen the patient2s %elon$in$s had %een pac*ed- o%tainin$ )hat clues the" could from an" effects he mi$ht have left a%out. ,r. (ard tal*ed )ith the detectives in his son2s old li%rar", and the" felt a mar*ed relief )hen the" left it at last- for there seemed to hover a%out the place a va$ue aura of evil. Perhaps it )as )hat the" had heard of the infamous old )i3ard )hose 124

picture had once stared from the panelled overmantel, and perhaps it )as somethin$ different and irrelevant- %ut in an" case the" all half sensed an intan$i%le miasma )hich centred in that carven vesti$e of an older d)ellin$ and )hich at times almost rose to the intensit" of a material emanation.

125

Chapter ': A )&ght*are and a Catacl+s*

1 5nd no) s)iftl" follo)ed that hideous e#perience )hich has left its indeli%le mar* of fear on the soul of ,arinus Bic*nell (illett, and has added a decade to the visi%le a$e of one )hose "outh )as even then far %ehind. 'r. (illett had conferred at len$th )ith ,r. (ard, and had come to an a$reement )ith him on several points )hich %oth felt the alienists )ould ridicule. .here )as, the" conceded, a terri%le movement alive in the )orld, )hose direct conne#ion )ith a necromanc" even older than the 6alem )itchcraft could not %e dou%ted. .hat at least t)o livin$ men?and one other of )hom the" dared not thin*?)ere in a%solute possession of minds or personalities )hich had functioned as earl" as 1=97 or %efore )as li*e)ise almost unassaila%l" proved even in the face of all *no)n natural la)s. (hat these horri%le creatures?and &harles (ard as )ell?)ere doin$ or tr"in$ to do seemed fairl" clear from their letters and from ever" %it of li$ht %oth old and ne) )hich had filtered in upon the case. .he" )ere ro%%in$ the tom%s of all the a$es, includin$ those of the )orld2s )isest and $reatest men, in the hope of recoverin$ from the %"$one ashes some vesti$e of the consciousness and lore )hich had once animated and informed them. 5 hideous traffic )as $oin$ on amon$ these ni$htmare $houls, )here%" illustrious %ones )ere %artered )ith the calm calculativeness of school%o"s s)appin$ %oo*s- and from )hat )as e#torted from this centuried dust there )as anticipated a 126

po)er and a )isdom %e"ond an"thin$ )hich the cosmos had ever seen concentred in one man or $roup. .he" had found unhol" )a"s to *eep their %rains alive, either in the same %od" or different %odies- and had evidentl" achieved a )a" of tappin$ the consciousness of the dead )hom the" $athered to$ether. .here had, it seems, %een some truth in chimerical old Borellus )hen he )rote of preparin$ from even the most anti+ue remains certain 8/ssential 6altes8 from )hich the shade of a lon$-dead livin$ thin$ mi$ht %e raised up. .here )as a formula for evo*in$ such a shade, and another for puttin$ it do)n- and it had no) %een so perfected that it could %e tau$ht successfull". 4ne must %e careful a%out evocations, for the mar*ers of old $raves are not al)a"s accurate. (illett and ,r. (ard shivered as the" passed from conclusion to conclusion. .hin$s?presences or voices of some sort?could %e dra)n do)n from un*no)n places as )ell as from the $rave, and in this process also one must %e careful. 9oseph &ur)en had indu%ita%l" evo*ed man" for%idden thin$s, and as for &harles?)hat mi$ht one thin* of himL (hat forces 8outside the spheres8 had reached him from 9oseph &ur)en2s da" and turned his mind on for$otten thin$sL He had %een led to find certain directions, and he had used them. He had tal*ed )ith the man of horror in Pra$ue and sta"ed lon$ )ith the creature in the mountains of .rans"lvania. 5nd he must have found the $rave of 9oseph &ur)en at last. .hat ne)spaper item and )hat his mother had heard in the ni$ht )ere too si$nificant to overloo*. .hen he had summoned somethin$, and it must have come. .hat mi$ht" voice aloft on ;ood 0rida", and those different tones in the loc*ed attic la%orator". (hat )ere the" li*e, )ith their depth and hollo)nessL (as there not here some a)ful foreshado)in$ of the dreaded stran$er 'r. 5llen )ith his 127

spectral %assL Ces, that )as )hat ,r. (ard had felt )ith va$ue horror in his sin$le tal* )ith the man?if man it )ere? over the telephoneI (hat hellish consciousness or voice, )hat mor%id shade or presence, had come to ans)er &harles (ard2s secret rites %ehind that loc*ed doorL .hose voices heard in ar$ument? 8must have it red for three months8?;ood ;odI (as not that 1ust %efore the vampirism %ro*e outL .he riflin$ of /3ra (eeden2s ancient $rave, and the cries later at Pa)tu#et? )hose mind had planned the ven$eance and rediscovered the shunned seat of elder %lasphemiesL 5nd then the %un$alo) and the %earded stran$er, and the $ossip, and the fear. .he final madness of &harles neither father nor doctor could attempt to e#plain, %ut the" did feel sure that the mind of 9oseph &ur)en had come to earth a$ain and )as follo)in$ its ancient mor%idities. (as daemoniac possession in truth a possi%ilit"L 5llen had somethin$ to do )ith it, and the detectives must find out more a%out one )hose e#istence menaced the "oun$ man2s life. !n the meantime, since the e#istence of some vast cr"pt %eneath the %un$alo) seemed virtuall" %e"ond dispute, some effort must %e made to find it. (illett and ,r. (ard, conscious of the sceptical attitude of the alienists, resolved durin$ their final conference to underta*e a 1oint secret e#ploration of unparalleled thorou$hness- and a$reed to meet at the %un$alo) on the follo)in$ mornin$ )ith valises and )ith certain tools and accessories suited to architectural search and under$round e#ploration. .he mornin$ of 5pril =th da)ned clear, and %oth e#plorers )ere at the %un$alo) %" ten o2cloc*. ,r. (ard had the *e", and an entr" and cursor" surve" )ere made. 0rom the disordered condition of 'r. 5llen2s room it )as o%vious that the detectives had %een there %efore, and the later searchers 128

hoped that the" had found some clue )hich mi$ht prove of value. 4f course the main %usiness la" in the cellar- so thither the" descended )ithout much dela", a$ain ma*in$ the circuit )hich each had vainl" made %efore in the presence of the mad "oun$ o)ner. 0or a time ever"thin$ seemed %afflin$, each inch of the earthen floor and stone )alls havin$ so solid and innocuous an aspect that the thou$ht of a "earnin$ aperture )as scarcel" to %e entertained. (illett reflected that since the ori$inal cellar )as du$ )ithout *no)led$e of an" catacom%s %eneath, the %e$innin$ of the passa$e )ould represent the strictl" modern delvin$ of "oun$ (ard and his associates, )here the" had pro%ed for the ancient vaults )hose rumour could have reached them %" no )holesome means. .he doctor tried to put himself in &harles2s place to see ho) a delver )ould %e li*el" to start, %ut could not $ain much inspiration from this method. .hen he decided on elimination as a polic", and )ent carefull" over the )hole su%terranean surface %oth vertical and hori3ontal, tr"in$ to account for ever" inch separatel". He )as soon su%stantiall" narro)ed do)n, and at last had nothin$ left %ut the small platform %efore the )ashtu%s, )hich he tried once %efore in vain. Bo) e#perimentin$ in ever" possi%le )a", and e#ertin$ a dou%le stren$th, he finall" found that the top did indeed turn and slide hori3ontall" on a corner pivot. Beneath it la" a trim concrete surface )ith an iron manhole, to )hich ,r. (ard at once rushed )ith e#cited 3eal. .he cover )as not hard to lift, and the father had +uite removed it )hen (illett noticed the +ueerness of his aspect. He )as s)a"in$ and noddin$ di33il", and in the $ust of no#ious air )hich s)ept up from the %lac* pit %eneath the doctor soon reco$nised ample cause. !n a moment 'r. (illett had his faintin$ companion on the floor a%ove and )as revivin$ him )ith cold )ater. ,r. (ard responded fee%l", %ut it could %e seen that the mephitic %last 129

from the cr"pt had in some )a" $ravel" sic*ened him. (ishin$ to ta*e no chances, (illett hastened out to Broad 6treet for a ta#ica% and had soon dispatched the sufferer home despite his )ea*-voiced protests- after )hich he produced an electric torch, covered his nostrils )ith a %and of sterile $au3e, and descended once more to peer into the ne)found depths. .he foul air had no) sli$htl" a%ated, and (illett )as a%le to send a %eam of li$ht do)n the 6t"$ian hold. 0or a%out ten feet, he sa), it )as a sheer c"lindrical drop )ith concrete )alls and an iron ladder- after )hich the hole appeared to stri*e a fli$ht of old stone steps )hich must ori$inall" have emer$ed to earth some)hat south)est of the present %uildin$.

2 (illett freel" admits that for a moment the memor" of the old &ur)en le$ends *ept him from clim%in$ do)n alone into that malodorous $ulf. He could not help thin*in$ of )hat Li*e 0enner had reported on that last monstrous ni$ht. .hen dut" asserted itself and he made the plun$e, carr"in$ a $reat valise for the removal of )hatever papers mi$ht prove of supreme importance. 6lo)l", as %efitted one of his "ears, he descended the ladder and reached the slim" steps %elo). .his )as ancient masonr", his torch told him- and upon the drippin$ )alls he sa) the un)holesome moss of centuries. 'o)n, do)n, ran the steps- not spirall", %ut in three a%rupt turnsand )ith such narro)ness that t)o men could have passed onl" )ith difficult". He had counted a%out thirt" )hen a sound reached him ver" faintl"- and after that he did not feel disposed to count an" more.

130

!t )as a $odless sound- one of those lo)-*e"ed, insidious outra$es of Bature )hich are not meant to %e. .o call it a dull )ail, a doom-dra$$ed )hine, or a hopeless ho)l of chorused an$uish and stric*en flesh )ithout mind )ould %e to miss its +uintessential loathsomeness and soul-sic*enin$ overtones. (as it for this that (ard had seemed to listen on that da" he )as removedL !t )as the most shoc*in$ thin$ that (illett had ever heard, and it continued from no determinate point as the doctor reached the %ottom of the steps and cast his torchli$ht around on loft" corridor )alls surmounted %" &"clopean vaultin$ and pierced %" num%erless %lac* arch)a"s. .he hall in )hich he stood )as perhaps fourteen feet hi$h in the middle of the vaultin$ and ten or t)elve feet %road. !ts pavement )as of lar$e chipped fla$stone, and its )alls and roof )ere of dressed masonr". !ts len$th he could not ima$ine, for it stretched ahead indefinitel" into the %lac*ness. 4f the arch)a"s, some had doors of the old si#-panelled colonial t"pe, )hilst others had none. 4vercomin$ the dread induced %" the smell and the ho)lin$, (illett %e$an to e#plore these arch)a"s one %" onefindin$ %e"ond them rooms )ith $roined stone ceilin$s, each of medium si3e and apparentl" of %i3arre used. ,ost of them had fireplaces, the upper courses of )hose chimne"s )ould have formed an interestin$ stud" in en$ineerin$. Bever %efore or since had he seen such instruments or su$$estions of instruments as here loomed up on ever" hand throu$h the %ur"in$ dust and co%)e%s of a centur" and a half, in man" cases evidentl" shattered as if %" the ancient raiders. 0or man" of the cham%ers seemed )holl" untrodden %" modern feet, and must have represented the earliest and most o%solete phases of 9oseph &ur)en2s e#perimentation. 0inall" there came a room of o%vious modernit", or at least of recent occupanc". .here )ere oil heaters, %oo*shelves and ta%les, 131

chairs and ca%inets, and a des* piled hi$h )ith papers of var"in$ anti+uit" and contemporaneousness. &andlestic*s and oil lamps stood a%out in several places- and findin$ a match-safe hand", (illett li$hted such as )ere read" for use. !n the fuller $leam it appeared that this apartment )as nothin$ less than the latest stud" or li%rar" of &harles (ard. 4f the %oo*s the doctor had seen man" %efore, and a $ood part of the furniture had plainl" come from the Prospect 6treet mansion. Here and there )as a piece )ell *no)n to (illett, and the sense of familiarit" %ecame so $reat that he half for$ot the noisomness and the )ailin$, %oth of )hich )ere plainer here than the" had %een at the foot of the steps. His first dut", as planned lon$ ahead, )as to find and sei3e an" papers )hich mi$ht seem of vital importance- especiall" those portentous documents found %" &harles so lon$ a$o %ehind the picture in 4lne" &ourt. 5s he searched he perceived ho) stupendous a tas* the final unravellin$ )ould %e- for file on file )as stuffed )ith papers in curious hands and %earin$ curious desi$ns, so that months or even "ears mi$ht %e needed for a thorou$h decipherin$ and editin$. 4nce he found three lar$e pac*ets of letters )ith Pra$ue and a*us postmar*s, and in )ritin$ clearl" reco$nisa%le as 4rne2s and Hutchinson2s- all of )hich he too* )ith him as part of the %undle to %e removed in his valise. 5t last, in a loc*ed maho$an" ca%inet once $racin$ the (ard home, (illett found the %atch of old &ur)en papersreco$nisin$ them from the reluctant $limpse &harles had $ranted him so man" "ears a$o. .he "outh had evidentl" *ept them to$ether ver" much as the" had %een )hen first he found them, since all the titles recalled %" the )or*men )ere present e#cept the papers addressed to 4rne and Hutchinson, and the cipher )ith its *e". (illett placed the entire lot in his valise and continued his e#amination of the files. 6ince "oun$ 132

(ard2s immediate condition )as the $reatest matter at sta*e, the closest searchin$ )as done amon$ the most o%viousl" recent matter- and in this a%undance of contemporar" manuscript one ver" %afflin$ oddit" )as noted. .he oddit" )as the sli$ht amount in &harles2s normal )ritin$, )hich indeed included nothin$ more recent than t)o months %efore. 4n the other hand, there )ere literall" reams of s"m%ols and formulae, historical notes and philosophical comment, in a cra%%ed penmanship a%solutel" identical )ith the ancient script of 9oseph &ur)en, thou$h of undenia%l" modern datin$. Plainl", a part of the latter-da" pro$ramme had %een a sedulous imitation of the old )i3ard2s )ritin$, )hich &harles seemed to have carried to a marvellous state of perfection. 4f an" third hand )hich mi$ht have %een 5llen2s there )as not a trace. !f he had indeed come to %e the leader, he must have forced "oun$ (ard to act as his amanuensis. !n this ne) material one m"stic formula, or rather pair of formulae, recurred so often that (illett had it %" heart %efore he had half finished his +uest. !t consisted of t)o parallel columns, the left-hand one surmounted %" the archaic s"m%ol called 8'ra$on2s Head8 and used in almanacs to indicate the ascendin$ node, and the ri$ht-hand one headed %" a correspondin$ si$n of 8'ra$on2s .ail8 or descendin$ node. .he appearance of the )hole )as somethin$ li*e this, and almost unconsciousl" the doctor realised that the second half )as no more than the first )ritten s"lla%icall" %ac*)ard )ith the e#ception of the final monos"lla%les and of the odd name Co$-6othoth, )hich he had come to reco$nise under various spellin$s from other thin$s he had seen in conne#ion )ith this horri%le matter. .he formulae )ere as follo)s?e#actl" so, as (illett is a%undantl" a%le to testif"?and the first one struc* an odd note of uncomforta%le latent memor" in his %rain,

133

)hich he reco$nised later )hen revie)in$ the events of that horri%le ;ood 0rida" of the previous "ear.

6o hauntin$ )ere these formulae, and so fre+uentl" did he come upon them, that %efore the doctor *ne) it he )as repeatin$ them under his %reath. /ventuall", ho)ever, he felt he had secured all the papers he could di$est to advanta$e for the present- hence resolved to e#amine no more till he could %rin$ the sceptical alienists en masse for an ampler and more s"stematic raid. He had still to find the hidden la%orator", so leavin$ his valise in the li$hted room he emer$ed a$ain into the %lac* noisome corridor )hose vaultin$ echoed ceaseless )ith that dull and hideous )hine. .he ne#t fe) rooms he tried )ere all a%andoned, or filled onl" )ith crum%lin$ %o#es and ominous-loo*in$ leaden coffins- %ut impressed him deepl" )ith the ma$nitude of 9oseph &ur)en2s ori$inal operations. He thou$ht of the slaves and seamen )ho had disappeared, of the $raves )hich had %een violated in ever" part of the )orld, and of )hat that final raidin$ part" must have seen- and then he decided it )as %etter not to thin* an" more. 4nce a $reat stone staircase mounted at his ri$ht, and he deduced that this must have reached to one of the &ur)en out%uildin$s?perhaps the famous stone edifice )ith the hi$h slit-li*e )indo)s? provided the steps he had descended had led from the steeproofed farmhouse. 6uddenl" the )alls seemed to fall a)a" 134

ahead, and the stench and the )ailin$ $re) stron$er. (illett sa) that he had come upon a vast open space, so $reat that his torchli$ht )ould not carr" across it- and as he advanced he encountered occasional stout pillars supportin$ the arches of the roof. 5fter a time he reached a circle of pillars $rouped li*e the monoliths of 6tonehen$e, )ith a lar$e carved altar on a %ase of three steps in the centre- and so curious )ere the carvin$s on that altar that he approached to stud" them )ith his electric li$ht. But )hen he sa) )hat the" )ere he shran* a)a" shudderin$, and did not stop to investi$ate the dar* stains )hich discoloured the upper surface and had spread do)n the sides in occasional thin lines. !nstead, he found the distant )all and traced it as it s)ept round in a $i$antic circle perforated %" occasional %lac* door)a"s and indented %" a m"riad of shallo) cells )ith iron $ratin$s and )rist and an*le %onds on chains fastened to the stone of the concave rear masonr". .hese cells )ere empt", %ut still the horri%le odour and the dismal moanin$ continued, more insistent no) than ever, and seemin$l" varied at times %" a sort of slipper" thumpin$.

3 0rom that fri$htful smell and that uncann" noise (illett2s attention could no lon$er %e diverted. Both )ere plainer and more hideous in the $reat pillared hall than an")here else, and carried a va$ue impression of %ein$ far %elo), even in this dar* nether )orld of su%terrene m"ster". Before tr"in$ an" of the %lac* arch)a"s for steps leadin$ further do)n, the doctor cast his %eam of li$ht a%out the stone-fla$$ed floor. !t )as ver" loosel" paved, and at irre$ular intervals there )ould 135

occur a sla% curiousl" pierced %" small holes in no definite arran$ement, )hile at one point there la" a ver" lon$ ladder carelessl" flun$ do)n. .o this ladder, sin$ularl" enou$h, appeared to clin$ a particularl" lar$e amount of the fri$htful odour )hich encompassed ever"thin$. 5s he )al*ed slo)l" a%out it suddenl" occurred to (illett that %oth the noise and the odour seemed stron$est a%ove the oddl" pierced sla%s, as if the" mi$ht %e crude trap-doors leadin$ do)n to some still deeper re$ion of horror. @neelin$ %" one, he )or*ed at it )ith his hands, and found that )ith e#treme difficult" he could %ud$e it. 5t his touch the moanin$ %eneath ascended to a louder *e", and onl" )ith vast trepidation did he persevere in the liftin$ of the heav" stone. 5 stench unnamea%le no) rose up from %elo), and the doctor2s head reeled di33il" as he laid %ac* the sla% and turned his torch upon the e#posed s+uare "ard of $apin$ %lac*ness. !f he had e#pected a fli$ht of steps to some )ide $ulf of ultimate a%omination, (illett )as destined to %e disappointed- for amidst that foetor and crac*ed )hinin$ he discerned onl" the %ric*-faced top of a c"lindrical )ell perhaps a "ard and a half in diameter and devoid of an" ladder or other means of descent. 5s the li$ht shone do)n, the )ailin$ chan$ed suddenl" to a series of horri%le "elps- in con1unction )ith )hich there came a$ain that sound of %lind, futile scram%lin$ and slipper" thumpin$. .he e#plorer trem%led, un)illin$ even to ima$ine )hat no#ious thin$ mi$ht %e lur*in$ in that a%"ss, %ut in a moment mustered up the coura$e to peer over the rou$h-he)n %rin*- l"in$ at full len$th and holdin$ the torch do)n)ard at arm2s len$th to see )hat mi$ht lie %elo). 0or a second he could distin$uish nothin$ %ut the slim", moss-$ro)n %ric* )alls sin*in$ illimita%l" into that half-tan$i%le miasma of mur* and foulness and an$uished fren3"- and then he sa) that 136

somethin$ dar* )as leapin$ clumsil" and franticall" up and do)n at the %ottom of the narro) shaft, )hich must have %een from t)ent" to t)ent"-five feet %elo) the stone floor )here he la". .he torch shoo* in his hand, %ut he loo*ed a$ain to see )hat manner of livin$ creature mi$ht %e immured there in the dar*ness of that unnatural )ell- left starvin$ %" "oun$ (ard throu$h all the lon$ month since the doctors had ta*en him a)a", and clearl" onl" one of a vast num%er prisoned in the *indred )ells )hose pierced stone covers so thic*l" studded the floor of the $reat vaulted cavern. (hatever the thin$s )ere, the" could not lie do)n in their cramped spaces- %ut must have crouched and )hined and )aited and fee%l" leaped all those hideous )ee*s since their master had a%andoned them unheeded. But ,arinus Bic*nell (illett )as sorr" that he loo*ed a$ain- for sur$eon and veteran of the dissectin$-room thou$h he )as, he has not %een the same since. !t is hard to e#plain 1ust ho) a sin$le si$ht of a tan$i%le o%1ect )ith measura%le dimensions could so sha*e and chan$e a man- and )e ma" onl" sa" that there is a%out certain outlines and entities a po)er of s"m%olism and su$$estion )hich acts fri$htfull" on a sensitive thin*er2s perspective and )hispers terri%le hints of o%scure cosmic relationships and unnamea%le realities %ehind the protective illusions of common vision. !n that second loo* (illett sa) such an outline or entit", for durin$ the ne#t fe) instants he )as undou%tedl" as star* ravin$ mad as an" inmate of 'r. (aite2s private hospital. He dropped the electric torch from a hand drained of muscular po)er or nervous coJrdination, nor heeded the sound of crunchin$ teeth )hich told of its fate at the %ottom of the pit. He screamed and screamed and screamed in a voice )hose falsetto panic no ac+uaintance of his )ould ever have reco$nised- and thou$h he could not rise to his feet he 137

cra)led and rolled desperatel" a)a" from the damp pavement )here do3ens of .artarean )ells poured forth their e#hausted )hinin$ and "elpin$ to ans)er his o)n insane cries. He tore his hands on the rou$h, loose stones, and man" times %ruised his head a$ainst the fre+uent pillars, %ut still he *ept on. .hen at last he slo)l" came to himself in the utter %lac*ness and stench, and stopped his ears a$ainst the dronin$ )ail into )hich the %urst of "elpin$ had su%sided. He )as drenched )ith perspiration and )ithout means of producin$ a li$htstric*en and unnerved in the a%"smal %lac*ness and horror, and crushed )ith a memor" he never could efface. Beneath him do3ens of those thin$s still lived, and from one of those shafts the cover )as removed. He *ne) that )hat he had seen could never clim% up the slipper" )alls, "et shuddered at the thou$ht that some o%scure foot-hold mi$ht e#ist. (hat the thin$ )as, he )ould never tell. !t )as li*e some of the carvin$s on the hellish altar, %ut it )as alive. Bature had never made it in this form, for it )as too palpa%l" unfinished. .he deficiencies )ere of the most surprisin$ sort, and the a%normalities of proportion could not %e descri%ed. (illett consents onl" to sa" that this t"pe of thin$ must have represented entities )hich (ard called up from imperfect salts, and )hich he *ept for servile or ritualistic purposes. !f it had not had a certain si$nificance, its ima$e )ould not have %een carved on that damna%le stone. !t )as not the )orst thin$ depicted on that stone?%ut (illett never opened the other pits. 5t the time, the first connected idea in his mind )as an idle para$raph from some of the old &ur)en data he had di$ested lon$ %efore- a phrase used %" 6imon or 9edediah 4rne in that portentous confiscated letter to the %"$one sorcererH

138

2&ertainel", there )as Both2$ %ut "e liveliest 5)fulness in that )hich H. rais2d upp from (hat he cou2d $ather onlie a part of.2 .hen, horri%l" supplementin$ rather than displacin$ this ima$e, there came a recollection of those ancient lin$erin$ rumours anent the %urned, t)isted thin$ found in the fields a )ee* after the &ur)en raid. &harles (ard had once told the doctor )hat old 6locum said of that o%1ect- that it )as neither thorou$hl" human, nor )holl" allied to an" animal )hich Pa)tu#et fol* had ever seen or read a%out. .hese )ords hummed in the doctor2s mind as he roc*ed to and fro, s+uattin$ on the nitrous stone floor. He tried to drive them out, and repeated the Lord2s Pra"er to himselfeventuall" trailin$ off into a mnemonic hod$e-pod$e li*e the modernistic (aste Land of ,r. .. 6. /liot, and finall" revertin$ to the oft-repeated dual formula he had latel" found in (ard2s under$round li%rar"H 2C2ai 2n$2n$ah, Co$-6othoth2 and so on till the final underlined Fhro. !t seemed to soothe him, and he sta$$ered to his feet after a time- lamentin$ %itterl" his fri$ht-lost torch and loo*in$ )ildl" a%out for an" $leam of li$ht in the clutchin$ in*iness of the chill" air. .hin* he )ould not- %ut he strained his e"es in ever" direction for some faint $lint or reflection of the %ri$ht illumination he had left in the li%rar". 5fter a )hile he thou$ht he detected a suspicion of a $lo) infinitel" far a)a", and to)ard this he cra)led in a$onised caution on hands and *nees amidst the stench and ho)lin$, al)a"s feelin$ ahead lest he collide )ith the numerous $reat pillars or stum%le into the a%omina%le pit he had uncovered. 4nce his sha*in$ fin$ers touched somethin$ )hich he *ne) must %e the steps leadin$ to the hellish altar, and from this spot he recoiled in loathin$. 5t another time he encountered the pierced sla% he had removed, and here his 139

caution %ecame almost pitiful. But he did not come upon the dread aperture after all, nor did an"thin$ issue from that aperture to detain him. (hat had %een do)n there made no sound nor stir. /videntl" its crunchin$ of the fallen electric torch had not %een $ood for it. /ach time (illett2s fin$ers felt a perforated sla% he trem%led. His passa$e over it )ould sometimes increase the $roanin$ %elo), %ut $enerall" it )ould produce no effect at all, since he moved ver" noiselessl". 6everal times durin$ his pro$ress the $lo) ahead diminished percepti%l", and he realised that the various candles and lamps he had left must %e e#pirin$ one %" one. .he thou$ht of %ein$ lost in utter dar*ness )ithout matches amidst this under$round )orld of ni$htmare la%"rinths impelled him to rise to his feet and run, )hich he could safel" do no) that he had passed the open pit- for he *ne) that once the li$ht failed, his onl" hope of rescue and survival )ould lie in )hatever relief part" ,r. (ard mi$ht send after missin$ him for a sufficient period. Presentl", ho)ever, he emer$ed from the open space into the narro)er corridor and definitel" located the $lo) as comin$ from a door on his ri$ht. !n a moment he had reached it and )as standin$ once more in "oun$ (ard2s secret li%rar", trem%lin$ )ith relief, and )atchin$ the sputterin$s of that last lamp )hich had %rou$ht him to safet".

!n another moment he )as hastil" fillin$ the %urned-out lamps from an oil suppl" he had previousl" noticed, and )hen the room )as %ri$ht a$ain he loo*ed a%out to see if he mi$ht find a lantern for further e#ploration. 0or rac*ed thou$h he )as )ith horror, his sense of $rim purpose )as still 140

uppermost- and he )as firml" determined to leave no stone unturned in his search for the hideous facts %ehind &harles (ard2s %i3arre madness. 0ailin$ to find a lantern, he chose the smallest of the lamps to carr"- also fillin$ his poc*ets )ith candles and matches, and ta*in$ )ith him a $allon can of oil, )hich he proposed to *eep for reserve use in )hatever hidden la%orator" he mi$ht uncover %e"ond the terri%le open space )ith its unclean altar and nameless covered )ells. .o traverse that space a$ain )ould re+uire his utmost fortitude, %ut he *ne) it must %e done. 0ortunatel" neither the fri$htful altar nor the opened shaft )as near the vast cell-indented )all )hich %ounded the cavern area, and )hose %lac* m"sterious arch)a"s )ould form the ne#t $oals of a lo$ical search. 6o (illett )ent %ac* to that $reat pillared hall of stench and an$uished ho)lin$- turnin$ do)n his lamp to avoid an" distant $limpse of the hellish altar, or of the uncovered pit )ith the pierced stone sla% %eside it. ,ost of the %lac* door)a"s led merel" to small cham%ers, some vacant and some evidentl" used as storerooms- and in several of the latter he sa) some ver" curious accumulations of various o%1ects. 4ne )as pac*ed )ith rottin$ and dust-draped %ales of spare clothin$, and the e#plorer thrilled )hen he sa) that it )as unmista*a%l" the clothin$ of a centur" and a half %efore. !n another room he found numerous odds and ends of modern clothin$, as if $radual provisions )ere %ein$ made to e+uip a lar$e %od" of men. But )hat he disli*ed most of all )ere the hu$e copper vats )hich occasionall" appearedthese, and the sinister incrustations upon them. He li*ed them even less than the )eirdl" fi$ured leaden %o)ls )hose rims retained such o%no#ious deposits and around )hich clun$ repellent odours percepti%le a%ove even the $eneral noisomness of the cr"pt. (hen he had completed a%out half the entire circuit of the )all he found another corridor li*e 141

that from )hich he had come, and out of )hich man" doors opened. .his he proceeded to investi$ate- and after enterin$ three rooms of medium si3e and of no si$nificant contents, he came at last to a lar$e o%lon$ apartment )hose %usiness-li*e tan*s and ta%les, furnaces and modern instruments, occasional %oo*s and endless shelves of 1ars and %ottles proclaimed it indeed the lon$-sou$ht la%orator" of &harles (ard?and no dou%t of old 9oseph &ur)en %efore him. 5fter li$htin$ the three lamps )hich he found filled and read", 'r. (illett e#amined the place and all the appurtenances )ith the *eenest interest- notin$ from the relative +uantities of various rea$ents on the shelves that "oun$ (ard2s dominant concern must have %een )ith some %ranch of or$anic chemistr". 4n the )hole, little could %e learned from the scientific ensem%le, )hich included a $ruesome-loo*in$ dissectin$-ta%le- so that the room )as reall" rather a disappointment. 5mon$ the %oo*s )as a tattered old cop" of Borellus in %lac*-letter, and it )as )eirdl" interestin$ to note that (ard had underlined the same passa$e )hose mar*in$ had so pertur%ed $ood ,r. ,erritt in &ur)en2s farmhouse more than a centur" and half %efore. .hat old cop", of course, must have perished alon$ )ith the rest of &ur)en2s occult li%rar" in the final raid. .hree arch)a"s opened off the la%orator", and these the doctor proceeded to sample in turn. 0rom his cursor" surve" he sa) that t)o led merel" to small storerooms- %ut these he canvassed )ith care, remar*in$ the piles of coffins in various sta$es of dama$e and shudderin$ violentl" at t)o or three of the fe) coffin-plates he could decipher. .here )as much clothin$ also stored in these rooms, and several ne) and ti$htl" nailed %o#es )hich he did not stop to investi$ate. ,ost interestin$ of all, perhaps, )ere some odd %its )hich he 1ud$ed to %e fra$ments of old 9oseph &ur)en2s la%orator" 142

appliances. .hese had suffered dama$e at the hands of the raiders, %ut )ere still partl" reco$nisa%le as the chemical paraphernalia of the ;eor$ian period. .he third arch)a" led to a ver" si3ea%le cham%er entirel" lined )ith shelves and havin$ in the centre a ta%le %earin$ t)o lamps. .hese lamps (illett li$hted, and in their %rilliant $lo) studied the endless shelvin$ )hich surrounded him. 6ome of the upper levels )ere )holl" vacant, %ut most of the space )as filled )ith small odd-loo*in$ leaden 1ars of t)o $eneral t"pes- one tall and )ithout handles li*e a ;recian le*"thos or oil-1u$, and the other )ith a sin$le handle and proportioned li*e a Phaleron 1u$. 5ll had metal stoppers, and )ere covered )ith peculiar-loo*in$ s"m%ols moulded in lo) relief. !n a moment the doctor noticed that these 1u$s )ere classified )ith $reat ri$idit"- all the le*"thoi %ein$ on one side of the room )ith a lar$e )ooden si$n readin$ 2&ustodes2 a%ove them, and all the Phalerons on the other, correspondin$l" la%elled )ith a si$n readin$ 2,ateria2. /ach of the 1ars of 1u$s, e#cept some on the upper shelves that turned out to %e vacant, %ore a card%oard ta$ )ith a num%er apparentl" referrin$ to a catalo$ue- and (illett resolved to loo* for the latter presentl". 0or the moment, ho)ever, he )as more interested in the nature of the arra" as a )hole, and e#perimentall" opened several of the le*"thoi and Phalerons at random )ith a vie) to a rou$h $eneralisation. .he result )as invaria%le. Both t"pes of 1ar contained a small +uantit" of a sin$le *ind of su%stance- a fine dust" po)der of ver" li$ht )ei$ht and of man" shades of dull, neutral colour. .o the colours )hich formed the onl" point of variation there )as no apparent method of disposal- and no distinction %et)een )hat occurred in the le*"thoi and )hat occurred in the Phalerons. 5 %luish-$re" po)der mi$ht %e %" the side of a pin*ish-)hite one, and an" one in a Phaleron 143

mi$ht have its e#act counterpart in a le*"thos. .he most individual feature a%out the po)ders )as their nonadhesiveness. (illett )ould pour one into his hand, and upon returnin$ it to its 1u$ )ould find that no residue )hatever remained on his palm. .he meanin$ of the t)o si$ns pu33led him, and he )ondered )h" this %atter" of chemicals )as separated so radicall" from those in $lass 1ars on the shelves of the la%orator" proper. 8&ustodes8, 8,ateria8- that )as the Latin for 8;uards8 and 8,aterials8, respectivel"?and then there came a flash of memor" as to )here he had seen that )ord 8;uards8 %efore in conne#ion )ith this dreadful m"ster". !t )as, of course, in the recent letter to 'r. 5llen purportin$ to %e from old /d)in Hutchinson- and the phrase had readH 2.here )as no Beede to *eep the ;uards in 6hape and eat2$ off their Heads, and it made ,uch to %e founde in &ase of .rou%le, as "ou too )elle *no)e.2 (hat did this si$nif"L But )ait?)as there not still another reference to 8$uards8 in this matter )hich he had failed )holl" to recall )hen readin$ the Hutchinson letterL Bac* in the old non-secretive da"s (ard had told him of the /lea3ar 6mith diar" recordin$ the sp"in$ of 6mith and (eeden on the &ur)en farm, and in that dreadful chronicle there had %een a mention of conversations overheard %efore the old )i3ard %etoo* himself )holl" %eneath the earth. .here had %een, 6mith and (eeden insisted, terri%le collo+uies )herein fi$ured &ur)en, certain captives of his, and the $uards of those captives. .hose $uards, accordin$ to Hutchinson or his avatar, had 8eaten their heads off8, so that no) 'r. 5llen did not *eep them in shape. 5nd if not in shape, ho) save as the 8salts8 to )hich it appears this )i3ard %and )as en$a$ed in reducin$ as man" human %odies or s*eletons as the" couldL

144

6o that )as )hat these le*"thoi contained- the monstrous fruit of unhallo)ed rites and deeds, presuma%l" )on or co)ed to such su%mission as to help, )hen called up %" some hellish incantation, in the defence of their %lasphemous master or the +uestionin$ of those )ho )ere not so )illin$L (illett shuddered at the thou$ht of )hat he had %een pourin$ in and out of his hands, and for a moment felt an impulse to flee in panic from that cavern of hideous shelves )ith their silent and perhaps )atchin$ sentinels. .hen he thou$ht of the 8,ateria8?in the m"riad Phaleron 1u$s on the other side of the room. 6alts too?and if not the salts of 8$uards8, then the salts of )hatL ;odI &ould it %e possi%le that here la" the mortal relics of half the titan thin*ers of all the a$es- snatched %" supreme $houls from cr"pts )here the )orld thou$ht them safe, and su%1ect to the %ec* and call of madmen )ho sou$ht to drain their *no)led$e for some still )ilder end )hose ultimate effect )ould concern, as poor &harles had hinted in his frantic note, 8all civilisation, all natural la), perhaps even the fate of the solar s"stem and the universe8L 5nd ,arinus Bic*nell (illett had sifted their dust throu$h his handsI .hen he noticed a small door at the further end of the room, and calmed himself enou$h to approach it and e#amine the crude si$n chiselled a%ove. !t )as onl" a s"m%ol, %ut it filled him )ith va$ue spiritual dread- for a mor%id, dreamin$ friend of his had once dra)n it on paper and told him a fe) of the thin$s it means in the dar* a%"ss of sleep. !t )as the si$n of @oth, that dreamers see fi#ed a%ove the arch)a" of a certain %lac* to)er standin$ alone in t)ili$ht?and (illett did not li*e )hat his friend andolph &arter had said of its po)ers. But a moment later he for$ot the si$n as he reco$nised a ne) acrid odour in the stench-filled air. .his )as a chemical rather than animal smell, and came clearl" from the room %e"ond the door. 5nd it )as, unmista*a%l", the 145

same odour )hich had saturated &harles (ard2s clothin$ on the da" the doctors had ta*en him a)a". 6o it )as here that the "outh had %een interrupted %" the final summonsL He )as )iser that old 9oseph &ur)en, for he had not resisted. (illett, %oldl" determined to penetrate ever" )onder and ni$htmare this nether realm mi$ht contain, sei3ed the small lamp and crossed the threshold. 5 )ave of nameless fri$ht rolled out to meet him, %ut he "ielded to no )him and deferred to no intuition. .here )as nothin$ alive here to harm him, and he )ould not %e sta"ed in his piercin$ of the eldritch cloud )hich en$ulfed his patient. .he room %e"ond the door )as of medium si3e, and had no furniture save a ta%le, a sin$le chair, and t)o $roups of curious machines )ith clamps and )heels, )hich (illett reco$nised after a moment as mediaeval instruments of torture. 4n one side of the door stood a rac* of sava$e )hips, a%ove )hich )ere some shelves %earin$ empt" ro)s of shallo) pedestalled cups of lead shaped li*e ;recian *"li*es. 4n the other side )as the ta%le- )ith a po)erful 5r$and lamp, a pad and pencil, and t)o of the stoppered le*"thoi from the shelves outside set do)n at irre$ular places as if temporaril" or in haste. (illett li$hted the lamp and loo*ed carefull" at the pad, to see )hat notes (ard mi$ht have %een 1ottin$ do)n )hen interrupted- %ut found nothin$ more intelli$i%le than the follo)in$ dis1ointed fra$ments in that cra%%ed &ur)en chiro$raph", )hich shed no li$ht on the case as a )holeH 2B. d"2d not. /scap2d into )alls and founde Place %elo).2 26a)e olde E. sa"e "e 6a%aoth and learnt "ee (a".2 2 ais2d Co$-6othoth thrice and )as "e ne#te 'a" deliver2d.2 146

20. sou$hte to )ipe out all *no)2$ ho)e to raise .hose from 4utside.2 5s the stron$ 5r$and %la3e lit up the entire cham%er the doctor sa) that the )all opposite the door, %et)een the t)o $roups of torturin$ appliances in the corners, )as covered )ith pe$s from )hich hun$ a set of shapeless-loo*in$ ro%es of a rather dismal "ello)ish-)hite. But far more interestin$ )ere the t)o vacant )alls, %oth of )hich )ere thic*l" covered )ith m"stic s"m%ols and formulae rou$hl" chiselled in the smooth dressed stone. .he damp floor also %ore mar*s of carvin$- and )ith %ut little difficult" (illett deciphered a hu$e penta$ram in the centre, )ith a plain circle a%out three feet )ide half )a" %et)een this and each corner. !n one of these four circles, near )here a "ello)ish ro%e had %een flun$ carelessl" do)n, there stood a shallo) *"li# of the sort found on the shelves a%ove the )hip-rac*- and 1ust outside the peripher" )as one of the Phaleron 1u$s from the shelves in the other room, its ta$ num%ered 11:. .his )as unstoppered, and proved upon inspection to %e empt"- %ut the e#plorer sa) )ith a shiver that the *"li# )as not. (ithin its shallo) area, and saved from scatterin$ onl" %" the a%sence of )ind in this se+uestered cavern, la" a small amount of a dr", dull-$reenish efflorescent po)der )hich must have %elon$ed in the 1u$- and (illett almost reeled at the implications that came s)eepin$ over him as he correlated little %" little the several elements and antecedents of the scene. .he )hips and the instruments of torture, the dust or salts from the 1u$ of 8,ateria8, the t)o le*"thoi from the 8&ustodes8 shelf, the ro%es, the formulae on the )alls, the notes on the pad, the hints from letters and le$ends, and the thousand $limpses, dou%ts, and suppositions )hich had come to torment the friends and parents of &harles (ard?all these en$ulfed the doctor in a tidal )ave of horror 147

as he loo*ed at that dr" $reenish po)der outspread in the pedestalled leaden *"li# on the floor. (ith an effort, ho)ever, (illett pulled himself to$ether and %e$an stud"in$ the formulae chiselled on the )alls. 0rom the stained and incrusted letters it )as o%vious that the" )ere carved in 9oseph &ur)en2s time, and their te#t )as such as to %e va$uel" familiar to one )ho had read much &ur)en material or delved e#tensivel" into the histor" of ma$ic. 4ne the doctor clearl" reco$nised as )hat ,rs. (ard heard her son chantin$ on that ominous ;ood 0rida" a "ear %efore, and )hat an authorit" had told him )as a ver" terri%le invocation addressed to secret $ods outside the normal spheres. !t )as not spelled here e#actl" as ,rs. (ard had set it do)n from memor", nor "et as the authorit" had she)n it to him in the for%idden pa$es of 8/liphas Levi8- %ut its identit" )as unmista*a%le, and such )ords as 6a%aoth, ,etraton, 5lmonsin, and Fariatnatmi* sent a shudder of fri$ht throu$h the search )ho had seen and felt so much of cosmic a%omination 1ust around the corner. .his )as on the left-hand )all as one entered the room. .he ri$ht-hand )all )as no less thic*l" inscri%ed, and (illett felt a start of reco$nition )hen he came up the pair of formulae so fre+uentl" occurrin$ in the recent notes in the li%rar". .he" )ere, rou$hl" spea*in$, the same- )ith the ancient s"m%ols of 8'ra$on2s Head8 and 8'ra$on2s .ail8 headin$ them as in (ard2s scri%%lin$s. But the spellin$ differed +uite )idel" from that of the modern versions, as if old &ur)en had had a different )a" of recordin$ sound, or as if later stud" had evolved more po)erful and perfected variants of the invocations in +uestion. .he doctor tried to reconcile the chiselled version )ith the one )hich still ran persistentl" in his head, and found it hard to do. (here the script he had memorised %e$an 8C2ai 2n$2n$ah, Co$-6othoth8, 148

this epi$raph started out as 85"e, en$en$ah, Co$$e-6othotha8)hich to his mind )ould seriousl" interfere )ith the s"lla%ification of the second )ord. ;round as the later te#t )as into his consciousness, the discrepanc" distur%ed him- and he found himself chantin$ the first of the formulae aloud in an effort to s+uare the sound he conceived )ith the letters he found carved. (eird and menacin$ in that a%"ss of anti+ue %lasphem" ran$ his voiceits accents *e"ed to a dronin$ sin$-son$ either throu$h the spell of the past and the un*no)n, or throu$h the hellish e#ample of that dull, $odless )ail from the pits )hose inhuman cadences rose and fell rh"thmicall" in the distance throu$h the stench and the dar*ness. C25! 2B;2B;5H, C4;-64.H4.H H2//-L2;/B 025! .H 4'4; <555HI But )hat )as this cold )ind )hich had sprun$ into life at the ver" outset of the chantL .he lamps )ere sputterin$ )oefull", and the $loom $re) so dense that the letters on the )all nearl" faded from si$ht. .here )as smo*e, too, and an acrid odour )hich +uite dro)ned out the stench from the fara)a" )ells- an odour li*e that he had smelt %efore, "et infinitel" stron$er and more pun$ent. He turned from the inscriptions to face the room )ith its %i3arre contents, and sa) that the *"li# on the floor, in )hich the ominous efflorescent po)der had lain, )as $ivin$ forth a cloud of thic*, $reenish-%lac* vapour of surprisin$ volume and opacit". .hat po)der?;reat ;odI it had come from the shelf of 8,ateria8? )hat )as it doin$ no), and )hat had started itL .he formula 149

he had %een chantin$?the first of the pair?'ra$on2s Head, ascendin$ node?Blessed 6aviour, could it %e ... .he doctor reeled, and throu$h his head raced )ildl" dis1ointed scraps from all he had seen, heard, and read of the fri$htful case of 9oseph &ur)en and &harles 'e#ter (ard. 8! sa" to "ou a$aine, doe not call up 5n" that "ou can not put do)ne ... Have "e (ordes for la"in$ at all times readie, and stopp not to %e sure )hen there is an" 'ou%te of (hom "ou have ... > .al*es )ith (hat )as therein inhum2d ...8 ,erc" of Heaven, )hat is that shape %ehind the partin$ smo*eL

! ,arinus Bic*nell (illett has not hope that an" part of his tale )ill %e %elieved e#cept %" certain s"mpathetic friends, hence he has made no attempt to tell it %e"ond his most intimate circle. 4nl" a fe) outsiders have ever heard it repeated, and of these the ma1orit" lau$h and remar* that the doctor surel" is $ettin$ old. He has %een advised to ta*e a lon$ vacation and to shun future cases dealin$ )ith mental distur%ance. But ,r. (ard *no)s that the veteran ph"sician spea*s onl" a horri%le truth. 'id not he himself see the noisome aperture in the %un$alo) cellarL 'id not (illett send him home overcome and ill at eleven o2cloc* that portentous mornin$L 'id he not telephone the doctor in vain that evenin$, and a$ain the ne#t da", and had he not driven to the %un$alo) itself on that follo)in$ noon, findin$ his friend unconscious %ut unharmed on one of the %eds upstairsL (illett had %een %reathin$ stertorousl", and opened his e"es slo)l" )hen ,r. (ard $ave him some %rand" fetched from the car. .hen he shuddered and screamed, cr"in$ out, 2.hat %eard... those e"es... ;od, )ho are "ouL2 5 ver" stran$e thin$ 150

to sa" to a trim, %lue-e"ed, clean-shaven $entleman )hom he had *no)n from the latter2s %o"hood. !n the %ri$ht noon sunli$ht the %un$alo) )as unchan$ed since the previous mornin$. (illett2s clothin$ %ore no disarran$ement %e"ond certain smud$es and )orn places at the *nees, and onl" a faint acrid odour reminded ,r. (ard of )hat he had smelt on his son that da" he )as ta*en to the hospital. .he doctor2s flashli$ht )as missin$, %ut his valise )as safel" there, as empt" as )hen he had %rou$ht it. Before indul$in$ in an" e#planations, and o%viousl" )ith $reat moral effort, (illett sta$$ered di33il" do)n to the cellar and tried the fateful platform %efore the tu%s. !t )as un"ieldin$. &rossin$ to )here he had left his "et unused tool satchel the da" %efore, he o%tained a chisel and %e$an to pr" up the stu%%orn plan*s one %" one. <nderneath the smooth concrete )as still visi%le, %ut of an" openin$ or perforation there )as no lon$er a trace. Bothin$ "a)ned this time to sic*en the m"stified father )ho had follo)ed the doctor do)nstairs- onl" the smooth concrete underneath the plan*s?no noisome )ell, no )orld of su%terrene horrors, no secret li%rar", no &ur)en papers, no ni$htmare pits of stench and ho)lin$, no la%orator" or shelves or chiselled formulae, no... 'r. (illett turned pale, and clutched at the "oun$er man. 2Cesterda",2 he as*ed softl", 2did "ou see it here ... and smell itL2 5nd )hen ,r. (ard, himself transfi#ed )ith dread and )onder, found stren$th to nod an affirmative, the ph"sician $ave a sound half a si$h and half a $asp, and nodded in turn. 2.hen ! )ill tell "ou2, he said. 6o for an hour, in the sunniest room the" could find upstairs, the ph"sician )hispered his fri$htful tale to the )onderin$ father. .here )as nothin$ to relate %e"ond the loomin$ up of that form )hen the $reenish-%lac* vapour from the *"li# parted, and (illett )as too tired to as* himself )hat 151

had reall" occurred. .here )ere futile, %e)ildered headsha*in$s from %oth men, and once ,r. (ard ventured a hushed su$$estion, 2'o "ou suppose it )ould %e of an" use to di$L2 .he doctor )as silent, for it seemed hardl" fittin$ for an" human %rain to ans)er )hen po)ers of un*no)n spheres had so vitall" encroached on this side of the ;reat 5%"ss. 5$ain ,r. (ard as*ed, 2But )here did it $oL !t %rou$ht "ou here, "ou *no), and it sealed up the hole someho).2 5nd (illett a$ain let silence ans)er for him. But after all, this )as not the final phase of the matter. eachin$ for his hand*erchief %efore risin$ to leave, 'r. (illett2s fin$ers closed upon a piece of paper in his poc*et )hich had not %een there %efore, and )hich )as companioned %" the candles and matches he had sei3ed in the vanished vault. !t )as a common sheet, torn o%viousl" from the cheap pad in that fa%ulous room of horror some)here under$round, and the )ritin$ upon it )as that of an ordinar" lead pencil?dou%tless the one )hich had lain %eside the pad. !t )as folded ver" carelessl", and %e"ond the faint acrid scent of the cr"ptic cham%er %ore no print or mar* of an" )orld %ut this. But in the te#t itself it did indeed ree* )ith )onder- for here )as no script of an" )holesome a$e, %ut the la%oured stro*es of mediaeval dar*ness, scarcel" le$i%le to the la"men )ho no) strained over it, "et havin$ com%inations of s"m%ols )hich seemed va$uel" familiar. .he %riefl" scra)led messa$e )as this, and its m"ster" lent purpose to the sha*en pair, )ho forth)ith )al*ed steadil" out to the (ard car and $ave orders to %e driven first to a +uiet dinin$ place and then to the 9ohn Ha" Li%rar" on the hill.

152

5t the li%rar" it )as eas" to find $ood manuals of palaeo$raph", and over these the t)o men pu33led till the li$hts of evenin$ shone out from the $reat chandelier. !n the end the" found )hat )as needed. .he letters )ere indeed no fantastic invention, %ut the normal script of a ver" dar* period. .he" )ere the pointed 6a#on minuscules of the ei$hth or ninth centur" 5.'., and %rou$ht )ith them memories of an uncouth time )hen under a fresh &hristian veneer ancient faiths and ancient rites stirred stealthil", and the pale moon of Britain loo*ed sometimes on stran$e deeds in the oman ruins of &aerleon and He#ham, and %" the to)ers alon$ Hadrian2s crum%lin$ )all. .he )ords )ere in such Latin as a %ar%arous a$e mi$ht remem%er?2&orvinus necandus est. &adaver a+(ua) forti dissolvendum, nec ali+(ui)d retinendum. .ace ut potes.2?)hich ma" rou$hl" %e translated, 8&ur)en must %e *illed. .he %od" must %e dissolved in a+ua fortis, nor must an"thin$ %e retained. @eep silence as %est "ou are a%le.8 (illett and ,r. (ard )ere mute and %affled. .he" had met the un*no)n, and found that the" lac*ed emotions to respond to it as the" va$uel" %elieved the" ou$ht. (ith (illett, especiall", the capacit" for receivin$ fresh impressions of a)e )as )ell-ni$h e#hausted- and %oth men sat still and helpless till the closin$ of the li%rar" forced them to leave. .hen the" drove listlessl" to the (ard mansion in Prospect 6treet, and tal*ed to no purpose into the ni$ht. .he doctor rested to)ard mornin$, %ut did not $o home. 5nd he )as still there 6unda"

153

noon )hen a telephone messa$e came from the detectives )ho had %een assi$ned to loo* up 'r. 5llen. ,r. (ard, )ho )as pacin$ nervousl" a%out in a dressin$$o)n, ans)ered the call in person- and told the men to come up earl" the ne#t da" )hen he heard their report )as almost read". Both (illett and he )ere $lad that this phase of the matter )as ta*in$ form, for )hatever the ori$in of the stran$e minuscule messa$e, it seemed certain the 8&ur)en8 )ho must %e destro"ed could %e no other than the %earded and spectacled stran$er. &harles had feared this man, and had said in the frantic note that he must %e *illed and dissolved in acid. 5llen, moreover, had %een receivin$ letters from the stran$e )i3ards in /urope under the name of &ur)en, and palpa%l" re$arded himself as an avatar of the %"$one necromancer. 5nd no) from a fresh and un*no)n source had come a messa$e sa"in$ that 8&ur)en8 must %e *illed and dissolved in acid. .he lin*a$e )as too unmista*a%le to %e factitious- and %esides, )as not 5llen plannin$ to murder "oun$ (ard upon the advice of the creature called HutchinsonL 4f course, the letter the" had seen had never reached the %earded stran$er- %ut from its te#t the" could see that 5llen had alread" formed plans for dealin$ )ith the "outh if he $re) too 8s+ueamish8. (ithout dou%t, 5llen must %e apprehended- and even if the most drastic directions )ere not carried out, he must %e placed )here he could inflict no harm upon &harles (ard. .hat afternoon, hopin$ a$ainst hope to e#tract some $leam of information anent the inmost m"steries from the onl" availa%le one capa%le of $ivin$ it, the father and the doctor )ent do)n the %a" and called on "oun$ &harles at the hospital. 6impl" and $ravel" (illett told him all he had found, and noticed ho) pale he turned as each description made certain the truth of the discover". .he ph"sician emplo"ed as 154

much dramatic effect as he could, and )atched for a )incin$ on &harles2s part )hen he approached the matter of the covered pits and the nameless h"%rids )ithin. But (ard did not )ince. (illett paused, and his voice $re) indi$nant as he spo*e of ho) the thin$s )ere starvin$. He ta#ed the "outh )ith shoc*in$ inhumanit", and shivered )hen onl" a sardonic lau$h came in repl". 0or &harles, havin$ dropped as useless his pretence that the cr"pt did not e#ist, seemed to see some $hastl" 1est in this affair- and chuc*ed hoarsel" at somethin$ )hich amused him. .hen he )hispered, in accents dou%l" terri%le %ecause of the crac*ed voice he used, 2'amn 2em, the" do eat, %ut the" don2t need toI .hat2s the rare partI 5 month, "ou sa", )ithout foodL Lud, 6ir, "ou %e modestI '2"e *no), that )as the 1o*e on poor old (hipple )ith his virtuous %lusterI @ill ever"thin$ off, )ould heL (h", damme, he )as half-deaf )ith noise from 4utside and never sa) or heard au$ht from the )ellsI He never dreamed the" )ere there at allI 'evil ta*e "e, those cursed thin$s have %een ho)lin$ do)n there ever since &ur)en )as done for a hundred and fift"-seven "ears $oneI2 But no more than this could (illett $et from the "outh. Horrified, "et almost convinced a$ainst his )ill, he )ent on )ith his tale in the hope that some incident mi$ht startle his auditor out of the mad composure he maintained. Loo*in$ at the "outh2s face, the doctor could not %ut feel a *ind of terror at the chan$es )hich recent months had )rou$ht. .rul", the %o" had dra)n do)n nameless horrors from the s*ies. (hen the room )ith the formulae and the $reenish dust )as mentioned, &harles she)ed his first si$n of animation. 5 +ui33ical loo* overspread his face as he heard )hat (illett had read on the pad, and he ventured the mild statement that those notes )ere old ones, of no possi%le si$nificance to an"one not deepl" initiated in the histor" of ma$ic. But, he 155

added, 2had "ou %ut *no)n the )ords to %rin$ up that )hich ! had out in the cup, "ou had not %een here to tell me this. 2.)as Bum%er 11:, and ! conceive "ou )ould have shoo* had "ou loo*ed it up in m" list in t2other room. 2.)as never raised %" me, %ut ! meant to have it up that da" "ou came to invite me hither.2 .hen (illett told of the formula he had spo*en and of the $reenish-%lac* smo*e )hich had arisen- and as he did so he sa) true fear da)n for the first time on &harles (ard2s face. 2!t came, and "ou %e here aliveL2 5s (ard croa*ed the )ords his voice seemed almost to %urst free of its trammels and sin* to cavernous a%"sses of uncann" resonance. (illett, $ifted )ith a flash of inspiration, %elieved he sa) the situation, and )ove into his repl" a caution from a letter he remem%ered. 2Bo. 11:, "ou sa"L But don2t for$et that stones are all chan$ed no) in nine $rounds out of ten. Cou are never sure till "ou +uestionI2 5nd then, )ithout )arnin$, he dre) forth the minuscule messa$e and flashed it %efore the patient2s e"es. He could have )ished no stron$er result, for &harles (ard fainted forth)ith. 5ll this conversation, of course, had %een conducted )ith the $reatest secrec" lest the resident alienists accuse the father and the ph"sician of encoura$in$ a madman in his delusions. <naided, too, 'r. (illett and ,r. (ard pic*ed up the stric*en "outh and placed him on the couch. !n revivin$, the patient mum%led man" times of some )ord )hich he must $et to 4rne and Hutchinson at once- so )hen his consciousness seemed full" %ac* the doctor told him that of those stran$e creatures at least one )as his %itter enem", and had $iven 'r. 5llen advice for his assassination. .his revelation produced no visi%le effect, and %efore it )as made the visitors could see that their host had alread" the loo* of a hunted man. 5fter that he )ould converse no more, so (illett 156

and the father departed presentl"- leavin$ %ehind a caution a$ainst the %earded 5llen, to )hich the "outh onl" replied that this individual )as ver" safel" ta*en care of, and could do no one an" harm even if he )ished. .his )as said )ith an almost evil chuc*le ver" painful to hear. .he" did not )orr" a%out an" communications &harles mi$ht indite to that monstrous pair in /urope, since the" *ne) that the hospital authorities sei3ed all out$oin$ mail for censorship and )ould pass no )ild or outrO-loo*in$ missive. .here is, ho)ever, a curious se+uel to the matter of 4rne and Hutchinson, if such indeed the e#iled )i3ards )ere. ,oved %" some va$ue presentiment amidst the horrors of that period, (illett arran$ed )ith an international presscuttin$ %ureau for accounts of nota%le current crimes and accidents in Pra$ue and in eastern .rans"lvania- and after si# months %elieved that he had found t)o ver" si$nificant thin$s amon$st the multifarious items he received and had translated. 4ne )as the total )rec*in$ of a house %" ni$ht in the oldest +uarter of Pra$ue, and the disappearance of the evil old man called 9osef Bade*, )ho had d)elt in it alone ever since an"one could remem%er. .he other )as a titan e#plosion in the .rans"lvanian mountains east of a*us, and the utter e#tirpation )ith all its inmates of the ill-re$arded &astle 0erenc3", )hose master )as so %adl" spo*en of %" peasants and soldier" ali*e that he )ould shortl" have %een summoned to Bucharest for serious +uestionin$ had not this incident cut off a career alread" so lon$ as to antedate all common memor". (illett maintains that the hand )hich )rote those minuscules )as a%le to )ield stron$er )eapons as )ell- and that )hile &ur)en )as left to him to dispose of, the )riter felt a%le to find and deal )ith 4rne and Hutchinson itself. !f )hat their fate ma" have %een the doctor strives sedulousl" not to thin*. 157

" .he follo)in$ mornin$ 'r. (illett hastened to the (ard home to %e present )hen the detectives arrived. 5llen2s destruction or imprisonment?or &ur)en2s if one mi$ht re$ard the tacit claim to reincarnation as valid?he felt must %e accomplished at an" cost, and he communicated this conviction to ,r. (ard as the" sat )aitin$ for the men to come. .he" )ere do)nstairs this time, for the upper parts of the house )ere %e$innin$ to %e shunned %ecause of a particular nauseousness )hich hun$ indefinitel" a%out- a nauseousness )hich the older servants connected )ith some curse left %" the vanished &ur)en portrait. 5t nine o2cloc* the three detectives presented themselves and immediatel" delivered all that the" had to sa". .he" had not, re$retta%l" enou$h, located the Brava .on" ;omes as the" had )ished, nor had the" found the least trace of 'r. 5llen2s source or present )herea%outs- %ut the" had mana$ed to unearth a considera%le num%er of local impressions and facts concernin$ the reticent stran$er. 5llen had struc* Pa)tu#et people as a va$uel" unnatural %ein$, and there )as a universal %elief that his thic* sand" %eard )as either d"ed or false?a %elief conclusivel" upheld %" the findin$ of such a false %eard, to$ether )ith a pair of dar* $lasses, in his room at the fateful %un$alo). His voice, ,r. (ard could )ell testif" from his one telephone conversation, had a depth and hollo)ness that could not %e for$otten- and his $lance seemed mali$n even throu$h his smo*ed and horn-rimmed $lasses. 4ne shop*eeper, in the course of ne$otiations, had seen a specimen of his hand)ritin$ and declared it )as ver" +ueer and cra%%ed- this %ein$ confirmed %" pencilled notes of no clear meanin$ found in his room and identified %" the merchant. !n conne#ion )ith the vampirism rumours of the 158

precedin$ summer, a ma1orit" of the $ossips %elieved that 5llen rather than (ard )as the actual vampire. 6tatements )ere also o%tained from the officials )ho had visited the %un$alo) after the unpleasant incident of the motor truc* ro%%er". .he" had felt less of the sinister in 'r. 5llen, %ut had reco$nised him as the dominant fi$ure in the +ueer shado)" cotta$e. .he place had %een too dar* for them to o%serve him clearl", %ut the" )ould *no) him a$ain if the" sa) him. His %eard had loo*ed odd, and the" thou$ht he had some sli$ht scar a%ove his dar* spectacled ri$ht e"e. 5s for the detectives2 search of 5llen2s room, it "ielded nothin$ definite save the %eard and $lasses, and several pencilled notes in a cra%%ed )ritin$ )hich (illett at once sa) )as identical )ith that shared %" the old &ur)en manuscripts and %" the voluminous recent notes of "oun$ (ard found in the vanished catacom%s of horror. 'r. (illett and ,r. (ard cau$ht somethin$ of a profound, su%tle, and insidious cosmic fear from this data as it )as $raduall" unfolded, and almost trem%led in follo)in$ up the va$ue, mad thou$ht )hich had simultaneousl" reached their minds. .he false %eard and $lasses?the cra%%ed &ur)en penmanship?the old portrait and its tin" scar?and the altered "outh in the hospital )ith such a scar?that deep, hollo) voice on the telephone?)as it not of this that ,r. (ard )as reminded )hen his son %ar*ed forth those pitia%le tones to )hich he no) claimed to %e reducedL (ho had ever seen &harles and 5llen to$etherL Ces, the officials had once, %ut )ho later onL (as it not )hen 5llen left that &harles suddenl" lost his $ro)in$ fri$ht and %e$an to live )holl" at the %un$alo)L &ur)en?5llen?(ard?in )hat %lasphemous and a%omina%le fusion had t)o a$es and t)o persons %ecome involvedL .hat damna%le resem%lance of the picture to &harles?had it not used to stare and stare, and follo) the %o" 159

around the room )ith its e"esL (h", too, did %oth 5llen and &harles cop" 9oseph &ur)en2s hand)ritin$, even )hen alone and off $uardL 5nd then the fri$htful )or* of those people? the lost cr"pt of horrors that had a$ed the doctor overni$htthe starvin$ monsters in the noisome pits- the a)ful formula )hich had "ielded such nameless results- the messa$e in minuscules found in (illett2s poc*et- the papers and the letters and all the tal* of $raves and 8salts8 and discoveries? )hither did ever"thin$ leadL !n the end ,r. (ard did the most sensi%le thin$. 6teelin$ himself a$ainst an" realisation of )h" he did it, he $ave the detectives an article to %e she)n to such Pa)tu#et shop*eepers as had seen the portentous 'r. 5llen. .hat article )as a photo$raph of his luc*less son, on )hich he no) carefull" dre) in in* the pair of heav" $lasses and the %lac* pointed %eard )hich the men had %rou$ht from 5llen2s room. 0or t)o hours he )aited )ith the doctor in the oppressive house )here fear and miasma )ere slo)l" $atherin$ as the empt" panel in the upstairs li%rar" leered and leered and leered. .hen the men returned. Ces. .he altered photo$raph )as a ver" passa%le li*eness of 'r. 5llen. ,r. (ard turned pale, and (illett )iped a suddenl" dampened %ro) )ith his hand*erchief. 5llen?(ard?&ur)en?it )as %ecomin$ too hideous for coherent thou$ht. (hat had the %o" called out of the void, and )hat had it done to himL (hat, reall", had happened from first to lastL (ho )as this 5llen )ho sou$ht to *ill &harles as too 8s+ueamish8, and )h" had his destined victim said in the postscript to that frantic letter that he must %e so completel" o%literated in acidL (h", too, had the minuscule messa$e, of )hose ori$in no one dared thin*, said that 8&ur)en8 must %e li*e)ise o%literatedL (hat )as the chan$e, and )hen had the final sta$e occurredL .hat da" )hen his frantic note )as received?he had %een nervous all 160

the mornin$, then there )as an alteration. He had slipped out unseen and s)a$$ered %oldl" in past the men hired to $uard him. .hat )as the time, )hen he )as out. But no?had he not cried out in terror as he entered his stud"?this ver" roomL (hat had he found thereL 4r )ait?)hat had found himL .hat simulacrum )hich %rushed %oldl" in )ithout havin$ %een seen to $o?)as that an alien shado) and a horror forcin$ itself upon a trem%lin$ fi$ure )hich had never $one out at allL Had not the %utler spo*en of +ueer noisesL (illett ran$ for the man and as*ed him some lo)-toned +uestions. !t had, surel" enou$h, %een a %ad %usiness. .here had %een noises?a cr", a $asp, a cho*in$, and a sort of clatterin$ or crea*in$ or thumpin$, or all of these. 5nd ,r. &harles )as not the same )hen he stal*ed out )ithout a )ord. .he %utler shivered as he spo*e, and sniffed at the heav" air that %le) do)n from some open )indo) upstairs. .error had settled definitel" upon the house, and onl" the %usiness-li*e detectives failed to im%i%e a full measure of it. /ven the" )ere restless, for this case had held va$ue elements in the %ac*$round )hich pleased them not at all. 'r. (illett )as thin*in$ deepl" and rapidl", and his thou$hts )ere terri%le ones. Bo) and then he )ould almost %rea* into mutterin$ as he ran over in his head a ne), appallin$, and increasin$l" conclusive chain of ni$htmare happenin$s. .hen ,r. (ard made a si$n that the conference )as over, and ever"one save him and the doctor left the room. !t )as noon no), %ut shado)s as of comin$ ni$ht seemed to en$ulf the phantom-haunted mansion. (illett %e$an tal*in$ ver" seriousl" to his host, and ur$ed that he leave a $reat deal of the future investi$ation to him. .here )ould %e, he predicted, certain o%no#ious elements )hich a friend could %ear %etter than a relative. 5s famil" ph"sician he must have a free hand, and the first thin$ he re+uired )as a period alone and 161

undistur%ed in the a%andoned li%rar" upstairs, )here the ancient overmantel had $athered a%out itself an aura of noisome horror more intense than )hen 9oseph &ur)en2s features themselves $lanced sl"l" do)n from the painted panel. ,r. (ard, da3ed %" the flood of $rotes+ue mor%idities and unthin*a%l" maddenin$ su$$estions that poured in upon him from ever" side, could onl" ac+uiesce- and half an hour later the doctor )as loc*ed in the shunned room )ith the panellin$ from 4lne" &ourt. .he father, listenin$ outside, heard fum%lin$ sounds of movin$ and rumma$in$ as the moments passed- and finall" a )rench and a crea*, as if a ti$ht cup%oard door )ere %ein$ opened. .hen there )as a muffled cr", a *ind of snortin$ cho*e, and a hast" slammin$ of )hatever had %een opened. 5lmost at once the *e" rattled and (illett appeared in the hall, ha$$ard and $hastl", and demandin$ )ood for the real fireplace on the south )all of the room. .he furnace )as not enou$h, he said- and the electric lo$ had little practical use. Lon$in$ "et not darin$ to as* +uestions, ,r. (ard $ave the re+uisite orders and a man %rou$ht some stout pine lo$s, shudderin$ as he entered the tainted air of the li%rar" to place them in the $rate. (illett mean)hile had $one up to the dismantled la%orator" and %rou$ht do)n a fe) odds and ends not included in the movin$ of the 9ul" %efore. .he" )ere in a covered %as*et, and ,r. (ard never sa) )hat the" )ere. .hen the doctor loc*ed himself in the li%rar" once more, and %" the clouds of smo*e )hich rolled do)n past the )indo)s from the chimne" it )as *no)n that he had li$hted the fire. Later, after a $reat rustlin$ of ne)spapers, that odd )rench and crea*in$ )ere heard a$ain- follo)ed %" a thumpin$ )hich none of the eavesdroppers li*ed. .hereafter t)o suppressed cries of (illett2s )ere heard, and hard upon 162

these came a s)ishin$ rustle of indefina%le hatefulness. 0inall" the smo*e that the )ind %eat do)n from the chimne" $re) ver" dar* and acrid, and ever"one )ished that the )eather had spared them this cho*in$ and venomous inundation of peculiar fumes. ,r. (ard2s head reeled, and the servants all clustered to$ether in a *not to )atch the horri%le %lac* smo*e s)oop do)n. 5fter an a$e of )aitin$ the vapours seemed to li$hted, and half-formless sounds of scrapin$, s)eepin$, and other minor operations )ere heard %ehind the %olted door. 5nd at last, after the slammin$ of some cup%oard )ithin, (illett made his appearance?sad, pale, and ha$$ard, and %earin$ the cloth-draped %as*et he had ta*en from the upstairs la%orator". He had left the )indo) open, and into that once accursed room )as pourin$ a )ealth of pure, )holesome air to mi# )ith a +ueer ne) smell of disinfectants. .he ancient overmantel still lin$ered- %ut it seemed ro%%ed of mali$nit" no), and rose as calm and statel" in its )hite panellin$ as if it had never %orne the picture of 9oseph &ur)en. Bi$ht )as comin$ on, "et this time its shado)s held no latent fri$ht, %ut onl" a $entle melanchol". 4f )hat he had done the doctor )ould never spea*. .o ,r. (ard he said, 2! can ans)er no +uestions, %ut ! )ill sa" that there are different *inds of ma$ic. ! have made a $reat pur$ation, and those in this house )ill sleep the %etter for it.2

, .hat 'r. (illett2s 8pur$ation8 had %een an ordeal almost as nerve-rac*in$ in its )a" as his hideous )anderin$ in the vanished cr"pt is she)n %" the fact that the elderl" ph"sician $ave out completel" as soon as he reached home that evenin$. 0or three da"s he rested constantl" in his room, thou$h 163

servants later muttered somethin$ a%out havin$ heard him after midni$ht on (ednesda", )hen the outer door softl" opened and closed )ith phenomenal softness. 6ervants2 ima$inations, fortunatel", are limited, else comment mi$ht have %een e#cited %" an item in .hursda"2s /venin$ Bulletin )hich ran as follo)sH B4
.H /B' ;H4<L6 5;5!B 5&.!E/

5fter a lull of ten months since the dastardl" vandalism in the (eeden lot at the Borth Burial ;round, a nocturnal pro)ler )as $limpsed earl" this mornin$ in the same cemeter" %" o%ert Hart, the ni$ht )atchman. Happenin$ to $lance for a moment from his shelter at a%out 2 a.m., Hart o%served the $lo) of a lantern or poc*et torch not far to the north)est, and upon openin$ the door detected the fi$ure of a man )ith a tro)el ver" plainl" silhouetted a$ainst a near%" electric li$ht. 5t once startin$ in pursuit, he sa) the fi$ure dart hurriedl" to)ard the main entrance, $ainin$ the street and losin$ himself amon$ the shado)s %efore approach or capture )as possi%le. Li*e the first of the $houls active durin$ the past "ear, this intruder had done no real dama$e %efore detection. 5 vacant part of the (ard lot she)ed si$ns of a little superficial di$$in$, %ut nothin$ even nearl" the si3e of a $rave had %een attempted, and no previous $rave had %een distur%ed. Hart, )ho cannot descri%e the pro)ler e#cept as a small man pro%a%l" havin$ a full %eard, inclines to the vie) that all three of the di$$in$ incidents have a common source- %ut police from the 6econd 6tation 164

thin* other)ise on account of the sava$e nature of the second incident, )here an ancient coffin )as removed and its headstone violentl" shattered. .he first of the incidents, in )hich it is thou$ht an attempt to %ur" somethin$ )as frustrated, occurred a "ear a$o last ,arch, and has %een attri%uted to %ootle$$ers see*in$ a cache. !t is possi%le, sa"s 6er$t. ile", that this third affair is of similar nature. 4fficers at the 6econd 6tation are ta*in$ especial pains to capture the $an$ of miscreants responsi%le for these repeated outra$es. 5ll da" .hursda" 'r. (illett rested as if recuperatin$ from somethin$ past or nervin$ himself for somethin$ to come. !n the evenin$ he )rote a note to ,r. (ard, )hich )as delivered the ne#t mornin$ and )hich caused the half-da3ed parent to ponder lon$ and deepl". ,r. (ard had not %een a%le to $o do)n to %usiness since the shoc* of ,onda" )ith its %afflin$ reports and its sinister 8pur$ation8, %ut he found somethin$ calmin$ a%out the doctor2s letter in spite of the despair it seemed to promise and the fresh m"steries it seemed to evo*e. 17 Barnes 6t., Providence, . !. 5pril 12, 192:. 'ear .heodoreH! feel that ! must sa" a )ord to "ou %efore doin$ )hat ! am $oin$ to do tomorro). !t )ill conclude the terri%le %usiness )e have %een $oin$ throu$h (for ! 165

feel that no spade is ever li*el" to reach that monstrous place )e *no) of), %ut !2m afraid it )on2t set "our mind at rest unless ! e#pressl" assure "ou ho) ver" conclusive it is. Cou have *no)n me ever since "ou )ere a small %o", so ! thin* "ou )ill not distrust me )hen ! hint that some matters are %est left undecided and une#plored. !t is %etter that "ou attempt no further speculation as to &harles2s case, and almost imperative that "ou tell his mother nothin$ more than she alread" suspects. (hen ! call on "ou tomorro) &harles )ill have escaped. .hat is all )hich need remain in an"one2s mind. He )as mad, and he escaped. Cou can tell his mother $entl" and $raduall" a%out the mad part )hen "ou stop sendin$ the t"ped notes in his name. !2d advise "ou to 1oin her in 5tlantic &it" and ta*e a rest "ourself. ;od *no)s "ou need one after this shoc*, as ! do m"self. ! am $oin$ 6outh for a )hile to calm do)n and %race up. 6o don2t as* me an" +uestions )hen ! call. !t ma" %e that somethin$ )ill $o )ron$, %ut !2ll tell "ou if it does. ! don2t thin* it )ill. .here )ill %e nothin$ more to )orr" a%out, for &harles )ill %e ver", ver" safe. He is no)?safer than "ou dream. Cou need hold no fears a%out 5llen, and )ho or )hat he is. He forms as much a part of the past as 9oseph &ur)en2s picture, and )hen ! rin$ "our door%ell "ou ma" feel certain that there is no such person. 5nd )hat )rote that minuscule messa$e )ill never trou%le "ou or "ours. But "ou must steel "ourself to melanchol", and prepare "our )ife to do the same. ! must tell "ou fran*l" that &harles2s escape )ill not mean his restoration to "ou. He has %een afflicted )ith a 166

peculiar disease, as "ou must realise from the su%tle ph"sical as )ell as mental chan$es in him, and "ou must not hope to see him a$ain. Have onl" this consolation?that he )as never a fiend or even trul" a madman, %ut onl" an ea$er, studious, and curious %o" )hose love of m"ster" and of the past )as his undoin$. He stum%led on thin$s no mortal ou$ht ever to *no), and reached %ac* throu$h the "ears as no one ever should reach- and somethin$ came out of those "ears to en$ulf him. 5nd no) comes the matter in )hich ! must as* "ou to trust me most of all. 0or there )ill %e, indeed, no uncertaint" a%out &harles2s fate. !n a%out a "ear, sa", "ou can if "ou )ish devise a suita%le account of the end- for the %o" )ill %e no more. Cou can put up a stone in "our lot at the Borth Burial ;round e#actl" ten feet )est of "our father2s and facin$ the same )a", and that )ill mar* the true restin$-place of "our son. Bor need "ou fear that it )ill mar* an" a%normalit" or chan$elin$. .he ashes in that $rave )ill %e those of "our o)n unaltered %one and sine)?of the real &harles 'e#ter (ard )hose mind "ou )atched from infanc"?the real &harles )ith the olive-mar* on his hip and )ithout the %lac* )itch-mar* on his chest or the pit on his forehead. .he &harles )ho never did actual evil, and )ho )ill have paid )ith his life for his 8s+ueamishness8. .hat is all. &harles )ill have escaped, and a "ear from no) "ou can put up his stone. 'o not +uestion me tomorro). 5nd %elieve that the honour of "our ancient famil" remains untainted no), as it has %een at all times in the past.

167

(ith profoundest s"mpath", and e#hortations to fortitude, calmness, and resi$nation, ! am ever 6incerel" "our friend, ,arinus B. (illett. 6o on the mornin$ of 0rida", 5pril 1>, 192:, ,arinus Bic*nell (illett visited the room of &harles 'e#ter (ard at 'r. (aite2s private hospital on &onanicut !sland. .he "outh, thou$h ma*in$ no attempt to evade his caller, )as in a sullen mood- and seemed disinclined to open the conversation )hich (illett o%viousl" desired. .he doctor2s discover" of the cr"pt and his monstrous e#perience therein had of course created a ne) source of em%arrassment, so that %oth hesitated percepti%l" after the interchan$e of a fe) strained formalities. .hen a ne) element of constraint crept in, as (ard seemed to read %ehind the doctor2s mas*-li*e face a terri%le purpose )hich had never %een there %efore. .he patient +uailed, conscious that since the last visit there had %een a chan$e )here%" the solicitous famil" ph"sician had $iven place to the ruthless and implaca%le aven$er. (ard actuall" turned pale, and the doctor )as the first to spea*. 2,ore,2 he said, 2has %een found out, and ! must )arn "ou fairl" that a rec*onin$ is due.2 2'i$$in$ a$ain, and comin$ upon more poor starvin$ petsL2 )as the ironic repl". !t )as evident that the "outh meant to she) %ravado to the last. 2Bo,2 (illett slo)l" re1oined, 2this time ! did not have to di$. (e have had men loo*in$ up 'r. 5llen, and the" found the false %eard and spectacles in the %un$alo).2 2/#cellent,2 commented the dis+uieted host in an effort to %e )ittil" insultin$, 2and ! trust the" proved more %ecomin$ than the %eard and $lasses "ou no) have onI2 168

2.he" )ould %ecome "ou ver" )ell,2 came the even and studied response, 2as indeed the" seem to have done.2 5s (illett said this, it almost seemed as thou$h a cloud passed over the sun- thou$h there )as no chan$e in the shado)s on the floor. .hen (ard venturedH 25nd is this )hat as*s so hotl" for a rec*onin$L 6uppose a man does find it no) and then useful to %e t)ofoldL2 2Bo2, said (illett $ravel", 2a$ain "ou are )ron$. !t is no %usiness of mine if an" man see*s dualit"- provided he has an" ri$ht to e#ist at all, and provided he does not destro" )hat called him out of space.2 (ard no) started violentl". 2(ell, 6ir, )hat have "e found, and )hat d2"e )ant of meL2 .he doctor let a little time elapse %efore repl"in$, as if choosin$ his )ords for an effective ans)er. 2! have found2, he finall" intoned, 2somethin$ in a cup%oard %ehind an ancient overmantel )here a picture once )as, and ! have %urned it and %uried the ashes )here the $rave of &harles 'e#ter (ard ou$ht to %e.2 .he madman cho*ed and spran$ from the chair in )hich he had %een sittin$H 2'amn "e, )ho did "e tell?and )ho2ll %elieve it )as he after these t)o full months, )ith me aliveL (hat d2"e mean to doL2 (illett, thou$h a small man, actuall" too* on a *ind of 1udicial ma1est" as he calmed the patient )ith a $esture. 2! have told no one. .his is no common case?it is a madness out of time and a horror from %e"ond the spheres )hich no police or la)"ers or courts or alienists could ever fathom or $rapple )ith. .han* ;od some chance has left inside me the spar* of ima$ination, that ! mi$ht not $o astra" in thin*in$ out this thin$. Cou cannot deceive me, 9oseph &ur)en, for ! *no) that "our accursed ma$ic is trueI2

169

2! *no) ho) "ou )ove the spell that %rooded outside the "ears and fastened on "our dou%le and descendant- ! *no) ho) "ou dre) him into the past and $ot him to raise "ou up from "our detesta%le $rave- ! *no) ho) he *ept "ou hidden in his la%orator" )hile "ou studied modern thin$s and roved a%road as a vampire %" ni$ht, and ho) "ou later she)ed "ourself in %eard and $lasses that no one mi$ht )onder at "our $odless li*eness to him- ! *no) )hat "ou resolved to do )hen he %al*ed at "our monstrous riflin$ of the )orld2s tom%s, and at )hat "ou planned after)ard , and ! *no) ho) "ou did it.2 2Cou left off "our %eard and $lasses and fooled the $uards around the house. .he" thou$ht it )as he )ho )ent in, and the" thou$ht it )as he )ho came out )hen "ou had stran$led and hidden him. But "ou hadn2t rec*oned on the different contents of t)o minds. Cou )ere a fool, 9oseph &ur)en, to fanc" that a mere visual identit" )ould %e enou$h. (h" didn2t "ou thin* of the speech and the voice and the hand)ritin$L !t hasn2t )or*ed, "ou see, after all. Cou *no) %etter than ! )ho or )hat )rote that messa$e in minuscules, %ut ! )ill )arn "ou it )as not )ritten in vain. .here are a%ominations and %lasphemies )hich must %e stamped out, and ! %elieve that the )riter of those )ords )ill attend to 4rne and Hutchinson. 4ne of those creatures )rote "ou once, 8do not call up an" that "ou can not put do)n8. Cou )ere undone once %efore, perhaps in that ver" )a", and it ma" %e that "our o)n evil ma$ic )ill undo "ou all a$ain. &ur)en, a man can2t tamper )ith Bature %e"ond certain limits, and ever" horror "ou have )oven )ill rise up to )ipe "ou out.2 But here the doctor )as cut short %" a convulsive cr" from the creature %efore him. Hopelessl" at %a", )eaponless, and *no)in$ that an" sho) of ph"sical violence )ould %rin$ a score of attendants to the doctor2s rescue, 9oseph &ur)en had 170

recourse to his one ancient all", and %e$an a series of ca%%alistic motions )ith his forefin$ers as his deep, hollo) voice, no) unconcealed %" fei$ned hoarseness, %ello)ed out the openin$ )ords of a terri%le formula. 2P/ 5'4B5! /L4!,, 5'4B5! 9/H4E5, 5'4B5! 65B54.H, ,/. 5.4B ...2 But (illett )as too +uic* for him. /ven as the do$s in the "ard outside %e$an to ho)l, and even as a chill )ind spran$ suddenl" up from the %a", the doctor commenced the solemn and measured intonation of that )hich he had meant all alon$ to recite. 5n e"e for an e"e?ma$ic for ma$ic?let the outcome she) ho) )ell the lesson of the a%"ss had %een learnedI 6o in a clear voice ,arinus Bic*nell (illett %e$an the second of that pair of formulae )hose first had raised the )riter of those minuscules?the cr"ptic invocation )hose headin$ )as the 'ra$on2s .ail, si$n of the descendin$ node 4;.H 4' 5!20 ;/B2L-//2H C4;-64.H4.H 2B;5H2B; 5!2C FH 4I 5t the ver" first )ord from (illett2s mouth the previousl" commenced formula of the patient stopped short. <na%le to spea*, the monster made )ild motions )ith his arms until the" too )ere arrested. (hen the a)ful name of Co$-6othoth )as uttered, the hideous chan$e %e$an. !t )as not merel" a dissolution, %ut rather a transformation or recapitulationand (illett shut his e"es lest he faint %efore the rest of the incantation could %e pronounced. 171

But he did not faint, and that man of unhol" centuries and for%idden secrets never trou%led the )orld a$ain. .he madness out of time had su%sided, and the case of &harles 'e#ter (ard )as closed. 4penin$ his e"es %efore sta$$erin$ out of that room of horror, 'r. (illett sa) that )hat he had *ept in memor" had not %een *ept amiss. .here had, as he had predicted, %een no need for acids. 0or li*e his accursed picture a "ear %efore, 9oseph &ur)en no) la" scattered on the floor as a thin coatin$ of fine %luish-$re" dust.

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