Remains To Be Seen

Part 2: Blood Spatters

Friday, October 14, 1932
The group (still without Peter and Esme) heads to North Ashfield to investigate the murders in person.
``It's well known that vampires can't cross running railways.'' -Roderick
``You just made that up!'' -Gerti
Stopping in Greenfield, Gerti and Eddie consult property records. The clerk is helpful when they flail about, and finds them the record of the sale from Mr. Bell to the Oakeses. There aren't any other records with Oakeses or Bells in them in the area at that time or since then.

Meanwhile, Roderick and Dr. Schreber go to the Historical Society (Dr. Schreber wonders if Mr. Oakes summoned up something he couldn't put down). Searching haphazardly through the Society records, Roderick finds a map of the county with cemeteries marked on it, and Dr. Schreber finds a mention of a Bigfoot sighting over in the east.

Arriving at Peter's house, they break in with no trouble. Roderick hangs up his Ezekial-dowsing-pendulum, and notes that it's the full moon (which means the murders didn't happen at the full moon, so maybe it wasn't werewolves after all). Gerti visits the church, to discover that Reverend Connelly has somewhat disordered her perfect filing system. The Reverend is happy to hear of her marriage and baby, though he doesn't suggest as hard that she might want to settle down in the area (there being an ominous number of murders and all).

Tommy and Eddie go to interview Mrs. Oakes, while Roderick and Dr. Schreber check out the cemetery. Ellen Oakes, the eleven-year-old daughter, complains loudly from the window that they shouldn't be in there, that her daddy will come and get them!

"Have we just been threatened with the living dead?" -Roderick
They come in for introductions. Ellen seems to be a little wild, but is intrigued by Bellesby's magnet and demands that he give it to her. She's eventually banished to her room, but is quickly spying from the kitchen. Mrs. Oakes points out from the window where she saw the strange creature, but she doesn't provide a lot of new detail on any possible evil miscreants who might want to hack her husband to bits. No, she hasn't asked the neighbors whether they heard howling - she doesn't want to be known as the crazy Oakes widow. Has anyone else been in the cemetery? The sheriff and the reporter. Hmm. Maybe Peter is sneaking around in North Ashfield without everyone. Why would he really want to go to Louisiana?

Everyone goes prowling around the cemetery again. Ellen lurks at the fence, and tries to snatch Roderick's magnet, but he doesn't come close enough. Tommy figures out the basic pattern of which graves are from what years - this lets him turn up what are presumably the re-used graves, out in the older section. There are three or four empty graves in that area, without headstones. Happily, the graves of both Marie (the Pilgrim Lady) and Ezekial are still there. But where are the disinterred bodies?

The caretaker's cottage has the front doorframe boarded up and marked ``Crime Scene: Do Not Enter'', while the back door is locked. The front door itself is found in the nearby tool shed, rent through by something sharp. Mrs. Oakes is asked for a key to the back door, after some preliminary prying at the boards with a crowbar.

The kitchen is a mess, things smashed and tipped everywhere. The living room, however, is a nightmare, with blood everywhere and things smashed and broken left and right. There are two large blood stains by the fireplace, and one large spatter on the wall (though Dr. Schreber notes that this isn't enough blood for three people being torn to bits - perhaps if they were already dead before they were shredded, except for the wall spatter, which looks arterial). Roderick psychometries the blood spatter on the wall, and loses it completely - he's screaming, sure that he's dying, his throat torn out by that thing there. Mrs. Oakes calls out from outside, wanting to know if everything is all right. Mr. Bellesby is carried, unconscious, to the house, and put on a sofa. Ellen finds this intriguing, and is told that he fainted, and to not make so much noise because that might disturb him.

The group waits for Roderick to wake up; meanwhile, as far as he's concerned, he's died and entered the afterlife, which is mostly sort of peaceful and white, except that there's a shrieking little girl in it. When he wakes up, he's very disturbed by the fact that the shrieking girl is still there - though other people seem to be able to see her too, so she's probably not a demon or a ghost.

Dr. Schreber brings up the theory of the blood coming from people who were already dead.

``The bloodstain I left on the wall was from being violently killed.'' -Roderick
``You didn't leave a bloodstain.'' -Dr. Schreber
``Oh, yeah.'' -Roderick
Ellen jumps out from a corner at Roderick, shrieking ``ARE YOU OKAY?'' Tea flies everywhere. Mrs. Oakes apologizes profusely. Tommy takes Roderick to Peter's, after Dr. Schreber gives him some sedatives. Once there, Tommy, Charlie, and Roderick open a bottle of Tommy's whiskey, and the former two make a serious dent in it and Roderick passes out.

Eddie and Dr. Schreber goe back to the cottage to finish searching. In the bedroom, Eddie is convinced that there's something hidden in the mattress, about the size of a human skull! Dr. Schreber thinks it's just a spring, and in the end Eddie refrains from cutting up the mattress to investigate. Other things they find include a small trunk with some money and a silver pocketwatch, and a Mason jar with a gold ring with ``EAS'' engraved inside (``Ezekiel Apcott Something''?), an old cruddy-looking pocketwatch, and some old gold coins.

As Eddie and Dr. Schreber are conferring outside the cottage, a man heads into the cemetery from the gate. Eddie goes to intercept him - he introduces himself as Mel Razen, the reporter for the Boston Globe who's written the various articles they've been reading. Eddie is quite critical of the fact that he's in the cemetery. He's impressed that the Valiants are looking into it. Eddie has no comment. He tries to chat up Dr. Schreber, who also has no comment. Mel tries to suggest that it's up to them whether they get a good spin or a bad spin in his articles, and perhaps they can help each other some? Eddie says that he'll have to ask the sheriff for any information on the case. He's not greatly pleased by this. They head into the Oakes house to lose him.

Shortly thereafter, Gerti encounters him outside Peter's house, peeking at the cars. She also stonewalls him.

Back in the cemetery, Eddie prowls around looking for gravestones and bodies. He finds the old well, and considers climbing down into it, but isn't really very good at climbing.

The group imagines:

<cough cough cough>
``What's that, Dr. Schreber? Eddie's fallen into the well?''
Happily, he doesn't actually climb in. Ellen harasses Dr. Schreber some more, while Eddie notes various boot prints around, and asks Mrs. Oakes about them. She doesn't really know. They head back to Peter's house with the loot (well, with the ring/pocketwatch/coins). Gerti is busily cooking lamb for dinner, while everyone else is napping. On examining the ring, Gerti notes that EAS could be Emil Schergen, who Reverend Witherspoon said was a vampire! Gerti wakes Tommy and Charlie for dinner; the tromping downstairs apparently sets of the Ezekiel-detecting bell. Dr. Schreber finally gets around to noticing that Roderick is barely breathing - combining alcohol and sedatives is Bad! He's put in a hot bath to try and revive him and get his system a bit more awoken, and eventually comes to. For a brief moment, he's sure he's in a tub of blood, and thereafter he's still somewhat troubled by the whole thing.

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