Remains To Be Seen

Part 3: A Collection of Searches

Saturday, October 15
There is much wondering about whether the bodies and gravestones are. And further wondering about what the group policy should be if they run into the reporter. If they do, Tommy will distract him - Tommy's a war hero, and should still be photogenic. How should the sheriff be dealt with? Play straight with him? Well, it'll be troublesome to explain the vampire theory part, but explaining that the group is working for Mrs. Oakes isn't so bad. Perhaps the relatives of the missing people should also be spoken to?

Gerti, Charlie, and Roderick go to search through the papers in the funeral home study and safe; this requires some Ellen management, as at first Ellen locks herself in the office and then runs off with some random papers. She can't get at the papers in the safe, though, which have the backup of the funeral home records. The three lock themselves in the study; Gerti starts trying to compile a list of who was buried where, Roderick looks at the financial records, and Charlie searches the office.

Meanwhile, Tommy, Eddie, and Dr. Schreber have gone to speak to the sheriff. They are fobbed off for the moment onto Deputy Bob Reynolds, who happily lets Eddie volunteer for a portion of the search-for-the-hobo. The sheriff eventually gets off the phone to talk with them - basically, he says that he doesn't hold with any detectives breaking into people's houses or harassing people, and this is a police investigation, so they should bring their info to the police rather than take the law into their own hands. No, they don't get to see the coroner's report. Eddie's psychological guess is that if the Valiants bring him something useful, they might be given information directly related to that, but that he's not going to be generally forthcoming about all the details of the investigation.

Gerti constructs a chart of who has been buried in the re-used graves - one of the open graves belongs to Emil Schergen! Charlie finds a diary hidden in the secret drawer of the desk, in which Mr. Oakes angsts about the necessity of disinterring the old graves. Roderick doesn't quite manage to parse the financial records, but is very disturbed by the diary entry, which refers to scattered bones. What scattered the bones? Muscular worms? Tommy's archaeological opinion is that the bones would at least partially rot in the damp New England soil, and what with collapsing-in coffins and possibly haphazard gravediggers, you might well see some messing up of intact skeletons.

Eddie mentions the assignment to go and search the woods.

"You're not spending a day on a useless expedition. I'll do that." - Tommy
"Your brother is *much* better at spending his time uselessly in the woods." - Dr. Schreber, to Eddie
Dr. Schreber heads to Greenfield to talk to Dr. Rohrs, a surgeon at Greenfield Memorial, who did the autopsy for the coroner. Gerti sends a shopping list, including lamb for dinner and a silver cross to protect her from vampires. Dr. Rohrs says various things of interest, including that there were approximately-human bite marks on the remains, and that the deputies had described the blood stains as being "blood all over" and thus he had not realized that there was insufficient blood. Also, the strength involved was exceptional, as a chair leg was pretty much impaled completely through one victim's torso.

Tommy and Charlie head out to search the assigned bit of woods. After getting a ways in, they hear someone following - after setting up an ambush, and being themselves ambushed, they determine that it's Ellen. They bring her along, though Charlie has to carry her a lot.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Oakes has begun to become worried that she hasn't seen Ellen for a while. When she fails to find her out in the cemetery, or in the study, she panics and then calls the sheriff. A deputy is sent over, who arrives not long before the return of the harried searchers. They're scolded for not returning her immediately, but Mrs. Oakes is mostly just relieved that Ellen wasn't killed / kidnapped by the monster. Tommy and Charlie, feeling put upon, head to Peter's to start in on his bourbon.

Gerti shows around her compiled list of graves; Roderick and Eddie decide to poke around in Emil's grave. Roderick doesn't psychometrically determine anything, though that's probably all for the best. While Roderick is climbing around in the grave (it's tidied up and squared off), Mel Razen shows up. This time, he's not interested in Eddie's claims that he can't be in the cemetery without permission from Mrs. Oakes, claiming that cemeteries are basically open to the public, and that this one in particular has not been officially closed. Eddie is similarly unmoved by Mel's suggestion of trading information - he finally leaves, saying that they can read about it in the papers the next day.

Charlie notes the new piece of jewelry Gerti is wearing, and is upset that Dr. Schreber is giving her things. He rants to Tommy ("Look at Junior!"), who tries to be sympathetic without being encouraging. A strained dinner is had, in which Tommy mutters to himself that Dr. Schreber is hardly the most likely candidate for Secret Father of Junior.

Dr. Schreber fills everyone in on the state of the body ("Not over dinner, Juergen!"). Roderick declares that Emil Schergen is a red herring - surely they wouldn't have finished cleaning up the grave while they were being attacked by a vampire! All the evidence suggests that he did not leap from the grave onto the gravediggers, and this is confusing. Why the time delay? They weren't even killed (probably) at the grave. So what did kill them? Gerti is still fixated on it being Schergen.

Charlie has a Fish Dream. Gerti and Charlie and Junior are happy fish, in their happy fishbowl, swimming around and around. Then, over the bowl, Dr. Schreber can be seen, fishing in the bowl with a silver worm...

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