The trip is surprisingly uneventful; nobody appears in the middle of the road this time, though the red ribbons are gone again. The town of Whitewood is a sort of run-down hamlet with only one road; oddly, there are about eight cars in front of the Raven Inn (including one zippy little sports car). This seems to be an inordinate number for a town in the middle of nowhere.
What is the plan? Will they ask at the inn about the missing girl? Or are they tourists? That's still unclear. The group defers decision on this by going to breakfast at the local greasy cafe. Gerti asks the (nervous) waitress what there is to do in town. Well, there's an antique store... a cemetery... a dry goods store... she doesn't seem to think there's a lot of entertainment to be had.
Two obvious out-of-towners come in; an older gentleman and a younger woman. Tommy introduces himself; they introduce themselves as Elaine Anders and Isaac (lastname). Elaine is pleasant to start with (and hints that it was her sports car), but is subdued quickly by Isaac, who is somewhat cold and suggests that if Tommy is looking for things to do, perhaps he should have brought a book. Roderick notes that Isaac is older than he looks, and heads over to also talk to the pair. Tommy asks where the pair is from; Elaine is from Boston, and Isaac is most recently from Boston, but he's travelled around in this area before. Roderick begins to suspect that Isaac is in fact Ezekial, and a little hidden part of his brain starts making nervous rabbit motions. A corner of Isaac's mouth turns up slightly. Roderick's brain goes into full panic rabbit mode, and he retreats. The pair finish their breakfast and leave, as Roderick clutches his tea with both hands.
Gerti and Charlie go to the antique store and Gerti talks to Pat Russell. She admits she hasn't been in Whitewood long; she's only taken over the business after the death of her grandmother several months ago, and she principally stays to look after her grandReverend, Reverend Russell ("He's... he's not well right now...") There's a rather impressive painting of a witch being burnt at the stake, that Pat says Nan was interested in. Charlie also turns up a leather-bound manuscript: Devil Worship in New England that Pat says Nan borrowed, and Mrs. Newless returned to her after Nan left.
Charlie is sent back to the cafe to get Roderick to pay for the book; he finds him at the window of the cafe, glassy-eyed, hoping to see the sports car drive out of town. He is eventually pried away from the window to the antique store, where he buys the book. Eventually the others notice that he's being a little odd, and he confesses that he thinks that Isaac is Ezekiel.
"We can go beat him up, then?" -GertiThey go to talk to Reverend Russell. He's blind, and a bit over-excited. ("The armies of Hell are on the march and this is a divisional headquarters!"). He says the town is cursed, and that he was smote blind when his wife died, and to flee! ("Talk to my Pattie. She'll show you where the road is!").
"Weren't you paying attention last time?" -Roderick
"What? We took a Many of Hengirth!" -Gerti
"You can't fight the minions of Satan!" -Reverend RussellOff to the cemetery next. The graves are all pretty old - none date past 1820. This is deemed to be Seriously Weird - what, nobody died since 1820? The cemetery is moderately full, but not that full. Back to the antique store to ask where Pat's grandmother was buried - in North Ashfield.
"Of course you can! That's what God's for!" -Gerti
"Er." -Reverend Russell
Finally, the group heads to the Raven Inn to rent some rooms (pondering as they go whether Elaine Anders needs to be rescued). Rooms 1, 2, and 3 are taken (the upstairs rooms are all full). After determining that there's nothing particularly psychically odd about any of these rooms, Roderick demands to switch rooms, and gets #4, which has a sense of startlement associated with it, instead of #2. A second reading gives "Waking in startlement, brief panic". A trap door is found in the floor, under the throw rug, but it doesn't open.
As Roderick is prowling between rooms, the mute servant, Lottie, makes some questioning faces at Roderick and gestures at the bed linens, but it isn't clear what she means, and then she scurries away and downstairs.
Dr. Schreber, napping in the car, finally wakes up and comes into the inn. Another room is acquired ("Do you want the rejected room number two?" -Mrs. Newless). Could it have been Lottie coming out of the trap door, to warn Nan about the Evil Things? Or was it Evil Things?
Dr. Schreber goes to set off Reverend Russell some more, but doesn't learn anything much more new. Roderick spends the afternoon reading the bookmarked section of the book, on the Whitewood witch trials. Two out-of-town women are encountered at lunch, but don't say much. Also in the afternoon, Charlie heads to explore the second floor and hangs about in the lounge there. A couple more people don't say too much to him, and Isaac rolls his eyes. Eventually, a rather ugly-looking man comes in and cleans his fingernails with a penknife for a while, and then "naps" in the lounge.