Having left the Asylum and the seemingly insane Cecil Hunter, the three investigators had a number of leads they could follow. Over lunch, Davis decided he wanted to find out what Roach had taken from Hunter’s apartment. Quickly forming what can generously be dubbed a plan, Davis went to search Roach’s house while Clough and Peach went to distract Roach.
Clough tried to track down the elusive historian. He followed the trail to the Dean’s office, where he learned they had gone out just after lunch. The secretary, after some subtle and overt flirting, told him they had gone to Roach’s house, where he claimed to have something important for Fallon.
Meanwhile, Davis had no luck rummaging around in the Professor’s apartment. He just barely heard the car pull into the drive, and hid himself in a closet as Roach and Fallon came in and retrieved a small leather folio-the Arkham Witch Trial Papers. Sure that Roach had them all along, and that something dire was underway, Davis determined to get those papers….
Peach and Clough, meanwhile, found they were too late to warn Davis about the arrival of Roach and Fallon. Peach tried to act as a distraction, posing as a lost English woman. Who needed to use their phone. Roach took her to his study for some privacy, and he and Fallon excused themselves.
Davis quickly explained what he knew, and resolved on a course of action. Jumping from the window, he twisted his ankle but pressed on. He thought about slashing Roach’s tires, but thought better of it and hid in the back seat. Meanwhile, Peach and Clough followed Roach and Fallon as they drove back to the University.
At the University, Fallon and Roach went their separate ways. When Davis emerged from the car, Peach and Clough joined him. At this point, Clough had an idea-Hunter had said Leiter had never let him have the papers long, instead keeping them locked up. And they knew Hunter had been forging the papers for Leiter. The realization dawned on them-those papers were almost certainly a forgery!
Peach and Clough decided to go check out their remaining lead-the antiquarian Abner Wick, whose letter Leiter had felt it necessary to burn. Meanwhile, Davis went to Fallon and told him he suspected those papers were a forgery. Fallon said if he found the originals then he’d still get paid, and asked him to run the papers over to a professional to check their authenticity. A man who owned a shop downtown named Abner Wick. Convenient, that.
At the shop, Clough and Peach met Abner Wick, who wasted no time in showcasing his wares. Rare books, sir? Right over there. Pottery from the Southwest, miss? Right there. Peach found a unique pot, which Wick said was from the Southwest. It certainly looked like it, but the shape was…odd. And there was something off about the markings as well. His asking price, sadly, was well out of her price range. At least for now….
Meanwhile Dr. Clough found a section of books labeled as reserved for Henry Clough, his deceased brother. When he asked Wick about these, Wick, learning Simon was related to Henry, told him how his brother left a bit of debt behind. ::Sigh::…you trust and Englishman to pay his debts too….
Somewhat begrudgingly, Simon paid his brother’s debt and claimed a stack of specially ordered books. He’d have to look through them later though, as then Davis walked in.
When Davis confronted Wick about the Witch Trial Papers and Leiter, he was perfectly up front about purchasing rare files Leiter had stolen. And about the forgery racket Leiter had going on. They could try to turn him in, but if they thought he lasted this long by being sloppy enough to get caught, they were sorely mistaken. Leiter had stumbled onto something bigger than he knew with the Papers, and it had gotten him killed. Possibly a heart attack, or maybe one of the potential buyers decided to just take the papers. Wick did not know. The only other information (other than confirming the Papers Davis had from Fallon as forgeries) was a lead back to Lucy Stone, Leiter’s paramour.
At Hibb’s Roadhouse, they said no one had seen Lucy-she was late for work, in fact. They told the investigators where she lived. At her apartment, it seemed clear she was leaving town, a point Clough remembered as well. But there was some evidence she was heading to Leiter’s to “get what she could from his safe, if it’s still there”. Clough went to cut her off at the train station, while Peach and Davis went to Leiter’s house.
At Leiter’s house, they found the body of Lucy Stone. Davis found $1000 on her, but not the Papers. Then, books started flying off the shelves at him and Peach. Evading that, the bookshelf toppled over on them. Running downstairs, they went to the door, but it held shut. Both pulling as hard as they could,
the door swung easily inward as Clough opened it from outside. Having had no luck tracking Lucy Stone, he came back here. He found the story of the “flying books” rather unlikely. More likely was the bookshelf simply toppling over. Americans.
Peach noticed some tire tracks in the grass, leading away. Torn turf suggested the driver left in a hurry. Then, Davis noticed something, or someone, moving in the bushes nearby. Gently coaxing them out (at gunpoint), the found Cecil Hunter, who had evidently escaped the Asylum. He said a man had been here, had killed Lucy, and left. He urged the investigators to follow him.
They drove as far as they could, then walked into the woods, following Cecil. It was dark as they got to the ravine. Noticing the gravestones dotting the slope, and the flickering light down below, Davis told the others to wait there. He and Hunter continued down. He tried to sneak up on the figure standing in a circle of candles, but failed. The figure turned, ranting at him about interrupting, and the Devil, and selling his soul. Davis recognized a deranged-looking Anthony Flinders.
When the dust settled, Cecil Hunter was dead, Flinders had been…devoured by…something. The Witch Trial Papers had…well…it was hard to put into words, and the investigators decided to leave it at that. But when the papers seemed, for lack of a better word, docile, Davis wasted no time putting his lighter to them, and they all swore there was a horrible scream echoing through the woods.
Looking up, Clough realized he stood at the base of the crypt from his dreams. The old Winthrype Crypt….
No one slept well that night. The police had seemed to accept the “escaped mental patient killed a woman and they had to kill him” explanation. But that didn’t mean they did.
Clough dreamed he was in his son’s room. He watched, paralyzed, as a cloaked, crooked figure walked up and took his son. Another boy, just like his son, emerged from the robes and climbed into the bed….
Wick was disappointed the papers were gone, but handed the forgery over to Davis, who returned them to Fallon and said they were legit. Some things are better left unknown. The only thing Fallon could offer was an invitation to a reception for a visiting author of some renown in a few days. Davis invited Peach along (and Clough, being fairly well-connected through Fallon, was already invited). At the event, Davis met someone he hadn’t seen in years: the visiting author, Jackson Elias.