A History of Lincolnshire in Blue Ink

I am not a coward

I am a student of science

 I even question the existence of God

 There is a rational explanation to all things

 The devils of my mind are troubling me

 I had not kept a diary for many years but I found myself recording my thoughts in a small ledger book

I knew it would help me make decisions

And so it did

I still heard the music coming from the eighth room and the occasional lights could still be seen in the mausoleum at night

The piano keys were still soft to my touch

Yet the visitations of the mysterious creature had ceased

But I would not visit the mausoleum and I instructed workmen to enter the building and report back to me

This they did and their account chilled me

I had expected a report from Mr Jenkins noting that whilst the mausoleum was quite overgrown that its structure was in one piece and that only the organic decay had given it a sense of despair

But when Jenkins and his men had tried to enter the building they had found that the door had been locked from the inside

 I gave them permission to break the lock and this was probably the worst thing I could have done

 As they found nothing

 The coffins of my sister and my dear mama were on the shelves as they had been left on the day of their internment 

Nothing had changed

And the vacant shelves where my father and I would one day rest were totally untouched apart from evidence of modest rodent activity

 Mr Jenkins noted that the infestation of the small albino spiders had grown worse and that he and his men had had to rinse their hair many times with water during and after the visit

It was recommended that I fumigate the mausoleum

 It did not take me long to adopt this course of action and I decided that the ivy should be disposed of at the same time

Although I did not enter the mausoleum I took a keen interest in the whole operation

The coffins of my sister and mother was temporarily moved and for a few hours were to be found on the lawns near the drive

It gave me a comfort to think that they might be enjoying the sun as the day was particularly fine

Eternity and a Day

This saying had always confused me as eternity was eternity so the day could not possible exist

 But this was that day  

 The whole task took about two weeks and I was invited to visit the mausoleum upon its conclusion

At first I refused noting that I as quite busy dealing with my fathers affairs as well as being engaged in my own studies

But then I changed my mind after an incident that occurred when I was bathing

I have always suffered from a dryness of the skin which necessitated the adoption of frequent bathing

My physician had recommended a mixture of salts that seemed to control the condition

On a normal day I would undress and soak in the bath for about ten minutes as advised

But I did not sleep in the bath at all as I had better things to occupy my time

The incident was not really an incident but a dream or so I thought

I had returned from an evening with friends slightly inebriated and ignored my usual routine when retiring

This prompted an unattractive condition the following morning as I found myself quite ill and because of this I dozed in the bath for a matter of minutes

I was not dreaming or so I thought but I was sure that a delicate hand was caressing my face almost in the manner of a person without sight

That was all

There was no rational explanation and I put it down to an agreeable dream no doubt promoted by my trite indulgences of the previous evening

 I contacted Jenkins and requested access to the mausoleum

There was a distinct smell of disinfectant as I entered but the small spiders had been eradicated and if anything the final resting place of my mother and sister seemed less sinister

 The removal of the ivy had revealed the beauty of Mr Knight’s  original creation which had been executed in a classical manner

 I felt better

 I felt better than I had for quite a while

Nothing happened for a matter of weeks but then I received word that my father had requested my audience as he wanted to speak to me about things and did not feel that travel would benefit his condition

I was getting ready for my departure when I heard fresh reports that a creature had been seen in the woods

A gamekeeper from a nearby estate had also witnessed a movement on my wide lawns that he could not explain

My dreams were returning as I bathed

The mausoleum however had not suffered the mysterious illuminations of the previous weeks

And the eighth room was quite silent

Quite quite silent

On the Sunday before my departure Richardson had paid me a surprise visit

 We discussed many things as he was a man of science and had travelled widely even though he was only of tender years

 At first I kept the incidents at bay but he had been informed by others of the unusual incidents that had occurred near the house

 By the end of the evening he knew everything

 He did not give a fig for the supernatural and like me thought that there was a rational explanation to all things

Even if at first they appeared shrouded in mystery

And it was he who suggested the opening

The whole idea initially disgusted me as I did not want the memories of my beautiful mother and sister soiled

A drastic compromise was reached on that fateful day

I was due to travel to see my father and he asked permission to open the coffins in my absence

He was friendly with Cuthbert a man of the cloth who was also a man with a probing scientific mind

Richardson noted that apart from Cuthbert and myself nobody else would know and that the whole operation would be conducted with the upmost secrecy in mind

I foolishly agreed and Richardson invited me to his home in Oxford so we might discuss his findings

This would happen on my return

As I left the house the evening was drawing in although the day had been quite fine

 I was helping the coachman lift my trunks when I had occasion to look up at the window of the eighth room

 A light that appeared to originate from a candle was flickering wildly

 And then the music commenced

 But it was not light music

It seemed to be more Germanic in its origin and it appeared that the keys of the crimson piano were being struck with a certain force

I asked the coachman whether he could hear the music but he could not and he confirmed to me that the room was not illuminated at all

It was then that I felt a light movement in my right ear and when I probed I discovered the remains of a tiny albino spider

Which I had crushed by accident

I felt a nausea pass over me and excused myself

The coachman who was a genial chap provided a welcome assistance and I explained that the whole episode was the result of an unwelcome indulgence

The music and the illumination had by then ceased and I felt better

I had foolishly reacted to a minute creature that might have attached itself to my person during hours distant

We live in modern times but we are in the minority

As my coach headed along the drive I did happen to look back and was sure that I saw a figure at the window of the eighth room

It appeared to be that of a woman not yet of mature years

She was dressed in a white gown but there was something very wrong in what I was witnessing

However as my coach passed the lodge she vanished from view and I was unable to gather my thoughts no matter how hard I tried

This was my only occupation until we finally reached Dover