Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

The voice on the phone said, "I understand that you are a friend of my son, James. He has gone missing. I require your assistance in bringing him home again...”

A university student has gone missing. Can his friends find out what has happened to James Frazer in 1920s Massachusetts?

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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:58 am

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"I'd like to visit the library," says William. In addition to the newspapers, he'd like to do some background research into the place where they're going.
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby HoneyDog » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:02 pm

”"I'll join you" says Howard.
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby Philulhu » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:38 pm

Wednesday March 5th, 1930 3.20pm
Hill Memorial Library, 95 Field House Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana


The Hill Memorial Library sat in the midst of the Louisiana State University, in a modern renaissance-style building with yellow-white stucco walls. Inside, everything was still new, with large windows to allow light into the room. Floor to ceiling bookcases contained the library’s collection.

The main reading room was busy, with smartly attired students - mostly male, but some female too - sat studying at the desks. The librarian at the front desk explained they were welcome to use the library, but not being members, they could not remove any of the reading materials. He pointed them in the direction of the newspaper archive and local history sections, he explained that they had about two hours until the library closed for the evening.

Spoiler:
Can you specify what you’re looking for and let me have a Library Use roll?
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby peper757 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:32 am

Thomas isn't accustomed to spending much time in libraries, so decides to stick to the newspaper archive and look for any references to the hotel.

Spoiler:
peper757 rolled 1d100:
23
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:08 am

Image

William peruses the local history section, looking into the history of Pointe-aux-Chenes to see if there's anything there that could have drawn the fugitives they're chasing such as the lake, or if there have been any unusual happenings there.

Spoiler:
Library Use roll (55% skill) researching the history of Pointe-aux-Chenes:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
82
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby Bullfrog » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:55 am

Lawrence joins Thomas in the newspaper archives, looking for anything on any recent disappearances.
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Bullfrog rolled 1d100:
95
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:58 pm

Howard also searches newspaper archives for disappearances, especially in the vicinity of the parish where Point-aux-Chene is located.

Spoiler:
Library Use 45: Library Use: 1d100 33
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby Philulhu » Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:03 am

Two hours had passed and shadows were starting to fall across the Library before the four men met up again, gathered around one of the larger desks to share what they had found.

Thomas produced an advertorial from The Morning Advocate - Baton Rouge’s daily newspaper - for Brown’s Motel shows the picture of William and Robert, standing in front of a large Victorian house. The advertorial states that they will open for business in early March, and plan to offer fishing trips and tours of the Bayou. It didn’t tell them much more than they already knew from the flyer.

William had found some limited information about Pointe-Aux-Chenes in amongst a series of pamphlets about local towns.

Pointe-aux-Chenes is a Indian settlement in the Terrebonne Parish, first settled in the 1700s. It is home to approximately thirty families, primarily Houma and Chitimacha Indians but also Atakapas, Biloxi and Choctaw. The predominant languages are a mixture of Creole and French, although some English is also spoken.

Pointe-aux-Chenes got its name from the Acadians who named the area after the beautiful oak trees that were growing in the area when it was first settled. The villagers support themselves as farmers, fishermen and hunters, although farming is under threat because of encroachment of water into the area. Traditional hand-crafted items are available to purchase.

A large sugar plantation once occupied much of the area, but all that remains is the owner’s house, a Victorian dwelling in need of renovation. Lobbying for Federal support to build a levee to control the water has not been successful. The majority of dwellings in the village are built on stilts as protection against the tidal waters.

The villagers are predominantly Roman Catholic and the building of a church has recently commenced, although there is some evidence that traditional religious practices are also observed. The local Treateur is still consulted by villagers when they are ill, with the primary method of treatment being the laying on of hands, accompanied by prayer and healing herbs.


The mention of the Chitimacha Indians sent Howard back to searching through the back issues of the ‘Advocate. A short article about research into traditional Indian practices had caught his eye. He returned promptly and laid the newspaper on the desk and pointed out the article to the others, “... the Chitimacha revere snakes, worshipping the Father of Serpents, who will revenge himself upon anyone who harms any of his scaled brethren...”
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:17 am

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"Snakes," says William. "Maybe our quarry is taking up snake worship now. I don't like snakes much, but they're preferable to that thing in Squatters Lake. At least it doesn't look like they've killed anyone yet, but they're about to open for business."
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby HoneyDog » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:32 am

“Perhaps it isn’t really a snake, but the same as that thing back at Squatter’s Lake. They couldn’t have brought it with them, so they relocated where they could find another, maybe. But I would guess that they’re going to get up to exactly the same nonsense as they were before, so we’d better put them out of business before they get started.”

Howard has a steely glint in his eye.
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby peper757 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:32 am

Agreed! Thomas says, looking towards Howard. "And the sooner we do something about them, the more likely we are to prevent anybody else from being taken by them."
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby Philulhu » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:49 pm

The tinkling of a bell from the front desk indicated that the library would soon be closed. Students finished their studies and rose from their desks as library staff bustled around, quietly and efficiently, tidying up before they to would head home.

The four young men were among the last to leave and Oscar was waiting for them as they left. He drove them back to their lodging house and dropped them at the kerb. ”Ah’ll see you gennelmen in the morning, just after breakfast,” he said. He bid them a good evening, and drove off in the direction of downtown.

Spoiler:
Anything else you want to do before moving on?
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby HoneyDog » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:47 am

Spoiler:
No. Let's get on with the action!
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:09 pm

Spoiler:
I'm ready to move on too.
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby Bullfrog » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:06 am

Spoiler:
Let's do this, boys.
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby Philulhu » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:23 am

Thursday March 6th, 1930 1.20pm
Pointes-aux-Chenes Road, Pointes-aux-Chenes, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana


It had been an early start, the four young men having barely finished breakfast before Oscar appeared at the door. Mrs Sykes would keep their rooms for them and they expected to be back in a couple of days, so they had packed light.

She had fussed around them like a mother hen, checking they had everything they needed before presenting them with a wicker picnic basket with sandwiches wrapped in parchment paper for their journey. As William and Howard stood in the morning sunshine, it felt almost like a Tom Sawyer moment, as if they were on a voyage of exploration. At least it did until Thomas and Lawrence emerged from the boarding house carrying the gun cases. As they packed them in the trunk, a sober realisation of what they were about to do dispelled any good feeling they had.

The drive south was steady, although the temperature and humidity rose steadily the further they went. Jackets and collars were soon discarded, with the breeze through the windows doing little to disperse the heat. Oscar kept his on though, explaining the police were less likely to stop them that way.

After three hours, they passed through Terrebonne, the last town before Pointes-aux-Chenes. It wasn’t much more than a Main Street with a town hall, police station and a handful of stores. People had turned to look as those drove through, as if strangers were a rarity in the town. More blacks and creoles were on the streets and more entrenched views were obvious too, with ‘Whites Only’ signs visible on park benches and public facilities as they moved slowly through the town.

Beyond Terrebonne, the vista changed as solid land gave way to the bayou that led all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. Tall cypress trees, their roots below water towered alongside the road. Spanish moss draped from their branches gave an eerie feeling of partially-clad beings, lined up and waiting for the order to march.

Not far out of town, the road surface changed from bitumen to gravel and the crunching noise from the tyres put paid to any attempts at conversation. They passed a couple of men driving a cart north towards Terrebonne, but other than the farm and fishing signs pointing off the road down dark tracks, there was no other signs of humanity.

Ten more minutes had gone by before they saw the freshly painted sign by the side of the road. Oscar let the car come to a halt by the “Brown’s motel” sign, which pointed down a sun-dappled path, flanked by the ubiquitous cypress trees. The tall house they recognised from the plans sat bathed in sunlight at the end.

Oscar turned off the engine, and the croaking sound of frogs and buzzing of insects filled the air. “Is that it?” asked Oscar, as he looked down the path. “Is that the place you’re looking for?”
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby HoneyDog » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:50 pm

When he sees the sign Howard gives an involuntary start. It seems so brazen, somehow, just displayed for all to see.

Clearing his throat, he says “Could you fellows step out for a moment? We need to discuss something.”
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby peper757 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:25 pm

Thomas steps out of the car, keeping his gaze fixed on the house. "Well, we seem to have found the place. What are we going to do? Obviously, we probably shouldn't just go up to the front."

He takes another long look at the house, waiting to see if anybody is coming or going.
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:54 am

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William also gets out of the car. "We'll want to talk to the locals about the place," he says. "They may have seen things."

Spoiler:
I would have liked to check in with the local police in Terrebonne on the way here, unless we know that Pointe-aux-Chenes has its own police.
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Re: Ch.8 Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Postby Bullfrog » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:25 am

"Good thinking, William. We'll need all the information we can get for this." said Lawrence, after exiting the car. On the outside, he was calm and composed, but he had a feeling of dread for what was going to happen most likely later today.
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