Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

It is 1937. Fascism is on the rise in Europe as Germany and Italy look to expand their territories and Spain has descended into civil war. Britain and France follow a route of appeasement lest the barely-healed scars of the Great War be ripped open once again.

The dark clouds of war and oppression play heavy on the minds of man but other forces also stir, ready to take advantage of the coming storm...

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Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Philulhu » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:04 am

Saturday, 13 March 1937 10.30am
Blaine Manor, Brueton Park, Solihull, Warks.


The summons had come in the form of a telegram, delivered late on the Friday afternoon by a young telegram boy. Charles Fortesque Esq. requesting his presence at his home, Blaine Manor, a large country house that overlooked Brueton Park on the outskirts of Solihull.

Relishing the thought of seeing his uncle again but lacking transport as his own car was in the garage, Tarquin had corralled Walt into driving him over to Blaine Manor in a borrowed Bedford van. Walt had done a few odd jobs for Tarquin and Tarquin knew he would be at a loose end that weekend. The promise of a bit of extra spending money had been enough to secure the deal.

Charles had met them on crutches, with his right leg in plaster. He greeted Tarquin warmly - “My dear boy! How lovely to see you!” - and he and Walt had been ushered into Charles’ study, where a tall, waist-coated man of similar age to Tarquin and Walt, was stood browsing Charles’ book collection.

“You remember Mathew?” said Charles breezily. “He’s my second wife’s younger brother, or something like that, anyway. He’s an engineer; I thought that might come in handy!” He waved his hand vaguely as if the reason for that statement now alluded him. The two men studied each other - one or two shared chats over the years at parties and family get-togethers - so not strangers, but not well known to each other, either.

“Anyway, to business,” said Charles briskly, lowering himself carefully into a well-upholstered chair and indicating that the others should do the same. “If you’ve read the newspapers, you’ll know that things aren’t great in Germany. Herr Hitler may have got the trains running on time and the Olympics last year were absolutely whizz bang, but he’s being beastly to the Jews. They’re having a torrid time and many of them are voting with their feet!”

“I’ve had a letter from an old pal of mine asking for help. Here, it’s probably easier if you read it for yourselves...” He picked up the letter from a occasional table next to his chair and passes it over to read.

“My dear Charles,

You will be aware, I am sure, of recent developments in Germany under Herr Hitler and his National Socialist Party. Jews in that country are no longer entitled to work in many professions and as a result, many families are living in a state of extreme poverty.

The Prime Minister has (reluctantly!) agreed that as a country we should do something to help those who are being persecuted. I have spoken to the Right Honourable Mr Eden, the Foreign Secretary who has stressed to me that we can accept a limited number of refugees, although the expense of doing so should not be borne by the State if at all possible.

Our members are raising as much as they can, but much of that money is being used to pay the DM1000 ransom being demanded by the German government for each person they allow to leave. Regrettably, that leaves very little in the coffers for accommodation and provisions when they land here.

If I remember correctly, you have a house in Warwickshire which you told me is unoccupied. Would we be able to use it for a while, to help these poor unfortunates with a roof over their heads until they get back on their feet? I cannot, I fear, offer more than a token recompense for its use, but I would be happy to convey news of your philanthropy to Mr Eden and Mr Baldwin, which can only be of assistance in your political ambitions.

I would be grateful for a prompt reply. We have a ship arriving on 20 March so the sooner I can make preparations, the better.

Please convey my warmest regards to Marjorie.

With my very best wishes, sincerely yours,

Neville.

Capt. (retd) Neville J. Laski QC
President, London Committee of Deputies of British Jews.


Charles continued, “The house that Neville’s referring to is a little place in Chadwick End - that’s a village about 20 miles or so from here. It’s not had the most fortunate of history and it’s currently stood empty. Obviously, my leg means I’m confined to barracks so would you mind popping down to take a look at the place for me?”
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Techstar » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:44 am

Beer money wouldn't do it, Walt is completely tee total -has been for 10 years following "the bender".
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Philulhu » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:05 am

Spoiler:
Amended to cold hard cash!

See also the post about formatting your posts... ;)

https://www.callofcthulhu.org.uk/pbp/vi ... =6667#wrap
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby peper757 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:48 pm

"Sounds simple enough." says Mathew. "But what's with this "unfortunate history"?", he asks, quizzically.
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Philulhu » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:11 pm

”I’m sure it’s nothing much,” replied Charles, casually. ”But none of the tenants ever stayed around for long and, apparently, the last one went mad!” He snorted derisively. ”Anything to skip out and not pay the rent, what?!”
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Techstar » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:36 pm

I’m happy to go says Walt, but I will need to put petrol in the truck, I’ve only got it on loan and It needs to go back with more than fumes in the tank. Is there a garage near by where I can get some?
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Philulhu » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:49 pm

”There’s a garage in town, on the Warwick Road,” replied Charles. ”I’ve got an account there so tell them I sent you and they’ll sort you out.”

He turned and picked a book about punctuation off from one of the shelves, studied it and frowned. He looked back up again and said, ”Will you need anything else before you go?”
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Techstar » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:47 am

Walt thinks for a minute. “A note of authority from yourself In case the local Bobby cuts awkward, and the keys should do it for now.”
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Techstar » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:50 am

After putting sufficient petrol in the truck, Walt will take those who are going to look at the house. The journey should take about an hour provided they have reasonable directions.
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Philulhu » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:10 am

Spoiler:
I’ll wait and see if Tarquin and Mathew have any questions before we move on.
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby peper757 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:19 pm

Mathew looks satisfied. "I'm ready to leave." he says, standing up and walking over to the doorway.
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Philulhu » Thu May 16, 2019 11:33 am

Saturday, 13 March 1937 11.45am
Chadwick End, Warks.


The journey through the Warwickshire countryside had been pleasant, with early signs of spring brightening up the fields and hedgerows. Chadwick End had been easy enough to find, with Walt driving and Mathew following the route on an Ordnance Survey map helpfully provided by Uncle Charles.

The house itself was more elusive and some time was spent driving up and down nearby lanes until typically British reserve was finally exhausted and they asked for directions. An old fellow, sat watching the world go by on a bench by the village green, pointed them in the direction of an overgrown road on the outskirts of the village.

The single track road appeared to not have been used for sometime, as branches reached over the road and banged on the roof of the van as they drove along. After half a mile and a number of teeth-jarring bumps, they drove between two stone pillars and into a small courtyard in front of a red brick, two storey Victorian country house with the windows shuttered, but the door already standing ajar... ...
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby peper757 » Fri May 17, 2019 2:15 pm

"Perhaps keys were unnecessary..." says Matthew, gesturing towards the door. He walks towards the house, looking to see if there was any damage to the door or the rest of the exterior.
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Philulhu » Fri May 17, 2019 5:57 pm

There was no sign of the door being forced and there was insufficient light to see further than a couple of yards into the hallway.

Spoiler:
Can you make a hear noise check?
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Techstar » Sat May 18, 2019 9:32 am

Walt will turn the truck so that it points towards the gateway to the courtyard - if we are here after dark turning would be much harder then. Then he will have a quick once over of the truck, including underneath to make sure those jolts haven't damaged it, and nothing's got caught - he wouldn't want to return it in poor condition.

Then he will look around at the state of the building. if its in this bad a condition there may be some opportunity for work helping to fix it up.
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby peper757 » Tue May 21, 2019 12:00 am

Spoiler:
peper757 rolled 1d100:
3
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Philulhu » Wed May 22, 2019 11:33 pm

From inside the house, Mathew could hear the sound of ‘Thanks for the Memory’ by Shep Fields & His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra. It sounded scratchy, as if played on a phonogram.

As Mathew listened out for the music, Walt took a look around. Someone had been around the ga4dens with a scythe in the last few weeks, as the grass was relatively short, if not evenly cut. The house itself was looking shabby; the paint on the woodwork was peeling and it had rotted in a couple of places. The brickwork looked to be in need of pointing as well.
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby peper757 » Thu May 23, 2019 1:09 pm

Mathew steps into the doorway and calls out; ”Hello? Is somebody here?”.
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Philulhu » Thu May 23, 2019 1:16 pm

There was no answer from inside the house, other than the music continued to play.
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Re: Ch.1 A Trip to the Country

Postby Techstar » Wed May 29, 2019 9:01 am

Walt feels a little uneasy - no one should be here and yet there are clear signs someone is. Recalling the odd time in his past when he's seen people evicted from their homes by the landlord's agents, and the fight they put up he will retrieve the jack handle from the toolkit of the truck. He then joins Matthew at the door to the house.
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