Chapter 4: Day Two

During a sweltering August in 1881, one of the members of the Seekers of Enlightenment receives a letter from an old friend, requesting help in solving a family mystery. It will soon become a matter of life or death…

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Chapter 4: Day Two

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Monday 8th August, 1881

Approx. 8 am

Forby House


The next morning the companions arise to the sound of birdsong. However, the day is already oppressively hot, and given the disturbances of the night before, everyone is tired and irritable.

After washing and dressing the companions go downstairs to the dining room where a simple breakfast of porridge and toast is served. The meager fare doesn’t help the mood.

Harry Forby is sitting in his chair, nervously rearranging the cutlery. Other family members eye him warily. He looks frantically at the companions as they sit down.

“Was it another intruder?” he blurts out “Did you find any trace of him?”
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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Vic glanced at the others before replying. ”It seems that there was someone outside the house last night, but they got away before we could find them,” she replied.
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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"I know that!" Forby snaps. "I want to know if you found anything!"

George looks down at his plate while Gertrude opens her mouth to say something, but thinks better of it.
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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Harry Brown looks grimly at Forby.'We searched the immediate area outside the house last night but found nothing. The dogs did not seem to notice anything untoward. We will search further afield today'. He takes a deep breath before addressing Forby directly, 'we did not get any more than the most fleeting look at the intruder, it would be helpful if you could tell us what you saw the last time'.
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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Unhappy with Forby’s tone, Vic set her cutlery down with a bang and glared across the table.
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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"I think he might have gotten inside the house," says Alexander. "I was awakened by a thump, like someone bumping into furniture."
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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Isolde pushes her porridge away uneaten and ignores the stiff-looking toast. "Then we should go over the ground floor rooms to see if anything has been disturbed. There are the folios to examine and someone might walk down to the village; it's possible the intruder came from there." Her tone was suggestive that whoever did this last investigation it wasn't going to be her.
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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At Harry’s request, Forby looks down at the ground. Sweat is dripping freely from his brow.

“I...I cannot talk about that” he eventually manages.

“All of the doors and windows were locked” says Gertrude firmly, taking the attention away from her husband. “There’s no chance someone got in the house.”

Bates, standing in attendance, clears his throat. “I can attest to that” he says. "Everything was locked."

He glances at Harry with a cold eye.
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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Harry looks a little sheepish and says 'I must apologise to Mr Bates if I implied he might have overlooked locking the doors, I had not realised that the back door is secured with a bolt from the inside'. He looks at Forby in his sorry state, 'can you give us any insight who might want to prowl around your property at night? Perhaps Master George's story of the ghost has some relevance?
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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"Perhaps we'll have better luck finding tracks in the daylight," suggests Alexander.
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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Bates nods to Harry while George looks excited at the prospect of talking about ghosts. However, Forby curtly replies to Harry.

“If I knew who it was I would tell you. It’s probably someone from the village after the treasure. What do you all plan to do today?”
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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"I'd like to take a look at the fireplaces in the house," says Alexander. "It's the best guess I can make about the answer to the riddle about Apollo's bower. Do any of the fireplaces have what might be considered an iron dog?"
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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”I will take a look at the folios,” said Vic shortly, still annoyed at the way Forby had spoken to her.
Spoiler:
Given the opportunity, [b]Vic[/b] will also try to speak [b]Mrs Forby[/b] about her husband and [b]George[/b] about his ghosts.
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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"I would like to have a further look around the grounds, particularly the ice house and quarry" says Harry. "We saw an interesting image when visiting the mausoleum that suggested some kind of hollow or impression in the grounds, I was wondering if you knew anything about it?" He drops his voice and whispers to Forby, "there is also a more delicate matter". "I must ask, has anyone looked inside the sarcophagus in their search for the treasure?"
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

Post by aine »

Isolde waits to see if anyone answers this probing question. Afterwards she says,
"I think it would be worth while investigating the paranormal levels in the house; just to discount the ghost theory of course. I could do with an assistant to carry my equipment." She glances surreptitiously at young George.
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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“Iron dog?” says Gertrude. “You must mean the andirons in the fireplaces, for holding the logs. I think every fireplace has them.”

“Hollow?” says Forby to Harry. “Ah, you must mean the place where the casting pit was. My grandfather used it for pouring metal to make his sculptures. I don’t know how he did it exactly, no-one does now. As for the sarcophagus, no, we didn’t look inside.”

He thinks for a moment, and nods.

“You have my permission. I trust you to be delicate in the matter. And of course, you should have a look at the ice house if you wish. As far as the quarry goes, you would need someone to guide you there.”

George looks very excited at the prospect of ghosts.
Spoiler:
Library investigations will of course need successful Library Use rolls.
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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"Aye, that must be it," says Alexander. "I suppose I'll have to examine all of the fireplaces, then, which will take some time. But either the treasure or another clue leading toward it must be found in one of them. Perhaps something is hidden in one of the flues, or behind a loose brick."
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

Post by aine »

Isolde' eyes flash. "There is your iron dog, Alexander; the casting pit where the metal was melted down to cast the statues! There must have been some sparks flying!"
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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'That's quite a thought Miss Beauchant' laughs Harry 'but how does that fit with "Apollo's bower"? I do not recall any laurels in our searches yesterday. I still wonder about the bay laurels at the front of the house, have they been here for a long time Mr Forby? He thinks for a moment, 'I think Mrs Forby may have the truth of it, do any of the fireplaces back onto the front of the house where the laurels are?'
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Re: Chapter 4: Day Two

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“A long time” mutters Forby, looking interested. “As for the casting pit, it was filled in a long time ago. I’ve never interfered with it.”

“Oh, I think there’s several upstairs, and there’s this room, plus the sitting room” says Gertrude.
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