Chapter 5: Beth

A friend of the investigators stands accused of the murder of her husband, due to insanity. It is up to the companions to find out what drove her to commit this terrible deed.

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Chapter 5: Beth

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Friday September 13th, 6pm

Arkham, Carter-Field residence


The companions arrive at the house of the Carter-Fields, Margaret’s parents just before 6pm. The door is soon answered by Elizabeth Hannigan, who invites them in. Introductions are made and Elizabeth makes some drinks. She invites them to call her Beth.

She is only about a year older than Margaret, and with her short hair and high hems is very much a modern girl, but she is no flapper. She seems open and intelligent, if a little rough around the edges.

As she lights a cigarette a baby can be heard crying in another room, and an adult woman’s voice is heard soothing it.

“That’s little Tabby says Beth. “She misses her mother. But we’re going to take good care of her. I’m going to.” She casts her eyes downward, and she breathes deeply. “I’m sorry” she says, recovering herself. “It’s all so fresh, you know? But I want to talk to someone who isn’t a policeman, or a doctor, or a lawyer.”

She turns to Isadora. Margaret told me a little about you and your art. I heard about that thing with finding the lost student too. She was very impressed by that. I think you were all involved, weren’t you?”
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Re: Chapter 5: Beth

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"Most of us were," says Alice, "though Mr. Matthews hadn't joined us yet at that time."
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Re: Chapter 5: Beth

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"That's what drew me to introduce myself." Harrison offers.
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Re: Chapter 5: Beth

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Beth nods. ”I suppose you want to hear about what happened, why Margeret did what she did. Believe me, I don’t think about anything else.”

Her hand shakes a little as she sips her drink.
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Re: Chapter 5: Beth

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"Thank you, Beth," says Alice. "I can't make any sense of why it happened either. I know it's hard for you, but you might find it helpful to talk about it with others rather than keep it bottled up."
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Isadora Carmichael

"Thank you for inviting us over, Beth. Alice is right: I too think it would be good to just talk about this whole thing. Tell us what you know, or what you want to share... Just in your own words."
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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“You know she’d been ill for a while” Beth begins. “But for her to do what she did… I never expected it. I can’t believe it. To see her standing there, with the knife in her hand, and Thomas…” She gulps her drink this time, and shakes her head. “I can’t talk about that again. I want to think about happier times. Would you mind if I talk about something else?”
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Re: Chapter 5: Beth

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"I think you'll feel better after you've gotten it off your chest," says Alice, "but nobody's going to make you talk about it."
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“I keep thinking about when we first came to Arkham, me and Thomas says Beth. “It was just after he’d earned his medical license in the fall of ’21. I was his secretary and housekeeper. We struggled a lot to begin with; they’re not very open to outsiders here, and with our family being Irish… Presbyterian mind you… I think the fact we were from Boston acted against him in setting up his practice. Arkham folks like local doctors. Of course, all that changed after Thomas met Margaret.”
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Re: Chapter 5: Beth

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Henry Glynn

"Because she was local?"
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“Yes, to be frank. The Carter-Fields have been in Arkham for a long time, and are well respected. So once people knew that Thomas and Margaret were an item, they warmed to him. To us.”

Beth sips her drink.

“They met at a music recital. Thomas and I were sitting at the back and Margaret arrived late, so she didn’t want to make her way up to the front and so sat with us. When the music was over, we all had a good chat. She and I hit it off, and I could see that Thomas was smitten.”

She stubs out her cigarette. “Those are the times I’m trying to remember.”
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Re: Chapter 5: Beth

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Henry Glynn

"Ah yes it is best to remember those happy times. Do you know anythng of the history of the Carter-Fields?"
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Re: Chapter 5: Beth

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Beth considers Henry's question. “Well, the Carters and the Fields have been resident in Arkham since, well, the founding of the town, I think. You know that there are various families like that, whose histories go back a long way. The Abbotts, Winthrops, Pickmans, Warrens, and so on. Whether they are families of means or not, their names have a certain recognition. I guess many small towns are like that.”
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Re: Chapter 5: Beth

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"What is their house, the Bosworth House, like?" asks Alice.
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Beth shakes her head. "Don't believe the stories you hear about it. Did you know that locals like to tell spooky stories about it? But it's just a house. Nothing bizarre ever happened there, well until…” she trails off. Pulling herself together, she continues.

“I didn’t mind it. Margaret was never comfortable there though, even from day one. She hated the style, especially the wallpaper. She felt there was something off about it. But she does have a very active imagination. Even though we soon got to be real pals after we met, I noticed that she was a little odd.”
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"Odd in what way?" asks Alice.
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“Her head was always full of the strangest ideas, and she could get quite fixated on them. For instance, not long after we first met she told me that the mailman who delivered to this house was ‘full of spiders’. At least, I think that’s what she thought. She was rather cagey about it. She would tell me these strange thoughts in confidence, then make out like she was kidding, or testing out a story idea.”

Beth pauses for a moment.

“I can’t say for certain that she believed any of it, well not at the time anyway, but I always got the feeling that she did. Writing seemed to help her get these ideas out of her head, and she was always happy when she was writing. I think it was like if she could get the idea down onto paper, it would seem less real for her. I think it was that which did for her; not being able to write.”
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"Why couldn't she write any more?" asks Alice.
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Re: Chapter 5: Beth

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Beth lights another cigarette.

"Because Thomas asked her to. After Tabitha was born, and Margaret's mood changed, Thomas wanted her to have as much physical and mental rest as possible, as she was always so tired. He thought that rest would overcome her nervous depression. Margret kept on writing anyway, but Thomas was a doctor, so I thought he knew best and I persuaded Margaret to listen to him. I regret that” she finishes bitterly.
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Re: Chapter 5: Beth

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Henry Glynn

"Who has these writings now?"
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