In short, how by all that is unholy, dark, and deadly can Dexter really mean to do this? .. my few books and CDs and, I suppose, my little rosewood box of slides. DARKLY DREAMINGDEXTER This book has been optimized for viewing at a monitor setting of x pixels. JEFF LI. This book is a work of fiction. Dearly devoted Dexter: novel / by Jeff Lindsay. instruction book while poor Dexter is in the dark and can't even match tab A.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Indonesian|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Sign up for free]|
Dexter Morgan has burned the candle at both ends for many years. Blood-spatter analyst husband father serial killer. And now, for the first time, his world. Jeff Lindsay, author, including the popular Dexter series. published. july by orion books ltd. it is the. first series of the dexter book this book of darkly dreaming dexter 1 jeff lindsay pdf - get darkly dreaming.
Dexter Morgan has burned the candle at both ends for many years. Blood-spatter analyst And now, for the first time, his world has truly collapsed A masterful thief plots an impossible crime—stealing the Iranian Crown Jewels. From the author of the wildly successful Dexter series comes a new, mesmerizing bad guy we can root for: Riley Wolfe.
Dexter Morgan—blood-spatter analyst. Rayon bowling shirts with two pockets was more their speed. I was wearing one myself. It repeated a pattern of voodoo drummers and palm trees against a lime green background.
Stylish, but practical. I headed for the closest rayon shirt in the knot of people around the body. It belonged to Angel Batista-no-relation, as he usually introduced himself. At the moment he was squatting beside one of the garbage bags and peering inside it. I joined him. I was anxious to see inside the bag myself.
Anything that got a reaction from Deborah was worth a peek. They empty the Dumpster twice a week—this has been here for maybe two days. The other times, he just used a handy Dumpster.
This piece ended in the ankle, foot neatly lopped off. I whistled. It was almost surgical. This guy did very nice work—as good as I could do. And it was, even beyond the neatness of the cutting. Nothing moving in there.
Almost like with a ruler or something, huh? There was a rumor going around a few years back that Detective Migdia LaGuerta got into the Homicide Bureau by sleeping with somebody. To look at her once you might download into that. She has all the necessary parts in the right places to be physically attractive in a sullen, aristocratic way. She was hard, ambitious in the most self-serving way, and her only weakness seemed to be for model-handsome men a few years younger than she was.
That combination is far better than sex in Miami. LaGuerta is very very good at kissing ass, a world-class ass kisser. She kissed ass all the way up to the lofty rank of homicide investigator. It happens; incompetence is rewarded more often than not. I have to work with her anyway.
Easier than you might think. I say them. I speak Spanish; I even understand a little Cuban. But I could only get one word in ten from LaGuerta.
The Cuban dialect is the despair of the Spanish-speaking world. The whole purpose of Cuban Spanish seems to be to race against an invisible stopwatch and get out as much as possible in three-second bursts without using any consonants. The trick to following it is to know what the person is going to say before they say it. That tends to contribute to the clannishness non-Cubans sometimes complain about. The man LaGuerta was grilling was short and broad, dark, with Indio features, and was clearly intimidated by the dialect, the tone, and the badge.
He tried not to look at her as he spoke, which seemed to make her speak even faster. Where were you? The man looked at the bags of body parts and quickly looked away. Take the key witness and turn him against you. Had she forgotten what I looked like?
She really did like me, the idiot. What brings you here? Please, Detective, when will you marry me? I have serious work here. Those assholes will be all over me in another hour.
Not because the sight bothered her. She was seeing her career, trying to phrase her statement to the press. Why do I like you? And it was the head. Nobody saw anything, heard anything.
Captain Matthews strolled up in a cloud of Aramis aftershave, meaning that the reporters would be here very shortly. Too many years of writing reports. He winked and put a hand on her shoulder. People management is a skill. Witnesses, that sort of thing. Her father was a damn good cop. All right? I looked. The Channel 7 News van was rolling in. He straightened his tie, put on a serious expression, and strolled over toward the van. My kind of guy.
He was going to be disappointed this time. I felt a slight quiver pass over my skin. Deborah snorted. She got her orders from the captain. So watch your back, Debs. I shook my head. Even talking about it seemed too private. A detail. Who knows what it means? Not a reverent pause, not like me. Just thinking. What does it mean? It meant an appreciative chuckle from the Dark Passenger, who should have been quiet so soon after the priest. Who really knows?
The cuts are close to surgical. Half of police work is asking the right questions. Nobody knows where yet, Deb. I looked at her. She looked back. I had developed hunches before. I had a small reputation for it. My hunches were often quite good.
I often know how the killers are thinking. I think the same way. Of course I was not always right. Sometimes I was very wide of the mark. Then what would I do for a hobby?
But this one—Which way should I go with this so very interesting escapade? We both turned. Deborah stiffened. A cheap shot.
But it missed. LaGuerta waved a hand airily. The important thing here is to keep the press from getting hysterical. Or should I go with I told you so? Me, feeling. What a concept. I nosed my Whaler slowly out the canal, thinking nothing, a perfect Zen state, moving at idle speed past the large houses, all separated from each other by high hedges and chain-link fences. Kids playing on the manicured grass. Mom and Dad barbecuing, or lounging, or polishing the barbed wire, hawkeyes on the kids.
I waved to everybody. Some of them even waved back. They knew me, had seen me go by before, always cheerful, a big hello for everybody. He was such a nice man. Very friendly. I opened up the throttle when I cleared the canal, heading out the channel and then southeast, toward Cape Florida. I found it a great deal easier to think. Part of it was the calm and peace of the water. And another part was that in the best tradition of Miami watercraft, most of the other boaters seemed to be trying to kill me.
I found that very relaxing. I was right at home. This is my country; these are my people. Around lunchtime the story broke national. Channel 7 had done a masterful job of presenting all the hysterical horror of body parts in a Dumpster without actually saying anything about them. There were so many tire tracks in the parking lot that none were distinct.
No prints or traces in the Dumpster, on the bags, or on the body parts. Everything USDA inspection clean.
The one big clue of the day was the left leg. But the left leg was not. It was a mere two sections, neatly wrapped. Aha, said Detective LaGuerta, lady genius. He panicked when he was seen. A tiny little thing, perhaps splitting hairs, but—the entire body had still been meticulously cleaned and wrapped, presumably after it had been cut up.
And then it had been transported carefully to the Dumpster, apparently with enough time and focus for the killer to make no mistakes and leave no traces. Either nobody pointed this out to LaGuerta or—wonder of wonders!
And if the pattern was brand new, the investigation could seem like three blind men examining an elephant with a microscope. Was it getting boring, simply chopping up the body? Was Our Boy searching for something else, something different?
Some new direction, an untried twist? I could almost feel his frustration. To have come so far, all the way to the end, sectioning the leftovers for gift wrapping. Something is just not right. Coitus interruptus. He needed a different approach. And in my personal opinion—I mean, if it was me—this would make him very frustrated. And very likely to look further for the answer. But let LaGuerta look for a witness. There would be none.
This was a cold, careful monster, and absolutely fascinating to me. And what should I do about that fascination? I was not sure, so I had retreated to my boat to think. A Donzi cut across my bow at seventy miles per hour, only inches away. I waved happily and returned to the present. I was approaching Stiltsville, the mostly abandoned collection of old stilt homes in the water near Cape Florida.
I nosed into a big circle, going nowhere, and let my thoughts move back into that same slow arc. What would I do? I needed to decide now, before I got too helpful for Deborah. I could help her solve this, absolutely, no one better. Nobody else was even moving in the right direction.
But did I want to help? Did I want this killer arrested? Beyond this—oh, nagging little thought—did I even want him to stop? To my right I could just see Elliott Key in the last light of the day. And as always, I remembered my camping trip there with Harry Morgan. My foster father. The Good Cop. Yes, Harry, I certainly am. All right, Harry.
If you think I should. And he told me. There is no starry sky anywhere like the starry sky in South Florida when you are fourteen and camping out with Dad. I look away from the brightness of the stars. Determined, unhappy, a little dazed. He was barking all night. I carefully pull at a handful of pine needles and wait for Harry. Our boat is there, moving gently with the surge of the water.
The lights of Miami are off to the right, a soft white glow. But he is my straight-arrow foster dad; the truth is usually a good idea with Harry. Harry nods. Even then, so young but so smooth. Oh for a moon, a good fat moon, something bigger to look at. My face is hot, as if Dad has asked me to talk about sex dreams. Watching me. Maybe, um.
But it seems to make sense to Harry. It makes you kill things. Something bigger than a dog? I clear it. You and Mom. He is looking at me, not blinking. To talk about this? And even then I knew; needing to kill something every now and then would pretty much sooner or later get in the way of being squared away. I watch the lights on a boat as it goes past, maybe two hundred yards out from our little beach. Over the sound of their motor a radio is blasting Cuban music. I listen carefully.
This is what Harry says when he is giving you a higher-order truth. When he showed me how to throw a curve ball, and how to throw a left hook. Before we took you in. I was only three. Those things make you what you are. What happened to you when you were a little kid has shaped you.
The wonderful, all-seeing, all-knowing man. My dad. So long ago now. Harry long dead. But his lessons had lived on. Not because of any warm and gooey emotional feelings I had. Because Harry was right. Harry knew, and Harry taught me well. Be careful, Harry said.
And he taught me to be careful as only a cop could teach a killer. To choose carefully among those who deserved it. To make absolutely sure. Then tidy up.
Leave no traces. And always avoid emotional involvement; it can lead to mistakes. Being careful went beyond the actual killing, of course.
Being careful meant building a careful life, too. Imitate life. All of which I had done, so very carefully. I was a near perfect hologram. Above suspicion, beyond reproach, and beneath contempt.
A neat and polite monster, the boy next door. Even Deborah was at least half fooled, half the time. Of course, she believed what she wanted to believe, too.
Right now she believed I could help her solve these murders, jump-start her career and catapult her out of her Hollywood sex suit and into a tailored business suit. And she was right, of course.
I could help her. There it was. I was in clear violation of the Code of Harry. It was full dark now, but I steered by a radio tower a few degrees to the left of my home water. So be it. Harry had always been right, he was right now. I would help Deb. Some drivers slowed down on the slick roads. At the LeJeune on-ramp, a huge dairy truck had roared onto the shoulder and hit a van full of kids from a Catholic school. One kid was airlifted to Jackson Hospital. The others sat in the milk in their uniforms and watched the grown-ups scream at each other.
I inched along placidly, listening to the radio. Apparently the police were hot on the trail of the Tamiami Butcher. I stopped at a doughnut shop not too far from the airport. I bought an apple fritter and a cruller, but the apple fritter was gone almost before I got back into the car.
I have a very high metabolism. It comes with living the good life. The rain had stopped by the time I got to work. Deb was already waiting for me. She did not look happy this morning.
Of course, she does not look happy very often any more. Too much time on duty trying not to look human. It leaves their faces stuck. I put the crisp white pastry bag on my desk.
Soon those frown lines would turn permanent, ruining a wonderful face: deep blue eyes, alive with intelligence, and small upturned nose with just a dash of freckles, framed by black hair. Beautiful features, at the moment spattered with about seven pounds of cheap makeup. I looked at her with fondness. She was clearly coming from work, dressed today in a lacy bra, bright pink spandex shorts, and gold high heels.
She hated to wear anything but clean, pressed blues. Deb likes to unload on me. She opened my doughnut bag and looked inside. Like the captain said. She missed. She made an awful face: rage and disgust competing for space. I looked up. Vince Masuoka was smiling in at us.
He smiled bigger, that bright, fake, textbook smile. Vince nodded at the crumpled white bag on my desk. Where is it? See you later. Deb believed that every now and then I got hunches.
Usually my inspired guesses had to do with the brutal whackos who liked to hack up some poor slob every few weeks just for the hell of it. She had never said anything, but my sister is a damned good cop, and so she has suspected me of something for quite a while. The last living thing on the earth that does love me. This is not self-pity but the coldest, clearest self-knowledge.
I am unlovable. Something in me is broken or missing, and sooner or later the other person catches me Acting, or one of Those Nights comes along. Animals hate me. I bought a dog once; it barked and howled—at me—in a nonstop no-mind fury for two days before I had to get rid of it.
I tried a turtle. Rather than see me or have me touch it again, it died. But of course the effect of all this belated mending was necessarily slight. Curwen continued to be avoided and distrusted, as indeed the one fact of his continued air of youth at a great age would have been enough to warrant; and he could see that in the end his fortunes would be likely to suffer. His elaborate studies and experiments, whatever they may have been, apparently required a heavy income for their maintenance; and since a change of environment would deprive him of the trading advantages he had gained, it would not have profited him to begin anew in a different region just then.
Judgment demanded that he patch up his relations with the townsfolk of Providence, so that his presence might no longer be a signal for hushed conversation, transparent excuses of errands elsewhere, and a general atmosphere of constraint and uneasiness. His clerks, being now reduced to the shiftless and impecunious residue whom no one else would employ, were giving him much worry; and he held to his sea-captains and mates only by shrewdness in gaining some kind of ascendancy over them—a mortgage, a promissory note, or a bit of information very pertinent to their welfare.
In many cases, diarists have recorded with some awe, Curwen shewed almost the power of a wizard in unearthing family secrets for questionable use. About this time the crafty scholar hit upon a last desperate expedient to regain his footing in the community. Hitherto a complete hermit, he now determined to contract an advantageous marriage; securing as a bride some lady whose unquestioned position would make all ostracism of his home impossible. It may be that he also had deeper reasons for wishing an alliance; reasons so far outside the known cosmic sphere that only papers found a century and a half after his death caused anyone to suspect them; but of this nothing certain can ever be learned.
Naturally he was aware of the horror and indignation with which any ordinary courtship of his would be received, hence he looked about for some likely candidate upon whose parents he might exert a suitable pressure. Such candidates, he found, were not at all easy to discover; since he had very particular requirements in the way of beauty, accomplishments, and social security.
At length his survey narrowed down to the household of one of his best and oldest ship-captains, a widower of high birth and unblemished standing named Dutee Tillinghast, whose only daughter Eliza seemed dowered with every conceivable advantage save prospects as an heiress. Eliza Tillinghast was at that time eighteen years of age, and had been reared as gently as the reduced circumstances of her father permitted.
A sampler of hers, worked in at the age of nine, may still be found in the rooms of the Rhode Island Historical Society. Her arguments with her father concerning the proposed Curwen marriage must have been painful indeed; but of these we have no record. Certain it is that her engagement to young Ezra Weeden, second mate of the Crawford packet Enterprise, was dutifully broken off, and that her union with Joseph Curwen took place on the seventh of March, , in the Baptist church, in the presence of one of the most distinguished assemblages which the town could boast; the ceremony being performed by the younger Samuel Winsor.
The Gazette mentioned the event very briefly, and in most surviving copies the item in question seems to be cut or torn out. Dutee Tillinghast, a young Lady who has real Merit, added to a beautiful Person, to grace the connubial State and perpetuate its Felicity. Peters, Esq. The social influence of the Tillinghasts, however, was not to be denied; and once more Joseph Curwen found his house frequented by persons whom he could never otherwise have induced to cross his threshold.
His acceptance was by no means complete, and his bride was socially the sufferer through her forced venture; but at all events the wall of utter ostracism was somewhat worn down.
In his treatment of his wife the strange bridegroom astonished both her and the community by displaying an extreme graciousness and consideration. The new house in Olney Court was now wholly free from disturbing manifestations, and although Curwen was much absent at the Pawtuxet farm which his wife never visited, he seemed more like a normal citizen than at any other time in his long years of residence. Ezra Weeden had frankly vowed vengeance; and though of a quiet and ordinarily mild disposition, was now gaining a hate-bred, dogged purpose which boded no good to the usurping husband.
The birth entry, indeed, was found very curiously through correspondence with the heirs of the loyalist Dr. Graves, who had taken with him a duplicate set of records when he left his pastorate at the outbreak of the Revolution.
Ward had tried this source because he knew that his great-great-grandmother Ann Tillinghast Potter had been an Episcopalian. Shortly after the birth of his daughter, an event he seemed to welcome with a fervour greatly out of keeping with his usual coldness, Curwen resolved to sit for a portrait.
This he had painted by a very gifted Scotsman named Cosmo Alexander, then a resident of Newport, and since famous as the early teacher of Gilbert Stuart. The likeness was said to have been executed on a wall-panel of the library of the house in Olney Court, but neither of the two old diaries mentioning it gave any hint of its ultimate disposition. At this period the erratic scholar shewed signs of unusual abstraction, and spent as much time as he possibly could at his farm on the Pawtuxet Road.
He seemed, it was stated, in a condition of suppressed excitement or suspense; as if expecting some phenomenal thing or on the brink of some strange discovery. Chemistry or alchemy would appear to have played a great part, for he took from his house to the farm the greater number of his volumes on that subject.
His affectation of civic interest did not diminish, and he lost no opportunities for helping such leaders as Stephen Hopkins, Joseph Brown, and Benjamin West in their efforts to raise the cultural tone of the town, which was then much below the level of Newport in its patronage of the liberal arts. But Ezra Weeden, who watched him closely, sneered cynically at all this outward activity; and freely swore it was no more than a mask for some nameless traffick with the blackest gulfs of Tartarus.
The revengeful youth began a systematic study of the man and his doings whenever he was in port; spending hours at night by the wharves with a dory in readiness when he saw lights in the Curwen warehouses, and following the small boat which would sometimes steal quietly off and down the bay.
He also kept as close a watch as possible on the Pawtuxet farm, and was once severely bitten by the dogs the old Indian couple loosed upon him. In came the final change in Joseph Curwen. It was very sudden, and gained wide notice amongst the curious townsfolk; for the air of suspense and expectancy dropped like an old cloak, giving instant place to an ill-concealed exaltation of perfect triumph.
Curwen seemed to have difficulty in restraining himself from public harangues on what he had found or learned or made; but apparently the need of secrecy was greater than the longing to share his rejoicing, for no explanation was ever offered by him. It was after this transition, which appears to have come early in July, that the sinister scholar began to astonish people by his possession of information which only their long-dead ancestors would seem to be able to impart.
On the contrary, they tended rather to increase; so that more and more of his shipping business was handled by the captains whom he now bound to him by ties of fear as potent as those of bankruptcy had been. He altogether abandoned the slave trade, alleging that its profits were constantly decreasing. Smuggling and evasion were the rule in Narragansett Bay, and nocturnal landings of illicit cargoes were continuous commonplaces.
Prior to the change in these boats had for the most part contained chained negroes, who were carried down and across the bay and landed at an obscure point on the shore just north of Pawtuxet; being afterward driven up the bluff and across country to the Curwen farm, where they were locked in that enormous stone outbuilding which had only high narrow slits for windows. After that change, however, the whole programme was altered. Importation of slaves ceased at once, and for a time Curwen abandoned his midnight sailings.
Then, about the spring of , a new policy appeared. Once more the lighters grew wont to put out from the black, silent docks, and this time they would go down the bay some distance, perhaps as far as Namquit Point, where they would meet and receive cargo from strange ships of considerable size and widely varied appearance.
The cargo consisted almost wholly of boxes and cases, of which a large proportion were oblong and heavy and disturbingly suggestive of coffins. Weeden always watched the farm with unremitting assiduity; visiting it each night for long periods, and seldom letting a week go by without a sight except when the ground bore a footprint-revealing snow. Even then he would often walk as close as possible in the travelled road or on the ice of the neighbouring river to see what tracks others might have left.
Finding his own vigils interrupted by nautical duties, he hired a tavern companion named Eleazar Smith to continue the survey during his absences; and between them the two could have set in motion some extraordinary rumours.
That they did not do so was only because they knew the effect of publicity would be to warn their quarry and make further progress impossible.
Instead, they wished to learn something definite before taking any action. All that can be told of their discoveries is what Eleazar Smith jotted down in a none too coherent diary, and what other diarists and letter-writers have timidly repeated from the statements which they finally made—and according to which the farm was only the outer shell of some vast and revolting menace, of a scope and depth too profound and intangible for more than shadowy comprehension.
It is gathered that Weeden and Smith became early convinced that a great series of tunnels and catacombs, inhabited by a very sizeable staff of persons besides the old Indian and his wife, underlay the farm. The house was an old peaked relic of the middle seventeenth century with enormous stack chimney and diamond-paned lattice windows, the laboratory being in a lean-to toward the north, where the roof came nearly to the ground.
This building stood clear of any other; yet judging by the different voices heard at odd times within, it must have been accessible through secret passages beneath. These voices, before , were mere mumblings and negro whisperings and frenzied screams, coupled with curious chants or invocations. After that date, however, they assumed a very singular and terrible cast as they ran the gamut betwixt dronings of dull acquiescence and explosions of frantic pain or fury, rumblings of conversation and whines of entreaty, pantings of eagerness and shouts of protest.
They appeared to be in different languages, all known to Curwen, whose rasping accents were frequently distinguishable in reply, reproof, or threatening. Sometimes it seemed that several persons must be in the house; Curwen, certain captives, and the guards of those captives.
There were voices of a sort that neither Weeden nor Smith had ever heard before despite their wide knowledge of foreign parts, and many that they did seem to place as belonging to this or that nationality.
The nature of the conversations seemed always a kind of catechism, as if Curwen were extorting some sort of information from terrified or rebellious prisoners. Weeden had many verbatim reports of overheard scraps in his notebook, for English, French, and Spanish, which he knew, were frequently used; but of these nothing has survived.
He did, however, say that besides a few ghoulish dialogues in which the past affairs of Providence families were concerned, most of the questions and answers he could understand were historical or scientific; occasionally pertaining to very remote places and ages.
Curwen asked the prisoner—if prisoner it were—whether the order to slay was given because of the Sign of the Goat found on the altar in the ancient Roman crypt beneath the Cathedral, or whether the Dark Man of the Haute Vienne Coven had spoken the Three Words. Failing to obtain replies, the inquisitor had seemingly resorted to extreme means; for there was a terrific shriek followed by silence and muttering and a bumping sound. None of these colloquies were ever ocularly witnessed, since the windows were always heavily draped.
After that no more conversations were ever heard in the house, and Weeden and Smith concluded that Curwen had transferred his field of action to regions below. That such regions in truth existed, seemed amply clear from many things. Faint cries and groans unmistakably came up now and then from what appeared to be the solid earth in places far from any structure; whilst hidden in the bushes along the river-bank in the rear, where the high ground sloped steeply down to the valley of the Pawtuxet, there was found an arched oaken door in a frame of heavy masonry, which was obviously an entrance to caverns within the hill.
When or how these catacombs could have been constructed, Weeden was unable to say; but he frequently pointed out how easily the place might have been reached by bands of unseen workmen from the river. Joseph Curwen put his mongrel seamen to diverse uses indeed! During the heavy spring rains of the two watchers kept a sharp eye on the steep river-bank to see if any subterrene secrets might be washed to light, and were rewarded by the sight of a profusion of both human and animal bones in places where deep gullies had been worn in the banks.
Naturally there might be many explanations of such things in the rear of a stock farm, and in a locality where old Indian burying-grounds were common, but Weeden and Smith drew their own inferences.
It was in January , whilst Weeden and Smith were still debating vainly on what, if anything, to think or do about the whole bewildering business, that the incident of the Fortaleza occurred. Charles Leslie, captured after a short pursuit one early morning the snow Fortaleza of Barcelona, Spain, under Capt. Arruda felt himself in honour bound not to reveal. There were later rumours of its having been seen in Boston Harbour, though it never openly entered the Port of Boston.
This extraordinary incident did not fail of wide remark in Providence, and there were not many who doubted the existence of some connexion between the cargo of mummies and the sinister Joseph Curwen. His exotic studies and his curious chemical importations being common knowledge, and his fondness for graveyards being common suspicion; it did not take much imagination to link him with a freakish importation which could not conceivably have been destined for anyone else in the town.
As if conscious of this natural belief, Curwen took care to speak casually on several occasions of the chemical value of the balsams found in mummies; thinking perhaps that he might make the affair seem less unnatural, yet stopping just short of admitting his participation. Weeden and Smith, of course, felt no doubt whatsoever of the significance of the thing; and indulged in the wildest theories concerning Curwen and his monstrous labours.
The following spring, like that of the year before, had heavy rains; and the watchers kept careful track of the river-bank behind the Curwen farm. Large sections were washed away, and a certain number of bones discovered; but no glimpse was afforded of any actual subterranean chambers or burrows. Something was rumoured, however, at the village of Pawtuxet about a mile below, where the river flows in falls over a rocky terrace to join the placid landlocked cove.
There, where quaint old cottages climbed the hill from the rustic bridge, and fishing-smacks lay anchored at their sleepy docks, a vague report went round of things that were floating down the river and flashing into sight for a minute as they went over the falls. Of course the Pawtuxet is a long river which winds through many settled regions abounding in graveyards, and of course the spring rains had been very heavy; but the fisherfolk about the bridge did not like the wild way that one of the things stared as it shot down to the still water below, or the way that another half cried out although its condition had greatly departed from that of objects which normally cry out.
That rumour sent Smith—for Weeden was just then at sea—in haste to the river-bank behind the farm; where surely enough there remained the evidences of an extensive cave-in. There was, however, no trace of a passage into the steep bank; for the miniature avalanche had left behind a solid wall of mixed earth and shrubbery from aloft. Smith went to the extent of some experimental digging, but was deterred by lack of success—or perhaps by fear of possible success.
It is interesting to speculate on what the persistent and revengeful Weeden would have done had he been ashore at the time. By the autumn of Weeden decided that the time was ripe to tell others of his discoveries; for he had a large number of facts to link together, and a second eye-witness to refute the possible charge that jealousy and vindictiveness had spurred his fancy.
As his first confidant he selected Capt. James Mathewson of the Enterprise, who on the one hand knew him well enough not to doubt his veracity, and on the other hand was sufficiently influential in the town to be heard in turn with respect.
Mathewson was tremendously impressed. Like nearly everyone else in the town, he had had black suspicions of his own anent Joseph Curwen; hence it needed only this confirmation and enlargement of data to convince him absolutely.
At the end of the conference he was very grave, and enjoined strict silence upon the two younger men. He would, he said, transmit the information separately to some ten or so of the most learned and prominent citizens of Providence; ascertaining their views and following whatever advice they might have to offer. Secrecy would probably be essential in any case, for this was no matter that the town constables or militia could cope with; and above all else the excitable crowd must be kept in ignorance, lest there be enacted in these already troublous times a repetition of that frightful Salem panic of less than a century before which had first brought Curwen hither.
The right persons to tell, he believed, would be Dr. Benjamin West, whose pamphlet on the late transit of Venus proved him a scholar and keen thinker; Rev. James Manning, President of the College which had just moved up from Warren and was temporarily housed in the new King Street schoolhouse awaiting the completion of its building on the hill above Presbyterian-Lane; ex-Governor Stephen Hopkins, who had been a member of the Philosophical Society at Newport, and was a man of very broad perceptions; John Carter, publisher of the Gazette; all four of the Brown brothers, John, Joseph, Nicholas, and Moses, who formed the recognised local magnates, and of whom Joseph was an amateur scientist of parts; old Dr.
Abraham Whipple, a privateersman of phenomenal boldness and energy who could be counted on to lead in any active measures needed. These men, if favourable, might eventually be brought together for collective deliberation; and with them would rest the responsibility of deciding whether or not to inform the Governor of the Colony, Joseph Wanton of Newport, before taking action. The mission of Capt. Curwen, it was clear, formed a vague potential menace to the welfare of the town and Colony; and must be eliminated at any cost.
Late in December a group of eminent townsmen met at the home of Stephen Hopkins and debated tentative measures. Mathewson, were carefully read; and he and Smith were summoned to give testimony anent details. Something very like fear seized the whole assemblage before the meeting was over, though there ran through that fear a grim determination which Capt.
They would not notify the Governor, because a more than legal course seemed necessary. With hidden powers of uncertain extent apparently at his disposal, Curwen was not a man who could safely be warned to leave town. Nameless reprisals might ensue, and even if the sinister creature complied, the removal would be no more than the shifting of an unclean burden to another place.
Curwen must be surprised at his Pawtuxet farm by a large raiding-party of seasoned privateersmen and given one decisive chance to explain himself. If he proved a madman, amusing himself with shrieks and imaginary conversations in different voices, he would be properly confined. If something graver appeared, and if the underground horrors indeed turned out to be real, he and all with him must die. It could be done quietly, and even the widow and her father need not be told how it came about.
While these serious steps were under discussion there occurred in the town an incident so terrible and inexplicable that for a time little else was mentioned for miles around. There was a baying of dogs in the distance, but this subsided as soon as the clamour of the awakened town became audible. Parties of men with lanterns and muskets hurried out to see what was happening, but nothing rewarded their search.
It was not so much the younger as the older folk who whispered, for only in the patriarchs did that rigid face with horror-bulging eyes strike any chord of memory.