12th March 1924

I didn’t sleep too well last night due to the storm. I headed down for breakfast to find Prof. Deveraux already downstairs, reading one of the books he took from Mr. Hancock’s library. The rest of our colleges soon joined us.There seem to be two other guest staying at The King’s Head. One is a tall, athletic, fair-haired gentleman. According to Alistair he is an Englishman (or Sassenach’). The second is a small man with gold-rimmed spectacles and receding hair who we had seen engrossed in a book last night.As we enjoyed a hearty breakfast the bespectacled man came over to talk to us. His manner seemed furtive and it was clear that he had timed his visit so as not to be seen by anyone else. He introduced himself as Dr. Kennedy. He had overheard that were associated with Mr. Hancock, who was a friend of his, and wanted to talk with us in private. We mentioned that we would be going back to the Hancock house and it was agreed that he would meet us their shortly.After breakfast we drove back up to the Hancock house. It seemed just as we had left it. While it was our intention to search upstairs that morning no one seemed to be in a hurry to start after Dr. Ewers’s terrifying encounter. We set about lighting the downstairs fires and re-filling the oil lamps and, after a while, there was a knock on the door. Prof. Deveraux went to answer it and returned a few moments latter with Dr. Kennedy.

Dr. Kennedy was clearly a worried man and it didn’t take much prompting for him to tell his tale. He taught archaeology at Edinburgh University and it was in that capacity that Dr. Kennedy had met Mr. Hancock. Mr. Hancock had sought out his aid in translating a Latin document in the possession of Dr. MacParlan. Mr. Hancock believed that it gave was connected to a Roman temple to Aesathog. Mr. Hancock and Mr. Chisholm had started to excavate the site of the temple and all that been well until they had unearthed three skeletons, one of which had certain serpentine features. It was shortly after that that Mr. Hancock and Mr. Chisholm had claimed to have spotted a huge creature, like a “slimy krakenâ€�, near the dig. This prompted Mr. Hancock to get his elephant gun’s out of storage.

Soon after that the pair had vanished and Dr. Kennedy was not convinced by the tale of a sudden urge to return to Africa. He believed that something sinister had befallen the pair and that he would be next if he stayed in Cannich much longer.

I tried to draw from Dr. Kennedy if he felt that the danger came from anyone in particular but he would not commit himself. I asked if he had ever heard of a ‘MacBain’. Dr. Kennedy replied that there was a Duncan MacBain, a ‘crazy old man who lives alone on Creag Dhubh - a mountain’.

Dr. Kennedy was able to shed some light on the strange conversation between the landlord of The King’s Head and Constable McMill. Apparently the child of a local couple, Rab and Liz Macrae, had disappeared. Was there a connection with the business that had brought us to Cannich? I could not help but think there was and images of dark ceremonies and darker deeds came unbidden to mind.

Dr. Kennedy was eager enough to leave the whole matter in our hands and told us that he would be leaving Cannich that day. Unfortunately we would not be able to contact him in Edinburgh as he had heard that last night’s storm had knocked out the telegraph wires.

One final piece of advice Dr. Kennedy gave us before leaving, if we wanted to visit the dig site we should find one Ian MacDonald at Cozae Lodge.

With Dr. Kennedy’s departure we had no more reason to delay. If we were going to completely search the Hancock house we would have to venture up-stairs once again and risk a confrontation with whatever lurked there.


Margo

Topics: Case of the Coven, Case of the Order of Silver Twilight |

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