1928-03-14 — 1928-03-15
Dr Simms and Mr Twain was changing trains in Birmingham. They were on their way to visit Mr and Mrs Black in their summer home in Derbyshire. The Blacks had seem disturbed when they called. Strange this had happened in their manor. Their dog has vanished, blood was smeared on a wall, a pentagram was carved on the front door. And Mr Black have had nightmares.
The two friends was no experts on the subjects, but were close friends to the Blacks so they went to help, even if it was mostly for moral support.
The train stopped in Helmsdon and Jacob picked them up at the station. Jacob seemed nervous but tried to be as jolly as possible. Back at the manor, the guest read the framed curse Black Annie had put on the Black family in 1584:
“And ye shall suffer the curse of Black Annie: blood shall flow and the dead shall walk and ye shall be the last of the line.”
Jacob laughed and said that the witch apparently failed since he is still here 350 years later.
The guest rested in their guest rooms a short time before dinner.
Jacob opened a bottle of fine wine and tried to be a good host. After dinner they talked about what had happened, and they looked at the door with the pentagram in the door. It was carved 4 inches above the floor and was only a couple of inches.
They searched the whole house, but the only thing they could find was some strange rat trails. The trails looked like rats, but was positioned wrongly.
In the study, Jacob have gathered all the books in Helmsdon regarding Black Annie. Black Annie was burned at the stakes 1584 at the age of 20 and she cursed the Blacks. Their home ( Oakwood Manor) burned down shortly after and all Blacks was killed except one of Sir Edwards brothers that were in France at the time.
Without any real clues they continued to drink wine in the dining room. When Herbert was visiting the bath room he heard some scratching outside the door, but nothing was there. In the hallway he heard the scratching from inside the bath room and hastily opened the door. He then saw a very small monkey running behind the toilet and escaping thru a small rat hole in the wall. He gathered his friends and they sensed a faint smell of charcoal. Then they decided to visit the coal cellar and there they found a small hole beneath the bath room. They placed six rat trap cages thru the house and went to bed.
Leopold was awakened by being trapped in his bed and attacked by small monkeys with a pocket knife. The monkeys had red glowing eyes and large fangs and was laughing hysterical. Leopold started to scream and was yet again awakened when his friends come running in to the room.
In the morning, Esther found that one of the traps had set off. But the cage was empty. Someone had bent the bars and escaped.
Jacob had to work, but the others went to visit the ruins of Oakwood Manor outside Beck Green. First they visited Major Northcote who lived in the old hunting lodge and was the current owner of the land were Oakwood Manor was. He said that they were welcome to visit the old ruins.
The ruins was overgrown and there was clear sign on the stone that it had burned down. One part of the top floor was slightly less destroyed and it was there they found a painting beneath the soot. They also found another painting beneath the painting. They carefully cleaned the soot and found a painting of a wounded knight in the arms of a priest. The priest was healing the knight with the Holy Grail. Surrounding them was a battle between knights and classic looking daemons.
The painting beneath was the same motive, but the priest was changed to an old man (possibly a druid) and the daemons was changed to Christian knights. It was also more blood and gore in that painting.
Since it was late afternoon they decided to return to Major Northcote. Northcote was an retired Major and apperantly was intrested in english history, primarily Arthurian legends and he saw Arthur as the ultimate leader. Northcote was packing all of his books to return to London. On a wall in the lodge was a painting of St Michaels Chapel and the style of the painting matched the murial found in Oakwood Manor. The painting of the church was made by Melinda Pryce. Melinda was a sister-in-law to Sir Edward Black and lived in Oakwood Manor after her husband died. She died with (almost) all the Black at the fire 1584. No one have heard about the St Michaels Chapel.
Herbert searched the rooms and found an old book about the channels in Derbyshire and in it was an even older map of the area around Helmsdon and Beck Green. Just north of Beck Green was a five pointed star drawn. Herbert stole the book before they left to pick up Jacob from work.