PART 3: Studying Bones (Julia/Elizabeth/Harry)

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PART 3: Studying Bones (Julia/Elizabeth/Harry)

Post  Julia Hoffman on 6th December 2009, 16:45

Julia glanced up at the cloudy sky. She was in front of the Old House with Elizabeth and they were going to a secluded part of the woods near Collinwood. She had her medical bag and an old duffel bag. Elizabeth had a shovel that Julia had borrowed from Willie's tool shed.

"The ground should still be unpacked and easy to dig," Julia said as they began walking. "I cleared a spot on a work table in the cellar, but hopefully it won't be necessary to move him." In a part of the cellar away from Barnabas, she thought.

"Willie has gone to Bangor so I believe we are safe. Do you recall seeing anything around the body when you discovered it?


Last edited by Julia Hoffman on 6th December 2009, 16:55; edited 1 time in total
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Re: PART 3: Studying Bones (Julia/Elizabeth/Harry)

Post  Elizabeth Stoddard on 6th December 2009, 16:54

Elizabeth had told Mrs. Johnson that she'd be walking the grounds all morning. When she'd knocked on the door of the Old House, Julia had been ready to go.

"Carolyn and I were so shocked at the time, and the room was so dark and musty that I didn't really notice. It seems there was an old pistol on the floor near the chair....oh, and a wedding band on the floor but I thought nothing of it. I've been thinking, though. What was left of the clothing was all black, not like normal wear but like a reverand's attire. I don't recall anyone living at Collinwood being a member of the clergy."

They could hear their footsteps in the leaves that had fallen. Is it my imagination or is someone following us, Elizabeth wondered.


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Re: PART 3: Studying Bones (Julia/Elizabeth/Harry)

Post  Julia Hoffman on 6th December 2009, 17:01

"It isn't a usual thing to have a gun laying around on the floor," Julia said as Elizabeth led the way. "We may need to check the room in addition to looking through old records. If he'd been shot and the bullet hit bone it'll be obvious. I do hope we can leave him in the ground. The more activity there is, the more likely someone is to notice."

She glanced around nervously. "It's good that you've been so vigilant in keeping trespassers and hunters out of your woods Elizabeth."


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Re: PART 3: Studying Bones (Julia/Elizabeth/Harry)

Post  Elizabeth Stoddard on 6th December 2009, 17:10

"Yes, well for some reason we've had more than our share of trouble and tragedy in these woods," Elizabeth replied. "Jullia, there are two more people who know of this, but I doubt if it will cause any trouble. Cecillia and Kathryn saw Joe and I bury the skeleton. Cill had invited Kathryn for dinner, they decided to walk up the lane part of the way, saw us and came closer out of curiosity. They sat through dinner with me and didn't say a word. Not any indication at all. The only reason I know is because Cecillia asked me last night after her sleep was disturbed by a visit from Quentin."

They were nearing an open area and glanced around to see if they were being observed by anyone in the distance. "Cecillia seems to be handling it very well and she said she'd talk to Kathryn. I believe they will be supportive and not make things more difficult than they have to be."

As the two women got nearer to wear the bones were buried, they were unaware of the ghost listening and watching.


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Re: PART 3: Studying Bones (Julia/Elizabeth/Harry)

Post  Harry Johnson on 6th December 2009, 18:34

Harry had left Collinwood only a minute or two after Elizabeth had, and had quickly caught up to her in a reasonable distance. He was careful with where he stepped, avoiding being seen or heard. Once Julia had joined Elizabeth on the walk, Harry's interest quickly grew.

A few times along the way, Harry had unintentionally stepped on a stray limb or other wood debris, causing the women a few yards ahead of him to gaze around. He just could hear them talking, although what he was really interested in was apparently buried under the ground.

The women stopped at a clearing up ahead, and Harry ducked behind a tree to observe what was going on.


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Re: PART 3: Studying Bones (Julia/Elizabeth/Harry)

Post  Julia Hoffman on 6th December 2009, 18:56

Julia pulled a plastic sheet from the duffle bag near where Elizabeth had pointed to the recent grave. From a distance it was well-concealed with branches, twigs and leaves. Up close, it was obvious that something had been recently happened there.

"It must have been animals and the wind," Julia said as she took the first turn at digging.

It feels like we're being watched. Maybe it's just my imagination, she thought.


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Re: PART 3: Studying Bones (Julia/Elizabeth/Harry)

Post  Elizabeth Stoddard on 6th December 2009, 19:05

While Julia was digging, Elizabeth looked around and guessed at the direction where Kathryn and Cecilla must have spotted her and Joe from the road. She pointed it out to Julia and said, "No one can see us from the lane now; they must have seen us on that small hill and got curious about what we were carrying and followed us."

Soon, it was her turn with the shovel and she began digging. "I'm afraid that Joe buried it rather deep; we had no idea it would be dug up again so soon."

They continued taking turns digging and chatting to soothe any nervousness. "I'm sure that our voices won't carry far from here but I can't help but feel that we're being watched," she said as she helped Julia move the skeleton onto the plastic sheet.


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Re: PART 3: Studying Bones (Julia/Elizabeth/Harry)

Post  Julia Hoffman on 6th December 2009, 19:16

Julia knelt beside the skeleton after removing some magnifying instruments and metal tools from her bag. "Here is where a bullet grazed the skull, Elizabeth. At this angle, it's impossible to tell whether it was murder, suicide or an accident. At any rate, it's odd that he would have left there and the room walled up."

She continued to examine the body. "What's left of the fingernails show that he tried to scratch at something, but there's no other sign of trauma in his condition. I agree, the garments look like those that a minister in the late 19th century would wear." She noted the approximate height and build of the skeleton in her journal and made a quick sketch of what his hair most likely had looked to be when it was all there.

"He seems to have been middle-aged and in reasonably good health. I doubt if he were a laborer. I don't think I can learn anymore by taking him back to the Old House. That would be very risky anyway. If it's agreeable to you, we'll put him back in the ground. I don't know that the authorities could do any better than us and notifying them would just cause unpleasantness."

After agreement from Elizabeth, the two women reburied the skeleton.

Why does it feel like we have an audience, Julia wondered. I sense an angry, restless presence and also a curious, excited presence. Obviously there is no one else here but Elizabeth and me.

The two women made their way silently back to the Old House.


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Re: PART 3: Studying Bones (Julia/Elizabeth/Harry)

Post  Harry Johnson on 6th December 2009, 19:53

Harry's eyes lit up with fascination as the women dug up and examined the body, and his mind filled with schemes and ideas. No one would ever be able to believe the information that he now held, but the proof that lay only feet beneath the surface of Collins ground would surely be persuasive enough.

He followed the two women back to the Old House for a while, seeing if there was anything of more interest to learn. Wealth floated around in his head, an idea that was closer than ever within reach. However, the walk back was much less informing then the walk into the woods had been, as the two women didn't seem to have anything more to say.

With a pleased grin on his face, Harry made a turn and headed back towards Collinwood, satisfied with what he had found out. He needed to figure out what his next move was to be, but until then he had to keep his eyes and ears open. "Mrs. Stoddard wont know what hit her," he joked to himself, as he neared Collinwood.


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Re: PART 3: Studying Bones (Julia/Elizabeth/Harry)

Post  Julia Hoffman on 6th December 2009, 21:07

When they got to the Old House, Julia put her medical bag just inside the door and Elizabeth propped the shovel against the front of the house.

"I'll clean the shovel off and have it put back by the time Willie gets home. In the meantime, I'll look through the history books and albums that are here; the man obviously had some connection to the Collins family and probably to Quentin. Maybe I'll even ask Barnabas without arousing his suspicion. He seems to dislike having trouble from the past stirred up."


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Re: PART 3: Studying Bones (Julia/Elizabeth/Harry)

Post  Elizabeth Stoddard on 6th December 2009, 21:14

"Thanks for your help Julia. I'll look through our records, of course, but I'll also look through the Collinsport history books at the library tomorrow. Cecillia wants to go into town to talk to Kathryn and we'll probably leave mid-morning. Hopefully Quentin won't disturb anyone this evening," Elizabeth added.

"I'll go home and change; I doubt if anyone besides Mrs. Johnson knows what I've been doing this morning....oh, I guess I mentioned it to Cecillia but no one else knows."

The women said their goodbyes, thinking about the research ahead.

~end scene~


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