HORROR IN THE AYLESHIRE UPLANDS . . .
To all appearances the room was unoccupied.
Moments later a feeling as of doom impending swept over me with a chill. Whose house was this, I wondered? And how had I come to be here?
Hanging from a peg was a tiny silver call, such as might be used to summon a domestic. It was a curious little thing, of a peculiar and antique workmanship. I saw at once that it was valuable. Much intrigued I was about to apply it to my lips, to test the sound, when I became aware of a stealthy movement in the room.
A figure -- that of an elderly man with grave features, craggy and deep-seamed -- sprang up from behind one of the wing-chairs on the hearthrug. He eyed me uneasily. "What do you mean to do?" he asked.
As I raised the call to my lips he flung a warning hand at me. "No, sir, no! Do not sound the call!" he cried, in a tone of stifled horror. "Take heed, sir -- lest the devils be unchained!"
A clean-limbed, fine-pointed gelding from the Red Top stables
A homely wisp of a maidservant, and niece to Mrs. Shudders
Mr. Roderick Capel Grange
A lively, intelligent gentleman of a cheerful good humor, and master of the Firs
Barmaid at the Jolly Vintner; a pretty, well-made lass with a merry eye
The head gardener of Red Top
Staid servant (butler cum steward) at Red Top, with a weighty gravity of exterior
The Rev. Mr. Nicodemus Dumps
The vicar of Hoole; a morose and discontented clergyman
A medical man and the town physician
A chocolate bay gelding, who had been Sir Henry Clement's prized hunter and favorite riding horse
Chief attendant of the household at Clement's Mill
Freckle-faced young stable-boy at Red Top
A mastodon man, one of the three sons of old John Jarvey
Squire Turnthirsty's cream-colored mare
Mr. Jervas Lawry
Young solicitor and attorney, who had been Sir Henry Clement's trusted legal adviser
The verger of Hoole, rather too fond of the vicar's wine
Mr. Mogens Maunder
The town clerk of Hoole, and something of a humorist
A ginger tabby cat, on the dainty, diminutive side
Mr. John Mulbery
The old sexton and gravedigger of Hoole, now semi-retired
A well-marked pointer dog, and chief adjutant to Griff and Jim True
Miss Petra's dappled mare
Godwin's daughter, acting as housemaid at Clement's Mill
Cook and housekeeper to Mr. Somervell at the Mill
(James Archibald MacConachar)
A stonemason; a great mountain of a man
Miss Petra Solsgrace
A young woman left an orphan, made ward and heir of Sir Henry Clement
Mr. Ingram Somervell
Partner in a firm of ship-brokers at Crow's-end; the narrator of this story
Chief groom at Red Top
A celebrated dairyman and local milk roundsman
Featured image: Detail from A Country Cottage and Church (w/c on paper) by F.H. Tyndale (19th century)
(Private collection / The Bridgeman Art Library)