Before recounting Sunday I must report errors in what I have just written. Best to come straight out with it when one cocks up, trying to hide your mistakes is a terribly French attribute. Besides, after the night we have just had I will chide myself no more on such an error, and I think that when I have finished recounting my tale you will agree with me diary that such a lapse is forgivable under the circumstances.
You see diary we actually discovered the tower at first on the Friday night, for dinner wasn't until 21:00 and we had to escape the poets. So on the Saturday we took some tools and dug out the door in its entirety to discover a secret passage! Well this was the stuff of Boy's Own and before you know it we had all rushed inside to investigate. Well all of us except poor Edwin who seems to have problems with enclosed spaces, no doubt picked up from the trenches. It did come across as a bit wet, but given the background we all let it pass.
Anyway the important details are that we found several strange artefacts, including a great five pointed symbol laid into the floor. More disturbing was a horrible gutting knife, serrated and curved with some sort of raghead writing on it, and a moldy book written in some very bastardised latin which I couldn't make head nor tale of, but Panda managed to translate as being some sort of diary of a man who was seeking knowledge. Finally there was a piece of stone, carved in the same manner as the floor symbol, nothing much to look at under normal consideration but given the circumstancing it treated with all due respect!
Time caught up with us and we were forced to return to the house to prepare for the big dinner and Panda's exhibition.
Slept terribly, felt worse after waking up. Had some sort of nightmare but to be honest the details allude me. After some discussion with Charles and Edwin we agreed that the most likely culprit for our collectively poor conditions was the cheese and port with which we rounded the previous night off. Still it seemed to inspire Edwin, for he produced a truly unsettling picture as a result of this stimulation. Probably best to ensure that he isn't stimulated too often, though even as I write this I realise that after tonight such wishes are but an exercise in futility.
Hearty breakfasts restored out spirits and dampened if not entirely disposed of our hangovers and once we had been joined by Panda we prepared to retire to the library to examine our finds from the night before. We halted in our tracks by the realisation that Claire hadn't joined us. With growing horror we realised that she had taken flight first thing, back to her parents house in order to escape the terrible ordeal that now faced us.
At that very moment diary, before any of us could take another step, Aunty M appeared to 'remind' us that we would be leaving for church in 10 minutes. Now as you konw diary, I am a god fearing man and believe you me I was afraid at that moment. The local Vicar, Father A. is a preacher of the old school, full of vigour and volume, with an organist as zealous as him and a set of bills cast to ring loud and true to be heard for many miles around.
In short, God was about to punish us most fearfully for our gluttony the night before and believe you me diary, punished we were.
That afternoon, after we had all taken a well needed snooze (and once Claire had returned from the private service held most sedately in the family chapel) we managed to get to the library to examine our hoard.
To be brief diary, it was quite dull and involved a lot of books which Panda and Claire managed to find as though by instinct, where as Edwin and I were as enept as a Frenchman on a cricket pitch. Femine intuition I suppose. Anyway for the sake of brevity I will merely note the results of our finds.
The tower was owned by a man named Raul Givenchy, who was killed by a witch hunter during the time of Cromwell.
The stone carving was made of a soap stone only found in North America, yet the destruction of the tower occured before America had been discoverd! Which only goes to show that either the ragheads travelled further than previously thought or the author of the book didn't know what he was talking about.
We couldn't work out what the writing on the knife was, but the blade almost certainly came from Damascus!
I think that there was some other stuff as well, but as ever diary my old foibles and failings came to the fore and I didn't pay enough attention.
Anyway the upshot was that we decided to go and explore the tower some more and to arrange for some workmen to clear the upper floor to see if anything else had arrived.
It was this during this latest visit to the tower that we realised that things were not as innocent as we might have thought, for when we went down into the bowels of the earth once more we discovered that someone else had been exploring.
In the centre of the floor symbol were a pile of dead rats, obviously killed in some brutally violent manner. Understandably the ladies were shocked and most upset, so Edwin gallantly accompanied them outside while Charles and I cleared up. Upon a quick examination it was quite clear that the unfortunate rodents had been killed elsewhere for there was not a drop of blood to be seen.
Once back outside I reassured Panda that there was little to worry about and that the culprit was most likely some Bolshevik poacher trying to put the wind up his betters. Edwin attempted to help with the story by stating that ferrets drink blood, which is patently ridiculous and he should obviously stick to painting rather than stories, but fortunately Panda knew no difference and took comfort from the explanations. I resolved to have a couple of the estates game keepers to keep watch that night, and to let any cad or bounder that they catch have both barrels. I will not have a campaign of class hatred waged against Aunty M by any oik, even one who strangles rats.
Sunday night was a little subdued due to general tiredness and a little upset with regards to the rats. I paid a couple of game keepers to keep an eye on the tower and we all retired to bed.