Chapter 7

YetallthiswasonlytheprologueoftheactualDunwichhorror. Formalitiesweregonethroughbybewilderedofficials,abnormaldetailsweredulykeptfrompressandpublic, andmenweresenttoDunwichandAylesburytolookuppropertyandnotifyanywhomightbeheirsofthelateWilburWhateley. Theyfoundthecountrysideingreatagitation,bothbecauseofthegrowingrumblingsbeneaththedomedhills,andbecauseoftheunwontedstenchandthesurging,lappingsoundswhichcameincreasinglyfromthegreatemptyshellformedbyWhateley’sboarded-upfarmhouse. EarlSawyer,whotendedthehorseandcattleduringWilbur’sabsence,haddevelopedawoefullyacutecaseofnerves. Theofficialsdevisedexcusesnottoenterthenoisomeboardedplace; andweregladtoconfinetheirsurveyofthedeceased’slivingquarters,thenewlymendedsheds,toasinglevisit. TheyfiledaponderousreportatthecourthouseinAylesbury,andlitigationsconcerningheirshiparesaidtobestillinprogressamongsttheinnumerableWhateleys,decayedandundecayed,oftheupperMiskatonicvalley. 

Analmostinterminablemanuscriptinstrangecharacters,writteninahugeledgerandadjudgedasortofdiarybecauseofthespacingandthevariationsininkandpenmanship,presentedabafflingpuzzletothosewhofounditontheoldbureauwhichservedasitsowner’sdesk. 

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