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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