Chapter 9

FridaymorningArmitage,Rice,andMorgansetoutbymotorforDunwich,arrivingatthevillageaboutoneintheafternoon.Thedaywaspleasant,buteveninthebrightestsunlightakindofquietdreadandportentseemedtohoveraboutthestrangelydomedhillsandthedeep,shadowyravinesofthestrickenregion.Nowandthenonsomemountaintopagauntcircleofstonescouldbeglimpsedagainstthesky.FromtheairofhushedfrightatOsborn’sstoretheyknewsomethinghideoushadhappened,andsoonlearnedoftheannihilationoftheElmerFryehouseandfamily.ThroughoutthatafternoontheyrodearoundDunwich,questioningthenativesconcerningallthathadoccurred,andseeingforthemselveswithrisingpangsofhorrorthedrearFryeruinswiththeirlingeringtracesofthetarrystickiness,theblasphemoustracksintheFryeyard,thewoundedSethBishopcattle,andtheenormousswathsofdisturbedvegetationinvariousplaces.ThetrailupanddownSentinelHillseemedtoArmitageofalmostcataclysmicsignificance,andhelookedlongatthesinisteraltar-likestoneonthesummit.

Atlengththevisitors,apprisedofapartyofStatePolicewhichhadcomefromAylesburythatmorninginresponsetothefirsttelephonereportsoftheFryetragedy,decidedtoseekouttheofficersandcomparenotesasfaraspracticable.This,however,theyfoundmoreeasilyplannedthanperformed;sincenosignofthepartycouldbefoundinanydirection.Therehadbeenfiveoftheminacar,butnowthecarstoodemptyneartheruinsintheFryeyard.

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