Sir John and Marie stood shivering on the moor a quarter of a mile south of Devil’s Peak and fifty feet north east of the Old Well and looked due south.
“Nothing,” said Sir John. “There’s nothing for miles.”
“Well, that’s the countryside, mon cher,” said Marie with a wry smile. “It’s not so easy to find things here.”
“We should have asked him how loud it was, or if it moved,” said Sir John. “Then maybe we could have estimated the distance.”
“I think we asked him enough,” said Marie. “He was quite cross-eyed at the end.”
“I’m not sure that was the questions,” said Sir John. “Well, let’s look at the map. I’ve marked the killings. This thing must sleep somewhere. Maybe we can draw a line south from here and see if there’s a pattern.”
He took the map out and tried to lay it on the ground, but the wind kept catching it. After a minute of fighting with the map he crumpled it up and put it back in his pocket.
“Perhaps we can do that later,” he said. “I hate to ask, Marie, is there some magical thing we, well you, can do? If we believe this is a magical creature, of course.”
“Which you don’t?” said Marie.
“Not entirely,” said Sir John. “The only spirits I’ve seen so far are the one’s in Old Jim’s glass.”
“Maybe I can try and look for a big dog,” said Marie. “I can use a pendulum.”
Sir John shrugged and Marie took off her necklace. She held it in her fingers and let it dangle.
“Trouver,” said Maire and instantly the pendulum shot horizontal north toward the summit.
“My word!” said Sir John. “Good show!”
Just then a large dog appeared over the summit. It was nearly as tall as Marie and at the sight of them it bounded forward barking.
“Run!” shouted Sir John.
Marie just waved her hand and said, “calmer.” Instantly the dog sat down and Sir John stayed where he was.
“Was that for me or the dog,” asked Sir John.
“The dog,” said Marie, “mostly.”
A tall well-built and immaculately dressed man mounted the crest of the hill.
“Hoy, Arthur,” called the man. “Here, boy.”
The dog ran back to the man wagging his tail and the pair walked down to Sir John and Marie.
“Good morrow, good sir, good lady” said the man as he approached. “Please let me introduce myself, I am Lord Vulpine du Bois and this is my, rather enthusiastic Irish Wolfhound, Arthur. I hope he didn’t startle you.”
“Not at all,” said Sir John. “I’m Sir John Jennings, and this is my wife, Marie.”
“Oh, I’ve heard all about you two,” said Lord du Bois, “I get all the gossip. You’re staying with the Mallums, yes? Looking for the mystery beast.”
“For a moment we rather thought we found him,” said Sir John, looking at the dog. Lord du Bois roared with laughter.
“Oh, that’s a good one,” he said. “Old Arthur here is daft as a brush. The only danger is he’d lick you to death.”
As they talked the dog nudged his nose into Marie’s hand and made a whining noise. She stroked his head and he fell onto his back, sticking his legs into the air.
“Why don’t you come for tea one day?” said Lord du Bois. “I’ve not been long here myself, and I could use some news from the outside word. This little village is very pleasant but a little isolated.”
“We’d be delighted to,” said Marie. “Where do you live.”
“See that frightful old pile,” said du Bois, pointing to a mansion on the eastern edge of the village. “That’s Bennet House. Come see me anytime.”
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