Emily and I are back in Vermont. We arrived on Monday, actually, but I’ve been too busy getting all my various affairs in order to post. In addition to the previously mentioned moneys, both Rachael and Elaine left lump sums to help fund Emily’s care, so I’ve been trying to sort out all these different transfers and exchanges in such a way that I won’t have anyone of authority snooping around my home, wondering who I am, why I haven’t paid taxes and where I got an orphaned child.
The little one herself has been mostly quiet and when she hasn’t been, she’s either been crying or hungry. So now I really need to start figuring out what I should be feeding her and whatnot. I’m pretty sure there’s only so much pasta you can give a child before you start encouraging juvenile obesity. The crying is a natural part of the grieving process but I’m paranoid enough that I’m going to keep a close eye on her and keep someone on speed dial in case I need her looked at.
For now, my main priority is ensuring Emily’s security here in the mansion. It is imperative that I keep her out of harm’s way as much as possible, especially since I’m besieged by the dual threat of the Tree Walker and Arkham. At least one of those is defeatable though, which is a bonus, for once.
I’ll try and return to some sort of regular update schedule soon.
For anyone who hasn’t seen; Elaine has died. Her death was not without warning, so, before she died, she made sure I was on hand to take custody of Emily. I got her from Elliott this morning with some scrapes, burns and bruises, nothing I couldn’t treat with a first aid kit. Whatever damage she’s got in her heart is another matter entirely. Elliot is not the best with kids, as he himself admits, so there was only so much he could do before I got there and even I couldn’t do all that much to calm her down. It’s going to take a while for her to adjust, but I’m confident I can help her through this or, at the very least, find someone who can.
I’m on the way back to the mansion with Emily. Between the money I have left, the money I saved by leaving for a month and a half and the money I procured more recently, I have enough to keep the house solvent for a year. Hopefully that will be time enough. I don’t know what Elliott meant when he said Emily would appreciate a permanent home. He seems to have forgotten I’m not going to be around for much longer. I can take care of Emily for now, but when the disease begins to progress into the more debilitating stages, I’m going to have to find someone else to care for her. Unfortunately, in this world in which we find ourselves, I’m starting to wonder if I’ll be able to find someone she can get attached to who won’t end up dying on her a few months later.
At any rate, the next few months are going to be difficult but I will persevere. For Emily’s sake. She’s one person I refuse to let get caught in my crossfire. First though, I need to find the people shooting at me and get rid of them. Starting with Arkham Jones. He’s threatened her once before, he’s not going to do it again. No one will hurt this child as long as she is under my protection.
Assuming nothing pertinent comes up, you won’t hear from me again until Emily and I are back in Vermont. It should only take a few days, but don’t get worried if it’s longer than that. Sometimes it’s just traffic.
I have confirmation that Winston is in custody. I think I’m ready to return to Vermont. Almost. I need to sort a few more things first. There’s some things I must collect first, including money to keep the house running for a while. I’m not going to come right out and say how I got the money, but…let’s just say I have an old friend to thank. Someone I met recently for the last time.
Once again, I find myself updating on my culinary habits, not having done much else in the past couple of days. A rather lovely tuna salad with some very tasty sweetcorn. A nice bottle of cheap Australian wine on the side. I’m being fairly frugal, as you can see.
My next update will probably have something a bit meatier to satisfy your curiosity. Keep an eye on this space.
Yesterday, I invited my old friend Winston Ramsey to meet me in Chicago for some fine dining. We fetched a fine meal in a nice restaurant tucked into a side street. A lovely plate of chicken chasseur for me and a grand old helping of veal for Winston. He paid, kindly.
Afterwards, we went for a drive beyond the city, in the great nowhere of America. I described the scenery to my blind companion as we moved. Eventually, we came across a forest and I started driving towards it. Winston got nervous and started asking to leave. I turned to him with a smile.
“Happy April Fool’s Day, Winston.”
And then I stabbed him in the leg with a syringe full of sedative.
He awoke sometime later, firmly tied to one of the thousands of trees in that vast forest. I was sitting a few feet away in a chair with my laptop plugged into his satellite phone. He heard the clacking of my keys and ask me what I was doing. I told him that I was accessing all his child pornography back in England and emailing it to Scotland Yard using his own email address and that, once I was done, I was going to leave him tied to that tree with a bound set of files from Marcus’s study detailing his many sexual transgressions at his feet. I would put some distance between myself and the forest, then call the nearest police station and have them come collect him and the evidence.
He started screaming while I was explaining this, begging me not to leave him in the forest. It amused me somewhat. He must have felt so certain that he could get away with all the rest of it as long as I didn’t leave him in that forest, where the Tree Walker could get him. He didn’t get to see my smile as I looked up at is wrinkly old face and said, in the sweetest of tones;
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”