Mr. West Fears the Worst

Mr. West gazed up the tunnel, long after Percy was lost to view. How well things had gone! Thanks to him, not only was Tor Manor free of its pesky spirit, but the Tors were liberated from its suffocating protection as well. There was no longer any need for the Occupation’s Billeting Office to take Steps. And what had happened in Ypres was settled at last.

Curiously, Mr. West took a step toward the tunnel. Not to go out of turn or violate the rules, of course; just to get a peek at the Beyond. Immediately it shrank to a mere chink in a fieldstone wall, unremarkable, easily lost. It was not for him, or anyhow not yet.

Sighing inwardly, he returned to the third floor rooms where his body lay in its salt circle. With its arthritic fingers clutching the coverlet, and bald head lolling on the plump pillow, it looked care-worn, used up, and ready to go at any time. The skinny chest …

He leaned closer. The chest didn’t rise and fall. The whistling snoring didn’t come. Mr. West’s body lay very still.

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