* * *
Wessen headed further south where there were structures, passing the numerous graves, plaques, stones, and mausoleums. He found a man with a push mower cutting the grass.
â€œExcuse me sir,â€ he said.
â€œYeah?â€ the caretaker said.
â€œDo you work around here?â€
â€œYes sir, I work every day.â€
â€œWere you working here on Monday or Saturday?â€
â€œDid you see anything out of the ordinary?â€
â€œThis is a graveyard.â€
â€œI mean, there ainâ€™t much to see.â€
â€œSo, did youâ”€â€
â€œThere was a funeral on Saturday.â€
â€œI donâ€™t know, sir. I donâ€™t know.â€
â€œDid anyone look like maybe they didnâ€™t belong to the funeral and were just hanging around?â€
â€œHuh-uh. I mean, people come in all the time and put flowers on graves. They â€¦ uh â€¦ you know, talk to the dead people. You know, that kind of thing. The dead donâ€™t usually talk back or anything.â€
â€œNot usually, but sometimes?â€
The man gave him a look.
â€œWhat are you, a psychologist?â€ he asked.
â€œJust a joke,â€ Wessen said. â€œSorry about that.â€
He laughed uncomfortably.
â€œHave you â€¦ uh â€¦ seen any children, little boys, around here?â€ Wessen asked.
â€œSometimes,â€ the man said.
â€œBy themselves, perhaps?â€
â€œAll right. All right.â€
â€œNo. No. No. Man, who are you? What?â€
â€œNameâ€™s Wessen. Iâ€™m a private investigator. Iâ€™m looking for Freddy Pendergast. The little boy gone missing.â€
â€œThe little boy gone missing Monday. Didnâ€™t return home.â€
â€œWait! I saw that in the paper!â€
â€œWell, that was up at the carnival he disappeared, wasnâ€™t it?â€
He pointed towards the carnival.
â€œYes sir,â€ Wessen said.
â€œOkay,â€ the man replied.
â€œBut heâ€™s not there now, is he?â€
â€œIs he here?â€
â€œI donâ€™t know. Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m trying to find out.â€
â€œOh. Well, I ainâ€™t seen no kids that are just walking around.â€
â€œSeen any injured persons? Missing an arm?â€
â€œThat man got taken to the hospital, I read.â€
â€œThatâ€™s right. Well, is there someone else who works around here?â€
â€œWell, thereâ€™s Charlie. I donâ€™t know where he is. We just go out and try to clean up the cemetery every day.â€
â€œItâ€™s just you and Charlie.â€
â€œYeah. And the Superintendent but, you know, heâ€™s in charge.â€
â€œWell, where is he?â€
â€œThe superintendentâ€™s house is down on the south side of the cemetery. I donâ€™t know if heâ€™s there or not but you can go look if you want.â€
â€œAll right. Well, thank you sir, youâ€™ve been less than helpful.â€
The man went back to work without a word.
* * *
Father Oein also found a man with a pair of clippers weeding around the tombstones.
â€œGood evening, sir,â€ he said. â€œHow are you?â€
â€œHello?â€ the man said.
â€œYouâ€™re a preacher man.â€
â€œYes, I am.â€
â€œWell, Iâ€™m Methodist, so â€¦ okay. Iâ€™m good.â€
â€œThatâ€™s â€¦ thatâ€™s â€¦ thatâ€™s good. Thank you. So, how have things been around here?â€
â€œWell, gotta keep these tombstones clear. People donâ€™t like coming around and thereâ€™s weeds growing up.â€
â€œDoing Godâ€™s work.â€
â€œI dunno about that but â€¦â€
â€œWell, it is. I appreciate that. So, I just had a couple questions. How long have you been employed here?â€
â€œUh â€¦ four years.â€
â€œFour years? And Iâ€™m sorry, my name is Father Oein.â€
â€œCharlie? Charlie. Itâ€™s nice to meet you Charlie.â€
â€œUh â€¦ so, uh, have you come across anything unusual since you started working here, Charlie? Something that donâ€™t seemâ”€â€
â€œJust heard stories.â€
â€œStories? What kind of stories would you hear?â€
â€œUh â€¦ there was some dancing people out here one night, sâ€™posed to been. Thatâ€™s what I heard.â€
â€œI dunno. Probably kids. Probably kids.â€
â€œLarge group of children dancing in the cemetery?â€
â€œChildren? I donâ€™t think itâ€™s â€¦ like â€¦ like â€¦ punk kids. You know. Throwing eggs and â€¦â€
â€œOh, desecrating the graves.â€
â€œYeah. Yeah. Thatâ€™s probably who it was.â€
â€œYeah. Any idea where that was supposed to take place. I would like to go pay my respects.â€
â€œPolice might know. Cops might know. I think cops got called.â€
â€œI think so. I mean â€¦ youâ€™re not supposed to dance in a cemetery. What the hell?â€
â€œRespect the dead.â€
â€œNot that they can do anything about it.â€
â€œStories. Heard any unusual noises around the cemetery?â€
â€œUm â€¦ nope.â€
Charlie looked away nervously when he said that. He went back to work with a vigor.
â€œYou know, no matter what denomination to prescribe to, lying is still a sin,â€ Father Oein said.
â€œNow, I donâ€™t wanna lose my job there, minister,â€ Charlie said.
â€œWell, say this is between you and me. This is what I do.â€
â€œSometimes â€¦ I heard some weird noises underground. Like â€¦ like â€¦ like digging. But I donâ€™t tell nobody â€˜cause itâ€™s crazy! â€˜Cause you donâ€™t dig up under the graves, you dig down to the graves.â€
â€œWell, I would â€¦ I would suspect someone in your line of work would associate just natural phenomena, just nature noises â€¦â€
â€œIt must be. Itâ€™s gotta be. Natural. I dunno.â€
â€œBut donâ€™t tell anybody. I donâ€™t wanna get in trouble.â€
â€œThis is just between you and me.â€
â€œItâ€™s weird. I heard it a few times.â€
â€œWell, I really appreciate your assistance, Charlie.â€
â€œNice talking to you.â€
He went back to work.
* * *
Dr. Huxtable and Ingerton strolled through the cemetery, looking for anything out of the ordinary.
â€œMy God, who did you lose to pay respects at this cemetery?â€ Dr. Huxtable asked.
Ingerton cleared his throat.
â€œDid you lose a boy as well?â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œNo. No,â€ Ingerton said. â€œIt just seemed like a good closing to the conversation.â€
â€œYou lied to the man!?!â€
â€œA little white lie.â€
â€œI will have to tell the Father when he comes back.â€
â€œThereâ€™s nothing I can do. I have to.â€
â€œIf you must.â€
* * *
Wessen found the superintendent of the cemeteryâ€™s house locked up. No one was at home.
* * *
Around 5:30 p.m., Miss Edington found a spot where the grass was mashed down and there was tiny bit of dried blood. It was probably about 50 feet from the actual crime scene and closer to the river. She thought it possible this was where Kent Howard was actually attacked. She remembered the lack of blood at the crime scene. She pointed it out to those with her. She wondered if Howard had been chased by someone or something
* * *
They all came back to the north side of the cemetery by dinnertime. Miss Edington showed everyone the flattened grass, which seemed to be large enough to have been some kind of very large animal. Wessen looked over the spot but didnâ€™t find anything out of the ordinary.
Dr. Huxtable took out the flask, sniffed it, and then sealed it and went down on all fours, trying to find a similar scent on the ground. Father Oein arrived as the man began sniffing.
â€œJesus,â€ he muttered.
Miss Edington just stared at the man on the ground.
Joell asked if anyone had learned anything. Father Oein mentioned Charlie hearing a rumor about dancing children in the cemetery. He decided not to tell them about the noises as he didnâ€™t want to break Charlieâ€™s confidence. Wessen told them what little heâ€™d learned from the other caretaker. They talked about the strange music coming from the sewer pipe the fisherman told them about.
â€œMy suggestion is, once night comes around, we go in through the sewers to investigate,â€ Ingerton said.
â€œIâ€™m going to need to change,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
Miss Edington and Virgil Thomas both looked at the man as if he were crazy.
â€œLikewise, I need to put on my coveralls,â€ Ingerton said.
â€œWeâ€™ll check it out,â€ Wessen said to Miss Edington. â€œYou keep certain people away from it. I donâ€™t think it necessary that everyone go.â€
â€œI donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll go there,â€ Father Oein said. â€œBut I will go talk to the police about the dancing people.â€
â€œI agree,â€ Joell said. â€œI think thatâ€™s a likely lead. And I think Iâ€™m tempted to do that rather than go to the sewer because I donâ€™t have many pairs of clothes.â€
â€œAnd Iâ€™ve got to wear these on Sunday,â€ Father Oein said.
Oh, you poor thing, Miss Edington thought. She felt bad for Joell, who was obviously very poor.
* * *
James suggested they all get something to eat before returning to the cemetery.
â€œIf you want to go investigate the sewers and you want a free supper, pile in my car,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œFree supper?â€ Ingerton said. â€œI wanted to ride with you anyways. The other partâ€™s a free bonus!â€
Ingerton, James, and Wessen got into Dr. Huxtableâ€™s Rolls Royce. Virgil Thomas and Miss Edington got in her white Packard and followed
Father Oein, Joell, and Joseph Johnson headed for the nearest police station in Father Oeinâ€™s motorcar.
* * *
â€œNo phone calls today, huh Bricker?â€ Harold Potter quipped with Bricker before he left for the day.
Bricker didnâ€™t find it particularly funny. After everyone had left, he slipped into Potterâ€™s office and tried to call Ingerton but there was no answer. He headed off to the cemetery in hopes of finding the others.
He arrived just in time to see three motorcars leaving the grounds. He recognized Huxtableâ€™s powder-blue Rolls Royce. Guessing they were going to come back at some point, he decided to putter around the cemetery for a while to see if they returned.
* * *
Dr. Huxtable drove to a diner not far away in Providence. Both vehicles parked and they got a booth. Ingerton commented on how quaint the place. They got sandwiches, breakfast, meatloaf, and the like. The food was very good and the servings were large.
â€œIs it just me â€¦ or is that Joell horrendously poor?â€ Ingerton said.
â€œHe must not be that poor,â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œHe didnâ€™t take a free supper.â€
â€œHe doesnâ€™t like handouts.â€
â€œI donâ€™t like handouts.â€
â€œNeither do I.â€
While they were at the restaurant, Ingerton made a telephone call to a fake faith healer he knew, Joey Fontain, to tell him about Dr. Huxtable and all of the money he had.
* * *
Joseph Johnson suggested going to the precinct closest to the cemetery. They discussed it briefly, Joell noting that if that precinct didnâ€™t have anything for them, they could head downtown after that. Father Oein agreed. They soon found the police station and went in.
Father Oein asked the desk sergeant about any vandalism or desecration at Swan Point Cemetery, saying he wanted to pay his respects. The police sergeant said he was too busy to help him but he was welcome to look at the open police records if he wanted. The three of them went in and looked.
They spent the next four hours poring over the police records that were open to the public. They found a few things of interest. On June 17, 1918, Alexander Arnold, Superintendent of Swan Point Cemetery, was found dead in the center of the graveyard, severely burned. It was ruled as a possible lightning strike or spontaneous combustion. On May 10, 1919, Robert Parsons, 65, of Providence, was reported missing. His automobile and shoes were found at Swan Point Cemetery. There was no sign of a struggle. On July 18, 1919, Anthony Place, 19, of Providence was reported missing. He was last seen by friends near Swan Point Cemetery where he claimed he â€œwanted to see the ghostsâ€ and said he would spend the night there.
Joseph also found a note in a police report that seemed unrelated but had to do with a mugging near Swan Point Cemetery. It read â€œDoes the chief want to add this to that file of his?â€ In a different handwriting on the note it read: â€œNo. Chief says it is not applicable.â€
He suggested they ask the police chief about the file.
It was around 10 p.m. by then. There was nothing about people dancing in the cemetery.
â€œIt seems like thereâ€™s a history of people going missing in the cemetery,â€ Joell said. â€œAnd possibly not the carnival. But it could be wrapped up all of it for all we know. How do we want to approach the police chief about this file? Because I donâ€™t think heâ€™s just going to give it to us if we ask him about it. Do any of us have a good reason why they might be able to ask for it? Because, if we have a way in, we might be able to persuade him. Otherwise, weâ€™re just going to be barking up the wrong tree.â€
â€œWe could see if the private eye wants to help,â€ Joseph said. â€œHe might have a connection with the police department.â€
â€œIâ€™m not sure theyâ€™d want me digging around in their files,â€ Joell said.
â€œI mean, I donâ€™t much know about everybody else but if thereâ€™s someone else who might have a reason, I certainly donâ€™t,â€ Father Oein said.
â€œDo we know where the others are heading? Do you think theyâ€™ll be in the sewer by now?â€
â€œThatâ€™s where they were going. Thatâ€™s the best place to meet up with them. Do we go to the sewer to meet up with them?â€
Joseph mentioned his Springfield rifle.
â€œI guess so. I donâ€™t feel confident going to the police chief on our own. If you want to be careful, needing a gun and not having one is going to be worse than needing one and having one.â€
They left the police precinct, driving to Josephâ€™s apartment on the other side of town and retrieving the rifle before heading back to Swan Point Cemetery. It was close to 10:30 p.m. before they arrived.
* * *
After eating dinner, Wessen was ready to go the sewer pipe.
â€œNo!â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œYou said we were going to the sewer!â€ Wessen said.
â€œYes, but we need clothes we can get dirty in.â€
â€œOh, thatâ€™s true,â€ Ingerton said.
â€œAnd Iâ€™m going to buy them for everyone.â€
Dr. Huxtable drove downtown to purchase hip waders, boots, and other necessary equipment for a trip into the sewer pipe. James bought himself a pair of tall rubber boots. Ingerton had Dr. Huxtable buy him a raincoat as well.
Miss Edington and Virgil Thomas, meanwhile, returned home to get suitable clothing of their own. They both had their clothes from Florida which, though cleaned since, were not the in the best condition. Miss Edington told Virgil Thomas she was unsure about going into a sewer pipe. He told her straight up he didnâ€™t want to go into any God-damned sewers. She agreed and he noted they could wait outside of the sewer and keep a lookout. She suggested climbing a tree.
They went to a hardware store and purchased a .38 pistol and bullets for her. The man wouldnâ€™t sell to a woman or a negro until she had bribed him an addition $10.
They all returned to the Swan Point Cemetery by 8 p.m.
Bricker had been just about the leave when the powder-blue Rolls Royce and the white Packard returned. There was no sign of the priest and his Model T. There was some talk about what to do and they decided to wait for the others to return, if they returned, before entering the sewer pipe. Bricker wanted to retrieve his shotgun.
â€œWhy do we need a shotgun to go in the sewers?â€ Dr. Huxtable asked.
â€œYou never know what we could find,â€ Ingerton said.
â€œI have a gun but itâ€™s small.â€
â€œBut if he gets a big gun, maybe they look at him.â€
â€œAt worst, Iâ€™m sure we will only find rats.â€
â€œHey, Sir Doctor?â€ Wessen asked.
â€œYes?â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œWhat if we find one of those flying â€¦?â€
â€œLubalas? Well â€¦ they canâ€™t be harmed.â€
â€œOh. Well thatâ€™s good to know.â€
â€œAt all?â€ Ingerton said.
â€œWhat have you tried?â€
â€œWhat?â€ Miss Ingerton said.
â€œI â€¦ donâ€™t want to talk about that â€¦â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
They waited for a couple of hours before Father Oein and the Johnson cousins returned. Wessen asked what they had found out and Joseph Johnson told them a little about strange things around the cemetery. He also noted the police chief had a personal file he kept with information about those and other cases. They discussed the people who were missing.
The sewer pipe was within the glow of the carnival lights and they realized they might be seen going into it.
â€œI believe we should wait until the carnival has died down,â€ Ingerton said.
â€œNo, itâ€™s already died down,â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œWhat if the person who has abducted the kids works at the carnival? Then he will leave and go home with his boy.â€
â€œIf that were the case, theyâ€™d be living right out back there,â€ Joell said.
He pointed over towards the wax museum where he had found the bunkhouses and quarters on Monday in his explorations.
â€œThey live here?â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œWell, if you want to tell me whose houses those are that arenâ€™t people who work here then yeah, they do,â€ Joell said.
â€œHmmm,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œDid you find anything about Lucy Pringle,â€ Wessen asked.
â€œWeâ€™ll find her when we find the boy!â€ Ingerton said.
â€œWill we? You know that theyâ€™re together?â€
â€œWe work youngest age first and then â€¦ we go up,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œChildren then women this time,â€ Ingerton agreed.
â€œThatâ€™s what they did on the Titanic. They got the children off and then the women and then the men. Poor men, they all died. Except for the rich ones.â€
â€œThey were all first! Before the children.â€
â€œSo, should we check the houses before we go in the sewer?â€ Wessen said.
â€œI donâ€™t think we should go inside,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œNo, I mean knock, door to door.â€
â€œI think the houses are where we would be seen for sure.â€
â€œWhy does it matter if weâ€™re seen at the houses?â€
â€œBecause we have guns! This man has a rifle!â€
â€œHe doesnâ€™t have to go.â€
â€œWe donâ€™t want to leave whoever this is alone.â€
Dr. Huxtable gestured at Joseph Johnson.
They decided to wait until after 11 p.m. The carnival closed and it was another half hour before all the lights were turned off and the sounds of various voices drifting into the cemetery ceased as the carnies wandered towards the other end of the park. It was very dark and quiet. Only a few lights were left on in the place but they were simply forlorn pools of light scattered about the carnival grounds. No light burned near the sewer pipe. By midnight, all was quiet.
â€œIt sure is quiet,â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œMaybe now we can go.â€
They crept along the river under the sliver of moon still showing. It was dark and quiet aside from the lapping of the water nearby. All of them were equipped with flashlights but they didnâ€™t light them as they could just make out the round pipe. It proved to be about three feet across so they all had to crouch to enter.
Everyone entered except for Miss Edington and Virgil Thomas.
â€œWhat are you going to do out here?â€ Dr. Huxtable asked when he learned the two were not going in.
â€œIâ€™m not going in there,â€ Miss Edington said.
â€œAt â€¦ um â€¦ if we are gone for two hours or more, we might be lost,â€ Dr. Huxtable said. â€œCan you yell in the tunnel â€˜Hey, itâ€™s over here.â€™â€
â€œI think that would be a bit suspicious,â€ James noted.
â€œMaybe quietly say â€˜Itâ€™s over here,â€™â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œHopefully the echo reaches us,â€ Ingerton said.
Virgil Thomas looked at his pocket watch.
â€œWell, that doesnâ€™t sound like itâ€™d be very helpful if did it very quietly,â€ Miss Edington said.
â€œMaybe somewhere in between,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œWeâ€™ll figure it out,â€ Virgil Thomas said.
â€œLoud but quiet. Soft but â€¦â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œProjection,â€ Ingerton said.
â€œYes,â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œLetâ€™s go,â€ Joell said.
The stench coming out of the sewer pipe was disgusting. Joell laid down his jacket and his shirt, hoping not to expose them to the sewage. Miss Edington took them and handed them off to Virgil Thomas. James checked out Joell. He was pretty slim but not in bad shape. He was a good-looking man though.
The flow of brown liquid oozed out of the pipe and dripped into the river. A terrible stench issued forth.
â€œThank God Iâ€™m wearing waders,â€ Ingerton said.
Joseph led the way into the place, crouching and moving at a crouch into the pipe. Heâ€™d smelled much worse during the war though he figured heâ€™d have to throw out his shoes and probably his pants after the terrible trip. Wessen headed in after the man, followed by James, handkerchief tied over his mouth. Joell entered the place next and suddenly vomited violently. That was followed by dry heaves. James had narrowly missed being puked on.
â€œAre you okay?â€ he asked.
Joell gave the man a thumbâ€™s up. James pulled out a second handkerchief and handed it to the man. He had vomit all over his chest and pants.
Ingerton was next and managed to hold down the urge to vomit in the terrible smell. Dr. Huxtable climbed into the pipe, followed by Bricker and Father Oein, who also vomited up what little food was left in the stomach. He got it all over himself as well.
The pipe ran for a good 40 or 50 feet, the filth oozing under their feet and the smell getting worse and worse. It was covered in a thick, slimy coat of fungus. Black mold clung to parts it. There were maggots, flies, and bits of food. The whole place stank of ammonia and sewage. A strange glow came from the sewage.
The pipe ended in a large natural cave or cavern. Directly ahead, the low part of the cave was filled with a pool of filth and sewage which was oozing into the pipe. A sluice pipe in the ceiling, some 20 feet above, continued to drop a trickle of filthy water into the terrible pond. A pump chugged somewhere up above. The pond was probably 50 or more feet across.
To the right and left were places they could step out onto the stone floor of the caves. The right was wider and the left merely held a narrow space between the brown pond and the wall. Joseph Johnson led them out of the pipe to the right and they were soon standing on the stone floor, dripping filth. All of them lit flashlights and shined them around.
It was chilly in the cave and, without his shirt and coat, Joell started to get cold.
There were three cave entrances off to the right. To the left was a single, larger opening. Across the sewage pond, pretty far away, was a light in that direction. It seemed to flicker like firelight.
Joell started to follow the edge of the horrible pond, looking for a way across. Unfortunately, it reached the opposite wall of the cave they were in though there was a narrow place where a person might be able to jump across it. He was unsure how deep it might be. Ingerton, following him, stopped behind him.
Bricker had followed the men as well. He looked at the wall and saw there were handholds upon it so he climbed along the wall over the water. It took him about five minutes to get across but managed to get to the other side, where he could step across a runnel of filth to be clear of the horrible water. Joell tried to follow him but got about halfway and then couldnâ€™t find any place to put his feet. He made a mad jump from where he clung and landed with a splash in water a few feet from the edge, going up to his knees in the filth. The water was warm.
Dr. Huxtable tried to climb around the horrible pond but got stuck as well. Father Oein and Joseph simply crossed the water near the pipe and went to the other side.
Ingerton jumped across the spot the others had crossed. Dr. Huxtable leapt across as well, but didnâ€™t make it, ending up in the water up to his ankles when he landed. He waded out of the horrible pond.
* * *
Wessen didnâ€™t cross the pond. Instead, he walked into the nearest tunnel on their side, shining his flashlight ahead of him. James followed him.
* * *
The larger group headed towards the light, Joell very cold without a shirt. Father Oein guessed they were heading towards the cemetery. They soon came across another pond of some kind, though it was fairly vast, going as far as their flashlights could illuminate. The black, scum-topped water smelled strange, though not as awful as the sludge they had already crawled through. They followed the edge of the water, still making their way towards the light.
As they got closer, it appeared to be in some kind of brazier. A malachite altar stood near the spot as well as low basalt benches. They could see three men standing there. As soon as they saw them, they turned off their flashlights. Father Oein covered his with his hand.
The men by the three-legged brazier didnâ€™t move or speak. They stood, staring into the darkness. Ingerton started to move closer but Dr. Huxtable grabbed him by the shoulder.
â€œWhat are you doing?â€ he asked.
â€œWe have to investigate,â€ Ingerton said. â€œThey donâ€™t seem to have noticed us so far.â€
â€œThese-these are not city workers, right?â€
Ingerton looked at him like he was crazy.
â€œProbably not,â€ he said.
â€œSo, what are you going to do?â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œWe must investigate. But quietly.â€
â€œYou keep saying investigate but thatâ€™s very vague.â€
â€œWeâ€™re going to search around them, not too close to them.â€
â€œSo, you want to sneak around them.â€
He looked at the scene again. The men had not moved and the cave wall behind the brazier was illuminated, but it was very dark down towards the edge of the water. They might be able to creep by there.
â€œDoes everyone have a weapon?â€ Dr. Huxtable said.
â€œAre you good with pistols?â€ Ingerton asked Father Oein.
â€œUh â€¦ no,â€ he said. â€œI donâ€™t want one.â€
â€œWould you like a stick of dynamite?â€
* * *
Miss Edington crept back to the cemetery with Virgil Thomas.
* * *
Wessen and James followed the cave until they came to a place where there was a pond of relatively clean water. It appeared to be coming in from the right, trickling in as if they were below the river. The cave continued on beyond the small pond that filled the area from wall to wall. Wessen walked directly into the water, which proved to be only a couple of feet deep, but slipped about halfway across and went under. James reached forward to help the man and pulled him across the water to the other side. Wessenâ€™s dunking had cleaned some of the feces off him, however.
As they waded out of the water, they both thought they heard voices up ahead of them somewhere, echoing in the cave. There were also footsteps. They crept carefully forward, being extremely quiet. Whomever was talking was apparently walking away. Soon, the sounds were gone.
They came into another area with two caves to the left and a larger open area ahead of them. They could see water ahead and to the right once again. Wessen headed directly forward. James picked the middle left tunnel and headed into it by himself, telling Wessen where he was going.
* * *