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The Dead Don't Die Chapter 1: The Dead Return - Page 3
The broad-framed stranger gave Friday a suspicious, "Howdy."
"...and Reggie York."
The lean newcomer returned from the darkness before Friday had even realized he was gone.
"No sign of our cloked friend," he reported briskly.
"What's going on around here," Packard demanded.
"That's an excellent question," Friday responded. "I came to Holman at the invitation, I thought, of some friends. When I arrived, I heard a scream, and found Carmel lying here. What's your story?"
"We heard the scream, too," Reggie answered. "Bally well took me by surprise."
"Bein' what ya call inquisitive by nature, we decided to investigate," Doc chimed in, "but when we got near this ol' graveyard, we saw some fella in black robes a' skulking about. Real suspicious lookin'."
"We chased him in here," Jack finished, "but we lost him somewhere in the dark. That's when we came upon you and this girl. At first, I thought you might be a grave-robber. What was she doing out here, anyway?"
"Your guess is as good as mine," Friday answered. "She lives in that big house just up the street."
"Hey, Jack, get a look at this," Doc called out. "This grave is empty, but it belongs to a guy. The stone says, 'Peter Eustace Hartley, 1926 - 1944'."
"Peter Hartley?" Friday hissed.
"Yes," Jack said. "They did a pretty thorough job. The coffin's been smashed open, and the body's gone."
"But look!" Reggie exclamed, a quiver of frightened disbelief in his voice. "See how the fragments of wood have fallen...all around the outside of the coffin. It's as if the thing was smashed from the inside out!"
o o o o o
The Further Transcribed Adventures of Jack, Doc, Reggie, and Captain Friday will come to you again soon on these pages. The Dead Don't Die is an A-1 Gazette presentation of Curt Ladnier.