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The Strange White Man 32

It was about a month later that Carpenter received a response from the head of the university. According to Father Zandor, the head of the mission, Brother Sebastian was not currently lecturing at the moment and none were scheduled in the near future. He continued that arrangements for an interview could be made if he wished to visit and had he only to advise them prior. Carpenter had much to ponder.

It was less than a week after he had received the response from the university that a representative from the railroad company contacted him in person one Evening. The private car that he had ordered so many months ago was finally ready and parked on siding at the newly completed roundhouse. Carpenter had been so preoccupied with the problems of the hunters that he had forgotten about it.

Over supper at the hotel where the rep was staying Carpenter was provided with full instructions on how to make arrangement to attach to any locomotive heading in any directions and the cost for such a service. They then went to inspect the car and it was everything he had asked for. Triple locks on all the doors and heavy velvet drapes on all the windows. beautiful carpets and fine furnishings.

Two of the long couches that were against the walls were on top of boxes that could hold him and Miss Holly during the daylight hours.

When he returned home that Evening he informed Holly to pack her bags as they were going on a voyage to California and a little village on the borderline between California and Mexico. With the help of Marcus he made the arrangements for the meeting with Brother Sebastian as well as adding of Carpenter's private car to the regular scheduled Southbound train. It would be dropped off on a siding not far from the university.

Carpenter and Holly were safe inside the custom built rail car behind the heavy drapes that the Sun could not penetrate. They read in silence to help pass the time until Holly placed her book in her lap and spoke to Carpenter.

"Why here and why now?"

"This monks name kept coming up in the notes of the two hunters I had the Lakota eliminate. Maybe he has some insight for us."

"Do I have to stay here for the meeting or could I go to town?"

"You may do as you wish, my dear."

The following evening Holly placed a quick kiss on Carpenters cheek before she deboarded and headed to town leaving him alone to wait. It was an hour later that there was a knock on the door and Carpenter opened it and there stood gentleman in monks garb.

"I am Brother Sebastian," he said in the way of an introduction.

"Please come it."

As the monk entered he dropped his hood and Carpenter was surprised that the man was so young looking, he had imagined someone older.

"You are shocked at an expert being so youthful?

"Quite."

He then showed the monk the books he had brought him.

"I can read Latin, the benefits of a classical education, but there are some passages that I cannot understand."

The monk removed a pair of reading glasses from a depository in his robe and began to scan the pages.

"Fascinating," he said a few time. "It is not written in Latin, it looks more like Sanskrit and it will take me a day or so to decipher."

"I will be here waiting."

"Pray tell me what is your interest in this rather morbid subject?" The Monk questioned.

Carpenter looked at the monk warily before he spoke," Like you I am fascinated by the supernatural." 

"Have you done much study in the field?"

"A little bit."

 Brother Sebastian smiled, "It is nice to meet a fellow seeker of the truth."

The monk bade Carpenter a good night and departed leaving him alone with his thoughts. Holly returned before sunrise and they spent the day sleeping wrapped in each others arms. It was a little after sundown that the monk returned. Carpenter introduced Holly who was in the process of leaving as his fiancee. The monk did not continue speaking until she had departed.

"How did you come by this journal?" the monk questioned as his face took on a serious look.

"Is that important?"

"If you wish further answers it is."

Carpenters face also took on a serious look.

"I will pay you for your time and not trouble you any further," he said as he took the book from the monks hand.

"Do not judge me so harshly my son. Did that book belong to that dog Dr. Vincent and his lackey Mr. Faraday?"

Carpenter only stared with surprise written on his face.

"Yes."

"Could one then assume that they are no longer among the living?" 

"Yes."

"Praise be to God."

This remark caught Carpenter off-guard and he had no response. The monk's face then took on a friendly attitude and he smiled. He was offered a seat and a libation of brandy.

"That is the best news I have heard in sometime," the monk responded as he raised his glass to his host.

"Did you do it yourself or did you have help?" the monk questioned.

"I had assistance."

"That is good as no one should have had to soil their hands dealing with such filth. I will offer prayers for their misbegotten souls and the terrible deeds they performed."

Again Carpenter was taken aback by the monks statement.

"You need not look so surprised my son. Did you thing that you were the only one of our kind in the world?"

"Our kind?"

"Yes, our kind."

The monk could hardly keep from laughing at the stunned look on Carpenters face. The stunned look increased when he smiled at Carpenter allowing him to see his fangs.

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