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The Strange White Man Part 28

Stiles stayed put in the small town he had arrived at a few weeks ago and spent most of his days in his room reviewing his notes and writing in his journal. In case of his demise, natural or otherwise, this journal would be a guide to whomever took his place. He had sent a telegram to his current client and received a request to stay there as the client was en-route to his location.

About a week later a private train arrived and stopped at the platform long enough for Stiles to climb the steps to a lavishly furnished private car before the train was moved to a siding. The sole occupant of the car was a well dressed older gentleman seated behind a massive desk. He rose and shook Stiles hand and bade him to take a seat and then poured each a snifter of brandy.

The man's name was Miles Kilgore and he was one of the wealthiest men in the country. Not seen very often as he disliked being in the public eye so he kept a very low profile. His wealth allowed the purchase of the locomotive and cars so he could travel at his leisure and not be forced into traveling with the public.

He offered Stiles a cigar and took one for himself. As soon as they were lit his face took on a serious expression and questioned Stiles on what had happened. Stiles told him everything that had occurred, from his investigation into the deaths of his friends to the first meeting in the casino and the confrontation in the poker room.

He finished with the confrontation outside the saloon which resulted in his being forced to leave town. Kilgore slowly puffed on his cigar and listened intently before asking his questions.

"So how is that possible?"

"I believe it was someone disguised as the girl."

"Another saloon girl?"

"Possibly."

"Someone under her influence?"

"Also a possibility."

"So what is your next step?"

"That depends on you and how far you want to take this."

Kilgore placed his cigar in the massive glass ashtray and removed his glasses and rubbed his face, he looked weary and his eyes misted momentarily at the memory of his son and daughter that had both died less than a year ago. It happened suddenly while they were on holiday in New Orleans.

Their letters home told him of all they had seen and heard and they also brimmed with happiness at the meeting of another young brother and sister that had recently arrived in America. They had spent a lot of time in their company and both he and his sister fell in love with them.

The letters stopped coming and he assumed they were spending time with their new friends. It was a month later that he received a telegram from the local Federal Marshall telling him to come down here as soon as possible.Fear clutched his heart as he rode his personal train.

His worst fears were realized when he was escorted by the Marshall to the place where the recently deceased were kept prior to burial. Grief shook his body as he confirmed that the two forms laying in the ice room on the wooden tables were his children. If not for their pale complexions they looked like they were sleeping.

He saw no knife wounds or bullet holes in their clothing and when he asked for the cause of death the doctor and mortician just looked down at the floor.

"Major blood loss," the doctor responded.

"How is that possible? Their clothes are free of blood stains."

The doctor had no answer and neither did the undertaker. It was as Kilgore was being escorted to his hotel by the Federal Marshall and his deputy that he first encountered Stiles. The lawmen advised Kilgore not to listen to him as he was considered a crackpot.

"I know what killed your children," Stiles shouted as the deputy blocked his path and then forced him back.

Kilgore arranged for their bodies to be shipped home for burial before he sent a message summoning Stiles to see him. Throughout the course of the evening Stiles told him in depth stories about his battles with the blood drinking demons in human form called the undead.

Kilgore was a rational and well educated man and listened intently as Stiles spoke along with reading the journals that Stiles had brought with him. Now he had heard many stories about ghosts, demons and other such creatures of the night while traveling abroad, but he believed them to be utter nonsense, now he had to rethink his opinion. He dismissed Stiles telling him he had a lot to consider.

The day before he was to depart to accompany the bodies of his children to their final resting place he had arrived at a decision and summoned Stiles to his private car again. This time he presented him with a kings ransom and the instructions to locate this couple.

It was shortly after the funeral that Kilgore received a telegram from Stiles.It was a request for Kilgore to join him in New Orleans. His train was met by Stiles and he was taken to an old abandoned farmhouse on the outskirts of town. The interior was very dark and Stiles lit a lantern to light their way as they moved inside and headed to the back of the house.

The windows of this room had been painted black and then covered with layers of old burlap bags that had been fashioned into window coverings and the room was totally dark even in the bright light of day. There laying on the floor in the middle of the room were two wooden coffins.

Stiles opened the lids revealing the occupants and Kilgore saw that a male and female were inside them. They were young, attractive and well dressed and matched the description of the brother and sister that his son had written him about and his blood boiled with rage.

"Now watch," Stiles said in a low tone as he produced a large silver crucifix from his coat pocket and touched it to the head of the female. There was a slight sizzling sound and the female opened her eyes and let loose a loud scream of pain and anger. Kilgore notice that there was a burn mark in the shape of the cross now on her forehead.

The females scream woke up the male who after seeing what had happened to his sister flew at Stiles. He only made it a few steps before he was kept at bay by the his cross in his hand. Stiles then stepped backward and yanked at the burlap window coverings and then used the butt of his Remington revolver to break the black painted window frame.

Sunlight pored into the room striking the males face and hands and instantly flames appeared wherever the rays touched him. The female tried to exit the room but Kilgore yanked the window covering down on the second window and used his gloved hand to break the glass. They couple showed their fangs and hissed at the men as they were breaking more window glass and allowing more sunlight to bathe the room.

Unearthly screams issued from these creatures as the sunlight covered them and soon there were reduce to a pile of ashes and only their clothes remained. The ashes were swept out the door where the wind swept them away.

"Can they be made to live again?" Kilgore questioned.

"Not since I scattered the ashes. I have read that if the ashes were collected the could be used to bring them back".

"What now?"

"Where were your children buried?"

"They were not buried in the ground. Their coffins were place in the family mausoleum outside of town."

"Then we must hurry there."

"Why?"

"To ensure that they are really dead."

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