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Contents Copyright by Bruce Durham unless noted otherwise
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Though closed for the evening, the warm, deep shadows cast by the subdued lighting failed to disguise each victim’s grisly demise. Two had received severe chest wounds, their cotton shirts blood-soaked and torn from multiple swings of some bladed instrument. The third had suffered a more ghastly wound, a crushed cranium; the blow slicing bone and opening the forehead down to the mouth. His glazed eyes stared obscenely in opposite directions.

 

“Ever see anything like it, Holmes?” Lestrade asked. “A deranged madman with an axe, I say.”

 

My friend merely grunted; intent on examining the crime scene. He paused, his brow wrinkling, then strode to a spot a dozen feet from the victims. Bending, he drew his finger across the floor, and then inspected his fingertip, placing it against his nose before gingerly tasting the tip with his tongue. Rubbing index finger and thumb together, he said, “Inspector, did the night watchman say anything about a missing artefact?”

 

Lestrade turned. “You, Berkshire, bring that watchman here.”

 

The night watchman, a thin fellow, lean as the Inspector, gave the bodies a wide berth as Constable Berkshire prodded him before Lestrade and Holmes.

 

“There was something here,” Lestrade snapped. “What was it?”

 

The watchman swallowed, the sunken eyes of his narrow, pasty face flitting from man to man. “Those fellows came at closing, sirs, at the delivery entrance out back. Had a wooden crate with them and official looking paperwork with orders to place a statue here.”

 

Holmes cupped his chin. “A statue, was it?”

 

The watchman nodded eagerly. “Oh yes sir. I left them to make my rounds when they took to opening the crate.”

 

“And did you see this statue?” Holmes asked. “Can you describe it?”

 

“Just a little, sir. It was black. Like coal. Looked like a man, it did. Imposing it was, like an ancient king or god. Gave me chills.”

 

Lestrade said, a touch impatiently, “And then what?”

 

The watchman shivered and swallowed. “I heard something.”

 

“Out with it.”

The Case of the Galloway Eidolon
Excerpt
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Select the above picture to read the entire story.

I love this. Bruce’s merging of a variety of influences (HPL, ACD, CAS, REH) is wonderful.

David J. West, author of ‘Heroes of the Fallen’

Excellent story. Suitably suspenseful and terrifying in the tradition of Arthur Conan Doyle and HP Lovecraft.

Larry Atchley - author, Lawyers in Hell

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This was excellent and kept me captivated. I love that Watson is the man of action here, not just a narrator or one who is telling a story about Holmes.

Wilum H. Pugmire, author and Lovecraft scholar.

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