In the morning, at coffee, Harry was in a cheerful mood and jokingly asked:
“So, Gentlemen, have any of you been harassed by the local ghostly maidens last night?” he said looking at his guests, “What? Nobody?”
“I was”, said one of the younger guests, a pale and sickly boy of about sixteen named Georges.
He was immediately overwhelmed with questions. Not knowing whom to answer first and embarrassed by all the attention, the boy reddened:
“She came to me last night and asked to unlock the door and release her from where she had been held captive. She said that she chose me as her rescuer”, he mumbled.
“What door are you talking about?” asked Harry
“I don’t know. She said ‘find it”.
Doctor Weiss gave Harry a knowing smile:
“Of course your maiden had long golden hair and wore a garland of lake flowers?” he laughingly asked the boy.
“On the contrary, Sir” answered Georges “I got a good look at her and will recognise her from a thousand. She has dark hair and big tortoiseshell comb that holds them high on her head”.
”Hallucination” said Doctor softly.
A young servant appeared in the doorway and bowing in Harry’s direction told him that the horses were ready. Immediately the guests got up from the table and reached for their rifles, bags and cartridges, and in an instant all the women and vampires of the world were forgotten.
In the evening, the hunters had gathered together once again. The hunt went well and the mood matched the results. After a noisy supper and many empty bottles later, the conversation shifted from hunting tales back to the bloodsuckers.
Harry called for Karl Ivanovich and the youngsters assailed him with questions and requests. Harry took advantage of the brief second of silence to ask the old man if he had managed to find the continuation of the schoolteacher’s diary.
“Not yet, Sir”, replied the librarian “the church is being prepared for the Feast of the Holy Virgin and the archive is temporarily closed. But, if Mr Harry wishes, I can read you some of the old letters from the Hunting Lodge. I was there with Mr Smith today. As you all know the lodge isn’t yet ready and we were unable to move in tonight, as planned. Even by tomorrow, only a small portion of the bedrooms and the dinning hall will be suitable for living quarters.
While he was helping to clean up one of the bedrooms, Mr Smith discovered a pile of letters in an old desk. I looked through them and it appears to me that they have a connection to the schoolteacher’s diary. So, if it pleases the gentlemen, I can read them right now”
“Please do, Karl Ivanovich”, said Harry.
“In my understanding the letters are between two university friends. The place of posting, judging by a mark, on the envelopes is Venice, Italy”, continued Karl Ivanovich.