Diary of J. Hartwood
September 27, 1924.
I have decided to keep this diary. Too many inexplicable events have taken place recently. Never have dreams so haunted my very waking moment. Perhaps my romantic mind was too dull, and has only now woken up to these new paths and visions. Some, seeing my recent paintings, may question my sanity. I can only ask them, "What is sanity? Where does madness begin?"
September 28, 1924.
The night is pitch black. I am again drenched in sweat. I was wandering in dunes, among giant standing stones. They were arranged in a circle and the wind whistled about them. I plunged my hand into the soil, and felt that repulsive thing which was trying to catch me. It seized me. I struggled to break free of its loathsome embrace, and managed to tear my hand away; it was covered in sticky substance. I was gripping a knife...
October 5, 1924.
The stone circle is a pentacle. Derceto's library is filled with books on the occult.
I will study those books until I find some explanation for the dreams. The visions that haunt me must be connected to my discoveries. I shall have to undertake a profound exploration of my dreams.
Dear God! I have found the knife. It was hidden here and what I have learned fills me this apprehension. It is a sacrificial dagger, belonging to some unholy cult.
The thought of that blade tearing though human flesh horrifies me. Yet I must continue my research. Derceto is a storehouse of treasures. Was my father right after all?
I spent all my days plunged in dusty books. The servants are convinced I am mad. At night, I wake them with my screams. The dreams are draining what sanity I still have. I have tried staying awake, but in vain. My visions have changed, no doubt the influence of my father's research.
February 7, 1925 The dark man (that is what I call him) has revealed his true face to me. He appeared, as usual, near the fireplace; but this time, he approached me.
His terrible smile will haunt me to my dying day. His breath was ice and his burning eyes froze me: I could not move! I know, as surely as I have ever known anything, that the face I saw, the face that has turned my nights into hellish torture, is the mask of death.
My exhaustion is beyond description. The endless reading burns my eyes.
It seems that pirates frequented the area. Doctor Herbert insists I keep to my bed. I have moved to another bedroom and sleep much better now. The dark man has not gone, however. I know it. He will wait
for as long as he must... Unless I, Jeremy Hartwood, can find a way to send him back to whatever hell he comes from.
My poor knowledge of Greek and Latin are a serious handicap to my reading. I have nevertheless made a great step forward. I drew the symbol on the floor: he can no longer go there. I want him to understand that I can do the same thing in my bedroom. I can imagine his rage and frustration: only last night he found his way back into my dreams.
The translation will seriously dent what money I have left. I cannot paint! My pictures are clearly the work of a lunatic. The collector Thornhill's embarrassed smile was proof of that...
He has come back... He found the door to my dreams. I am too weary to attempt any defense.
I have no strength left to fight and he knows it. He considers me dead already. Could I possibly...
How ironic... The cave my father sought for so many years is here... beneath the house. Waites the butler discovered a crack in the cellar wall. A breeze blows in through it, icy and repugnant,... I am filled with horror at the thought of my father dying in this place. I will carry to my grave the vision of his face contorted in the agony of that fatal heart attack.
His body was twisted. He had wept... His finger nails were torn and bloody from scrabbling at the floor. Doctor Gray concluded that death had been due to a heart attack. It was Waites who, sometime later, informed that my poor father had in fact bitten off his tongue and choked on his own blood.
I explored the caverns in a dream. The dark man came with me.
Strangely, I felt almost well. How can I describe what I saw? No. What words are capable of explaining such evil?
I realized that my death was of no interest to him. The dark man wants something else; he seeks a body. His avid servants are now free.. I am the cause. It is almost funny.
A curse is on Derceto, from the foundations to the very roof-top. I can no longer struggle, let alone eradicate the evil that grips the house. The end is very near. I can feel it. I have taken the decision to... May
he who finds his diary pray for my soul.