Alone in the Dark

Report from Captain J.W. Norton

Captain J.W. Norton

THE TALE OF CAPTAIN J.W. NORTON
of the Army
of the Union

June 17, 1862. The South was in collapse. Louisiana was open to us. I had, each day, to requisition victuals for our troops, and was aided in this endeavour by a score of brave men. The rebels were not yet ready to lay down their arms. The region was far from safe. I headed further and further west and questioned many freed slaves. From them I learned of a plantation on the coast. Its name was Derceto.

We received a less than hearty welcome. Only Pickford, the owner, behaved in a friendly manner. While my men counted cattle and grain reserves, I learned what I could from him. The man was most unusual and possessed an extraordinarily cultured mind. At nightfall, I gave orders for the men to bivouac at Derceto. Pickford invited my second in command, lieutenant Patterson, and myself to dine.

The evening was splendid and our host proved a most entertaining conversationalist. While coffee was being served, Patterson went to inspect the men’s camp. The cigar Pickford offered me was so acrid that my head began to spin.

I remembered camp-fire tales of fellow officers trapped by devilish Confederate tricks. My mind floated in a foul and dense fog, from which emerged the enlarged and deformed face of Pickford. He grinned at me.

Patterson’s return chased off the nightmare. I heard shouts and firing from outside and found the strength to take out my revolver. I fired three shots. Pickford fell to the floor. Patterson then helped me out of the burning house. The air was filled with smoke. We resembled a company in disorderly retreat. I saw slaves leaping into the flames of that inferno. They were trying to save Pickford’s life.

   

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Alone in the Dark

In 1924, Jeremy Hartwood, a noted artist and owner of the Louisiana mansion Derceto (named after the Syrian deity), has committed suicide by hanging himself. His death appears suspicious yet seems to surprise nobody, for Derceto is widely reputed to be haunted by an evil power. The case is quickly dealt with by the police and soon forgotten by the public. The player assumes the role of either Edward Carnby—a private investigator who is sent to find a piano in the loft for an antique dealer—or Emily Hartwood, Jeremy's niece, who is also interested in finding the piano because she believes a secret drawer in it has a note in which Jeremy explains his suicide. Whether Carnby or Hartwood, the character goes to the mansion to investigate.

Launch Year: 1992
Alone in the Dark Cover

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