First of all, Arthur’s fine. In no time he’ll be back to sharing his wit and offering subtle observations about women he finds attractive.
Mr. Spindle had a much more thorough conception of Brand’s plan than you would probably expect from Arthur’s report. While the vial and dagger Arthur received were genuine, it was also unlikely that he would have a chance to use them. Mr. Spindle’s assumption was that Brand would take the action he ultimately did take: manipulate Arthur into going to a place where Brand would be powerful enough to transfer his spirit.
In a way I suppose we were misleading Arthur, but given the connection between he and Brand, I believe you’ll see the necessity.
To the real plan then, which Mr. Spindle shared with me while Arthur’s senses were distracted. The process required to prepare the dagger was complex, true. But not so complex that Mr. Spindle couldn’t create two of them. He knew where Brand would likely take Arthur; if you read the post about the dream you can probably guess too. And he even knew approximately when to expect Brand to commence his operation.
I was prepared to wield the dagger. And as I found out the next day when she brought it to the bookstore along with another vial of the Armitage formula, so was Ingrid. Mr. Spindle had told her about the situation and she was enthusiastic about the opportunity to combat an… “incorporeal asshat” was the phrase she used, I believe. Perhaps you’re surprised that she would so readily accept such a premise. I was somewhat surprised too but then she shared some her experiences out in the country and, well, her crossbow bolts aren’t tipped with silver simply for decoration, let me just say that.
Ingrid and I kept watch at the amphitheater in shifts, beginning Friday night. During our confidential interview on Monday night Mr. Spindle had given me a tracking device, developed by Ingrid’s husband, to attach to Arthur’s car, to give us advance warning when he arrived at the site.
And so it was that within half an hour of posting that rather chilling midnight entry, Arthur arrived with me at the ready, waiting in the woods that bordered the amphitheater. He walked slowly to the edge of the stage and stopped there, which is what cued me to proceed. I ran to where he was and, opening the vial, threw the contents in front of Arthur, in what I perceived to be empty space.
The space did not remain empty. I saw a dark apparition similar to what Arthur described in his dream: a human figure wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a cloak. I intentionally avoided looking directly at it so I don’t know if its face was visible. Looking at Arthur, I saw him blink and look about him confusedly, indicating that I had temporarily interrupted the hold Brand had over him. I grasped Arthur’s right hand, put the hilt of the dagger into it, and closed his fingers around it. Which is the point at which he informs me he would like to continue the narrative.
One final thing before I close. Based on the thorough if idiosyncratic eye for detail I’ve observed in Arthur’s posts, it’s possible he may refer to seeing shapes behind the amphitheater that seemed barely within the range of human vision. This is likely an optical illusion likely brought on by the unique stress of the situation he found himself in, so please don’t ask him to try to remember more details.